The Art of Brunch

When you think of brunch, do you think of sweet and savory Sunday mornings breezing into early afternoons in your living room? The smell of fresh coffee? Mimosas and Bloody Marys? Eggs Benedict and French toast? What about family and friends gathered around your kitchen as you grill the final strips of bacon? Brunch is not just a meal; it’s a national pastime enjoyed in our dining rooms, verandas and kitchens.

No one has more of an appreciation for the morning-meets-afternoon food ritual than Sarabeth Levine, the reigning “queen of brunch.” After all, the James Beard Award winner for Outstanding Pastry Chef has an entire book devoted to the topic: “Sarabeth’s Good Morning Cookbook: Breakfast, Brunch, and Baking”. Her eponymous New York City restaurant has been a wildly popular weekend brunch spot for over 35 years, along with her four other Manhattan restaurants and Florida and Japan outposts.

We recently asked the acclaimed chef and restaurateur to share her secrets for mastering the art of the brunch. Refreshingly candid, Levine covers a lot of territory in our hour-long conversation — including how to make her magically fluffy scrambled eggs, how to put a sophisticated twist on standards like pancakes and what kind of brunch she would make for her late mom on Mother’s Day.

Previews Inside Out Why do you love brunch so much?

Sarabeth Levine When I was a kid, the weekend breakfast was a big event. I was one of five kids. My mother would make us French toast or hot cereal. She was not the best cook – but she was a good cook. When she came home from work, we’d have breakfast for dinner too. So, I always thought of breakfast as a time of being together as a family. It was also the first meal of the day and our first moments of the day together. Breakfast has always held special meaning for me. Even to this day, the morning is my time.

Previews Inside Out What are some easy ways to elevate the concept of breakfast or brunch at home?

Sarabeth Levine  I’m a big believer in getting the basics down first. Chefs typically don’t think like I do. They are much more free-spirited. I’m a baker, and I’m incredibly precise. I can only be free-spirited once I’ve mastered the recipe. My motto is, play by the rules first, then play. Once you’re comfortable with a dish, have fun! Take the Basic Pancake Recipe in my book, for example, and throw some popcorn and blueberries on top. 

Previews Inside Out Is it true that “the only thing better than brunch at one of Sarabeth’s restaurants is brunch in her home”? What does a brunch at your house typically look like?

Sarabeth Levine Yes! [Laughing] It can be unnerving, though, especially when all of the grandchildren are together. It usually involves my playing the role of a short order cook, since everyone has different tastes and times they get up in the morning. I usually give the early risers fruit snacks to tide them over until the last person gets up, then I will usually make pancakes and a side of eggs all at the same time.

When I have guests over for brunch, I love doing Gravlox. It’s the silkiest cured salmon you’ve ever eaten. I almost always have Eggs Benedict on my table. I have a poacher that does 16 eggs side by side. I make the English muffins the night before. I might put some juices on the table, or greet guests with a Crunchy No-Booze Bloody Mary, which is in my book. But how much more do you really need to put out on the table? I like to keep my brunches simple.

I don’t like to make a lot of different dishes. I make one dish as a focal point and some little side dishes. When it’s 11 in the morning, it can be heavy to mix a lot of different foods together. To me, less is more.

Previews Inside Out Speaking of less is more, do you have a twist on your famous Eggs Benedict?

Sarabeth Levine I am a purist when it comes to hollandaise sauce. But you can do almost anything with the rest of it. Add a crab cake, or put your poached egg on top of a burger or pork slider. You can put the egg on top of anything.

Previews Inside Out Which one of your recipes at your restaurant is fairly easy to adapt at home?

Sarabeth Levine There are quite a few recipes from the restaurant that are in the book, everything from French toast to Eggs Benedict.

Previews Inside Out Thinking beyond the mimosa… do you have a favorite cocktail that’s appropriate to drink before noon? 

Sarabeth Levine Try the Four Flowers Mimosa. It’s a signature drink…

For the full story and for Sarabeth’s famous Eggs Benedict and Four Flowers Mimosa recipes, visit http://www.PreviewsInsideOut.com.

Photos courtesy of Quentin Bacon

 

 

Living on Lido Key, Sarasota

Perfectly located just a short drive from downtown Sarasota and the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, the barrier island of Lido Key offers plenty to keep residents busy, yet still feels like an island getaway.

The beaches along this stretch of the Gulf of Mexico are some of Sarasota’s most interesting and varied locations. Lido Key can be what you make of it – a quiet place to enjoy your surroundings with deep-sea fishing, mangrove kayaking, dolphin watching, sailing and sunset cruises. Mote Marine Aquarium is located right on the island and aside from offering visitors everything to see from sea urchins to sharks, it’s also known for its research programs and initiatives.

On the busier end of the spectrum, there are ample opportunities to get out and socialize. Renowned St. Armand’s Circle is located in the center of the island and boasts chic boutiques, fine dining, eclectic galleries and more. There are art shows, car shows and other events that take place on the Circle through the year and the Sarasota Yacht Club is located at one tip of the island for those who enjoy social events and clubs.

Love the beach lifestyle, but can’t decide if a single family home or a condominium is more your speed? Not a problem! Lido Key boasts some of the most impressive single family homes in the area, designed by well-recognized architects such as Jonathan Parks, Guy Peterson and Clifford Scholz. It also has a wide range of condominium options based on your needs – anything from a single bedroom low key beachfront unit to a residence at a Ritz Carlton managed luxury condominium can be yours. Waterfront properties on Lido have access to frontage on Pansy Bayou, Sarasota Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, New Pass, or canals that provide direct deep-water boating access to the Gulf of Mexico or Sarasota Bay.

Why not live where the seafood is as fresh as can be and the sunsets are unbeatable? Check out our website today to get started on your Lido Key real estate search and contact us for more information.

 

 

 

10 Reasons Living in Sarasota/Bradenton is the BEST

We’ve come across so many studies and articles lately touting Florida as a great place to live (specifically our Sarasota-Bradenton area in many cases!) that we thought we ought to compile our own little list. So here you have it, 10 reasons that the Sarasota-Bradenton area is simply the best and you should just go ahead and move here now. Check it out and when you’re all done and ready to find your slice of paradise, give TEAM BUKY a call to get you well on your way to sipping a mojito on your sunny back porch any day of the year.

  1. Everyone is jealous of Florida’s weather. How many silly Internet posts do you see, without fail, every winter comparing people being shoveled out of the snow to kids shoveling sand into their beach buckets in DECEMBER? It’s funny because it’s true.
  2. One word – STAYCATION. Florida’s wide range of landscape from the hilly, pine-tree lined northern area to the remote beachfront of Key West make it easy for you to feel like you’re on some sort of vacation without even leaving the state.
  3. It’s a natural playground. There are places like Ichetucknee Springs State Park and Jackson Blue that have some of the coolest underwater cave systems you can dive.
  4. It’s a “blast”. While the space shuttle program may have been retired, Cape Canaveral is still launching rockets and it’s an experience not to be missed.
  5. The PUB SUB. Or, to newbies – the Publix sub sandwich. If you’ve never had one, you won’t understand why a sandwich has made our list, but do yourself a favor and give it a try. We won’t have to explain anything beyond that.
  6. The sports. Florida boasts 3 NFL teams, 2 Major League Baseball teams, 2 NBA teams, 2 NHL teams, a Major League Soccer team and numerous minor league teams. There’s always something to do if sports are your thing. (Don’t even get us started on SEC teams, but, ahem – GO GATORS!)
  7. It’s perfect for kids of all ages. Even grown ups can be big kids. Between Disney, Busch Gardens, Legoland and other smaller parks – living in the Sarasota-Bradenton area, you’re within a couple of hours drive to a fun-filled adventure in any direction.
  8. Rainstorms are actually fun. Rarely can you see a dark raincloud over your neighbor’s house while the sun is shining on yours. Not only can our rainstorms be very contained and fun to see, but they can also last for as little as 5 minutes before it’s gorgeous outside again.
  9. Our state mammal. The manatee – also known as a sea cow is the gentlest animal in the water and we have a famous one right here in Bradenton – Snooty.
  10. We’re going to state the obvious here – THE BEACHES. Sarasota and Manatee Counties have beaches that have been ranked as the top beaches on the world. White, powered sugar-type sand and some f the most colorful gulf sunsets you’ll ever see in your life. If we didn’t have you hooked already, we should now.

So what are you waiting for!? Give us a call today, paradise awaits!

Siesta Key Living

You can’t start a conversation about the Siesta Key lifestyle without first mentioning the beach. Consistently voted as one of the best beaches in the world, Siesta Key’s public beach boasts some of the softest, whitest sand you will ever see. This 8-mile long crescent-shaped barrier island is easily accessible by two bridges connecting it to Mainland Sarasota. It is made up of four main areas: Siesta Beach, Crescent Beach, Turtle Beach and Siesta Key Village – each with its own local flavor and appeal. Best of all, you can get around the Village easy and for free on Siesta Key Free Ride shuttles.

You can find everything you need on this quaint island from groceries, amazing local fare, shops and boutiques to pharmacies and gas. But if you must leave, you’ve got quick access to city amenities. If you’re looking for more to do, Sarasota’s attractions are just minutes away for your convenience. There’s no shortage of museums, shows, theaters, and events just at your fingertips and you’re also only a short drive to Sarasota-Bradenton International airport.

Some of our personal must-stop spots on the Key include:

Big Olaf Creamery – a long time Siesta Key staple for the BEST ice cream around. But watch out – the line may wrap around the building (yes it’s THAT good!) http://www.bigolafsiestakey.com/

Siesta Key Oyster Bar – or “SKOB” to locals. This quintessential island-style open air bar/restaurant serves up GREAT food, ice-cold drinks and live music all week-long. http://www.skob.com/

Broken Egg Café – for the best breakfast on the Key (Cinnamon Roll French Toast, anyone!?) Broken Egg Café is a must. Do yourself a favor and get there early! http://www.anotherbrokenegg.com/location/siesta-key

Ophelia’s on the Bay – This romantic dinner spot boasts a magical bay front view and an even better menu. http://opheliasonthebay.net/

Lelu Coffee Lounge – For the perfect little beach “pick me up”. Also serving a pretty impressive menu of eats! http://lelucoffee.com/

With its award-winning beaches, easy going vibe and delectable eats, Siesta Key may be the ideal vacation destination for some, but why not make it your forever home? Contact TEAM BUKY today to make it happen!

 

The Longboat Key Life

Named one of North America’s top islands by Conde Nast Traveler’s readers, this elegant oasis, Longboat Key is a family friendly spot. Located just off the coast of Sarasota on the Gulf of Mexico, the beautiful barrier island features 11 miles of palm lined beaches, some of the area’s top restaurants (including two of our favorites – Mar Vista and Euphemia Haye!) as well as 10 miles of paved pathway for joggers, and boating access to Sarasota Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway.

Within a few minutes drive, you’ll find the world-class performing arts and museums of Sarasota, shopping and dining in picturesque St. Armand’s Circle and a host of water sports and outdoor activities. Golf is a huge draw in the Sarasota area with plenty of PGA Tour sites and 4 and 5-star rated Championship Courses just a short drive away. Longboat Key itself is home to 45 holes of Championship golf at The Longboat Key Club. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, fisherman, foodie or just looking to relax on the beach, longboat Key is an excellent place to call home.

Team Buky’s home office is located at the Southern tip of Longboat Key and they are only a phone call away. Contact them TODAY to start your dream home search on beautiful Longboat Key!

Golf Living on the Gulf Coast

Boasting more than 1,250 courses, Florida is home to more golf courses than any other state in the U.S. In fact, golf plays such a huge role in Florida’s economy that between bringing visitors to the state, driving new construction and residential development, generating retail sales and creating a demand for goods and services, golf is responsible for approximately $11 billion of total economic impact.

Some of the most well known courses in the game are located in the Sunshine State and part of the reason for that is the favorable weather. In few other places can you truly get a round of 18 holes in on any given day of the year. Florida’s picturesque sunshine is not only for the beach bums, but also ideal for the avid golfer, so why not own a home in the state where you get both in your backyard?

If this sounds like your kind of paradise, and you are considering purchasing a home in the Sarasota/Bradenton area, let’s take a look at what that means for you. Not only are you within a 30-45 minute drive from playing a round of golf at PGA Tour sites and Nationally recognized 4 and 5-star rated Championship courses in Orlando, Miami, Palm Beach and other nearby cities, but you have some pretty impressive Private and Semi-Private clubs right in your hometown. Below is a snapshot of some of the more well known courses in the area and if this isn’t enough to tempt the golfer in you, we’ve still got the world’s best beaches to fall back on. So take a look, tee up and enjoy!

SEMI-PRIVATE

Waterlefe – Set along the Manatee River, Waterlefe has hosted six U.S. Open Qualifying Tournaments since 2002. www.waterlefegolfandriverclub.com

Riverstrand – Arthur hills designed 27-hole Championship Course with club amenities. www.RiverstrandGolf.com

University Park – Golf Digest 4-star rated course designed by Ron Garl offers 27 holes of championship golf. www.universitypark-fl.com

The Venetian – This 18-hole, par-72 masterpiece features generous fairways and TifEagle® greens. www.venetiangolfandriverclub.com

Legacy Golf Club – An award-winning Arnold Palmer signature designed golf course, Legacy is an 18-hole championship course. www.LegacyGolfClub.com

PRIVATE

The Concession Golf Club – Named one of the top 100 courses in the U.S. by Golf Magazine, this 18-hole course was designed by Jack Nicklaus/Tony Jacklin. www.theconcession.com

The Ritz-Carlton Members Club – This Tom Fazio designed 18-hole championship golf course has held numerous U.S. Open Qualifiers, yet offers 6 tees to accommodate any level of golfer. www.rcmcsarasota.com

Lakewood Ranch Country Club – Offering 3 unique championship courses, Lakewood Ranch was designed with all players in mind. www.lakewoodranchgolf.com

The Oaks Club – Offering two 18-hole courses, The Oaks Club is a very private, Old Florida style club with lush scenery. www.theoaksclub.com

TPC Prestancia – Opened in 1985 as the third private club in the TPC network, TPC Prestancia features two 18-hole courses – one designed by Ron Garl and one by Robert Van Hagge. www.tpcprestancia.com

Founders Club – Signature Robert Trent Jones, Jr. designed 18-hole golf course is on over 700 acres of natural landscape. www.TheFoundersGolfClub.com

Longboat Key Club – Enjoy your game either on the Harbourside or Islandside course at a club that has earned Golf Digest’s prestigious “Best Places to Play” award. www.LongboatKeyClub.com

Sources: Florida Dept. of State; Visit Florida; U.S. Census Bureau; Bureau of Economic & Business Research (University of Florida); State of Florida.com research.

Anna Maria Island – A Place to Call Home

Anna Maria Island is one of Florida’s best-kept and most enjoyable secrets. This quiet 7-mile island is home to 3 cities – Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach and Anna Maria – each with their own little personality. It’s the combination of Old-Florida living, the worlds best beaches and a calendar packed with family friendly events that makes this idyllic barrier island a dreamy place to call home.

Here – you’ll find some of the freshest seafood around, local fine dining, a free trolley around the island, relaxing beaches, live music at venues fishing pier and more.

Whether your speed is a rustic old Florida bungalow, or a million dollar beachfront oasis, you can find it here on Anna Maria Island. Just be sure to bring your flip flops!

Don’t just come to visit – come to stay!