Recipe: Shrimp Saganaki

Header Shrimp

Please enjoy another recipe from the Michael's On East kitchen!

Michael’s On East Greek Shrimp "Saganaki"
Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Capers, Gremolata Butter & Feta Cheese
Flambé with Ouzo

Created by Michael’s On East Executive Chef Jamil Pineda as part of the Greek Epicurean Adventure in August 2018.

Serves 4

For Gremolata Butter:

1 lb Unsalted Butter, Softened
2 Lemons, Zested
1 Tablespoon Chopped Garlic
½ Bunch of Flat Parsley, Chopped
1 teaspoon Red Crushed Red Pepper
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Juice of 2 Lemons
Pinch of Salt and Black Pepper

Combine all ingredients into the softened butter. Mix thoroughly and set for 2 hours.

For the Shrimp:

12 each U-12 Shrimp, De-shelled and Deveined
1 Medium Tomato, Diced
1 Tablespoon Capers
2 Tablespoon Kalamata Olives
4 oz Gremolata Butter
4 oz Crumble Feta Cheese
3 oz Ouzo Liquor
2 oz Olive Oil
Salt and Black Pepper to Taste

Season the shrimp with salt and black pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and sear on both sides, add the tomatoes, capers, olives and cook until the tomatoes are softened. Add the butter and Ouzo, then emulsify together. (Be careful as the Ouzo will ignite liked a flambé.) Take off the heat once the butter is totally melted and combine with the Ouzo.

To Plate
Place three shrimp on the middle of a pasta bowl and add sauce on top. Finish with feta cheese and serve.

Trust Michael’s for the Perfect Holiday Party!

For three decades, Michael’s On East has been celebrated as Sarasota’s “Best Caterer.” Whether celebrating on-site at Michael’s venues or around town at the magical Selby Gardens and Bay Preserve, you can trust our professional team to produce a special experience for all your guests!

Ballroom • Wine Cellar • Restaurant • Waterfront Venues

Whether you are planning your company’s annual holiday party, a family celebration during Hanukkah, “Secret Santa” luncheon with your girlfriends or even a New Year’s brunch, the Michael’s team will make party planning painless! 

Allow our experienced team in the Restaurant, Wine Cellar, Ballroom and Catering to help coordinate and produce your holiday party on premise, or book through our Catering office to celebrate the most festive season of the year at Sarasota’s gorgeous waterfront venues! (Michael’s Events & Catering is proud to serve as the exclusive caterer for all functions at Bay Preserve in Osprey and Selby Gardens in Downtown Sarasota.)

We’re pleased to share a few ideas to help inspire your holiday event planning:

123 MWC
Michael’s Wine Cellar
No “Christmas lights” needed in this romantic space! Votive candles throughout walls of wine make Michael’s Wine Cellar a festive party space for personal gatherings or corporate functions. This flexible event space can be split to accommodate seated groups of 15-80 guests as well as hors d’oeuvre receptions for up to 150. Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by hundreds of bottles of “holiday cheer?”

with red BallroomMichael’s On East Ballroom 
The Ballroom’s timeless style has been known for decades as the perfect location for holiday parties! The versatile space offers a perfect backdrop for imaginative and themed events. The stunning glass-covered garden Atrium is a unique space for a pre-meal reception. Whether for a luncheon or evening event, the Ballroom is easily partitioned for smaller, more intimate gatherings.  The space can accommodate seated groups of 50 -400 guests for standing indoor receptions . Up to 1,000 guests can be welcomed for events spanning the indoor Ballroom and adjoining Atrium courtyard. The stunning glass-covered garden Atrium is a unique space for a pre-dinner reception. If your business or association is ready to host a holiday bash in the Ballroom, several Saturdays are available in December 2018.

PDR 2Restaurant and Private Dining Room
Host a gathering at Sarasota’s only AAA Four Diamond Award Restaurant! The holiday season provides the perfect excuse to enjoy fine dining at its best! In addition to functions during regular business hours, private brunches or luncheons on Saturdays & Sundays are available. Award-winning cuisine and outstanding service are presented in an exceptional 1940s supper club atmosphere. The unique architectural design and swirling spaces throughout the Lounge and multiple dining rooms will take you away to another place and time. The Restaurant’s intimate Private Dining Room accommodates up to 40 seated guests and Restaurant venue in its entirety accommodates up to 150 guests for a seated event or to up 300 guests for a reception.

MOTB 2Michael’s on the Bay at Selby Gardens
Michael’s proudly serves as the exclusive culinary partner at Selby Gardens, catering all special events and private functions on the property and at the all-new, waterfront Michael’s on the Bay at Selby Gardens. Michael’s on the Bay is available for luncheons and evening celebrations and, having opened in the fall of 2016, is one of Sarasota’s newest event facilities. The 4,800 square-foot venue has 80 feet of glass windows that provide unobstructed bay and sunset views. This unique space features an outdoor balcony, theatrical lighting and modern interior design features. The interior can seat up to 300 guests and host up to 500 for receptions.

Here’s some great news for you and your guests! Book a holiday party during Selby Gardens' annual Lights in Bloom and your guests will also be able to enjoy an evening stroll through the Gardens’ magical holiday light display as well! Contact Amy Allen to host your event at Selby Gardens: 941-366-0007 x238 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
preserve 2Bay Preserve in Osprey
Bay Preserve is a waterfront oasis on Little Sarasota Bay protected by Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. Michael’s On East is the exclusive caterer for this historic waterfront venue. The preserve features a performance pavilion, a large dock, a historic boathouse with a wildlife observation platform, and the 1931 Burrows-Matson House. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This tranquil waterfront mansion and beautiful grounds serve as an ideal holiday party venue for special events. It’s a true oasis in Osprey, just minutes south of Sarasota. Contact Sam Valentin for more information about hosting your corporate event, dinner or wedding at Bay Preserve: 941-918-2100 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please Note: Limited dates remain available for the 2018 holiday season.

Be sure to contact Michael’s Events & Catering now: 941-366-0007, ext. 226.

Click here to request a proposal online.

Michael's On East Competes in REEF’s 2018 Lionfish Derby Series

Lionfish derby 3 Madi ONeill Mote Marine Laboratory
Photo Credit: Madi O'Neill/Mote Marine Laboratory

The Michael's culinary team was delighted to join this year's competition at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, alongside several area chefs and colleagues who care about the marine environment - and appreciate great food!

Special thanks to Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, Whole Foods Market, REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation) and all participating organizations who helped raise awareness about invasive species as part of the 2018 Lionfish Derby which concluded on Sunday, July 8.

One highlight to note in Mote’s full recap of the special event are the restaurant awards:

First Place: Chef Jamil Pineda of Michael’s On East, serving pan-roasted lionfish with date and roasted pine nut chutney, with curried shrimp bisque, beech mushrooms and garlic Swiss chard 

Way to go, Jamil, and kudos to Philip’s brother John Mancini of the Deep Sea Diner who took second place!  

The biggest winner of the weekend? The Gulf of Mexico! Thanks to six teams of divers who removed 545 invasion lionfish from the Gulf. 

According to REEF, lionfish are: 
1) Voracious predators being shown to eat native fish and crustaceans in large quantities, including both ecologically and economically important species like grunts, snapper, nassau grouper, and cleaner shrimp
2) Not known to have any native predators
3) Equipped with venomous dorsal, ventral and anal spines, which deter predators and can cause painful wounds to humans
4) Capable of reproducing year-round with unique reproduction mechanisms not commonly found in native fishes (females can reproduce every 2-4 days!)
5) Relatively resistant to parasites, giving them another advantage over native species
6) Fast in their growth, able to outgrow native species with whom they compete for food and space

Non-native marine fishes can pose a major threat to marine fisheries, habitats, and eco-system function. Click here to learn more. 

July 2018: New Orleans Menu

Michael's On East features a New Orleans Epicurean Adventure, beginning July 2 and continuing through July 31. Enjoy this specialty three-course dinner menu featuring dishes inspired by the French Quarter, also known as the Vieux Carré, for only $38.95 per person. A two-course lunch offering includes a choice of entrée and dessert for only $19.95 per person.

We also invite you to enjoy special wine pairings for $8 per glass or $15 for the pairing.


Rick’s Soft-Shell Crab Po’ Boy Sandwich
Spiced Remoulade, Shredded Lettuce & Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad on French Baguette, Served with Crispy Fried Okra & Hushpuppies

Pan-Seared Rainbow Trout
Black-Eyed Pea Stew, Tasso Ham & Crispy Onion Straws

Lunch Dessert

Bananas Foster Brioche Pudding
Rum Anglaise & Vanilla Ice Cream

Red Velvet & Strawberry Cheesecake
Berry Compote

Dinner Starters

French Quarter Spiced Crawfish & Corn Chowder
Crispy Okra

Bourbon Street Short Rib Slider
Onion Straws, Grain Mustard & Green Mango Slaw

Dinner Entrée

Pan-Roasted Red Snapper
Ham Hock-Red Wine Sauce, Sweet Pearl Onions, Braised Leeks & Carrots, Roasted Candied Garlic & Creamer Potatoes

Manchester Farms Stuffed Quail
Cornbread & Fig Stuffing, Tasso-Corn Maque Choux, Three Cheese Stone Ground Grits, Tomato Fondue & Sautéed Rainbow Swiss Chard

Mama’s Lamb Shank Cassoulet
White Beans, Smoked Bacon & Andouille Sausage Stew, Haricot Verts & Caramelized Cipollini Onions

Dinner Dessert

Bananas Foster Brioche Pudding
Rum Anglaise & Vanilla Ice Cream

Red Velvet & Strawberry Cheesecake
Berry Compote

Wine Selection

Sauvignon Blanc, Ponga, New Zealand, 2017

Rhone Blend “Cuvee Tradition”, Mas des Bressades, Costieres de Nimes, FR, 2015

Indulge with New Desserts

We’d never suggest that one course could ever be better than another at Michael’s On East, but we know some loyal guests are true lovers of dessert. While it may be difficult to “save room,” you’ll never regret indulging when it comes to the decadent desserts created by our in-house Pastry Chef Catherine Tighe and her talented team in the Pastry Shop! 

This summer, we invite you to enjoy the season’s freshest fruits with Chef Catherine’s Peach & Summer Berry Almond Cobbler. If you only have eyes for chocolate, we suggest trying the all-new Amarena Cherry & Chocolate OREO Ice Cream Bombe. Of course, it's the "bomb!"

Michael’s On East Dessert Menu
Summer 2018

Peach & Summer Berry Almond Cobbler
Amaretto Raspberry Ripple Gelato

Amarena Cherry & Chocolate OREO Ice Cream Bombe

Topped with Dark Chocolate Sauce

Michael’s Famous Cookie Jar

An Assortment of Cookies to Share!

Crème Brûlée

Traditional Tahitian Vanilla Bean, Topped with Seasonal Berries

Housemade Ice Cream & Sorbets

Chocolate Blackout Cake

Layers of Dense Chocolate Custard Cake, Covered with Chocolate Jimmies

Brownie Ice Cream Stack
Layers of Dark Chocolate Brownie, Heath Bar Crunches, Espresso Crunch Ice Cream, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Drizzled with Chocolate Sauce

Key Lime Tart

Pecan-Graham Crust, Tangy Filling, Cloud of Baked Meringue, Balsamic-Black Pepper & Strawberry Salsa

S’mores In A Jar

Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake, Dark Chocolate Mousse, Graham Cracker Crust with Housemade Marshmallows

Monday Happy Hour Supports Circus Arts Conservatory


"Happy" and "Monday:" Two words which don't always seem to go well together, except when you consider a special Monday happy hour program at Michael's On East!  

Every single Monday* at the Michael's On East Lounge, you have all night long to celebrate happy hour, beginning at 5 p.m. until the Restaurant closes! Michael's popular happy hour beverage specials ($6 Michael's Private Label Wines, Draft Beers or Well Cocktails) are offered all evening each Monday. So what could make this fun start to the work week even better? How about enjoying a cocktail, beer or glass of wine while helping to support local nonprofit organizations at the same time!

Every Monday, July 2 through August 27, 2018, Michael’s On East will donate 10% of beverage sales on Mondays in the Restaurant’s Lounge to The Circus Arts Conservatory.

The Circus Arts Conservatory’s mission is to engage and educate students using unique and innovative learning programs; to measurably improve the quality of life for individuals in care facilities; and to advance the extraordinary legacy and heritage of the circus. The Circus Arts Conservatory’s extraordinary mission underscores its commitment to sharing the entertainment, education, and enrichment that Circus Arts provide. To learn more about this unique cultural organization, visit

Please join us Mondays this summer in support of The Circus Arts Conservatory. 

*Hours may vary on holidays. 

Inverroche Amber Gin Makes its Debut in Florida at Michael's On East & Michael's Wine Cellar

Inverroche Amber Gin IMG 2942
Sip the South African Craft Gin in Michael’s Cape Town Cooler 

Allow us to introduce you to a cocktail three years in the making! It’s true, for years Michael and Terri Klauber have been working to make Inverroche Gin available to Michael’s On East and Michael’s Wine Cellar guests in Sarasota.

The Klaubers first tasted the gin crafted with Fynbos botanicals, indigenous flora from the Cape, while leading a Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club journey through South Africa’s Cape Winelands. Although they are known for their expertise and love of wine, the Klaubers quickly came to appreciate the distinct flavors of this refined spirit, in a refreshing cocktail or on the rocks. 

This month, at last, our team is pleased to be the first retailer and restaurant in Florida to offer Inverroche Amber Gin. (In fact, we have exclusivity in all the Southeast!) When you personally taste this South African craft gin, you will learn it was well worth the wait!

Making its debut in the restaurant, the Inverroche Amber Gin is featured in a new handcrafted cocktail created by Michael’s talented team of mixologists. 

Cape Town Cooler
Inverroche Amber Gin, Housemade Rosemary, Orange & Pink Peppercorn Syrup and Strawberry & White Balsamic Shrub, Topped with Soda Water and Garnished with a Strawberry 

The Cape Town Cooler is available during lunch, happy hour or dinner at the Michael’s On East Lounge or in the Restaurant’s dining rooms. 

A 750 mL bottle of Inverroche Amber Gin is also available for purchase for $39.95 from Michael’s Wine Cellar, our adjacent wine and spirits retail store.

Each Inverroche Gin has a distinctive profile, created using recipes blending between 20 to 30 different varieties of Fynbos, a distinctive flora kingdom found only in the southern tip of Africa, which are then complimented by various other more traditional gin botanicals.

The Inverroche website claims it’s “A special product, made by special people in a very special place.” 

This statement couldn’t ring truer for the Klaubers, and we think you will agree!

Please continue reading to learn more about the Inverroche Distillery and its craft gins, or simply stop by Michael’s On East and Michael’s Wine Cellar to taste for yourself and allow our team to share the rest of the story about these artisanal spirits!

About Inverroche Gin
As the pioneers of South African craft gin, Inverroche Distillery was founded by Lorna Scott and her family. Growing from strength to strength in the local community of Still Bay in the Western Cape of Southern Africa. In just six years, the distillery has grown from a small home industry to a flourishing and pioneering craft distillery. A distillery that is invested in its community and producing world class gins and spirits.

Inverroche takes its name from the combination of two words that pay homage to the Scott ancestry, referencing both their Celtic and Gaelic backgrounds.

The Scottish word “Inver” meaning ‘a confluence of water’ and the French word “Roche” meaning ‘rock or stone’ are the very elements that have come together in Still Bay to create the conditions necessary to make these world class, one-of-a-kind craft gins.

Today, the brand has three distinct gins (Classic, Verdant and Amber), crafted using only a handful of the more than 9,000 Fynbos botanicals. The craft gins are currently being sold in 15 countries globally. Click here to learn more about Inverroche Gin.

Michael’s On East Receives 29th Consecutive AAA Four Diamond Award

One of Two Restaurants in Florida to Receive Honor for More Than 25 Years

AAA Award 2018 144DPI

Michael’s On East has been awarded its 29th consecutive Four Diamond Rating by AAA. Michael’s On East Co-Proprietors Michael Klauber and Philip Mancini accepted the award during a brief presentation the morning of Thursday, June 28, 2018. Michael’s On East is the only AAA Four Diamond Award restaurant in Sarasota, Fla.

“As we present this 29th consecutive AAA Four Diamond Award, I’m reminded about the significance of this level of award,” said Don Schwartz, Sarasota-Manatee field manager for AAA. “Only two restaurants in the entire state of Florida have maintained the AAA Four Diamond status for 25+ years!”

“Locally, we love to see fellow restaurateurs succeed as Sarasota’s dining scene continues to evolve with fabulous, often casual, local eateries. We see our place in the culinary community as more important than ever, offering guests a sophisticated, refined fine dining experience which is increasingly rare,” said Klauber. “We’re grateful to our guests for allowing us the great honor of offering ‘Four Diamond’ service and cuisine for more than 30 years.”

The AAA Diamond Rating Process is North America’s premier restaurant rating program, performed each year by professionally-trained evaluators from AAA’s national headquarters. Only 2.2 percent of the more than 31,000 restaurants rated qualify for the AAA Four Diamond Award.

AAA defines a Four Diamond restaurant as being geared to individuals in search of a distinctive fine-dining experience. Often orchestrated by an executive chef and an accomplished staff, menus reflect a high degree of creativity and complexity, using imaginative presentations to enhance high quality, market-fresh ingredients. The equally proficient service staff demonstrates a strong desire to meet or exceed guest expectations. A wine steward is typically available to provide menu-specific knowledge on wine selection. The ambiance is highly refined, comfortable and well-coordinated, incorporating quality materials and a variety of upscale design enhancements to give a first-class impression. There are no payments or membership dues associated with the AAA rating system to ensure objective and trusted reviews.

Summer Restaurant Offers: Wine Lovers & Double Points

June Headers 08

School's out for the summer. Travel schedules are in full swing. Hopefully many in the local business and philantrophic community can breath just a bit in our slightly "sleepier" summer season.

Michael's summer offerings, exclusive to members of our Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club loyalty program, continue weekly through October 2018. As part of Michael's Double Points Days, members will earn double Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club points on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays during lunch and dinner at Michael's On East, plus double points on all retail purchases at Michael's Wine Cellar on Thursdays. (Dine-in and in-store only. Not valid with any other offers or discounts.)

Guests are also invited to enjoy half-priced bottles of wine on Thursdays in the Restaurant at Michael's On East during lunch or dinner. Wine Lovers Thursdayspresent an opportunity to explore the 350-bottle wine program in the Restaurant which has been recognized with the a Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator.

All are invited to join the Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club loyalty program which rewards guests for their good taste in the Restaurant, Wine Cellar or online at

Recipe: Blackened Diver Scallops

Scallops June2018 IMG 9037Our culinary team is pleased to share another featured recipe from the Michael's On East kitchen!

New Orleans Blackened Diver Scallops

Crawfish & Tasso Corn Maque Choux, Grilled Cajun Smoked Sausage, 

Sautéed Baby Kale & Crispy Onion Straws

As presented on this month's Epicurean Adventure and featured on ABC 7 by Michael's On East Sous Chef Kory Minor on June 14, 2018.

Serves 4 

For the Crawfish Maque Choux

4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup Tasso, finely diced
3 Ears of Corn
1/2 cup Onion, finely diced
1/4 cup Celery, finely diced
1/2 cup Green Pepper, finely diced
1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme leaves
1/8 cup Garlic, minced
1 Cup Tomato, diced
1/2 Cup Green Onions, finely sliced
Kosher Salt, Black Pepper and Cayenne to taste

1 cup Fresh Okra


Cut the corn off the cobs using a very sharp knife. (The trick is to cut about half way through the kernels, then go back and scrape the cobs with your knife to extract all of the milk into a bowl. Reserve the corn milk.) Melt the butter in a two-quart sauce pan, add the Tasso and cook on medium-high heat until slightly brown. Add the corn, onion, celery, bell pepper, thyme and a healthy pinch of salt and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 15 minutes stirring often, until the vegetables are tender. Add the garlic, okra, tomatoes, reserved corn milk and another pinch of salt. Cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the green onions, salt, black pepper and cayenne to your taste.

For the Blackened Seasoning
1 ½ Tbsp Paprika
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp Onion Powder
1 Tbsp Ground Dried Thyme
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Dried Basil
1 tsp Dried Oregano


Combine the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, black pepper, cayenne pepper, basil and oregano in a bowl until evenly mixed. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

For the Angel Hair Onion Rings

8 oz Yellow Onions, thinly sliced using a slicer or mandolin
1 cup Wondra Flour
2 oz House Ketchup 
1 Tbsp Chiffonade Basil


Dredge onion rings in Wondra. Shake off excess flour and fry until golden. Season with salt and set aside until the dish is ready to be plated. 

For the Scallops 
12 #10 sized Dried Scallops 
2 cups Garlic-Scented Sautéed Baby Kale 
2 tsp Olive Oil
4 pieces of Grilled Cajun Smoked Sausage, cut in half and 3 inches long


Season the scallops with blackened seasoning. Add the oil and sear scallops over medium-high heat on both sides until the scallops are blackened.

To Plate

On four large plates, divide the Crawfish Maque Choux, place the kale top of the Maque Choux and then top with scallops and grilled sausage, evenly distributed. Finish with the onion rings and serve! 

Continue reading

Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week

April May Headers 19

In celebration of “Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week,” Michael’s On East will offer specialty lunch ($16) and dinner ($32) menus, June 1-14, 2018. 

Pan-Seared Black Cod
MOE Cuban Sandwich


Sugar Cane-Skewered Citrus BBQ Shrimp
Blue Crab, Roasted Tomato & Jalapeño Bisque

Blackened Diver Scallops
Braised Australian Lamb Shanks
Roasted Adobo Cornish Hen

Desserts (same for both Lunch & Dinner)
Michael's Birthday Cake
Phil's Birthday Cake

We invite you to enjoy special wine pairings for $8 per glass or $15 for the pairing.
Available during Lunch and Dinner.
Chardonnay “Village”, Kumeu River, Kumeu, NZ, 2016
Pinot Noir, Paul Cluver, Elgin, ZA, 2016

The three-course “Savor Sarasota” dinner menu is available Monday through Saturday evenings for $32 per person, June 1-14, 2018. 

The two-course lunch offering features a choice of entrée and dessert for $16 per person and is available Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Beginning on June 15 and continuing through June 30, Michael’s On East will extend the featured multi-course menus for $38.95 during dinner and $19.95 during lunch. 

To learn more about participating restaurants in the 2018 Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week(s!) organized by Visit Sarasota County, visit:

Say Cheese!

June Cheese sm

Often people will use the phrase "say cheese" as a cue to enter their final pose and to smile. Here at Michael's On East we "say cheese" because we love the new selections we get from our friends at the Artisan Cheese Company!

We have a fabulous choice of meats and cheeses in our Made in America Charcuterie dinner starter!

While supplies last, we are featuring these three amazing cheeses below with La Quercia Prosciutto, Smoked Speck, Nduja Americana, Creminelli Salami Calabrese flavored with Garlic & Wine Sopressata, Grain Mustard Fruit Chutney, Teardrop Red Peppers, Greek Olives & Mini-Baguettes:

Located in Thurman, New York, near the near the Adirondack Mountains, Nettle Meadow Farm is owned by Sheila Flanagan and Lorraine Lambiase. The origins of the farm started in 1993 when Raynald Hebert and his wife Laurie Goodheart transformed an old farmstead, developing a small cheesemaking facility and enough acreage to support approximately thirty goats. The name “Nettle Meadow” was a reflection of the presence of wild nettles and herbs that made up the goat’s diet. Twelve years later in 2005, the farm was sold to Sheila and Lorraine, both of whom had been living in California and were wanting a complete change of direction. Since 2005 they have worked extensively to expand the farm and its operation. Now spanning 50 acres, it is home to over 300 Alpine, Nubian, Saanen and mixed breed goats, several dozen Icelandic and East Freisian sheep and a variety of other farm animals. In 2012, estimated cheese production will be about 125,000 pounds of cheese. 

From the makers of the award-winning cheese Kunik, Nettle Peaks is a handmade, mold-ripened, black ash drizzled, 100% goat's milk pyramid. It is infused with flavors of nettle tea and other herbs, not because these ingredients are added to the recipe by the cheesemaker, but because this is what the goat's eat on the farm. Each pyramid is hand-wrapped in waxed paper so that its bloomy rind can gain access to the air it needs to stay fresh and white.  The taste is mild, and surprisingly lacks the expected tang of a goat cheese, rather it is smooth, and gentle. 

Origin:  Nettle Meadow, NY
Milk:  Goat    Age:  2 months
Feel: soft, pillowy
Smell: milk
Taste: earthy, mushroom
Pairs well with: Champagne or a dry Sauvignon Blanc.
Tastes good with: Honey, strawberries, bread, meats 

Ossau Iraty is a wonderful sheep’s milk cheese produced in a specific area of the French Pyrenées. The name is derived from the production area that includes two neighboring provinces: the Ossau Valley, located in the Bearn and Iraty, a forested area in the French Basque Pyrenées. Ossau Iraty is one large family of sheep’s milk cheeses from this general region that includes Abbaye de Belloc, Valle d’Aspe, Istara and several others. Milk for production comes from the local breeds of sheep, the Manech and Basco- Bearnaise. The practice of transhumance is still very much a feature of these regions, whereby the shepherds take their sheep to the upper mountain pastures during the summer months to graze on the rich summer grass and flowers. During this time, milking and cheesemaking take place in the mountain huts known as“cayolar,”where the shepherds live during the summer. In the autumn the sheep are brought back down to the lower slopes and kept closer to the farm. Cheeses made during the summer are traditionally prized above those made during the winter for their superior flavor. Ossau Iraty was granted AOC (name protected) status in 1980.  The texture of Ossau Iraty is uniformly smooth, close and dense and yet remains supple. Flavors are sweet and nutty, with pleasant notes of earth, cellar - especially with the cheeses made during the winter - and flavors of grass, flowers and savory vegetal notes from the summer cheeses.

Origin:  France, Bern & Iraty, Agour
Milk:  Raw Sheep  
Age: 5 mos
Look: Firm, Natural Rind
Feel:  smooth and close in texture, and then melting on the mouth
Smell/Taste: sweet and rich with hints of hazelnut, grass, and honey.
Pairs well w/: IPA, whiskey, sauvignon blanc
Tastes good with: mustard, pickles, cured meats

As farmers and ranchers, the Giacomini family have had a presence in Point Reyes for many decades. A descendant of Italian mountain dairy producers, Bob Giacomini began milking cows on his Point Reyes dairy in 1959.  Over the years, Bob and his wife Dean, together with their four daughters, Karen, Diana, Lynn and Jill, developed a shared vision of producing an all-natural farmstead cheese. This dream was realized in August, 2000, when they founded Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company and produced the first vat of Original Blue. Milk comes from the Giacomini’s own closed herd of Holstein cows that grazes the pastures overlooking Tomales Bay.  

The piercing of the cheeses with stainless steel needles allows the air into the cheese, where it reacts with the enzymes and bacteria and causes the development of the blue veining. Finally cheeses are transferred into the the aging room where they are left to mature. Bay Blue are aged aerobically, exposed to air, while Original Blue matures in a sealed bag. As a result, Bay Blue progresses faster - it’s released at three months - and develops a thin, almost imperceptible rind.  The brand new Bay Blue, the third in their cheese line up, delivers earthy sweetness with a fudgy texture. 

Origin:  Point Reyes Farmstead, California
Milk: Cow    
Rennet: Vegetable
Age:  3-5 months
Feel: semi firm
Smell: candy, mineral, earthy
Taste: toasted walnut, caramel, brown butter
Pairs well with: Walnuts, Pinot Noir
Tastes good with: salami, raspberries

Summer Season at Michael's On East

Michael’s Summer Season Launches with Bordeaux Tasting, Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week, Double Point Days and Wine Lovers Thursdays

Michael’s Wine Cellar and Michael’s On East offer residents and visitors of Sarasota a variety of culinary experiences and special events to celebrate the start of summer this year. 

June Events at Michael’s Wine Cellar
The arrival of the 2014 and 2015 vintages of Bordeaux available through Michael’s Wine Cellar will officially debut at Michael’s Bordeaux Wine Tasting at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 9. The tasting featuring these highly-anticipated vintages will be hosted by Michael’s Wine Cellar Co-Proprietor Michael Klauber immediately following Klauber’s return from a Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club wine-buying journey through Bordeaux, France. Admission is $50 per person, with each guest receiving a $25 retail voucher for purchases of $50 or more to be utilized the evening of the tasting for the purchase of featured Bordeaux wines. Advanced reservations are required. Admission includes hors d'oeuvres and tastes of more than 20 Bordeaux wines.Each month, Michael’s Wine Cellar hosts a casual, walk-about tasting in the retail store.

The June Open House Wine Tasting will be offered 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, June 2 at Michael’s Wine Cellar. Guests have an opportunity to taste dozens of international wines at this casual, walk-about tasting. Admission is $10 per person. No RSVP is required and guests may register online in advance or simply pay at the door.

Continuing a popular series of educational wine classes, Michael’s “This Way! Three Way Wine Tasting” will be offered at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 11 at Michael’s Wine Cellar. Admission is $25 per person and advanced reservations are required. 

Summer Offerings: Double Points Days & Wine Lovers Thursdays
Michael's summer offerings, exclusive to members of its Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club loyalty program, continue weekly through October 2018. As part of Michael’s Double Points Days, members will earn double Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club points on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays during lunch and dinner at Michael's On East, plus double points on all retail purchases at Michael’s Wine Cellar on Thursdays. (Dine-in and in-store only. Not valid with any other offers or discounts.) Guests are also invited to enjoy half-priced bottles of wine on Thursdays in the Restaurant at Michael’s On East during lunch or dinner. Wine Lovers Thursdays present an opportunity to explore the 350-bottle wine program in the Restaurant which has been recognized with the “Best of Award of Excellence” from Wine Spectator. All are invited to join the Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club loyalty program which “rewards guests for their good taste” in the Restaurant, Wine Cellar or online at

Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week
The Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week celebration showcasing special-priced lunch and dinner menus at more than 90 participating restaurants returns June 1-14, 2018. Coordinated by Visit Sarasota County, Michael’s On East has been a proud participating restaurant annually since this community-wide culinary celebration began in 2005. The Michael’s On East three-course “Savor Sarasota” dinner menu is available Monday through Saturday evenings for $32 per person, June 1-14, 2018. The two-course lunch offering features a choice of entrée and dessert for $16 per person and is available Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Beginning on June 15 and continuing through June 30, Michael’s On East will extend the featured multi-course menus for $38.95 during dinner and $19.95 during lunch. For more information regarding Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week including chef profiles, a complete list of participating restaurants and menus, visit  

For more information about Michael’s On East and Michael’s Wine Cellar offerings, call 941-366-0007, ext. 224 or continue browsing our website! 

New Port Cocktails

This week, Michael and Terri Klauber are leading a group of Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club (GCCC) travelers through the native land of Ports. The 2018 GCCC journey has commenced with a customized pre-trip itinerary which began with an unbelievable vineyard drive above the Douro River in Portugal. (Click here to view Michael's personal video on Facebook.)

Summit Portugal GCCC Group

We're celebrating the remarkable journey back home in Sarasota as well with a new cocktail menu featuring handcrafted cocktails made with Taylor Fladgate Ports. The new cocktails are being unveiled as the Klaubers and GCCC guests gear up for an exclusive visit to Taylor Fladgate on May 23, 2018! 

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 Be sure to stop into the Lounge and enjoy one of these fabulous cocktails, likely served up by mixologist Sam Mossler. 

(Photo Credit of Sam Mossler: Naomi Chokr Photography)

Do you love cheese?

Cheese May 2

Here at Michael's On East we are crazy about our cheese! We have a fabulous selection of meats and cheeses in our Made in America Charcuterie dinner starter!

Right now (while supplies last) we are featuring three amazing cheeses from our friends at the Artisan Cheese Company!

Rafael Baez, and Paloma, of Avila in Castilla y Leon, Spain – Raw Goat  - Rind: Ash and Blue.
Rennet:  Animal

One of the best soft-ripened goat cheeses around, Monte Enebro is only made by a single producer, Rafael Baez, and his daughter Paloma, of Avila in Castilla y Leon, Spain. This goat log has a dense, velvety interior and a pronounced peppery bite at the rind, which is covered with the same mold found inside blue cheeses, Penicillium Roqueforti. The goaty flavor is pronounced but not overpowering, and the blue spice is intense but incredibly well-balanced, because it doesn’t fully penetrate the paste as in most blue cheesesare milky, bright and refreshing, with hints of sweetness, butter and a slight cellar-like earthy-ness.

Milk Type:  Cow / Milk Treatment:  Raw / Rennet: Animal, Rind - washed

On a trip to England, Karli and Jim Hagedorn were inspired by a program that taught city children about farming. Once home, they created the Farms for City Kids Foundation, a program that brings students from nearby cities, most of whom have never had the chance to travel, up to the farm in southwestern Vermont to spend time learning while helping out. The farm has a small herd of Jersey cows, vegetables, orchards and a maple sugar house that gathers from over 3,000 taps. Cheesemaking has recently been introduced as a means of financially supporting the foundation, and the Spring Brook Farm cheese house is designed with a glassed-in viewing area so the students can watch the cheesemakers while they work. Ashbrook, a pungent Morbier-inspired beauty, is distinguished by the line of vegetable ash running through the center of the cheese. Spring Brook’s partner dairies, Jericho Hill Farm and Fox Valley Farm, provide the raw Jersey cow’s milk for this new addition to the farm’s offerings. This cheese has a semi-soft, supple texture, and is lactic and bright with a decidedly funky finish. Try pairing with a slightly sour Berliner Weisse or an acidic Pinot Noir.

Morehouse Farm, Somerset, England, Raw Cow’s Milk, Bandage-Wrapped Cheddar, Aged: 10 to 18 months / Animal Rennet

Cheddar has been produced at Moorhayes farm near Wincanton in Somerset, England since 1898 when the Keen family family first moved there. Today the farm is still in the family. Stephen Keen and his son Nick oversee the cows and herd management, while Stephen’s brother George makes the cheese with his son James. Milk for cheesemaking comes from the farm’s closed herd of 250 Friesian-Holstein cows that are grazed on the pasture for much of the year. The cheddars produced by the Keens are, along with Montgomery’s and Westcombe, the most traditional English cloth wrapped cheddars available. George and James make 12-14 large wheels of cheese each day. The cheddars are made in two sizes, weighing either 30lb. (known as a half wheel) or the traditional size of 56lbs. After production and unmolding, wheels are wrapped in cheesecloth to protect them during the aging process. Cloth allows the cheese to breathe and lose moisture, and as a result the flavors concentrate. The resulting texture of a typical Keens cheddar is smooth, dense and firm. Occasionally, accidental veins of blue find their way into the cheese from the rind. Although technically speaking these are a fault, they taste delicious and add a subtle blue flavor to that part of the cheese. Flavors are complex and rich, with hints of butterscotch, nuts and fruit, accompanied by a distinctive tang and long finish.

Made in America Charcuterie includes: La Quercia Prosciutto, Smoked Speck, Nduja Americana, Creminelli Salami Calabresa & Garlic & Wine Soppressata, Artisan Cheeses, Grain Mustard Fruit Chutney, Teardrop Red Peppers, Greek Olives & Mini-Baguettes

May 2018: Moroccan Menu

April May Headers 05

Take a virtual journey to another world at Michael's On East again this month! Coriander, cumin, curry and other seasonings combine to create refined flavors, with just the right touch of 'spice' as part of Chef Jamil's Moroccan Epicurean Adventure through the month of May. 

Enjoy this specialty three-course dinner menu for $38.95 per person. A two-course lunch offering includes a choice of entrée and dessert for $19.95 per person. 

Also take advantage of hand-selected wine pairings for $8 per glass or $15 for the pairing.

Click here to view the complete monthly menu. Epicurean Adventure menus are NOT available on holidays including Mother's Day. The Restaurant & Wine Cellar will be closed on Memorial Day.

A Toast! Restaurant Celebrates 31st Anniversary

31 Year Celebration 01

Can you believe it?

Today, April 27, 2018, is the official 31st "birthday" of Michael's On East!

Since the Restaurant's doors opened in 1987, the Michael's On East owners and team have enjoyed the great privilege of expanding into today's "empire," all thanks to you, our loyal guests. In our contemporary fine dining restaurant, boutique wine store and award-winning catering division, our focus on exceeding your expectations remains resilient.

In honor of our anniversary, it's our pleasure to offer all guests—21 years of age and older, of course—a complimentary glass of François Montand Champagne. Please join us in the Restaurant today for lunch, happy hour or dinner to toast to many more years of special celebrations at Michael’s On East.

Recipe: Coriander-Crusted Mahi-Mahi

We are pleased to share another featured recipe from the Michael's On East kitchen! 
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Pan-Seared Coriander-Crusted Mahi-Mahi
Salsa Verde, Cumin-Roasted Plum Tomatoes, Corn-Cilantro Rice, Toasted Pepitas Seeds & Jicama Slaw

As prepared by Michael’s On East Executive Chef Jamil Pineda and featured on the Southwest Epicurean Adventure lunch menu in the Restaurant through April 2018.

Serves 4

For the Mahi-Mahi
4 7 oz center cuts of Mahi-Mahi
1 Tablespoon Ground Coriander
1 teaspoon Ground Garlic
1 teaspoon Ground Onion
½ teaspoon Ground Cumin
2 tablespoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
1 oz Olive Oil 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a small mixing bowl, add all the ground ingredients with the salt and sugar and mix well to make the crust. Coat the Mahi on both sides, in a sauté pan over medium high heat, add the oil and sear the fish on one side. Flip the fish and finish cooking in the oven for 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside until the dish is ready to be plated. 

For the Salsa Verde
2 lbs Fresh Tomatillos, husked and well rinsed
2 fresh Jalapeno Peppers 
1 medium White Onion, quartered 
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 Cloves Garlic, unpeeled
1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro Leaves (loosely packed)
Juice of 1/2 lime
Kosher Salt

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Add the tomatillos to a baking sheet along with the jalapenos and onion wedges. Toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and roast about 7 minutes in the oven. Turn the vegetables, add the garlic and roast until everything is slightly softened and charred, another 7 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Peel the garlic and remove the stems and seeds from the jalapenos. Add the roasted vegetables to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until still slightly chunky but well combined. Add the cilantro, lime juice and 1 teaspoon salt and pulse until incorporated. With the processor running, stream in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil until the salsa is slightly runny but not smooth. Add more salt if desired.

For the Rice 
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
1 Medium Onion, finely chopped
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 to 4 Jalapenos, cored and minced 
2 cups Corn Kernels
2 cups Jasmine Rice
2 ½ cups Water
Kosher Salt
¾ cup Cilantro, finely chopped
Juice of 2 limes, freshly squeezed

Add oil and butter to a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic, jalapenos and corn. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the rice and stir well to coat all grains. Add water and season with salt to taste. Stir once and allow water to come to a rapid boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and allow pan to rest, covered, for 7 to 10 minutes. Uncover pan, add cilantro and lime juice. Fluff with a fork and serve immediately, adding a little bit more salt if necessary. Set aside until the dish is ready to be plated.

For the Tomatoes 
6 Plum Tomatoes, cut in half
1 teaspoon Ground Garlic
1 teaspoon Ground Onion
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 tablespoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
2 oz Olive Oil 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a small mixing bowl, add all the ingredients together. Place the tomatoes skin up on a baking sheet and roast for 8 minutes. Set aside until the dish is ready to be plated. 

For the Jicama Slaw
2 Large Jicamas, peeled and julienned 
1 Red Pepper, julienned 
1 Yellow Pepper, julienned
1 Red Onion, julienned
2 cups, Broccoli Slaw
½ Bunch Cilantro
½ Bunch Parsley
½ cup Rice Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Sugar
½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Black Pepper to Taste

Continue sugar, salt, pepper and vinegar together in a small mixing bowl. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Set aside until ready to plate the dish.

To Plate 
On 4 dinner plates place the rice at top of the plate. Add two tablespoons of the Salsa Verde next to the rice, then place the Mahi on top of the salsa. Place 3 halves of tomatoes next to the Mahi, the jicama slaw on top of the Mahi and add more chopped cilantro to garnish, if desired. Serve and enjoy!

Best of Sarasota 2018: Get Primitive in Paradise

It’s known as one of the BEST events of Sarasota’s thriving social season for good reason. Our friends and partners at Sarasota Magazine know how to through a heck of a party at one of the area’s treasured venues, Selby Gardens! It’s become a favorite celebration of the business and philanthropic community and you are invited to join in the fun: “Get Primitive in Paradise” on April 24, 2018.


Break out your island wear and dust off your grass skirt. It’s time for a Mai Tai and tiki torches! Join Sarasota Magazine as we celebrate our fabulous readers’ picks for the best restaurants and retailers, bars, brews and views...and lots, lots more!

Party like a native on the tropical shores of Paradise at Selby Gardens. Sip signature cocktails and nibble on Sarasota-Manatee’s best bites. Feel the Spirit of Aloha as the torch lighting ceremony kicks off a night of endless wonder...the best party of the year!

Dress in your fave Island Wear. Prizes will be awarded for the BEST!

Big Kahuna V.I.P Party:  5-6 p.m. Tropical Tiki Extravaganza 6-8 p.m. 

Keep calm...and hula on! But first, be sure to purchase your ticket online. (Limited tickets remain available.)

This Month's Most-Popular Dish: Tres Tacos


Each month, our culinary team designs a new menu inspired by delicious destinations near and far. Throughout April 2018, we invite you to take an "Epicurean Adventure" to the Southwestern United States. So after you file your taxes this week (or at least an extension!), be sure to make a Restaurant reservation and join us to try the most-popular dish on this month's lunch menu: 

Tres Tacos en Tortillas de MaízTres Tacos en Tortillas de Maíz
Pescado Negro: Blackened Snapper, Black Bean & Corn Salsa, Spicy Mayo & Citrus Slaw

Pollo Con Mole: Marinated Grilled Chicken, Chipotle Crema, Smashed Avocado, Cilantro-Onion Relish & Shredded Baby Romaine

Puerco: Braised Pork Belly, Chimichurri, Ancho Guajillo Aioli, Crispy Onions & Queso Fresco on Fresh Corn Tortillas

The Michael’s On East three-course Southwest Epicurean Adventure dinner menu is available Monday through Saturday evenings for $38.95 per person, April 2-30, 2018. The two-course lunch offering features a choice of entrée and dessert for $19.95 per person and is available Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. For a “kick off your boots” culinary adventure, we encourage you to add wine perfectly-paired wines for $8 per glass or $15 for the pairing.