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The Bijou Blog

Looking for a delicious meal and great atmosphere? Our Summer in the City menus at The Bijou are the perfect solution! Chef has been busy creating a varity of lunch and dinner options. This week the special menu includes our Chicken Paillard with Mediterranean vegetables and sauteed spianch. These menus run from August 3 to 9, so don't miss out!

SUMMER IN THE CITY Dinner:
$32.95 per person

Choice of Starter:

paillardICEBERG WEDGE SALAD With housemade blue cheese dressing, tomato, cucumber and onion

SOUP DU JOUR Hot and chilled specialties of the Chef

SHRIMP & CRAB BISQUE Add $2

Choice of Entree:   

GRILLED SKIRT STEAK With mashed potato, vegetable and truffled mushroom cream sauce

CHICKEN PAILLARD Organic chicken breast, sauteed in olive oil and garlic and served with roasted Mediterranean vegetables and sauteed spinach, finished with lemon and butter

LOBSTER RAVIOLI With thyme scented sherry cream sauce

For Dessert: 

STRAWBERRY JALAPENO PROFITEROLES

 

SUMMER IN THE CITY Lunch:
$16.95 per person

Choice of Starter:  

ICEBERG WEDGE SALAD With housemade blue cheese dressing, tomato, cucumber and onion

SOUP DU JOUR Hot and chilled specialties of the Chef 

SHRIMP & CRAB BISQUE Add $2

Choice of Entree:  

CUBAN TURKEY WRAP With spicy mustard, pepperoncini, Swiss cheese

CHICKEN PAILLARD Organic chicken breast, sauteed in olive oil and garlic and served with roasted Mediterranean vegetables and sauteed spinach, finished with lemon and butter

LOBSTER RAVIOLI With thyme scented sherry cream sauce

 

Click here for a reservation, or call 941.366.8111 today.

We have much more happening at the bijou! Follow us on facebook and get daily updates about our happy hour, wine tastings, and much more.

108Can you believe that it's already the first Friday of the month again?! Although we are sad the summer months are flying by, we are thrilled to host a wine tasting this Fri., Aug. 2.

Every month we have new and unique wines from around the world for you to sniff, swirl and savor. This specific wine tasting will be run by Bob "Buli" Bulifant, Joe "Country Joe" Davis, and Jon "The Punster" Samelian, pouring and sharing their impressive wine knowledge with you.

This is one of our favorite events, not just becuase of the delicious wines (that's a given), but also because it's a great time to spend with new and old friends. This event turns into quite the party and many guests stay for dinner afterwards.

As always, there will be passed hors d'oeuvres, finger foods and a huge artisanal cheese board as well as 18 reds, whites and roses! For only $18 per person, this is the perfect Friday night activity for a group of friends.

All of the wines served at the tasting are available by the bottle or case at an amazing price. If you buy a case of wines, you can even mix and match and save 10%. It's a deal you won't want to miss.

See you all Friday!

Summer is winding down, so it's about time you go out and enjoy it, while it lasts! This week, our chefs whipped up quite a delicious entree, if we do say so ourselves. If you love truffle oil and mushrooms, you must try the lunch ravioli special, it melts in your mouth. Join us this week for the new menus from July 27 to August 2!

SUMMER IN THE CITY Dinner:
$32.95 per person

Choice of Starter:

6a010536a07d60970b012876715701970c-800wiGEORGIA PEACH AND ARUGULA SALAD With watercress, candied walnuts, feta cheese and balsamic vinagrette

SOUP DU JOUR Hot and chilled specialties of the Chef

SHRIMP & CRAB BISQUE Add $2

Choice of Entree:   

PAN SEARED DUCK BREAST Barley/hazelnut risotto, cherry Merlot sauce

PORK LOIN MEDALLIONS With gingered sweet potato mash, hot and sour pepper brunoise

SHRIMP AND ANGEL HAIR PASTA With roasted tomato sauce

For Dessert: 

KEY LIME TART With toasted pistachios and mango syrup

 

SUMMER IN THE CITY Lunch:
$16.95 per person

Choice of Starter:  

GEORGIA PEACH AND ARUGULA SALAD With watercress, candied walnuts, feta cheese and balsamic vinaigrette

SOUP DU JOUR Hot and chilled specialties of the Chef 

SHRIMP & CRAB BISQUE Add $2

Choice of Entree:  

PORK LOIN MEDALLIONS With gingered sweet potato mash, hot and sour pepper brunoise

MUSHROOM RAVIOLI In light lemon cream broth with chopped Portabella, spinach and goat cheese, truffle oil

PESTO CHICKEN SALAD Pulled roast chicken with house made pesto dressing and arugula on a croissant

 

Click here for a reservation, or call 941.366.8111 today. Are you on Google+? See what we have been up to and follow us to keep up to date on all our specials and events!

jpThey’re at it again. Just when you think Downtown Sarasota is a very cool destination and people are enjoying its many charming shops and restaurants, the City starts tearing the streets up.

To be honest, the eventual outcome will be awesome. There will be new landscaping, lighting and wider sidewalks, so I'm not complaining. However, I am just reminding you that while most of the work is currently being done on Main Street, the Bijou Café is on First Street and we have not been affected and still have plenty of parking. 

Please don’t plan on avoiding Downtown while the construction is taking place. The crews are making every effort they can to keep all businesses and sidewalks accessible. The shops and restaurants are normally quite slow this time of year so avoiding them now will be an extreme burden on them and us.

Support your Downtown and its awesome collection of eclectic shops and eateries! Come on down and have fun. Remember the Bijou Café is open all summer (everyday except Sunday) and we have valet parking as well as easy access to the Palm Avenue parking garage, which is free!

It feels as if summer is flying by, but don't worry, we have new Summer in the City menus to help you enjoy these nice, relaxing days. This week, enjoy the signature Bijou caesar whipped up in a unique, delicious way. Stop by and try the new menus for July 20 to 26!

SUMMER IN THE CITY Dinner:
$32.95 per person

Choice of Starter:


salmonBIJOU CAESAR SALAD Our version of the classic

SOUP DU JOUR Hot and chilled specialties of the Chef

SHRIMP & CRAB BISQUE Add $2

Choice of Entree:   

BRAISED PORK SHANK With corn pudding, vegetable and braising broth

SEASONAL SALMON Grilled, tarragon compound butter atop watercress, tomato and onion salad

JERK ROASTED HALF CHICKEN With tomatillo salsa, yellow rice and beans

For Dessert: 

CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT TART With coffee cloud

SUMMER IN THE CITY Lunch:
$16.95 per person

Choice of Starter:  

BIJOU CAESAR SALAD Our version of the classic

SOUP DU JOUR Hot and chilled specialties of the Chef 

SHRIMP & CRAB BISQUE Add $2

Choice of Entree:  

FRIED OYSTER SALAD Green leaf lettuce, candied walnuts. Red grapes, crumbled blue cheese, champagne vinaigrette

SEASONAL SALMON Grilled, tarragon compound butter atop watercress, tomato and onion salad

JERK ROASTED HALF CHICKEN With tomatillo salsa, yellow rice and beans

 

Remember to like us on facebook and keep up with our special events and news! Click here for a reservation, or call 941.366.8111 today.

Even though our days have been rainy, it hasn't stopped us from having a great time! This week's menu is just what the doctor ordered to help forget about the bad weather, like our pulled roast duck sandwich! Moist and delicious! This unique menu runs from July 13 to 19.

SUMMER IN THE CITY Dinner:
$32.95 per person

Choice of Starter:

BijouDishSUMMER MIXED GREENS With dried cherries, strawberries, roasted pecans, raspberry vinaigrette

SOUP DU JOUR Hot and chilled specialties of the Chef

SHRIMP & CRAB BISQUE Add $2

Choice of Entree:   

RAINBOW TROUT Cornmeal encrusted, sauteed and served with ranch vegetable ragout and buttermilk chive aioli

CHICKEN PAILLARD Organic chicken breast, sauteed in olive oil and garlic and served with roasted Mediterranean vegetables and sauteed spinach, finished with lemon and butter

GRILLED DELMONICO STEAK Sweet potato rissole, button mushroom, fresh thyme jus

For Dessert: 

MANGO PANNA COTTA With macadamia nut brittle 

SUMMER IN THE CITY Lunch:
$16.95 per person

Choice of Starter:  

SUMMER MIXED GREENS With dried cherries, strawberries, roasted pecans, raspberry vinaigrette

SOUP DU JOUR Hot and chilled specialties of the Chef 

SHRIMP & CRAB BISQUE Add $2

Choice of Entree:  

RAINBOW TROUT Cornmeal encrusted, sauteed and served with ranch vegetable ragout and buttermilk chive aioli

SPINACH AND ROASTED TOMATO CAPELLINI Olive oil, sauteed spinach, roasted garlic and tomatoes, basil, Grana Padana

PULLED ROAST DUCK SANDWICH Maple Farms Roasted duck on Ciabatta bread with melted brie and mango chutney. Served with petite Caesar salad or pommes frites

 

Click here for a reservation, or call  941.366.8111

We serve wine by the glass and bottle! If you get here early, join us for happy hour as well, starting at 5pm.

109Wine savvy experts will pour wines from Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Italy, France and of course South Africa and USA, this Fri., July 12 at The Bijou for our monthly wine tasting!

For only $18 per person you can try unlimitted wines, chat about them with friends and vendors and relax! Plus, small plates and passed hors d' oeuvres are included as well as a scrumptious artisanal cheese board.

The wine tasting runs from 5 to 7 p.m. in the "Bird Room." Afterwards, we invite you to join us for our "Summer in the City" three course prix fixe menu.

See you all soon! To prepare, check out some of our regularly featured wines here.

We love seeing so many new and old faces at the Bijou for our special "Summer in the City" menus! I am so excited this week for everyone to try the seasonal salmon, with a tarragon compound butter sauce. It's moist, fresh and delicious! This unique menu runs from July 6 to July 12.

SUMMER IN THE CITY Dinner:
$32.95 per person

Choice of Starter:

fett-carbonaraSALADE MELANGE Chopped radicchio spinach, sweet onion, mushroom, bacon, eggs, hearts of palm, blue cheese, creamy herb dressing

SOUP DU JOUR Hot and chilled specialties of the Chef

SHRIMP & CRAB BISQUE Add $2

Choice of Entree:   

BOB JOHNSON'S CHICKEN BREAST Stuffed with herbed goat cheese, served with roasted red pepper and thyme cream sauce, pancetta orzo

SEASONAL SALMON Grilled, tarragon compound butter atop watercress, tomato and onion salad

FETTUCCINE CARBONARA Tossed with blackened shrimp

For Dessert: 

MANGO AND PAPAYA CREPES With mascarpone lemon curd and almonds 

SUMMER IN THE CITY Lunch:
$16.95 per person

Choice of Starter:  

SALADE MELANGE Chopped radicchio spinach, sweet onion, mushroom, bacon, eggs, hearts of palm, blue cheese, creamy herb dressing

SOUP DU JOUR Hot and chilled specialties of the Chef 

SHRIMP & CRAB BISQUE Add $2

Choice of Entree:  

NEUSKE'S BLT On semolina toast with local vine ripe tomato, avocado and mayonnaise

SHRIMP PIRI PIRI Shrimp sauteed with a spicy sauce of lemon, garlic and cayenne, with South African style grits

BOB JOHNSON'S CHICKEN BREAST Stuffed with herbed goat cheese, served with roasted red pepper and thyme cream sauce

 

Click here for a reservation, or call  941.366.8111

We have a great variety of wines to choose from to pair with these different dishes. Take a look at our wine menu! We'll see you this week!

Our latest "Summer in the City" menu is below and this week our world-famous jambalaya with spicy chicken, ham, sausage, baby shrimp and rice is just one of the many delicious items to choose from. Come in and try it before Saturday, when a new menu will come out!

SUMMER IN THE CITY Dinner:
$32.95 per person

Choice of Starter:

FRESH MOZZARELLA With Tasti-Lee tomato on watercress with basil and balsamic glaze

SOUP DU JOUR Hot and chilled specialties of the Chef

SHRIMP & CRAB BISQUE Add $2

Choice of Entree:   

jambalayaOVEN SEARED SCOTTISH SALMON In a potato crust with horseradish cream sauce

BIJOU'S JAMBALAYA Hearty Cajun style stew of chicken, ham and sausage, baby shrimp and rice, gumbo file

GRILLED SIRLOIN TIP STEAK With mashed potato and pink peppercorn demi-glace

For Dessert: 

ICE CREAM WAFFLE Belgian style Vanilla and chocolate ice cream, caramel sauce and chocolate sauce and candied walnuts

 

SUMMER IN THE CITY Lunch:
$16.95 per person

Choice of Starter:  

FRESH MOZZARELLA With Tasti-Lee tomato on watercress with basil and balsamic glaze

SOUP DU JOUR Hot and chilled specialties of the Chef 

SHRIMP & CRAB BISQUE Add $2

Choice of Entree:  

SHRIMP FRANCAISE Dipped in egg and sauteed with lemon butter

BIJOU'S JAMBALAYA Hearty Cajun style stew of chicken, ham and sausage, baby shrimp and rice, gumbo file

SIRLOIN STEAK TIP SANDWICH On Ciabatta bread with Irish cheddar, crispy onions and waffle chips

 

Click here for reservation, or call  941.366.8111

Are you on Google+? Follow us to get sneak previews of the weeks Summer in the City specials! Follow us here.

It's that time of year — our Summer in the City specials are live! This is our first SITC week, so join us for a prix fixe lunch, or dinner... or BOTH ... and enjoy unique dishes that highlight our chefs great talents. Here are our menus for this week, June 15 to 21.

SUMMER IN THE CITY Dinner:
$32.95 per person

Choice of Starter:

WATERMELON AND FETA SALAD Watercress and leaf lettuce, balsamic vinaigrette and pancetta crisp

SOUP DU JOUR Hot and chilled specialties of the Chef

Choice of Entree:   

photo 2MUSHROOM RAVIOLI In light lemon cream broth with chopped Portabella, spinach and goat cheese, truffle oil

BRAISED PORK SHANK With corn pudding, vegetable and braising broth

HERB GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST With vegetable quinoa, thyme and shallot red wine butter

For Dessert: 

GRILLED LOCAL PEACH With strawberry ice cream, raspberry and carmel sauce

 

SUMMER IN THE CITY Lunch:
$16.95 per person

Choice of Starter:  

WATERMELON AND FETA SALAD Watercress and leaf lettuce, balsamic vinaigrette and pancetta crisp

SOUP DU JOUR Hot and chilled specialties of the Chef 

Choice of Entree:  

SHRIMP AND PASTA With fresh roasted Roma tomato and angel hair pasta

CHOPPED MEDITERRANEAN SALAD Grilled lamb, romaine, feta, olives, artichokes, onion, cucumber, croutons, sun-dried tomato, herb vinaigrette

HERB GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST With vegetable quinoa, thyme and shallot red wine butter

 

Click here to make a reservation, or call  941.366.8111 — plus, our full dinner and lunch menus are available too, so you can try any and all of your Bijou favorites.

PS: We're doing lots of fun stuff on Facebook, including posting photos of all our tasty specials. Click here to follow us.

945597 594798147205747_391869956_nWe are so excited to kick off this year's "Savor Sarasota" with the following lunch and dinner menu! Enjoy three-course meals for a special price now until June 14 as part of the event.

Following Savor Sarasota we'll begin our own prix fixe menus called "Summer in the City," showing off our chefs' specialties! Come visit soon and try both.

 

2013 “SAVOR SARASOTA” LUNCH

To Start

SOUP DU JOUR

Hot and Chilled Specialties of the Chef

Shrimp & Crab Bisque (additional $2)

or

VEGGIE LOVER’S

Cannelini beans, beets, asparagus, tomato, mushroom, soft lettuce and spinach, croutons, herb dressing

 

Entrées

WILD MUSHROOM AND GRUYÈRE GRILLED CHEESE

Shitakes and Creminis, creamy Gruyère, semolina bread, petite Caesar salad or pommes frites

or

SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN

Salad with bacon, tomato, pecans, dried cherries, fried onions and buttermilk ranch dressing

or

SEASONAL SALMON

Grilled Tarragon compound butter atop watercress, tomato and onion salad

$15 Exclusive of Beverage, Tax and Gratuity. Please No Substitutions

 

 

2013 “SAVOR SARASOTA” DINNER

To Start

SOUP DU JOUR

Hot and Chilled Specialties of the Chef

Shrimp & Crab Bisque (additional $2)

or

VEGGIE LOVER’S

Cannelini beans, beets, asparagus, tomato, mushroom, soft lettuce and spinach, croutons, herb dressing

 

Entrées

“BRAAIVLEIS” SOUTH-AFRICAN MIXED GRILL

Grilled house made “Boerewors”, lamb chop and strip steak served with South African grits and grilled tomato, Major Grays chutney

or

CHICKEN PAILLARD

Organic chicken breast, sautéed in olive oil and garlic and served with roasted Mediterranean vegetables and sautéed spinach, finished with lemon and butter

or

SEASONAL SALMON

Grilled Tarragon compound butter atop watercress, tomato and onion salad

 

Dessert

AMARULA CREME BRULEE

$29 Exclusive of Beverage, Tax and Gratuity. Please No Substitutions

jambalaya

I’ve wanted to add some new dishes to our menu focusing on offfering greater variety to our dinners and summer seemed like the perfect time to try them out. 

As of today, we're proud to unveil and updated lunch menu including some old Bijou favorites like our famous Jambalaya!

New items include southern fried chicken, an open face grilled veggie sandwich, and a “spa style” fish du jour. Many of the new selections were created or are easily modified so we can meet all types of dietary restrictions, including gluten free and low fat.

 

We serve lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and the full menu can be found here. Stop by the Bijou for lunch or dinner and let us show off our delicious new creations and old favorites! 

Screen shot_2013-05-19_at_10.17.08_PMSarasota is known for having the #1 beach in the USA but we also have the highest concentrations of Zagat®-rated restaurants in Florida. You knew that already? Well, did you know you can plan a culinary adventure around our award-winning eateries without breaking the bank?

That's right, during Savor Sarasota you can enjoy three-course meals from our famed eateries for just $15 per person for lunch and $29 per person for dinner. With a spread from Peruvian to French and every flavor in between, you'll taste your way around the world in no time.

And the best place to start this culinary adventure is the Bijou Café, of course!

After Savor Sarasota, we begin our very own “Customer Appreciation” celebration — as we have done for the past several years, The Bijou Cafe is once again featuring our popular Prix Fixe menu in appreciation of our year round residents.

Called "Summer in the City," the three-course dinner menu changes weekly and is intended to showcase the talents and creativity of our chefs. Cost is only $34.95 per person for a starter, entree and dessert. We also have a “Summer in the City” lunch menu with two courses for $16.95 per person. This incredible value menu will begin Mon., June 17 and run until the end of October.

We'll post each week's special menus here as they are released — click here now to make your reservations!  

103Sunday, May 12th is the special day we set aside to honor our Mothers and thank them for all they've done for us. At the Bijou Cafe, we know just what moms want and deserve! All you have to do is make the reservation and we will do the rest!

Our special Mother's Day dinner starts at 4pm for the early diners and runs until 8pm. We are serving our usual award winning dinner menu, as well as the following heavenly Chef Specials just for our lucky mothers!

Call 366-8111 or visit us online to make your reservation today and treat your Mom to the best dinner in Sarasota! 

Mother's Day Menu Specials
 
To Start
Cream of Forest Mushroom Soup with a touch of Sherry
or 
Chilled Mixed Berry Champagne
or
Our Famous Shrimp & Crab Bisque
 
Entrees
Pan Roasted Striped Bass with whole grain mustard gnocchi, arugula and orange salad with beet vinaigrette
or
Australian Rack of Lamb: Crusted with Dijon mustard and Herbes de Provence, sauced with a Cabernet lamb reduction and topped with mint "gremolata"
or
Oven Roasted Lobster Tail with fresh crab meat, asparagus and truffle oil flan, spring vegetables

And for Dessert!
Home made Chocolate Hazelnut Tart with Frangelico Chantilly cream.
 

Please don't wait. Make your reservations now for Mother's Day, because she deserves it!

CALL 366-8111 or reserve your spot online here!
 

jpSure, it's getting hot out again but the good news is that the first Friday of each month during the summer we host a wine tasting at the Bijou Cafe! Our "First Friday Wine Tastings" were such a big hit last year that we decided, after popular demand, to start them this year in May.

So mark your calenders for 5pm this Fri., May 3 and join us for some great wines, friendly company and tasty appetizers!

We'll have knowledgeable wine merchants pouring wines from all around the world and sharing interesting bits of wine info with you.

Small dishes and passed hors d' oeuvres are included in the cost, as well as a scrumptious artisanal cheese board. And for only $18 per person, the event is just too good to pass up!

We suggest you gather some friends and make a night of it! Many of the art galleries and shops are open late and will invite you to stroll in after the tasting! Be ready for an amazing evening, and we promise, you will want to come back every month.

See you on Friday! 

dinerschoice2At the Bijou Café, we pride ourselves on making sure that every part of your dining experience exceedes your expectations. Between service, food, and a friendly smile, we see it work with our repeat customers and new ones as well. Apparently, we were not the only ones to notice, OpenTable's 400 million diners did too!

OpenTable is a website with over 27,000 listed restaurants. Every year they choose the Top 100 restaurants and present them with the 2013 "Diners' Choice" Award.

The award is based on more than 5 million restaurant reviews over the last year. Maybe it was our excellent pepper steak and the seared salmon that earned us the award. Or, maybe our happy hour with the tasty martinis and friendly wait staff. Whatever it is, we could not be happier and more thankful for the amazing support everyone has given us!

Thank you again for helping us win this award, it wouldn't be possible without every one of you. We hope to see you soon — click here to make a reservation now through OpenTable

opera-singer5Another sensational Opera season has come to the end and we would like to thank all the Opera lovers who joined us for dinner. We also thank the Sarasota Opera for being such a world class venue and attracting visitors from all over the globe for their magnificent productions.

But alas, poor Yorick, we must apologize to those of you who wanted to join us when there were no tables left. To make some extra room for next year, we are contemplating having a communal table or two. Would you like to see a communal table on Opera nights?

From an article in FSR magazine:

Communal Dining Encourages Engagement

At casual eateries and corner taverns, communal dining has long been a slice of the American restaurant scene. But the increased appearance of strangers sitting side-by-side in upscale establishments is a new and exciting concept. People want to be connected to one another, especially when they have common interests such as the Opera.

A departure from the regimented ways of traditional dining, communal dining lends itself to a welcoming, spirited atmosphere. “Communal dining creates a feeling of togetherness and community that brings a different energy to the dining experience,” says Chicago restaurant The Publican’s general manager, Katie Syracopoulos, noting that an equal number of guests request a spot at communal tables as call for a spot at the eatery’s private tables.

We could accommodate about 20 or 30 more people on busy Opera nights at the Bijou Café if we sat couples at a single large table together.

So please let us know your thoughts by commenting here or on Facebook and perhaps we will consider a communal table next year, giving more people a chance to get a seat at the Bijou Café! 

(Little JP at boarding school! No just kidding, it was not quite that bad!)

Chefs are always asked what their favorite foods are; their favorite wines, restaurants etc., but nobody ever asks if there is something they just can’t stand.

When I was very young and growing up in South Africa my parents sent me to boarding school for a better education. It was a great school and has become one of the best private schools in South Africa today. However, at the time (1957), food for the boarders was not a prime concern. As a matter of fact it was pretty damn awful. In the best British tradition, you had to finish everything on your plate or you were punished. I think subconsciously that’s when and where I decided to become a chef so I would never have to eat lousy food again! 

Which brings me back to favorite foods! I have cooked and eaten all over the world. I am not afraid to try anything once and I very seldom turn away anything without at least a bite. I don’t understand the crazy people out there who eat disgusting things just for the shock value or to entertain on TV. There are only two things I have never been able to enjoy. Cilantro and Brussels sprouts. There … I have confessed.

I have discovered I am not the only person in the world to feel this way. There is even a website called ihatecilantro.com. That’s how serious it is! There is some discussion that the aversion to cilantro might be hereditary.

The strange thing is, I love the aroma and taste of coriander which is the seed of the cilantro plant and is used extensively as a flavoring in South African cuisine. Cilantro smells and tastes like perfumey soap to me and has ruined so many great Mexican and Indian dishes for me. I am trying to like it but at my age I’m not betting on any changes in my taste buds soon.

Brussels sprouts I can handle if I cook them myself. I steam first (gag at the smell!) and then sauté in olive oil with shallots, garlic, bacon, and lemon. Like to get them a little brown on edges, then finish with a touch of balsamic vinegar and butter, salt and ground pepper! Actually, with all that, you could leave the Brussels sprouts out and it would taste pretty good!

So unless it’s my night off or the chefs have started a revolution you will very seldom see cilantro and Brussels on the menu at the Bijou Café. There is a whole world of other food out there so who is going to miss those two culinary varmints!

Photo above: Little JP at boarding school. No, just kidding, it was not quite that bad! 

One of the reasons the Bijou Café has been successful over the years is our location across the street from the Sarasota Opera. When we started the restaurant in 1986 there were several nay sayers who predicted a short life for the Bijou because this part of town was pretty rundown with only a few struggling businesses getting by.

The Opera House had recently been re-furbished and was on its way to becoming one of the top Opera companies in the country.

People loved the idea of having dinner at the Bijou before the performance and we have never had an empty seat prior to an opera performance ever since!

So thank you Sarasota Opera. We love having you as neighbors and we also love to hear the performers practicing their arias as they walk down First Street!

Tonight’s Opera is Bizet’s “Pearl Fishers”, a must see for true opera fans.

Set in legendary Sri Lanka, the story follows two men whose vow of eternal friendship is threatened when the object of their mutual desires, the priestess Léïla, suddenly returns igniting a dangerous triangle of forbidden love.

This proven Sarasota Opera favorite features the famous Act I duet for tenor and baritone, "Au fond du temple saint", which is sure to lift you out of your seat. For more info on Sarasota Opera click here. 

Hanger One_Blimp_033

We have been serving Hangar One Vodka at the Bijou Café for several years now. I love its smoothness and intense flavors.

There are two features that make Hangar One Vodka different from other popular premium vodkas. It is distilled from Viognier grapes and it is done in the old abandoned Alameda Naval Air Station aircraft hangar (thus the name). When you get a taste of it you will find out why it is becoming the call vodka of choice for many people. Ask for a taste the next time you are at the bar in the Bijou Café.

They make several flavors and each one has a unique story behind it. I will write about each flavor in following blogs but first let’s look at Buddha’s Hand.

We have a sample of a Buddha’s Hand fruit in a specimen jar and it is very unusual looking. The Buddha’s Hand isn’t just a funny-looking lemon. It’s actually the lemon’s great grandfather. And like all great lineage, its flavors and aromas run so much deeper — from jasmine to basil; apricot to fruitcake. Its acid bite is milder than a standard lemon, allowing these secondary flavors to take center stage, and dance a ballet on your palate. They start by distilling the whole fruit — seeds, skin, pits, juice, oils and all. The purified lemon extracts in other vodkas give you a single note. The Buddha’s Hand plays the whole symphony. (Maybe that’s what all the fingers are for.)

They have a blimp they fly around the country promoting their Vodka and I was fortunate to go for a fun filled flight on!

 

Hanger One_Blimp_009



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