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siesta key / sarasota recs

I'll be in the Sarasota area next month for my brother's wedding. I wonder if I can get some feedback on Michael's on East for a small group meal. I'm also looking for casual spots with good oysters. Brunch recs also greatly appreciated. AND good places to stay on the beach that might have decent restaurants. Thanks!

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  1. Phillipi Creek in Sarasota is a casual oyster bar on the river. in the SK village, Siesta Key Oyster Bar (SKOB) and the Daiquri Deck are fun, outdoor places.

    not a brunch spot, but the Broken Egg has great breakfasts in SK.

    the beachfront areas in SK are rental units, you'll need to look to Sarasota/Longboat Key for hotels.

    1. Michaels on East is the top restaurant in Saraosta.
      The Table on Hillview is also excellent.
      Top Shelf is BEACH BISTRO on Anna Marie Island.
      The Broken Egg is also very good on Siesta Key.
      Also Blue Dolphin on St.Armands Circle.
      Lido Beach Resort is on the beach and has a excellent restaurant on the top floor called Christophers. Holiday Inn is across the street on Lido Beach, Hilton is on the beach on Longboat Key, and the Ritz is downtown, but has a shuttle to their beach club on Lido Beach.

      1. Try out the Rustic Grille in Sarasota. Very diverse menu and terrific atmosphere.

        1. I would avoid local raw oysters in Florida these days. Too many problems with pollution and the like.

          If you're looking for a really nice wedding brunch - the Sunday brunch at the Ritz Carlton would work. Food isn't fabulous (no place in that neck of the woods is fabulous) - but it is very good - in a beautiful setting - and an excellent place for a group to sit down for a few hours and enjoy. A table on the outside patio for your group in November would be delightful. Robyn

          1 Reply
          1. re: pvgirl

            I disagree with you about the Ritz Brunch.... Last Sunday I invited 100 people to the Ritz Brunch from all over the U.S. The only comments I got from EVERYONE is that its the best brunch anyone has ever seen. From fresh shrimp, stone crabs, variety of smoked fish, eggs made to your specs, big variety of breads, desserts, soups, plus lots more......
            I have never seen anything so beautiful and fabulous in a brunch so I had to take my party there to enjoy, and I will do it again. My friends from NYC told me it beats anything they have seen.

          2. Fred's has a great brunch. My other rec would be the Colony out on Long Boat Key.

            1. Has anyone tried La Selva, the Peruvian restaurant? I've heard great things, about it, particularly their ceviche.

              1 Reply
              1. re: laurie

                Selva is one of my favorites in Sarasota. Very unique menu offerings. Many different ceviches and you must try their version of a Mojito. Another favorite that I always have to recommend is The French Affair.

              2. I just returned from a week in that area, and had good meals at Mattison's Siesta Key (Old Stickney Point Rd) and Mattison's Steakhouse (Longboat Key behind Publix). Both are expensive but both are very good.

                We were also very pleasantly surprised by Cafe on the Bay, which has just moved to the Centre Shops in the 5000 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive on Longboat Key. And the Dry Dock on LBK never disappoints me.

                1. (4) of us ate at Michaels on East last night, and I was definately not impressed at all. On a Saturday night it was 2/3 full. Bar was empty. My filet was very good, my wife's sea bass had to be returned because of undercooked. It came back satisfactory. I ordered a baked potato with my steak, and it came with mashed potatoes as well as a baked potato. You would think the waiter would of mentioned that it comes with mashed, but do you want me to sub for a baked? It came with both... I was surprised. Service was good. Prices are high, but we knew that going in. All previous meals were excellent, but I will not hurry back.....
                  The other restaurants we really love is as follows:
                  Beach Bistro
                  The Table
                  Have not tried the new Cafe on the Bay.
                  We also love the Dry Dock for fast good food.
                  Mattisons Steakhouse has always been good.