Puttin’ on the Ritz!

Since all of the events with Yelp in 2012 were so awesome, I couldn’t wait to see what 2013’s events had to offer! Brett, our community manager, sent out the email to RSVP to the first event (“Who is Jack Dusty?”) and I immediately say the words “Ritz Carlton” – yes please! We were going to a classy Yelp Elite Only event at a restaurant opening for Jack Dusty at the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota!
To answer the proverbial question:
Who is Jack Dusty?

The restaurant’s name harkens back to nautical lore and was an 18th century short-hand term for the naval store clerk. “Jack” referred to the additional national flags flown at the bow of a ship and later became a general term for sailor (Cracker Jack). “Dusty” comes from “Jack of the Dust” who was once the Purser’s steward working in the bread room, handling the flour. The Jack Dusty, under the “Purser” was responsible for doling out the daily lot of rum, or “grog” to sailors on board ship. In later years, the Jack Dusty was assigned the task of meticulously maintaining the inventory of the ship’s rum and food stores. Today, Jack Dusty is a symbol of camaraderie and community; festively gathering together to enjoy a good meal and drink.

Hubby and I were able to get to Sarasota in about 50 minutes and it was totally worth it! We entered the Ritz Carlton, with lovely valet service, and walked into a Yelp mirage! Check-in was seamless!

Once we walked into the venue we knew it was going to be a good night! A great DJ pumped fantastic tunes, servers were everywhere with drinks and hor’dersves! We were even given the chance for a scavenger hunt using the Ritz Carlton app and visiting people who worked with the restaurant inside – genius idea! That was my first project, so that I could enjoy the party without homework simultaneously! 😉

We bopped around and ran into a couple of friends we knew and made our way around stalking finding servers with tons of bites and drinks to try!
Venue: Amazing! I loved how the decor was very sailor-esque, while still being modern and sheek. The bar was open and spacious with a person shucking oysters right at the end! The Terrace was my favorite – it had awesome views of the Intercoastal and plenty of places to sit. Stone fire pits adorn the area along with comfy sofas and seats.

Wait. Let me back up a second. I have to remember that I’d entered a Twitter contest during the week tweeting @YelpTampaBay with the hashtag #WhoIsJackDusty to try to win daily prizes! I won on Tuesday which meant we were coming back for a future overnight stay and drinks on the house!
This gem was my lucky entry:
“I’m sure the Starboard Swizzle will lead to the Party Rock Shuffle #justsayin @JackDustySRQ @YelpTampaBay #whoisjackdusty “‘
(The Starboard Swizzle was a drink on their menu!)
So, this trip was also to check out the digs for our upcoming Anniversary trip 😉
(Sidenote: we’d thought about a big anniversary trip, but with oodles of run-cations and trips planned, we decided to keep it semi-local)
Horderves: Yum – City! From what we were able to try (Tuna sashimi, ceviche, calamari, olives, caviar, and mini ice cream sandwiches) we were very impressed! There was definitely seafood on the menu, but even with fried bites it had a clean feel to it – not the usual fish n’ chips-beach-dining exprience.
Drinks: Amazing. I take that back – DEVINE.
UL: Not sure of the name but it was a berry-rum mixture. UR: The Purser’s Bane – My FAVORITE! It’s a mix of coconut, passionfruit juice, grapefruit, Aperol, and fine Cocchi vermouth. I’m not sure what most of that even means, but it tasted lovely! I was super impressed that the bartenders fresh-squeeze juice and hand-carved the ice! Schnazy! LL: their olive variety – delish. LR: Hubs had a Sanguine Shore that was like a rum sour with bitters and maple syrup in it – it even came with a pretty seashell in it!
I was so happy we were able to get out and have such an awesome time in Sarasota! AND that we get to come back!
Go figure that I remembered there was a Trader Joe’s down the street from the Ritz once I bumped into Caroline and she reminded me. Oh snap!
We don’t have a TJs by us 🙁 So, since we were closely we made a pit stop on the way home!
Our haul was ridiculous – I already want to go back! Please bring TJs to Tampa Bay! Where else can you get such reasonably-priced groceries that are mostly organic and all healthy?!
Have you enter been to a Ritz Carlton and seen its splendor?
What’s your favorite cocktail to ‘get loose’ with on off days??
Don’t forget yesterday’s GIVEAWAY!

HI! I'M KAT - I am a pug-mom, wife, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, & Fitness Coach focusing on living the fit life while tackling work, coaching others - doing it all! My blog is to hold me accountable for all the goals I plan on accomplishing and also a way for me to try to inspire others through my own experiences - if I can do it ANYONE can! Fitness is a huge part of my life as well as travel and seeing all that life has to be lived! PAY IT FORWARD!

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  • Reply
    January 24, 2013, 12:53 pm

    Looks like a ton of fun and yes..u n hubby clean up nicely:) drinks look delish and i may have to make the trip to TJ’s ..

  • Reply
    January 24, 2013, 1:08 pm

    Looks like a great time! And awesome TJs haul!

    • Reply
      January 24, 2013, 4:55 pm

      I just wish there was one closer! I’d put a dent in that place!

  • Reply
    January 24, 2013, 1:11 pm

    You guys looked beautiful all glammed up! Trader Joe’s just came to Wilmington, NC and we were thrilled. I hope one comes to Tampa soon too! We love so many of their products..yum!

  • Reply
    January 24, 2013, 2:18 pm

    I’ve driven through Sarasota a few times, and it seems like such a nice city–and it looks like you had a great night! Love that you guys stopped at TJ’s after; I totally would’ve done the same. 🙂

    • Reply
      January 24, 2013, 4:56 pm

      Yes Sarasota is so pretty, especially by the beaches!

  • Reply
    January 24, 2013, 2:20 pm

    A protein shake? lol

    You look fabulous!

  • Reply
    January 24, 2013, 2:23 pm

    This looks like such a fun event! Congrats on winning the overnight stay! That’s fantastic. You’ll definitely enjoy yourself. I can’t wait to think of what we’re doing for our one year anniversary.

    • Reply
      January 24, 2013, 3:25 pm

      We were going t do a cruise but planned all of our other trips instead 😉

  • Reply
    January 24, 2013, 2:38 pm

    I havent been to a Ritz yet! I think we should definitely do a Sunday trip to TJ’s! Let’s go!

  • Reply
    January 24, 2013, 5:22 pm

    I’ve only been to one Ritz (in Beaver Creek, CO)! Holy shit they are so gorgeous. It was ski on, ski off. Howeverrrrrr, I am going to the Ritz in Kapalua Bay in MAUI in June for 10 days! I will get back to you then to let you know how it is 🙂

    My favorite cocktail is a margarita. ALWAYS.

    • Reply
      January 24, 2013, 5:36 pm

      Jealous! Have an AWESOME vacation! I can’t wait till we stay there in May! – Downtown Disney had THEE best margaritas – yum

  • Reply
    January 24, 2013, 5:38 pm

    You are both so gorgeous!! OMG! I have never been to a RC but I sure want to now!! I very rarely drink but when I was in Belize I ejoyed quite a few dirty bananas!!!

  • Reply
    January 24, 2013, 5:41 pm

    Oh it looks like a wonderful time!! You look so beautiful all dolled up! You make that dress to die for! I’d love to try out a place like that! What a cool experience!

  • Reply
    January 24, 2013, 5:56 pm

    It looks like you had so much fun. Congrats on winning the twitter contest too! I am not sure where the closet Ritz to me is at…Seattle?

    I am obsessed with TJ’s. I go at least once a week. Thankfully it is exactly 2 miles from my house. My favorite TJ’s item is the spicy hummus. It is to die for!

    My favorite letting loose drink would have to be a gin martini with a lime twist. Normally I just drink wine (I am such a wino!), but if I am out on the town it is gin maratinis all the way!

    • Reply
      January 24, 2013, 6:51 pm

      Thanks! There might be one in Seattle! I wish there was a TJs closer to us, but I will definitely try the spicy hummus on my next visit!

  • Reply
    January 24, 2013, 6:12 pm

    This looks like so much fun! I’m super jeals I’m not an elite yet. I’m close! We got engaged at the Ritz in Naples. The Ritz will always have a special place in my heart 🙂

  • Reply
    January 24, 2013, 7:04 pm

    Looks like y’all had a great time! Those drinks look yummy.

  • Reply
    January 24, 2013, 7:40 pm

    Wow! It looked such a glamorous event. Very nice. You will have to teach me how you get invited to all this cool stuff. I actually stayed at the Ritz Carlton during Hurricane Charlie. Remind me to tell you that funny story sometime.

  • Reply
    January 24, 2013, 9:42 pm

    Oh those cocktails look so good, was that coconut on the one!? I thing I need a cocktail right about now!

    • Reply
      January 24, 2013, 9:47 pm

      I can’t WAIT to go back…I need another one of those!

  • Reply
    January 24, 2013, 9:48 pm

    Looks like so much fun!!!!

  • Reply
    January 24, 2013, 11:14 pm

    Your Yelp events are so crazy fun. They always look amazing. I’m jealous, that is all.

  • Reply
    January 25, 2013, 1:22 am

    Wow, this looks amazing!! And that drink with the coconut and grapefruit juice sounds divine! I’d worry it would turn me into an alchy…

  • Reply
    January 25, 2013, 2:19 pm

    Wow, how fun!! And I’m jealous of the TJ… I heard there is one coming in near us, so my fingers are crossed. 🙂

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