Dining Outside the Home: Pier 22 in Bradenton, Florida! Perched on the edge of the Manatee River since the 1920’s, with a panoramic view of the marina and beyond, Pier 22 is a road trip destination to Historic Bradenton that culminates in a fabulous meal on the riverside deck. From casual occasions on the patio to formal celebrations in the ballroom, time spent here becomes a memorable experience. The building itself resembles a charming Mediterranean villa with bobbing bateaux against the distant skyline. Meals are made from scratch, creating art-on-a-plate presentation worthy of the crown. Take your time by enjoying the seafood bounty, the gussied up entrées, the summery cocktails, and the fabulous desserts. No matter the hour or weather, Pier 22 transforms the entire scene into one of life’s perfect moments.
Going through a kitchen remodel has to be one of the most challenging home improvements ever. Symmetry and balance are important. Changing the layout was not an option since it remains functional as an open-ended galley kitchen including a central corridor. In fact, it all began being a simple goal to modernize the kitchen cabinets from 1970s dark wood to the bright airiness of antique white. As often happens, one thing leads to another. Before long we were updating stainless steel appliances, replacing countertops, leaving the double sink behind in lieu of a large single basin, choosing black matte cabinet pulls with copper accents, and more. One constant remained: the authentic dark hardwood flooring. To this day, it endures as the solid foundation from the time it was installed. Now that the kitchen remodel is complete, is it a state-of-the-art gourmet kitchen, you wonder. Not at all. But it has been designed around my needs, which makes it perfect. And speaking of perfect…Some of my posts have been favored by “Le Cordon Bleu” and the “Food Network” on Twitter (Snapshotsincursive @DornaGail) as well as Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa, on Instagram (gail _dorna). You can even follow me on Pinterest at Gail Dorna. I’d love to connect with you. I also met Chef Michelle Tribble of Hell’s Kitchen reality cooking show. Fun times. Experience different flavors and textures as you eat with your eyes. Catch a glimpse of “What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen: Country Casual Cravings.” This remarkable journey of the palate is unique because it gives me a few moments with you. Thanks very much to all of my guests and followers on http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and daily words of encouragement. I couldn’t have come this far without you.
Dining Outside the Home: Brenneke’s Beach Broiler in Poipu, Kauai! Across the road from Poipu Beach, pull up a chair at Brenneke’s second floor restaurant for a casual meal with an open-air view of beachfront action. Rain or shine, it’s a pretty decent hangout for Happy Hour cocktails and Kauai-Style Pupus. Fresh Mahi Mahi, Ono, and Sashimi Grade Ahi prove the fishermen like Brenneke’s as much as the customers. If big beach burgers are your thing, no worries. They’ve got ‘em. Feed the entire family; a Keiki menu offers finger foods and dinner entrees. Drop by and stay awhile, you’re on island time now.
Dining Outside the Hone: T.G.I. Fridays in Indianapolis, Indiana! It’s not often you hear the story of a restaurant owner opening a bar that would help him meet women. But that’s exactly what happened in 1965 when Alan Stillman opened the first T.G.I. Friday’s in New York City. He probably figured a cocktail-style atmosphere with a unique décor would be more appealing than a dark tavern. He was right. Today, no matter the location, everyone has a good time for drinks and a casual meal. An upscale menu provides tempting appetizers that are a meal in itself, like the Spinach Florentine Flatbread. It’s A+, in my opinion. For a heartier appetite choose a popular entree such as the Half Rack of BBQ Ribs. Either way, you may find yourself unable to resist a nibble of everything on the table. Just remember to save room for dessert. The Brownie Obsession is exactly that!