Sometimes we just crave comfort food, and Valentino Pizzeria Trattoria's tortellini di Pasquale is just that: tortellini tossed in cream sauce with pancetta, garlic and basil. Sprinkle on some fresh Parmesan cheese and some red pepper flakes and you're set. $15.99
In addition to tearing it up onstage at IndiaFest, held this past Saturday in Palmetto, we ate our way around the subcontinent, taking full advantage of the all-day party's huge selection of Indian dishes. But our favorite was dessert, which came courtesy of Bradenton's Big Cow Creamery. The malai kulfi ($3) mixes ice cream made from non-fat milk with cardamom and ground pistachios, providing a perfect sweet slurp while we marveled at the beautiful clothing, the athletic dancing and the improbable yoga poses.
The yellowfin tuna preparation at Veronica Fish & Oyster changes weekly, but order it no matter what--we loved a recent iteration, which featured the fish simply seared atop a bed of creamy farro with just a hint of orange chili to brighten up the flavor.
We usually think of Primo, on the North Trail near the airport, for pizza and pasta. But the other night, we opted for the risotto Julian: beef short ribs braised in their brick oven with a Marsala demi glace, over imported Arborio rice. Rich and satisfying, especially when accompanied, of course, by bread and the Primo salad with its homemade dressing. $19
We dare you not to polish off a whole bag of Meaney’s Mini Donuts in one sitting—these light, almost beignet-like little treats are totally addictive. Best bet: classic powdered sugar, although it's hard to go wrong with any of the flavors. And at six for $2.75, they're a total steal.