Cooper Levey-Baker has written about food, politics, civic issues, the arts, and music in Southwest Florida for 15 years. His work has won multiple awards from the Florida Magazine Association and the Florida Society of Professional Journalists, as well as an honorable mention from the Julia Child Foundation. Follow him on Twitter: @LeveyBaker.

Food news

Downtown Mexican Restaurant Expands Lunch Service

El Melvin Cocina Mexicana is once again open for lunch on weekdays.

10/27/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

1st of tha Month

Lakewood Ranch Farmers' Market Returns This Weekend

The seasonal weekly market starts up again this Sunday, Nov. 1.

10/26/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

🍴🍷🍴🍷🍴🍷

Next Year's Forks & Corks Scheduled for April 29-May 3

Details of how next year's festival might function have not yet been worked out, but organizers say it is happening.

10/26/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

R.I.P.

Remembering Arthur Lopes

The widely respected Sarasota chef died last week after receiving a cancer diagnosis earlier this year.

10/20/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

New Data Shows Progress in the Effort to Help Babies Born Addicted to Opiates

Sarasota Memorial Hospital has changed how it treats babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome, and the results so far look promising.

10/19/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

End of an Era

Nancy's Bar-B-Q in Downtown Sarasota Is Closing

But don't fret: The restaurant's Lakewood Ranch location will remain open for business.

10/13/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Playing Fair

Weekend Festival Showcases Fair Food

A new event in Manatee County will give you the chance to eat all the funnel cakes and corn dogs you want, without even having to visit the fair.

10/13/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Drink Up

Set the Bar Event Celebrates Great Local Cocktails

Every day this week, participating bars and restaurants are serving special new drinks, offering discounts and more.

10/12/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Best beers

The Best Breweries in Sarasota-Manatee

With a dozen breweries to choose from, our region’s craft beer scene has never been better. Here's what's on tap.

10/07/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

That time of year

Two Local Farmers' Markets Start Up Again Wednesday

Sarasota's Phillippi Farmhouse Market and North Port's Atlanta Braves Farmers Market both return this week.

10/05/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Amendment 2

Should Florida Raise Its Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour?

Workers and labor advocates say people can't live on $8.56 an hour. Opponents say raising the state's minimum wage will hurt small businesses.

10/02/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Breaking

Lila Chef Opening New Pizzeria, Wine Bar

Lucile Pizza & Wine Bar will open just down the street from Lila in mid-November.

10/02/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Neighborhood guide

Where the Locals Eat in Wellen Park

The food scene hasn't quite caught up to the population explosion happening in Wellen Park. But locals have a few good options for a satisfying meal.

10/02/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Heading south

Blasé Bistro to Reopen With New Focus on Southern Food

The new menu includes a crab cake with a bay scallop succotash, buttermilk fried chicken with honey mustard and shrimp and grits.

10/01/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Let's Go Shopping

Bradenton Farmers' Market Returns Saturday

The market has a new layout, new vendors and some new rules to keep customers safe.

09/29/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Baked good

Dave's Killer Bread Creator to Speak as Part of Sarasota Lecture Series

The Project 180 series also includes an event highlighting local "second chance" employers.

09/28/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Go for the gold

Gold Star Donuts Is Back

After being closed for three years, Gold Star is once again open for business.

09/25/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Translator, traitor

Elena Ferrante's Translator Discusses the Difficult Work of Bringing Italian Fiction to English Readers

Ann Goldstein, who has translated all of Ferrante's novels, including her newest, "The Lying Life of Adults," is participating in a Bookstore1Sarasota Zoom event on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

09/22/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Fresh Air

Our Favorite Outdoor Dining Destinations

Covid-19 has made outdoor dining more popular than ever. Here are our favorite destinations for an al fresco feast.

09/22/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Taking a Detour

Local Food Trucks Adapt to an Industry Radically Altered By Covid-19

“We’re trying to adjust and adapt. It’s nothing like it used to be.”

09/22/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker