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Mar 23, 2009 04:56 PM

Sarasota restaurants

Visiting Sarasota next month. Looking for moderate priced restaurants. I prefer local spots, rather than touristy places.

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  1. My Opinion:
    Yoders on Bahia Vista lunch or dinner amish cookin and very good
    DaJaVu for dinner T-S truly excellent
    El Greco on Main St for lunch or dinner
    Simons on 41 So. great--great and even better if you are a vegetarian
    Divino on Main st for Italian-best in town
    Casey Key Fish House on Blackburn Point Road in Osprey---real down to earth
    Star Fish in Cortez---a must if you like fish
    enjoy--have fun--report back---good luck

    9 Replies
    1. re: irwin

      Thanks for the great list. I will definitely report back !

      1. re: irwin

        I love Mother Yoders!! Great food, simple ambiance, HUGE portions. Hubby loves the pies!! Everything is homemade. Service w/smile for little $.
        We'll try Divino's tonight. Can't wait.


        1. re: irwin

          II'm coming down for a few days with my daughter. Someone recommended The Columbia. What do you think? Thanks for your help!

          1. re: terrylab

            Columbia is terrible..........
            The only good item they have is their 1905 salad....
            Next door is Cafe E'urope which is very good, or Crab & Fin across the street, but both are touristy....... Ferrari's on 41 South is also very good, and owned by a mother and son team.

            1. re: irwin

              Columbia's Sangria is also good. ;-)

            2. re: terrylab

              I think Columbia is well as overpriced. Try Main St., which is around the corner. Lots of great restaurants. I highly recommend Divino's Ristorante! I wrote a review here. We were there Sun. night and the service (Janine is great!) and food is fantastic!! Small, non-pretentious and freshly cooked. You'll be happy you went! Buono Appetito!!

            3. re: irwin

              Thanks for the advice! We made it to Yoders and DaJaVu, but kept the list near at hand. We'd have been over-and perhaps under-whelmed without this. Yoders was great fun with a waitress as dear and generous as the pies...DaJaVu was simply excellent. Thank you so very much for adding to a very fun and unexpected trip!

              1. re: terrylab

                Based on this thread, my husband and I went to Deja Vu last night for dinner. It was excellent. Being off season, there were only a couple of tables occupied and it made for a wonderful fun evening. At one point, nearly all tables and the owner were conversing!! The food can be made to order with any ingredients removed/added etc. The freshness came through in every dish. We will be back. Thanks Chowhounds.

                1. re: backfixr

                  Glad that you liked it, as we want to keep the restaurant in business!! Nice people, seat you when you have a reservation, and last but not least very good food!

            4. Try Cafe Baci on 301/41 for Northern Italian. It's a little south of Bee Ridge Road. Try Big Sugar at 1900 Hillview Street, the east-west street just south of Sarasota Memorial Hospital for good Carribean/Floribean/Latin-American food. Cafe Baci has been around for a long time. Big Sugar is relatively new.

              1 Reply
              1. re: gfr1111

                We went to Big Sugar last night, and the food was wonderful. They had a lot of Tabas, which looked fantastic (at least the presentation was gorgeous), but all four of us ordered fish. Mine was the sea bass, Yummmm!!! Pass on the dessert though! We got there at about 7:30 and they had a guy with a great voice singing, but by the time we left, at 9:30, a different group came on and the music was sooo loud that we couldn't wait to leave!!! Check out what groups are playing, and at what time!!

              2. Forgot to mention another good one! The Island Grill on University. It's in the Mall w/Home Depot/Bell's outlet. Don't be fooled, this isn't a Mall restaurant. It's a classy restaurant with delicious food. A beautiful ambiance. I'd noticed a change in the prices, too, LOWER!! Who'd heard of lowering the prices?? The specials are always great, but the regular menu is fantastic! We dine there every time we visit.

                2 Replies
                1. re: contessa1

                  Island Grill is not in the plaza with Home Depot and Beall's (that's on SR-70) It's in the Plaza across the street from Target and next to BJ's, Lee Roy Selmon's and there actually is a Beall's, near there. It is a nice ambience, although I haven't eaten there, and have heard rumors that they are closed.

                  A place I really like is Pegasus for Greek food off Bee Ridge near Tuttle. Really great Chicken Souvlaki. For Mexican we really like Mi Pueblo. Michael's on East is really good for a special occasion, great presentations and great taste.

                  1. re: PamelaForce

                    Island Time has gone out of business