by-cathleen-larson-palms-a-plein-air-affairA Plein Air Affair debuts this February at The Studio
Call to Artists to submit Plein Air pieces showcasing the beauty of Florida

The Studio is seeking artwork for “A Plein Air Affair”, a juried exhibit opening on February 7. Receiving is Monday February 5, from 1- 4 pm. All artwork must have been executed outdoors on location in Florida during the past 3 years in watercolor, oil, acrylic or pastel mediums. Island resident and award winning plein air artist Cory Wright will jury the show, which will award over $500 in prizes to the selected winners. An artists’ reception will be held on Thursday February 15 from 6 to 8 pm.
“En plein air” is French for ‘in the open air’. Plein Air began in the late 1800s when the Impressionists ventured from their studios into nature to capture the effects of sunlight and different times of days on a subject. Plein paintings require the artist to be skilled at rapid composition and brushwork in order to capture the light before it changes.
The complete artist guidelines are available at or can be picked up at The Studio. The Studio at Gulf and Pine is located at 10101 Gulf Drive. Call 941-778-1906 or visit for more information about all our upcoming artist workshops, exhibits and other cultural events.

Broadway Shrimp and Grits

February 2, 2018

Broadway Shrimp and Grits 1Broadway Shrimp & Grits
Erik Walker, Mar Vista Executive Chef


1 shallot
1 inch of fresh ginger
1 garlic clove
1 oz. oyster sauce
1/2 oz. black bean paste
5 head on shrimp, peeled, shells reserved
1/2 oz. Marcona almonds
1/2 tsp black & white sesame seeds
1 scallion
4 oz. of your favorite grits


Using the shells, fill up a sauce pot with 2 cups water, and boil shells to make a shrimp stock.
Once it reaches a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook very gently for 45 minutes or until reduced by 3/4. Strain out the shells and reserve the liquid.

Finely chop the shallot, ginger, and garlic. In a hot sauté pan.
Sweat all three together with a 1/2 oz. of canola oil.
After translucent and tender, add the peeled shrimp, oyster sauce, black bean paste, & almonds.
Flip the shrimp after 2 minutes, and add the reserved shrimp stock, reduce until almost thick.

Serve over your favorite grits, and garnish with scallions, and sesame seeds.


On Saturday, January 20, the Outstanding in the Field team, led by its visionary creator Jim Denevan and his team, paired with the amazing team of chefs and staff from the Sandbar, Beach House and Mar Vista, collaborated to host a culinary experience unlike Anna Maria has ever seen.

Outstanding in the Field is a roving culinary adventure – literally a restaurant without walls.

Since 1999 the Outstanding in the Field (OITF) team has set the long table at rural farms and urban gardens, on mountain tops and in sea caves, on islands and ranches. This time they chose the beautiful setting of Anna Maria Island and specifically the beach next to the Sandbar. How did they find us you ask? It started with food of course. The OITF team held a dinner a couple of years ago at Worden Farms in Punta Gorda with owners Chris and Eva Worden. OITF General Manager Edan Reilly asked Eva Worden if Anna Maria was a good vacation spot and for suggestions on restaurants. Eva immediately thought of Ed Chiles. The OITF came to visit, met with Ed, ate at the Sandbar and two years later, 210 people are having a delicious meal on the beach by the Sandbar and we are catering it.

It was a perfect match between OITF and our restaurants and between Jim and Ed. Jim and his team are all about re-connecting diners to the land and the origins of their food, and honoring the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it. And Ed Chiles, owner of the restaurants, is doing just that by providing locally sourced seafood and produce from his Gamble Creek Farm to the diners at his restaurants. The missions of these two men meshed together in perfect harmony.

Devevan, who is also an accomplished artist creating amazing one dimensional sand sculptures, states, “The theme of each dinner is to honor the people whose good work brings nourishment to the table.” Chiles adds, “Our team is always ready to to take on new challenges. Serving the best of our local farm to table and local underutilized seafood on the beach for a single table of 210 guestsl was a real high wire act. I’m so proud of the job they did. It was a new high water mark in our effort to promote local sustainable food. We really appreciate Jim Denevan and his crew from OITF for selecting us for this event.”

If you are bummed you missed the Outstanding in the Field event you can check them out online and “Follow the Bus” to their next culinary adventure in a field, barn, island or mountain top somewhere awesome and inspiring. If you would like to have a culinary experience on a regular basis, just visit the Sandbar, Beach House or Mar Vista Restaurants and enjoy farm to fork and gulf to table fare with your toes in the sand.

For more on OITF visit

Here are some pictures from Outstanding in the Field – Anna Maria Island.



IslandPhotography_071The Sandbar and Beach House Restaurants today announced its recognition as winners of the esteemed 2018 Wedding Wire Couples’ Choice Award? for wedding and reception venues on the West Coast of Florida.

Wedding Wire Inc., the leading global online marketplace for the wedding and events industry, annually recognizes the top five percent of wedding professionals on Wedding Wire who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. The top local wedding professionals in more than 20 service categories from venues to florists are awarded the prestigious accolade.

The Sandbar and Beach House were recognized as recipients solely based on reviews from newlyweds and their experiences working with them. Award-winning vendors are distinguished for the quality, quantity, consistency and timeliness of the reviews they have received from their past clients.

“This is the tenth year we’ve celebrated our top-rated vendors who have helped millions of couples celebrate one of the most important days of their lives,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, Wedding Wire. “This group of dedicated and acclaimed wedding professionals, such as the Sandbar and Beach House, not only make wedding planning simpler for engaged couples, but also serve as a trusted partner in helping to make Wedding Wire the go-to place for wedding planning. We congratulate all of this year’s winners on their achievement.”

Shawn Rhoton, wedding and event coordinator for the Beach House and Molly Powers, wedding and event coordinator for the Sandbar are thrilled to represent the couple’s choice for top wedding and reception venues in Anna Maria on

For more information about the Beach House contact Shawn Rhoton at 941-778-8718 or or for the Sandbar Molly Powers at 941-778-8709 or , please visit us at to get started on planning the wedding of your dreams or special event.

Classes at Folk School at Florida Maritime Museum!

January 31, 2018

Pine Cone Quilting Class Join The Folk School at Florida Maritime Museum in welcoming Betty Ford-Smith to teach Pine Cone Quilting starting on Thursday, February 8th. The first class will be two hours in length from 10 AM to 12 PM. The Pine Cone quilt, also called a Pine Burr Quilt was a traditional southern […]

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Valentine’s Day

January 31, 2018

Romance is in the air AND at our restaurants! Treat your sweetheart to an unforgettable experience this Valentine’s Day. Join us for lunch or dinner with your toes in the sand as you dine on fresh local seafood and dishes made with locally grown produce from our own farm, Gamble Creek. Don’t forget to order […]

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