Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Circles Waterfront, Apollo Beach, FL

apollo beach
Beautiful view from the Circles dining patio.
A beachfront town that even us Floridians forget about is Apollo Beach.  This town is located south of Tampa, on the intercoastal waterway, just on the other side of the bay of St. Petersburg.

Circles is located in Apollo Beach.
A wonderful little mom and pop spot with a beautiful ocean view is Circles Waterfront Restaurant. After a long day on the boat, watching the sunset on the dining patio was a great way to end the day.

We decided to try an array of items on the menu.  Our first
lobster bisque
selection was the lobster bisque.  It came beautifully displayed with a freshly baked baguette and homemade butter.

Our second selection was the crab cake appetizer.  They were beautifully plated with a fresh orchid.  The lumps of crabmeat were lightly breaded and fried.  They were served with a delicious spicy horseradish sauce.


Our final selection, the nut-crusted grouper, was divine! The grouper was rolled in mixed nuts, fried, then topped with a
nutcrusted grouper
Thai chili beurre blanc. It was served with grilled zucchini and rice pilaf.  The tender fish melted in our mouths with bursts of flavor from the mixed nuts and Thai chili.  Without a doubt, you will want to visit Circles to experience these flavors.

Click here to view their lunch and dinner menu. Hint: Happy Hour starts at 3pm! 

Back patio and tiki bar area at Circles

Circles provides customers with a tiki bar filled with live music and amazing drinks. The tiki bar can be rented out for private events.  You will find live bands playing your favorite tunes on the weekends.  The tiki bar is accessible by either land or sea.

Make sure you take a drive to Apollo Beach to visit Circles!

Circles Lands End on Urbanspoon

Visit their website.

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dragonfly Modern Izakaya & Sushi, Gainesville, FL

Sarah and I in downtown Gainesville
It was a memorable evening, a girl's night out to celebrate Sarah's birthday.  Sarah, Katherine and I put on our highest heels and dressiest outfits and headed out to our favorite spot in Gainesville- Dragonfly Modern Izakaya & Sushi.

I have been an avid visitor of Dragonfly since my college days at University of Florida.  Without question, it is the best sushi I have ever had.  The rolls are always loaded with fresh fish.  Dragonfly is so popular, that they now have an additional location in Florida: Orlando.

Cosmo martini at Dragonfly
We started our evening with a round of cosmo martinis. Dragonfly is known for their top-rated themed martini list. A few unique martinis they have are the Fuji Apple-Russian standard, house-made apple liqueur, lemon, yuzu and grenadine, and the Sumo Smash-martin millers gin, ginger, lime, and mint.  Sunday through Thursday they provide customers with the Sensual 6 Happy Hour from 5pm-7pm.  To see the special pricing click here

Warm Spinach Salad

Our first entree was a warm spinach salad.  This salad is served with shiitake mushrooms, miso vinaigrette and macadamia nuts.  We were very pleased with this delicious and nutritious beginning.  

Godzilla roll

We ordered two of favorite rolls, the Godzilla roll and the Dragonfly roll. The Godzilla roll provides you with a burst of flavor with smoked eel, krab, cream cheese, cucumber, scallions, avocado, strawberries, and eel sauce.  

Dragonfly roll
The Dragonfly roll is the signature roll.  It is served hot and filled with tuna, albacore, seasonal white fish, scallions, eel sauce and spicy sauce.  We love fruit in our rolls. 

For our last roll we ordered the Mango Tango- smoked salmon, cream cheese, avocado, mango, tempura flakes, sweet potato curls, with a peach-apricot reduction.

The night ended with Creme Brulee.  This is a unique dessert infused with a distinct green tea flavor. Make sure you check out the entire Dragonfly menu

Sarah- Fashion Stylist
Sarah was recently on the cover of Gainesville Today Magazine. This birthday girl made sure her outfit was top notch with a skin-toned leather skirt, Chanel earrings, and black & white heels.  Be sure to check out her fashion blog- SheChic.net.

Like Dragonfly on Facebook
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View their website.  

Dragonfly Modern Izakaya & Sushi on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Specialty Gems, Crystal River, Florida

Carol and Ed of Specialty Gems

Since 1985, Specialty Gems has served the Crystal River community, providing quality jewelry pieces and consultations.  This family-owned business has some of the most beautiful and unique jewelry I have ever seen.  

Gorgeous sterling silver bracelet

Specialty Gems is owned by Carol Kimbrough.  Carol stays very busy running her business and also supporting the community.  She is a member of the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce and serves on an economic development board.  Ed, her counterpart at Specialty Gems, serves the community through the Kings Bay Rotary Club.  

Me at Specialty Gems appreciation event
Recently, they hosted a huge event to show appreciation to local businesses within Citrus County.  Specialty Gems provided delicious food, live music and door prizes. They had over 100 attendees! 

Not only does Specialty Gems offer a wide range of jewelry, they also provide consultations, buy gold and estate jewelry.  When families are going through a difficult time due to a death, Specialty Gems assists them by providing them with options for the estate.

Beautiful Florida-themed jewelry

Crystal River bracelet
Specialty Gems offers a wide range of Florida-themed jewelry.  You can find scallops, fish, shells, even manatees.  A popular item is the destination bracelet. This unique bracelet is perfect for visitors of Crystal River or locals.  It features a CR and a manatee. 

Other popular items available at Specialty Gems are engagement rings. They provide rings of all sizes.  Specialty Gems will even design the ring that she wants.  A few brands they sell are Simon G, Kabana, Steven Douglas and KC Designs

She said yes and he got it at Specialty Gems!

Make sure you stop by Specialty Gems the next time you visit Citrus County.  

Like Specialty Gems on Facebook.

Call them at 352-795-5900.

Check out their Pinterest page!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hula Bay Club, Tampa, FL

What else is there to do on an August afternoon in Florida other than hang out by the water? Hula Bay Club gives you the fun, waterside atmosphere you have been looking for.  Not to mention, their food is eclectic and delicious!

Boat view at Hula Bay

While in Tampa this past weekend, we experienced Hula Bay for ourselves.  Visiting by boat, we were quickly greeted by the dock master.  From our boat, we could feel the funday vibe coming from Hula Bay

Try the Diver Scallop appetizer, you won't be disappointed.

After a few ice cold Pacifico beers, we wanted to eat a bite. The menu includes savory sushi, mouthwatering burgers and an array of seafood dishes. 

Now that's a burger.
We went with one of the island burgers- the Smokin' Longboard BBQ.  This burger included smoked chili mayo, applewood bacon, citrus BBQ, chedder and a mound of onion straws. Click here to view the menu. 

The outside tiki bar is named after the legendary surfer Duke Kahanamoku- Duke's Retired Surfer's Island Bar. Duke was an Olympic gold-medalist swimmer credited to introducing surfing around the world. 

Shrimp Molten Martini
"Duke once said 'Out of the water, I’m nothing.' We feel that way, too, that’s why at The Hula Bay Club, the water is always a part of everything we do, whether it’s our Sunday pool parties, signature seafood dishes or the heavenly waterfront view we and all of our guests get to admire every day."
-according to the Hula Bay website

Evan Taylor Jones singing Rocket Man

While there, Hula Bay had the talented Evan Taylor Jones singing island music and our favorite songs, his way.  One of my favorite renditions was Evan's version of the famous Elton John song- Rocket Man.

Caesar shaking up my Foursquare special.

Hula Bay Club is definitely a Florida spot you need to experience, either by boat, car or bicycle. They have live music every night they are open! If you are a first time visitor make sure you check-in to Hula Bay Club on Foursquare to unlock a special!

Hula Bay Pacifico draft beer
Hula Bay has a super happy hour from Tuesday to Friday from 4PM to 7PM.  

They offer $3 Pucker Vodka, Cruzan Rum, $2.50 Bud and Bud Light, and $5 for select appetizers.

Visit them on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter.
Visit their website.


Hula Bay Club Waterfront Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Neon Leon's Zydeco Steakhouse, Homosassa, FL

Neon Leon's has the atmosphere you have been looking for!

Are you tired of eating restaurant meals that are boring and uneventful? 

Neon Leon's Zydeco Steakhouse has just what you are looking for- live music, Mardi Gras beads and delicious Cajun food! 

Big Dave and Mitch singing a fun country song!

Jump on stage with Mitch and Big Dave to sing your favorite song.

Flavorful crawfish available while in season.

Located in Old Homosassa, Florida, Neon Leon's has a lot to offer Citrus County.  The staff is friendly and energetic. And the owners, Mitch and Lorriane Simmons, are always giving back to the community.  During scalloping season, bring in your cleaned scallops and Neon's will cook them for you however you like- blackened, fried, seared or broiled. 

Neon Leon's is named after Leon Wilkeson from the band Lynard Skynard.  Leon was Mitch Simmon's uncle.  Everywhere you look inside the restaurant, you will find Lynard Skynard memorabilia.  

Rock N Roll Brew is delicious! 

They even have a draft beer named after Uncle Leon called "Rock N Roll Brew" made by Coors.

If you are looking to try out this delicious, fun Florida hot spot you better call ahead and make a reservation.  Neon Leon's is always packed out.  

Leon Wilkeson hat worn during Lynard Skynard concerts.

Just call (352) 621-3663 to make your reservation.

Drink a Mississippi Mud Black & Tan
Neon's provides customers a full menu and a full liquor bar. From September 23- October 20, Neon Leon's is teaming up with other Homosassa restaurants to offer an International Ethnic Festival.  Each week, the restaurants will provide dishes from around the world: Irish, German, Italian and Polish.

Find out more about Nature Coast River Events by clicking here.

Neon Leon's Zydeco Steakhouse is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM.

Like them on Facebook.

Check in with them on Foursquare.

Neon Leons Zydeco Steak House on Urbanspoon

Monday, June 17, 2013

Cobia Big Fish Tournament

For twenty nine years, fishermen have enjoyed the Annual Cobia Big Fish Tournament. This year, the tournament was held on June 8 and 9.  The first place prize for cobia was a whopping $6,000.  

One word: WOW!
Entry was only $125 per a boat. Entries were limited to 200 boats. 

The tournament completely filled up this year.  Make sure you register early next year! Contestants arrived at MacRae's Friday, June 7th for the captain's meeting.  

Check out this video from fishermen from at the  tournament:

Although, I did not fish the tournament, I had a lot of fun! There were many other weekend activities. On Friday, Saturday and
Sunday, MacRae's provided attendees with live music. 

The winning redfish caught by Robert Santucci

Delicious food was available all three days including a BBQ dinner, fish fry and other seafood specialties catered by Riverside Crabhouse.  

There were over twenty vendors set-up at the
Tournament Fish
tournament.  Vendors sold items such as t-shirts, coozies, ice cream, even handmade statues. 

Florida Forest Services promoted Operation Outdoor Freedom. The program, championed by Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, offers free hunting opportunities to wounded veterans.  

JET supporting Florida Forest Services Operation Outdoor Freedom. 

The Crazy On Outdoors booth was by far the
JET with Crazy On Outdoors 
most popular booth. Everywhere you looked people were saying and wearing, 

"Getcha crazy on." 

People showed up at the event via boat, car, truck, golf cart or walked! 

Crazy On Outdoors competitive fishing team

There are two hotels to stay at that are within walking distance of the tournament, MacRae's and Riverside Resort.

JET with locals getting photo bombed.
If you missed it this year, make sure you participate in next year's tournament! 

It is fun for adults and children.  You will get a genuine "Old Florida" experience. 

Congratulations to this year's winners:

2013 Cobia Tournament Platinum Sponsors:
Citrus County Chronicle
Crystal Automotive Group

JET with the Sheldon Palmes Insurance vintage vehicle