Ortygia Restaurant: Ortygia, 1418 13th St. W., Bradenton, offers a four-course prix fixe "Romantic Aphrodisiac Dinner" with entertainment by Skip Eaton Feb. 14. There will be two seatings, 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Cost: $80 per couple. Limited seating available, make reservations at 941-741-8646.
Pier 22 Restaurant: Pier 22, 1200 First Ave. W., Bradenton, features a special Valentine's Day menu beginning at 4 p.m. Feb. 14. The menu offers prosciutto scallop blankets, crab cake, mussels & bleu, lamb lollipops, escargot, asian lettuce wraps, lobster bisque, baked onion soup, spinach & apple salad, Pier 22 house salad and a traditional Caesar salad. Entrees for the evening are grouper Oscar, prime rib, lobster tails, pork porterhouse, wasabi-crusted ahi tuna, surf and turf, organic half chicken, New Zealand rack of lamb, roast duckling, filet Oscar and stuffed lobster. Sushi and dessert menus are also available. Full dinner menu will not be offered. Happy Hour will be available from 3-7 p.m. at the main bar and patio bar. Reservations are suggested and can be made by calling 941-748-8087.
The Table Creekside: The Table Creekside, 5365 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, offers a special menu Feb. 14. The Valentine's Day specials will be offered in addition to the regular dinner menu including Cobia Tiradito with papaya mignonette and roasted duck carpaccio, Asian pear slaw and panca vinaigrette. A land trio or sea trio ($49.95) Land Trio -- organic veal Bourguignon, creamy mushroom espresso; pan-seared Colorado filet mignon, foie gras reduction, buttermilk shallot crisp; and Hudson Valley duck confit sausage, bing cherry port reduction, basil creamy mash. The Sea Trio features king crab ravioli, albariño beurre blanc; truffle-poached cold water lobster tail, Himalayan creamy risotto; pan seared branzino, smoked heirloom tomato manchego fondue, braised leeks. The Table will be open from 4 to 10:30 p.m. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 941-921-9465.
Royal tea service: Simply Gourmet is hosting a traditional Royal English tea service at 2 p.m. Feb. 12, 19, 26 and March 5, 12, 19 at the Powel Crosley Estate, 8374 N. Tamiami Trail, in Manatee County. Tea will be served in the exclusive upstairs living area of the mansion overlooking the bay. Tickets are $32. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Crosley Foundation. To reserve, call 941-225-9122.
ON THE MENU
Apertivo: Ortygia Restaurant, 1418 13th St. W., Bradenton, is hosting a Sicilian-style Apertivo 5-7 p.m. Wednesdays. For reservations call 941-741-8646.
Amore by Andrea adds lunch: Amore by Andrea, 555 Bay Isles Parkway, just off Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, is now open for lunch 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Lunch will be served in the new outdoor palm garden and in the elegant fireside lounge. The menu consists of an array of soups and salads for the season, five pasta dishes, (including Andrea's famous penne Bolognese) and four hearty sandwiches that are served with homemade steak fries. The Angus burger can be embellished with cheese and/or bacon. Prices for lunch range from $9-$15. Beer, wine and full bar. Information: 941- 383-1111 or amorerestaurantlbk.com.
Beach Bistro casual menu: The Beach Bistro, 6600 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, will be offering a new, more casual "Beach and Bar" menu and service featuring on-the-sand tables. The new Beach and Bar menu will feature shrimp po-boys, bourbon-grilled gulf jumbos, the real grouper sandwich, crab cakes, Bistro charcuterie and more. The Bistro's Bar and Beach area will begin seating from 5 p.m. The Gulf front dining room commences seating at 5:30 p.m. Reservations are always a good idea to 941-778-6444.
Brunch at MacAllisters: MacAllister's, 8110 Lakewood Ranch Main St., offers a brunch buffet 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 8 and the second Sunday of each month. Menu items include strawberry stuffed French toast, pineapple bourbon ham, shrimp gorgonzola pasta, maple glazed pork roast, frittatas, salads, desserts as well a Bloody Mary bar. Buffet price is $15.99 per person, drinks not included. Information: 941-359-2424.
French Epicurean Adventure: Each month, Michael's On East offers new "Epicurean Adventure" lunch and dinner menus inspired by exotic culinary destinations. In February, the culinary team will present a French Epicurean Adventure. The three-course dinner menu is available Monday through Saturday evenings for $34.95 per person. The two-course Power Lunch offering features a choice of entrée and dessert for $18.95 per person and is available Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 941-366-0007, ext. 224 or visit www.bestfood.com for reservations.
Jazz brunch: Through winter, the Sandbar Restaurant, 100 Spring Ave., Anna Maria, offers music from top local musicians during the restaurant's Sunday brunch, which begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m. Information: 941-778-0444.
Sunday brunch: Polo Grill and Bar, 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch, is offering Sunday Brunch, a brand new menu every Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. featuring a variety of hot and cold selections for breakfast and lunch that changes weekly with a mimosa, Bloody Mary and organic raw juice bar. Brunch is $25 per person plus tax, gratuity, and alcoholic beverages. Information: 941-782-0899 or pologrillandbar.com.
wine & COOKING CLASSES
Italian cooking: Giuliano Hazan, chef, teacher, cookbook author and son of Italian culinary legend Marcella Hazan, has launched a new series of intimate Italian cooking classes. Hazan and his wife, Lael Hazan, a food historian, will open their Sarasota riverside home to a maximum of nine participants per class. Guided by Hazan, attendees will prepare a four-course Italian meal, which will be enjoyed at the table and paired with select Italian wines. Classes are Feb. 11, 19, 27. All classes are from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Cost is $150 per person per class. For a full schedule and to make reservations, call 941-363-1258 or email at email@example.com.
Apron's classes: Apron's Cooking School at Publix At University Walk, 2875 University Parkway; students may register for all classes online at www.publix.com or by calling 941-358-7829.
Culinary Calendar: Email information to firstname.lastname@example.org.