Last night, approximately 125 people turned out to celebrate the Grand Opening of Dough in incredible style, all the while relishing the idea that they were making a difference in the lives of children battling cancer – and their families.
The Perrys, owners of both Datz and “baby sister” Dough, knew that they wanted their Grand Opening to be meaningful to the community, as well as just a really flipping fun night out. So with the collective talents of Datz employees and the Children’s Cancer Center, a beautiful party was born.
The ceilings at both Dough and Datz were festooned with kites, the symbol of the CCC, underscoring the idea that “every child should fly a kite, not battle cancer”. And the dessert tables were dotted with packages of Doughmade kite-shaped cookies in the signature blue and yellow of the CCC.
Every guest received a kite-tini, a signature drink developed for the occasion, served to each in a glass hand-painted by one of the children helped by the CCC. The painted work on the glasses, remarked one guest, was a “touching reminder of the essence of childhood”.
While guests enjoyed both Datz and Dough, they were treated to passed hors d’oeuvres of some uniquely Dough bites: mini Monte Cristo sandwiches on house-made bread and chicken salad and pomegranate chutney on house-made maple corn shortbread.
Those who purchased VIP tickets were treated to a private tasting of fine bourbons and scotches, as well as admittance to a private dessert party, held in Dough’s own Copper Room.
In fact, dessert was a delicious highlight of the Grand Opening celebration. Pastries, gelato, and barista-brewed coffee beverages featuring our own custom blend from Kahwa were in abundance at Dough. Key lime tartlets and opera cake were only the start of the delicacies awaiting guests on footed crystal stands in Dough.
And the Perrys relished every moment, knowing that 100% of the proceeds were going directly to the CCC. “We love a great party,” said owner Suzanne Perry. “And the community knows a great cause.”
Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and desserts truly formed a trifecta of delicious options throughout the night. The smiles on the guests and the overflowing Dough-nations in strategically-placed bread bowls spoke volumes.
Dough has been officially up and serving since April 8. Dough offers a delicious breakfast menu with great grab-and-go items you can nosh on while work-bound (mini quiches, savory bread pudding and hole-in-ones), an elegant lunch menu with showstoppers like that signature chicken salad stack with maple corn shortbread, and a lovely array of gourmet desserts perfect for after dinner.
Dough is quickly gaining a loyal following and expanding its offerings to meet the needs of its customers. The party for the Children’s Cancer Center was an incredible debut function. And it is with confidence that Dough – like Datz – is proving that in terms of taste, atmosphere, and a spirit of fun, it can truly rise to absolutely any occasion at all.
Andy Seeley, local foodie and author of the popular www.tampabaybreakfasts.com, makes a point of taking his two boys to weekly breakfasts. In a December 4 interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Seeley admits, “I’m an early riser. My wife was the type who would sleep until noon. So I’d pack Marek up with baby food, and I’d sit for an hour and have toast and coffee until he got fussy.”
What started as a sweet idea to give his wife some well-deserved downtime has become not only a valued father/sons tradition, but a way for Seeley to focus his culinary and creative efforts.
We asked Seeley a few of our most pressing questions, about food, family, and fun.
Best foodie experience?
Datz, of course! One of the most interesting and delicious breakfasts you’ll find in The Bay Area. Also, The Hangar in St. Pete, Consciousness Blossoms in Palm Harbor, Pinkies in Tampa, and Yanny’s in Clearwater all offer a crafted, caring approach to breakfast food. Skyway Jacks in St. Pete and Showtown in Gibsonton combine great breakfast with one-of-a-kind experiences. Restaurants like Trips in St. Pete, Mamas in Tampa, Nicko’s in Tampa, and Munch’s in St. Pete deliver wonderful food with a sense of family and local history.
Marek: Bacon and hot chocolate.
Ivo: Pancakes and “black coffee” (which is our name for apple juice).
Bacon: better crispy or chewy?
Results of a scientific survey of Marek and Ivo: 60% Crispy, 30% chewy, 10% undecided.
What’s the farthest you’ve ever traveled for a breakfast?
About 100 miles. We’ve had some morning endurance runs to get to breakfast in places like Dunnellon and Brooksville, and I have gotten lost more than once and taken almost two hours to find a place to eat. I usually break out emergency rations for these times where a planned breakfast turns into brunch. An experienced tactical breakfast dad always has apples and raisins in his kit. As the boys get older, I’m starting to plan better and tighten the radius so we don’t have to be in the car more than about 45 minutes.
You note that this was started as a way to give your wife a break. Does she ever join you? Or act as a “stand-in”?
She joins us once in a while. Breakfast usually “isn’t her thing,” but we all like being together. The interesting thing is how the dynamic changes. With just us boys there’s an underlying precision to the chaos: They know what to do and what they can get away with. But when she’s with us they break discipline and go crazy because they know that dad’s out-ranked. One time I had one boy and she had the other and we did two simultaneous breakfasts in different locations, but that was a one-off situation. For the most part she stays home and enjoys the few hours of quiet.
Do you ever get sick of breakfast?
Unfortunately, yes. Every few months, Marek announces that he is “never going to breakfast again” or “I hate pancakes.” Ivo frequently wants to stay home and have “pajama days.” The hardest part about producing a regular Tampa Bay Breakfasts blog post is timing it so that at least one kid is excited to go on the right day at the right time.
If you could wish any item onto breakfast menus everywhere, what would it be?
Fresh blueberry pancakes. It seems that only about half of Bay Area restaurants have blueberry pancakes, and of those only half have mixed-in fresh blueberries as opposed to compote poured on top. I’m also a big fan of locally produced honey and at home I use honey instead of syrup for pancakes, yet I’ve never seen a breakfast restaurant feature local honey. It’s probably too expensive to just set out on a table, but there are plenty of local producers within 100 miles of Tampa. If I could choose I’d say pancakes with fresh blueberries and local honey.
Do you have any words to live by?
The secret about Tampa Bay Breakfasts is that food is just an excuse. While we’ve become real Tampa Bay foodies since we started the blog in April 2009, these “official breakfasts” are truly the one time each week where an over-worked father can be a dad building a tradition with his kids. The web site is just my gift to them, so they can remember that tradition when they’ve grown up and made their own lives.
Let us take a moment to introduce you to Laura Schmalhorst, our guest blogger. This lady is a true blue rockstar in the catering world. She founded A la Carte Catering and Chefs on the Loose, and has catered more events in the last 30+ years than any of us can comprehend. We are proud to call her the culinary director of our new events and catering division, Dazzle. Below she gives is the scoop on a recurring trend in the special events scene called pièce montée. These creations are both stunning and delicious when crafted by the right hands.
Unless you’ve been stranded on a desert island or living in a cave for the past several years you’ve no doubt noticed the resurgence of the dessert and candy table at special events.
You walk into a room, meet the eyes of a handsome stranger, then head straight for that sugary vision of loveliness. All prettified and gussied up confections that make your heart flutter with anticipation.
When Marie Antoinette said “let them eat cake” what she probably meant to say was “but don’t touch my pièce montée!” “Pour quoi,” you say? Pièce montée were the crowning glory of Marie’s famously (notoriously?) lavish parties. They were knock-out centerpieces, more like decorative architectural structures, made from delightful confections. The term pièce montée is sometimes used to refer to the dessert also known as croquembouche, an assemblage of cream puffs, and as we see so frequently now, macarons.
I designed a dessert table featuring several for my son’s own wedding recently, and we find the demand increasing for them more in the catering industry. They can complement a wedding cake or replace it altogether – either way they give brides and others planning parties a little more flexibility and freedom when it comes to the presentation, flavors and textures they’d like to offer their guests.
With ace pastry chef Alex Flannery joining the Datz family to lead the team at Dough, our soon to open bakery located in the old Kalupa’s, we are sure to create some exciting dessert tables in the months to come! Stay tuned for breathtaking pics or shoot us an email if you think you’d like your very own for a special event. email@example.com
Lifestylist and event planner Krayl Funch hosted another awesome tablescaping class at our Chef’s Table this week and she taught her eager students how to set a pretty Valentine’s Day table. In case you missed it, read below for some tricks of the trade! These are tips you can use not only on Valentine’s Day, but all year round. Stay beautiful!
No matter which version of the Saint Valentine’s myth you believe they all seem to have one thing in common, that he was in fact a romantic man. To quote history.com: “although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky… the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly–romantic figure.” And don’t we all love romance?
What better way to celebrate and fully embrace true romance than over a meal with your loved one, or ones. If you are one of the few daring and original souls out there who choose to serve dinner at home, selecting your menu may be your #1 priority, but creating a tablescape that encourages love to grow should be a close #2 on your list.
What is a tablescape you may ask? By definition a tablescape is creatively designed table arrangements or centerpieces that showcase or highlight a specific object or collection. They are created for dining tables as well as other surfaces such as bookshelves, coffee tables and mantles. They are frequently used to set the mood of the room when entertaining. Tablescaping allows people to express their creativity and add a personal touch to a gathering.
Selecting a theme is especially important when starting your design. Themes can be based around a particular event, season, color or collection. For instance, your Valentine’s Day table may be inspired by the color red or pink or by the word “love.” A theme will help keep your table from looking like a hodge-podge of items simply collected from around your home and thrown together. Once a theme has been chosen, items relating to the theme should be collected and assembled to create a pleasing centerpiece or tabletop arrangement. While the objects in tablescapes do not necessarily have to match perfectly, they should harmonize or complement each other.
Other theme suggestions: Hearts, Black & White, Old Fashioned, Retro, Lonely Hearts Club, In Love with Nature
ROMANCE HAPPENS EVERYDAY
Sure Valentine’s Day is a special day and deserves a special tablescape but let’s not forget about the rest of the month. Setting a beautiful table can happen every day making breakfast, lunch or dinner a special occasion, and who knows maybe even create a little romance on a Tuesday. The point is, a carefully set table can be casual or slightly more formal, but the effect is the same.
The easiest way to start your tablescape is with you place setting. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Casual: Use message hearts on top of an earthenware plate. Add a special note and attach it to a cloth napkin using a clothespin.
Kicked Up Romance: Place red heart paper dollies between white china dishes. Keep it clean with a white napkin and a single red heart on top for a pop of color.
Placesettings and tablescapes should be a fun activity, not stressful. Even simple additions such a single flower create a festive mood and your guests will notice the extra effort.
For more tablescapes and seasonal entertaining ideas be sure to check back here on the Datz Blog or visit www.AnAppealingPlan.com. CHEERS!
Check out this fun blog by our friend Chef Judi Gallagher (www.judigallagher.com) in Sarasota Patch:
She takes us on a mouthwatering tour through some amazing pork and bacon dishes, including our very own bacon flite! Other highlights? Bacon wrapped hot dogs, crispy pork belly open-faced sandwiches and this:
Check out the full blog for the details on these porcine delights. There are some amazing photos and most importantly, details on where to get this goodness!
Just in case you missed it in our last blog, we wanted to revisit this fact: we’ve made an entire course out of different types of bacon. Wrap your minds around that. You can tuck into 5 slices of heavenly bacon with zero pesky interruptions from other inferior ingredients. Our friend Blaire O’Neal from Dreaming Ingredients breaks down the deliciousness for you. Check out her blog for smart, candid, educational writing on food adventures near and far!
It is my personal experience that bacon can bring out the best in even the most abhorrent individual. Honestly, the whole Christmas Carol story could have been avoided if someone had just given Ebenezer Scrooge some bacon. It is the food equivalent of happiness. I’m not a crazy bacon lady (similar to a crazy cat lady, except this obsession is delicious); I’m only proposing that the fine people at Webster put a picture of bacon next to ‘happiness’ in the dictionary. If a petition is needed to that effect, I know that one of the first signatures on the list would be those of the creative minds at Datz in Tampa. Datz is not shy about their love for bacon. Need evidence? Look at their cocktail menu. You ordered an old fashioned? Insert candied bacon. A Bloody Mary to soothe your hangover? Stir it with bacon. In their minds, if you liked it, then you should have put some bacon on it (sorry, Beyonce). Their affection for the beloved, salty slice of goodness knows no bounds. Don’t believe me? May I present Exhibit A, and the reason for this wonderful tribute to pork: the Datz bacon flite “When Pigs Fly.”
While this dish has already won the majority of you over (I see you over there, salivating), there is even more to be said for the yumminess featured above. Each slice of bacon comes from a premium, artisanal purveyor. It features 5 varieties. First up, a slice of Benton’s hickory smoked bacon – handled with the utmost care at the humble building in the Smoky Mountain country of Tennessee (smells like home already). Need more of that yummy smoked flavor? Try the slice of Nueske’s applewood smoked bacon. The Nueske family has been selling their applewood smoked bacon since 1933, and there’s a reason it has stuck around. It is a favorite among chefs for its robust flavor and consistent quality (they test every batch for quality; can you say ‘dream job’). Not to be outdone by the smoked glory, Petit Jean Meats of Arkansas tops their bacon with a brown sugar and black pepper glaze. Now that’s what I call leveling the playing field. The final two slices are all about location, location, location. You get a slice of hearty back-bacon (‘rashers’ if you speak British/Irish; lucky for you, I’m here to translate) from Jolly Posh meats in Chicago. Finally, there’s the crown jowl of the flite: a slice of jowl bacon. It’s the smoked cheek of a hog rather than belly meat, and it’s incredibly flavorful and more delicate than regular bacon.
What’s not to love? When these slices of heaven arrive at your table, delicately tucked into a napkin, the presentation alone will give even Ron Swanson convulsions (see Parks & Recreation). But Datz didn’t stop there; convulsions are for amateurs. They are thinking more along the lines of comatose… say hello to the dainty servings of Vosges chocolate, balsamic glaze, maple syrup, and red chili pepper jam, waiting to be dunked in like a pool on the first day of summer (which actually means something where I’m from). So there it is Tampa, you’ve had the beaches, you’ve had the sunshine, and now you have the perfect bacon dish. So, thank you Datz, for giving Tampa what it so wants and needs: Bacon.
New year, new menu items. It only makes sense! We spent the end of 2012 crafting and testing (and crafting and testing, crafting and testing…) some new dishes and cocktails that are oh so Datzy! They made their debut on Saturday and made some instant fans. Here are just a few of our new favorites.
Let’s break it down by meal and get this deliciousness underway:
(Yes, we believe that cocktails can be considered their own meal for these purposes. Our famous Datz-a-Mary has bacon, right?)
(Saturday and Sunday only)
Are you sufficiently tempted? Come in and see us!
OK, OK champagne is delicious, we get it. But it can get a little tired year after year, no? Let’s give it a rest this New Year’s Eve and try something new. Tracy Guida, the blogger behind www.myothercitybythebay.com, gives us some new cocktails to try. With 16 years behind the bar and a serious devotion to sampling the food and drink creations from around the bay, she knows what she’s talking about. Custom cocktails are her thing!
As I get ready to bid adieu to 2012, I know I will be celebrating with friends and enjoying festive cocktails. I have so many delicious memories from Datz this year and when it comes to party planning, Datz is my one-stop shop for luscious liquor. Two of my favorites are Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Siesta Key Rum, both of which are handcrafted and produce noteworthy libations. Not familiar with either of these? Let me fill you in!
Locally produced, Siesta Key Rum is distilled in small batches just a hop, skip and a jump away from Tampa in beautiful Sarasota. Available in Spiced, Silver and Gold, Siesta Key rums are made with 100% Florida sugar cane and triple-filtered water and are distilled in a copper pot still. How cool is that? Once you taste Siesta Key Rum, you won’t want anything else. Aside from cocktails, you can spice up your New Year’s festivities by using Siesta Key Rum for baking. Think rum cake or maybe even a glaze for a ham. What could be better than enhancing flavors with this tasty jewel from Sarasota? OK back to cocktails.
¾ oz. Lime Juice
6 drops Angostura Bitters
½ oz. Grenadine Syrup
2 oz. Siesta Key Rum
1 oz. Sugar Syrup
Combine first 5 ingredients over ice in a high ball and garnish with nutmeg and a cherry.
Vodka lovers, I have you covered with Tito’s! Produced in Austin at Texas’ very first distillery, this spirit is also produced in small batches and distilled six times. Smooth, clean and refreshing, Tito’s is like the little black dress of the vodka world, it goes with everything and never goes out of style. From classics such as martinis and cosmopolitans to more complex creations, Tito’s can be the star in any vodka cocktail. I am sure most of you have had a Texas-Style Lemon Drop, but have you had a Blood Orange Drop?
The perfect winter cocktail, a Blood Orange Drop is sexy and sophisticated.
1.5 oz. Tito’s Vodka
1 oz. Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
.5 oz. St-Germain
1 oz. Fresh Blood Orange Juice
Red or Yellow Sugar for rimming (optional)
Chill a martini glass and rim with sugar. Combine all ingredients over ice, shake and strain into chilled martini glass. Sip and savor. Now Datz a darn good drink!
“There wasn’t any great design in the gift. It just seemed like something fun for us to do together,” he said.
The Orlando couple whipped up a batch, and well, it was pretty amazing. Fluffy, light, heavenly. None of that weird stiffness a grocery store marshmallow gets when it sits on the shelf too long. So, they made more. And they shared with friends and family. Soon the demand was large enough for these novel, square marshmallows to become something more than a hobby. Just a few months after they made their first batch they decided to move into retail production and Wondermade was born. Since then it’s been up, up, and away.
These days the Clarks make mallows by the thousands and they sell them online and in retail outlets like the market at Datz, across the country. But the operation is still small enough that the couple can oversee the creation of each pillow-soft square, and that’s how they prefer it. They are very hands on, taking part in everything from packaging to flavor development. And flavors are one of several things that truly set Wondermade apart. At this point the company has created 20 flavors, including seasonal specialties like pumpkin pie and gingerbread. Nathan, who title is Chief Marshmallow Agent (ha!), said they get their inspiration for flavors from staying engaged in conversation with people who are also passionate about food and flavors. He said the enthusiasm about the marshmallows from their customers and retailers has been encouraging as they strive to capture the magic a good marshmallow holds.
“That’s a lot of our motivation: Not just better marshmallows, but the opportunity to deliver a glimpse of joy to people through the shared experience of eating marshmallows,” he said. “That’s really a lot of what drives the way we approach everything from flavors to packaging to retail partners.”
What’s next for Wondermade? Romance-themed flavors for Valentine’s Day and floral flavors in the spring. That’s right, floral!
Do you have a “beer person” on your Christmas list? You know the guy (or gal!). He maps out all the microbrews he wants to visit in any city where he vacations and can tell you why (passionately!) pairing beer with food is as exciting as the whole wine thing… Well stop sweating pints, we are here to help. Local beer man Danny Reid gives you the inside scoop on just what to buy for even the most discriminating Beer Snob!
You all know one. Heck, you probably know several (actually, you probably are one). Today there are Beer Snobs everywhere as the craft beer revolution is taking over the United States. The great news is they are quite simply some of the easiest people to shop for! So what do you, the non-Beer Snob, look for? Here are a few sure-fire gift ideas….
Whatever you choose for your favorite Beer Snob, just make sure you stay away from those mass produced industrial beers that have dominated our market for the last several decades. The Beer Snob is dedicated to real craft beers and the Miller, Bud, and Coors of the world have no place in their heart. Other than that, it’s easy! And just make sure you’re around when those bottles get opened!