The GRAVITAS Dinner Party

Louies Modern_MG_0074
Downtown Sarasota
1289 North Palm Avenue

One of the pure joys in life is sharing a great meal and stimulating conversation with friends, both familiar and new. While our overly-scheduled lives leave little time to entertain and host 
guests, the editors at GRAVITAS wanted to bring back the lost art of the dinner party. An intimate table of eight successful and accomplished women who bring a variety of lif experiences and personal stories to share, meet over an incredible menu of delectable dishes and drinks.

Since it opened along South Palm Avenue in downtown Sarasota, Louies Modern has been the place to see and be seen. The restaurant, owned by the Tableseide Restaurant Group, pays homage to the Seidensticker family, who honors their father, Louie, a self-taught culinary master who had a passion about great food and drink. A view inside the kitchen reveals a wood burning oven and grill and features a menu that flavors dishes with farm-fresh produce, handmade 
pastas and top-quality steaks and seafood. Inside Louies is the boutique special events venue, The Francis, where GRAVITAS hosted its second dinner party.

Recipes for this delicious dinner below.

Many thanks to Ryan Hill and his team at Tableseide for crafting a superb menu to match the splendid setting. Each course was paired with a perfect bouquet of red and white wines, all from women owned-wineries including Premier Cru Les Vaillons – Burgundy, France, Wayfarer by Pahlmeyer – Sonoma, California, Turley Kirschenmann Zinfandel – Lodi, California, Inniskillin “Vidal” Dessert Wine – Niagara, Canada. We’ve included the recipes from the chef on the next page for you to replicated at your next gathering.

_MG_0357In each issue, GRAVITAS will feature a dinner party at a local restaurant attended by some of the area’s most amazing women. We will also share some of our conversations in webisodes online!

If you love to host the perfect dinner party at your home with friends, email us a picture of your gathering to share in the next issue and you’ll be entered in a drawing for a chance to win a seat at our next dinner party event! Email your pictures to


The Guest List

Melanie Denicourt, Owner, Indigo West formerly Coquillage
Jennifer Horvat, Director of Marketing, Michael Suanders & Company
Nancy Marciniak, Denior Wealth Advisor, Merrill Lynch Sarasota
Sandra Rios, Director of Marketing, Longboat Key Club Resort
Anne Weintraub, Attorney
Jackie Zumba, Founder Jackie Z Style Company


Jules Lewis Gibson Gibson, Founder Gravitas
Juliane Beard, Account Manager

Photography David Hart


Gravitas Dinner Party Menu
created by the talented team at Louies Modern




18 oz. center cut wahoo, cut in 4oz. portions

1  tablespoon chili powder

1  tablespoon smoked paprika

½ tablespoon garlic powder

½ tablespoon cumin

½ tablespoon coriander

¼ tablespoon ground mustard

½ teaspoon white pepper

¼ tablespoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon cayenne

½ tablespoon onion powder

Method: blend all spices together and rub onto wahoo portions. In a saute pan briefly sear wahoo on all sides keeping it rare.


2  cups couscous

½ cup white wine

1  oz. olive oil

3  cups chicken stock

½ ea. onion, diced

1  tablespoon garlic, chopped

1  teaspoon saffron threads

Salt and pepper to taste

Method: saute garlic and onion in olive oil, deglaze with white wine. Add couscous and saute for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, saffron, S + P, bring to the simmer, simmer until tender.

Romesco sauce

2  red bell peppers, charred (on grill or gas      burner), peeled

2  roma tomato, charred (on grill or gas burner)

1  clove garlic, charred (on a grill or gas burner)

½ onion, skin off, charred (on a grill or gas burner)

1  oz. sherry vinegar

4  oz. virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Method: place all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy

To plate: Place 2oz. of romesco on each plate. Top with sliced rare wahoo. Spoon 2-3 oz. of couscous over top of wahoo. Garnish with fresh chervil sprigs, caper berries, and roasted eggplant.



1 ½ lbs. pork tenderloin, cut into 4 each 6oz. portions, salt + peppered and grilled to MR-M

Pomegranate sauce

2  cups pomegranate juice

½ cup pomegranate molasses

1  ea. cinnamon stick

1  tablespoon green cardamom, fresh ground

1  ea. bay leaf

½ cup brown sugar

Corn starch/water slurry

Method: place all ingredients in a pot, simmer for 30 minutes, thicken with corn starch slurry.

Walnut golden raisin granola

4  cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1  cup coarsely chopped walnuts

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

½ cup honey

8  tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

½ cup golden raisins

To plate: Cut pork tenderloin into two sections and place on plate. Drizzle pomegranate sauce over top. Garnish
with walnut raisin granola, roasted baby carrots and roasted baby yellow beets. “Dust” plate with fresh ground toasted green cardamom seed.



4  Florida peaches, cut in ½ with pit removed

2  cups water

1  cup white sugar

2  tablespoons fresh ginger, grated

4  tablespoons basil, torn

½ tablespoon lavender

Method: Place all ingredients in a pot (except peaches) and bring to the boil. Let cool. Place peaches in pot and pour above mix over top. (Peaches should be completely covered with syrup mixture.) Bring to simmer until peaches are slightly tender, but do not overcook or peaches will fall apart. Let peaches cool in the poaching liquid.

Ricotta cream

2  cups ricotta cheese

½ cup white sugar

½ vanilla bean, scrape seeds from pod

½ teaspoon almond extract

3  tablespoons fresh basil leaves

Method: Place all ingredients in food processor and blend on medium for 2 minutes or until mixture is smooth
and creamy.

To plate: Spread ½ cup of ricotta cream on plate. Top with poached peaches. Sprinkle with chopped almond biscotti
and drizzle of locally sourced honey.


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