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Sumptuous Fall Recipes Told Step-by-Step

Fins at Sharky's, Paradise Grill and Allegro Bistro Chefs and Owners Share Favorite Autumn Dishes

Cider Brined, All-Natural Pork Tenderloin

Time: Overnight

Dish Type: Entrée 

Pork tenderloin

Apple cider brine

Apple juice



Crushed garlic

Olive oil

Butternut squash

Brown butter


Port wine

Pearl onions

Maple syrup

Fins at Sharky’s executive chef, Ismail Oztas, describes his delicious fall dish.

“We brine the pork overnight in cider with a little bit of apple juice. Then we marinate it with rosemary, sage, crushed garlic and olive oil. We grill the pork in our Josper charcoal oven that reaches 1000 degrees to get a perfect char on the pork. The side is a butternut squash puree with fresh brown butter and sage. It creates a beautiful, herby, holiday flavor.”

Chef Ismail came to Fins from Milwaukee, where autumnal flavors were savored.

“We include dark, fresh cherries. I sauté the cherries and deglaze with a port wine for a rich sauce. The dish includes a fresh pearl onion confit and fried sage leaves on the plate. Then I make a maple apple glaze which gives a bit of tart sweetness, using true maple syrup. The dish has amazing flavor.”

1600 Harbor Drive S., Venice | 941.999.3467 |

Butternut Squash Risotto with Gulf Shrimp Sautéed in Bacon

Time: 30 minutes

Dish Type: Entrée

Butternut squash

Gulf shrimp


Chopped hickory-smoked bacon 



Vegetable stock

Mary Beth Hansen, owner of Nokomis’s popular Paradise Grill, brings fall flavors to this signature dish.

“The Gulf shrimp and the bacon are sautéed together so the smoky hickory flavor infuses the shrimp,” she explains. “I love risotto, and butternut squash is one of my favorite fall vegetables. So I’ve put the squash in the risotto. The risotto takes about 30 minutes, stirring constantly. The shrimp takes 3 minutes in a pan.”

Mary Beth sautés chopped onions in butter, then adds the risotto so it soaks the butter up. She adds white wine as well.

“I slowly add the vegetable stock until the risotto becomes creamy. Then I add in the squash. I love the taste and color of the squash because it is the essence of fall. It all goes together and creates a wonderful flavor.” 

1097 N. Tamiami Trail, Nokomis | 941.786.1524 |


Pork Shank in Caper-Marinara Sauce Over Spaghetti

Time: Four hours 

Dish Type: Entrée

Pork shank

Tomato sauce

Red wine



Garlic powder





Salt and pepper



“I boil the pork shank for an hour and a half,” says Allegro Bistro's head chef Frank Rossitto. “Then we roast it with onion, garlic, garlic powder, oregano, capers, red wine, tomato sauce, for about two hours. The meat becomes so tender, it falls right off the bone. You don’t even need a knife to cut it. It’s so tender you can eat it with a spoon. We sell so much of this in the fall because that’s when people really like to eat it since it’s so hearty. People say, ‘Wow!’ when it comes out because it is so colorful and big.”

“Everybody in the restaurant really loves to see this dish come out,” says Nella Valenti, owner of Allegro Bistro and Valenti’s Restaurant. “It looks very beautiful. When we bring it to the table and we pass by, everybody turns to watch because the way we serve it, it is standing up on the plate!”  

1740 E. Venice Ave., Venice | 941.484.1889 |

  • Cider Brined, All-Natural Pork Tenderloin
  • Butternut Squash Risotto with Gulf Shrimp Sautéed in Bacon
  • Pork Shank in Caper-Marinara Sauce Over Spaghetti