The Foods I Wish For in 2012

By Beau Denton January 2, 2012

2011 was quite a year for comings and goings of our local restaurants. For our newly arriving snowbirds, I thought I would update you on what’s new, what’s gone and where the overall best dishes are being created.

Let’s make this quick: Gone are First Street Chop House, Patty’s, etc.

Eat Here. Really do! Veal meatloaf, French onion soup downstairs, cheese plate and Fred’s great bartending skills upstairs.

Taste of Asia on Siesta Key in Davidson’s shopping center has a new low-carb and low-fat menu. Get the cauliflower rice—addictive.

Indigenous. Tackle the double patty grass-fed burger with special sauce. Good-bye, Mickey D’s, this one is sensuous in its sloppiness and gooey juicy bites, dripping off your chin.

Toasted Mango is a little overrated in my book, considering they rave about their own service, but the orange mango muffin, grilled, is delicious, moist and buttery.

Savory Street is now open for dinner with a Latin flair. I’ll be going next week so stay tuned; word is very positive and alfresco dining is why we live here.

Duval’s on Main has a damn good oyster po-boy with remoulade sauce, but don’t even ask me when Patty’s on Main came and went and what the heck it is now.

The Table reopened with alfresco dining and absolutely wonderful cuisine. Yes, those luscious cheese bites are still served as well.



Dining at The Table is even better than I remembered.

Other news: Christian from Ark catering is opening a restaurant on State Street, appropriately named State Street, maybe mid-January. Darwin Santa Maria, founder of Selva Grill, is opening Darwin’s on Fourth where Bad Crow—I mean Mad Crow—brewed for a very short time. Maximo is now where First Street Chop House was, serving South African fare. P.F. Chang’s did get their zoning approved, but will it be Osprey or University? There is a movement for food trucks; I for one agree, drive ‘em right in—grilled cheese and Asian noodle trucks especially.

The most flavorful dinner parties of the year:

Margaret and Matt Callihan’s Smoked Ham Dinner. Sure, we drank 12 glasses of water afterwards, but we wouldn’t change a thing. Incredible smoked ham with smoked bacon, farm fresh scrambled eggs, curried roasted fruits, grits and three, yes, three incredible homemade pies. Please Callihans, adopt me!




The Callihan smoked ham celebration.


Bill and Margaret Wise’s Gumbo Party. Seriously, it is not Christmas without Bill’s authentic gumbo and Margaret’s stunning smile and hospitality.

Jeremy Hammond Chambers Dinner Party. This award-winning New York chef wowed us over and over with dishes bursting with flavor and new friendships. International cuisine shared with international guests and worldwide hospitality.

Cucho’s 50th. Boy, can his wife Melba throw a great party. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was some celebration with no stone left unturned.



Now this lady can really throw a party.


Happy birthday Cucho!

Laura and John Leeming’s New Year’s Day brunch is meaningful and outright decadent with a dozen different homemade stratas and Bloody Marys.

And to all the people we have shared meals with, from roasts and toasts to tuna melts and greasy burgers, may 2012 bring everyone to the table.

What were your favorite meals in 2011? And what meals do you wish for in 2012? Email me on the comment button.

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