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Here & Now: It's All About the Gimmick

I’m fairly certain that here on the Gulfshore, the terms “shake,” “bump” and “grind” apply more to martinis, speed deterrents and designer coffees than burlesque techniques.

You can uh... You can uh...

You can uh-uh-uh...

That’ll never make you rich.

Me, I uh... and I uh...

And I uh-uh-uh...

But I do it with a switch.

Technically, these words from Stephen Sondheim’s song, “You Gotta Get a Gimmick” in the Broadway musical Gypsy refer to the subtle art of striptease. In one highly instructional scene, stripper No. 1, Electra, advises Gypsy Rose Lee: “If you wanna make it, twinkle while you shake it.” Stripper No. 2, Tessie, instructs, “If you wanna grind it, wait till you’ve refined it.” And their colleague, Mazeppa, demonstrates: “If you wanna stump it, bump it with a trumpet!”

I’m fairly certain that here on the Gulfshore, the terms “shake,” “bump” and “grind” apply more to martinis, speed deterrents and designer coffees than burlesque techniques.

Everyone knows that Gypsy Rose Lee did come up with a gimmick. She turned that elegant white opera glove into the most sensuous dance costume of her era.

Even without the bumps and grinds, Stephen Sondheim definitely had our number.

Case in point, the Agave Southwestern Grill opened last year with the largest tequila and mescal selection ever seen on these shores. As if the restaurant’s combined sensibilities of excellent Spanish, Native American and cowboy cuisine wasn’t enough, Executive Chef Greg Scarlottos got together with “Cowboy” Tom Nall, the founder of Republic Tequila, to create artful four-course tequila pairings. Just to drive your salivary glands insane, look what they served for their test run: diver scallop and spiced yucca tempura with grilled mango-onion salad and black chili aioli, paired with regional blanco tequila; lime and herb yellowtail snapper with crispy plantain hash, roasted tomato crema and avocado butter, paired with regional reposado tequila; and guajillo glazed short rib with root vegetable gratine and cabbage-papaya slaw, paired with regional anejo tequila.

For dessert? Passion fruit curd with a graham cracker crust and a peach lime compote, paired with aged regional extra anejo tequila.

Now, that’s an uh and an uh and an uh-uh-uh if I ever tasted one.

Scarlottos plans to host unique tequila pairings throughout the season. It’s reservation only with scheduled seatings, so don’t wait to reserve your space: (239) 598-3473.

Rockin’ it with Feathers and Jewels

So, what’s our Gulfshore equivalent to Gypsy’s white glove? Last year, Clive Daniel Home wanted to “knock the socks off ” guests at the opening of its spectacular new showroom with invitations featuring— what else?—a pair of thighhigh, faux couture black and white socks. And of course, there are the hats. Bejeweled, feathered, satin and tulle-topped bonnets are always de rigueur for the Naples Botanical Garden’s glam annual Hats in the Garden affair. And last month, under the Garden’s brand new event tent, plenty of glitter, satin and feathers adorned the bodies of Latin samba dancers to raise more than half a million dollars for the Guadalupe Center of Immokalee. The Riostyle Carnival gala, A Taste of Brasil, was the first gala to lively up the Garden’s brand new event tent, and it’s far from the last.

More serious tail-feather action (of the wagging kind) comes to the Garden on March 1, when The Humane Society Naples hosts its $350-per-ticket black-tie gala, the 13th Annual Pet Lover’s Ball. What’s the gimmick? For the first time ever, well-behaved pets are invited to attend. It’s sure to be a fabulous evening, with décor by the Garden District and music by Alan James and his renowned band, Power House. There will be special honors that night for two of our favorite people, Jay and Patty Baker, who are long-time advocates for dogs and pets in our community.

 Doggies are very welcome visitors to the Naples Botanical Garden during designated morning and afternoon Dogs in the Garden hours. Admission is $7.95 per pooch, or free if their humans are members.

Confidential to ladies only: If you adore garden parties with a purpose, gather nine of your best girlfriends and book a table at the Little Black Dress Garden Party to benefit the Naples Community Hospital’s Garden of Hope & Courage. The Feb. 26 event actually begins in the garden with cocktails and a silent auction. Afterward, guests are transported via trolley or limo to dinner at a trendy Naples restaurant chosen by random drawing. Tickets are $300.

Information: (239) 437 6697;gardenofhopeandcourage.com.

Oh yes, here on the Gulfshore, we uh, and we uh, and we uh-uh-uh. But we do it with finesse.

F INESSE ISN’T JUST ABOUT ARTFUL GALAS and clever tequila pairings. It’s about how a savvy fashion diva can pull off a Vogue look with a $25 faux jewel from Ooh La La Jewels du our (900 Neapolitan Way, Naples), or Charming Charlie (Mercato and Coconut Point).

It’s about not doing it the way it’s always been done. Case in point: You know those dreary black hair salon capes that have been around since Delilah cut off Samson’s hair? Well, when partners Franceinne Moros and Carol Ambrosini open their brand new Salon Delphine Spa this month in Naples’ Pavilion Shopping Center, their clientele will be enveloped in capes of teal, purple and electric blue. Hmmm… I wonder if the receptionist will be wearing a single long white glove?


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