Monday, March 10, 2008

A Jewish Film Festival and Sarasota's Selby Gardens

I have a few Jewish friends in Tampa, so Saturday night I went to the Tampa Jewish Film Festival to get a taste of this culture on Film. We started having some dinner downtown Tampa a block form the Tampa Theater where the festival was being held this evening, it's and eight day event on both sides of the Bay.
SPAIN is a very nice Spanish/Tapas like restaurant on Tampa Street in downtown Tampa. With its all white and very clean atmosphere, white walls, white table clothes, white chairs, clean lighting, great separate bar area, and live Spanish/Flamenco music every Friday and Saturday night. Its cozy with less than 20 tables. The servers are even Latino. The menu has alot of Tapas items, and also some entree's. We dined on a Shrimp in a spicy/sweet sauce and Stuffed Grouper with Crab Meat. All entrees are served with great Cuban bread drizzled with Olive Oil, and there House Salad, mixed Greens with Feta Cheese and a Vinaigrette, and wither Yellow Rice or Vege of the Day(tonight it was Fresh Green Beans). The shrimp meal was good, although it would have been better if the Shrimps were grilled, but there were about 9 decent sized shrimp in somewhat bland sauce. The stuffed Grouper was very tasty, but very small portion for an entree size. We both felt that for $20 entree's, the serving sizes could have been bigger. Green Beans were ok, and lacked flavor, the yellow rice was typical. I loved the atmosphere, and live music was entertaining(they add $1.00 for each person on the bill for the live music cover charge). I have had other tapas style plates here which have been good, so i will be back, but more for the small plates.
We then walked a block up to Historic Tampa Theater to the Jewish Film Festival which is in it's 12th year, and saw "Someone to Run With", an excellent Movie filmed entirely in Jerusalem, great story line and acting, and from what I heard, it is based on a book that every teenager in Israel reads in high school. I was very moved by the story line, cinematography, and overall entertainment of this foreign film. The Festival continues through March 16th.

Sunday was a great day, crisp clean air about 65 degrees, blue blue skies. A great day for the annual Plant Festival at Marie Selby Gardens in Sarasota. About an hours drive south of Tampa, it was a nice drive over the Skyway Bridge to Sarasota. The Bay was looking beautiful, with aqua greenish/blue waters, many people were out today on their boats, para-sailing, wake boarding, etc. Selby Gardens is a nice, small Botanical Gardens located right in downtown Sarasota along the Bay, with every type of Florida species of plants, trees and flora, and just nice to hang out, walk around the trails, relax on the many benches with views of downtown Sarasota and the Bay. It was busy today with the Plant Festival, a good friend of mine owns Exotica Nursery in St. Pete, and was showcasing his many species of Bamboo and Palms at the Festival.

This week work takes me to Miami.
Plant and Garden Festival at Marie Selby Gardens

No comments: