Boutique - May 2009

By Carol Tisch Photography by Matt McCourtney May 1, 2009


St. Armands Circle Visitors to St. Armands Circle have always been intrigued by the international flavor of its boutiques and restaurants, a blend of big-city sophistication and resort-style charm. This month, we scope out best buys and hot new treasures.


Tie One On

Why did sales of silk ascots ($95) quadruple at M&H in Sarasota last year? Ask the Jonas Brothers, Jeremy Piven and David Beckham, all spied pumping up the aristocratic vintage look with hip-hop flair. Maus & Hoffman, 40 S. Boulevard of Presidents, (941) 388-2551.

Sarasota Ink

Forget Miami Ink’s notoriety: Sarasota loves the removability of tattoo sunglasses, actually vintage designs by the infamous Don Ed Hardy. Local favorites are Peace, Koi Fish and Tiger (from $225). Sunglass Express Optical, 343 St. Armands Circle, (941) 388-5115.

Enlightened Spirit

Cork’s executive chef Jeff Trefry expects the best-selling retail summer wine will be Giesen, a New Zealand sauvignon blanc ($15.95). And he also tells us the secret elixir in his bistro’s addictive moules frites is Ricard Pastis, an anise-flavored spirit. Cork and The Bottle Shop, 29 N. Boulevard of Presidents, (941) 388-1675.

Double Take

Russian-made "diamonds" are faceted to perfection in unique Asscher-cut, pink or canary yellow ($300 to $600 in 3 to 5 carats). They look so real, more young brides are going "faux." Fabulous Faux Jewelry, 5 S. Boulevard of Presidents, (941) 388-2582.


Recessionistas adore the savings at Aria, where windows are engraved with the motto, "Don’t say cheap; say inexpensive." The faux snakeskin bags ($32) and oversized "gator" satchels ($45) will convert skeptics to believers. Aria, 352 Boulevard of Presidents, (941) 306-1778.

Tommy is the Who

when it comes to great-fitting swimsuits (underwire halter swimsuit with slimming shirred bra, $130) at this gorgeous new boutique, now in a separate location from the Circle’s popular Tommy Bahama restaurant. Tommy Bahama, 371 St. Armands Circle, (941) 388-2446.

Shore Dinner

Set an elegant beach-themed table with Mud Pie’s new Fiji platter ($59.95) and dessert plates ($12.95) in four designs, each with sea green background, sculpted rattan rim and beautiful exotic shell motif. Terra Nova, 351 St. Armands Circle, (941) 388-0410.



Don’t forget to...


Pretend you’re dining alfresco in Italy:

The wood-oven pizzas (from $10.50) at Venezia are served atop giant tomato cans. Venezia, 373 St. Armands Circle, (941) 388-1400.

Sport a Lilly Pulitzer printed silk cummerbund

and bowtie set ($180) at the next beach wedding. Lilly Pulitzer, 443A John Ringling Blvd., (941) 388-3091.

Turn heads

with handmade fashions (from $80) designed for an affordable spin on European couture. Agnes & Rafael Gallery, 19 N. Boulevard of Presidents, (941) 388-1923.

Wear a sexy

Joseph Ribhoff tropical print summer dress ($188) in fashion’s hot new arm-baring styles. Foxy Lady, 481 John Ringling Blvd., (941) 388-5239.

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