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Longboat key/Sarasota

vacationing for 10 days on Longboat. Need some can't miss ideas for upscale fun dining.

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  1. http://www.beachhouse-restaurant.com - Absolutely The Beach House! Directly on the Gulf! Food is wonderful. If you have to wait get a drink and stick your toes in the sand $ watch the sunset! Try a Key Lime Martini!!!
    http://www.euphemiahaye.com/ upscale & delis & romantic.
    Check out: http://www.sarasotafl.org/cms/d/keys_... &
    http://www.sarasotafl.org/cms/d/frida...
    Pop's Sunset Grill, 112 Circuit Rd., Nokomis, 941-488-3177. By no means upsacle but wonderful on the water cafe with food that can't be beat!
    Have fun!

    5 Replies
      1. re: jazzlvr51

        Listen to Lovethebluz -- are you kidding? Lovethebluz recommends some downscale place in Nokomis which, per Mapquest, is 43 minutes away! Who, on Longboat, would even dream of driving to Nokomis for a meal? Instead, listen to Nsxtasy who provides links that offer lots of recommendations for Longboat and Sarasota which is what was requested.
        I

        1. re: Longboat

          Nokomis is next to Venice, not Sarasota! There's no need to drive that far! Sheesh.

          Let's talk some geography here, in relation to where the restaurants are.

          Longboat Key is a long island near Sarasota. There are a fair number of restaurants on Longboat itself, many of which emphasize seafood.

          Driving south, depending on where you are on Longboat, and time of day, it will take you anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes just to get to the mainland (near downtown Sarasota). To do so, you will drive through the circle on St. Armand's Key, where there are a bunch of restaurants (including the fun Tommy Bahama's). Once you get to the mainland, you are within a couple of blocks of downtown Sarasota, where there are a bunch more restaurants. A couple miles south of downtown is the hospital, where one of the very best (the Table) is across the street. (There's no need to drive all that way to the mainland, and THEN another 25-30 miles south to Nokomis/Venice!)

          Driving north from Longboat, you cross onto Anna Maria Island, where there are still more restaurants, including some in Holmes Beach at the north end (where another of the best, Beach Bistro, is located).

          Again, there are lots more recommendations in those other topics with links below. You should be able to find suitable places on Longboat and St. Armand's, and in downtown Sarasota.

      2. re: Lovthebluz

        good god, please stay away from the Beach House...Born and raised in Sarasota and for the last 10 years I've been in Bradenton. The Beach House is on the beach, lovely location, but the place is a tourist trap, the food is mediocre at best..a pre-dinner, sunset drink on the porch gulfside is about all I'd do at the Beach House. Irwin's suggestions are spot on....

        1. re: alidrum

          I would include in this observation another restaurant owned by the same mini-chain: MarVista on Longboat. Great bayside location, thoroughly mediocre food. I would speculate that their 3rd restaurant, The Sandbar, on Anna Maria, would be no better.

      3. You can find a huge number of recommendations in Sarasota, including Longboat Key, in these discussions:

        www.chowhound.com/topics/488564
        www.chowhound.com/topics/459360
        www.chowhound.com/topics/492316
        www.chowhound.com/topics/388580

        1. Beach Bistro is the best in the Sarasota area.
          Euphemia Hays has the best duck in the country.
          Downtown is Selva Grill, The Table, Bijou.
          A new restaurant opened on Main St recently called Lan. Its American with Asian flare and fabulous food.
          Enjoy and let us know how you make out.

          7 Replies
          1. re: irwin

            The duck at Euphemia Haye is very good indeed, but best in the country is a bit of an exaggeration. The best duck I've ever had was the "cocoa spiced crusted duck" at Everyday People Cafe in Douglas, Michigan (see www.chowhound.com/topics/413534 ).

            The Table isn't exactly in downtown Sarasota, although it's not far from downtown either. It's on the mainland, right across the street from the hospital, which is on South Trail (what the locals call the stretch of US41, Tamiami Trail, south of downtown Sarasota).

            Lan has a website: www.lanrestaurant.com

            1. re: irwin

              I have used Irwin's recs. numerous times and find he is a great resource for ideas from upscale to picnic table.

                1. re: Rhody

                  I've followed his recommendations too. I often agree with them. Except when he keeps claiming that Derek's is too loud, which I don't agree with. And unless he's had the duck at Everyday People Cafe, he really can't claim that the one at Euphemia is the best in the country. Believe me, it's even better; try it and see for yourself. :)

                  1. re: nsxtasy

                    I never heard of Everyday People Cafe!
                    Where is it?

                2. re: irwin

                  What is the name of the new Tapas restaurant that is in the old times building? A few friends have gone there and I have gotten very good feedback. Since I am back in Michigan for the summer I will have to wait until the fall to try it. Something that starts with a C.

                3. Don't forget Maison Blanche (2605 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, 941-383-8088). Best food on Longboat for sure, easily fights for best in the SRQ area. If you're going to the mainland I'd also add Derek's and Canvas Cafe (both downtown) to the list (although I agree with Selva and The Table as well).

                  Although Euphemia is good, I don't think it's worth the money. I feel that way about most places on Longboat and St. Armand's, although I'd give Pattigeorge's a try, and Cork is damn good on a good night.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Bries

                    I've always been a very big fan of Harrys deli.

                    1. re: gatorwader

                      I dined at Harry's once. I started off with their signature crab cakes and they weren't bad at all. Then I moved on to their fish special and it was awful. I figure if a restaurant can't get a special right it's not a place I'm going to return to....

                      1. re: Longboat

                        I think Harry's sucks !!!!!
                        I have not dined at Maison Blanche but hear its expensive, very good, and vry little portions.
                        IVO's on Siesta Drive is excellent. Was formally on Longboat. Very small restaurant but one of the few places that serves Dover Sole.
                        For the 20th time, Derek's is extremely noisy for a senior. Cork is very good, but so is Dry Dock and far less money, with beautiful views.

                        1. re: irwin

                          I think Harry's sucks !!!!!

                          ME TOO. (MY CAPITALIZATION IS NOT TO SHOUT BUT TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE ORIGINAL POSTING AND MY RESPONSES).

                          I have not dined at Maison Blanche but hear its expensive, very good, and vry little portions.

                          LOL. I USED TO LIVE IN PARIS AND THIS IS A PERFECT DESCRIPTION OF FRENCH FOOD/RESTAURANTS. CLASSICALLY, YOU WOULD HAVE AN APPETIZER, A MAIN COURSE, THEN SALAD, THEN CHEESE, THEN DESSERT, THEN COFFEE -- AND SO SMALL PORTIONS OF EACH STILL MADE A FILLING MEAL. AND OF COURSE WE AMERICANS ARE BY AND LARGE FAT WHILE THE FRENCH ARE BY AND LARGE THIN. SO MAYBE THEY'RE DOING SOMETHING RIGHT. MAISON BLANCHE IS EXCELLENT, I EAT THERE A LOT.

                          IVO's on Siesta Drive is excellent. Was formally on Longboat. Very small restaurant but one of the few places that serves Dover Sole.

                          I DON'T KNOW IVO. CAFE L'EUROPE ALSO SERVES DOVER SOLE.

                          For the 20th time, Derek's is extremely noisy for a senior.

                          DEREK'S WASN'T NOISY WHEN I WAS THERE BUT THEN IT'S OUT OF SEASON AND WASN'T FULL. THEY NOW HAVE FABRICS, ETC., ON THE WALL AND THAT OUGHT TO HELP. I CAN SEE THAT THE ROOM WOULD ECHO WITHOUT THEM.

                          Cork is very good, but so is Dry Dock and far less money, with beautiful views.

                          TWO DIFFERENT RESTAURANTS. CORK (UPSTAIRS) IS UPSCALE WITH A COMPLEX, SOPHISTICATED, MENU. DRY DOCK, WHICH DOESN'T TAKE RESERVATIONS AND WHERE THERE IS A WAIT IN SEASON, IS BASICALLY HAMBURGERS, STEAKS AND SOME UNCOMPLICATED SEAFOOD. I LIKE THEM BOTH BUT THERE IS NO COMPARISON BETWEEN THE TWO ON ANY LEVEL. I CAN'T IMAGINE PICKING BETWEEN ONE OR THE OTHER FOR ANY PARTICULAR MEAL. THEY'RE JUST NOT COMPETITIVE.

                    2. re: Bries

                      I agree regarding Maison Blanche, it's very, very good. I dined at Derek's on Wednesday night and he was certainly on his game. Cork is good on any night as is Euphemia Haye. In season, Euphemia tries to move you up to their loft for dessert to free up your table and I refuse to do that and so can you.