Sarasota/Siesta Key - Update Info
I am going to be driving down to Siesta Key/Sarasota area in July. We drive down every other summer to visit my husbands family.
We have our favorite places such as Phillippi's, Carrabba's, and Curt's BUT I need an update on the newest and best places to go while we're there. We'll be there for 7 days.
We always hit Phillippi's twice - once on the first or second night and once on our last night. Somewhere in between we have breakfast at Continental Cafe (love their Bubbles & Squeak and their Bangers and Mash aside from their American breakfast), Village, Broken Egg, and Salty Dog. We'll definitely be at Carrabba's at least once.
My picky son has begun to try new things at restaurants and he now loves Chinese food. He will eat fish now too. He is allergic to shrimp and nuts.
Anyway, any new suggestions would be appreciated. I will get suggestions from our family down there but they always give us their favorites -which are not always wonderful.
Any help would be appreciated.
RisaG, I recommend the following, in no particular ranking:
1. Pho Cali, 1578 Main Street, phone: (941) 955-2683. These people have really good pho, the Vietnamese beef noodle soup. At some Vietnamese places, the broth is rather bland before you add the hot sauce, basil, jalapenos, etc. that are served along with the soup. At Pho Cali, the soup has plenty of beefy flavor before you add the spices.
2. Big Sugar, 1900 Hillview Street (the first street south of Sarasota Memorial Hospital), phone: (941) 388-7679. Besides a great rum bar, this place has really good Floribbean food, seafood, Latin food--anything south of the border and littoral in nature. I like the Cuban sandwich, the (Latin) bouillabaisse, the ceviche served in crunchy cones, and all of the intensely flavored soups. They've changed the menu for the spring and an Australian (Cockney?)-accented waiter, who may be an owner, too, told me that they recently acquired the services of the head chef from The Table, a well-thought of restaurant in Sarasota, which closed due to the recession. The Cuban is one of the best I"ve had. You really should start out with that, if it's still on the menu.
3. Derek's Culinary Casual, 514 Central Avenue (a few blocks north of Fruitville near the downtown area but located in, essentially, a residential area--worth looking for), phone: (941) 366-6565. This is definitely upscale but the prices aren't bad for a place of this quality. Very quiet, reasonably romantic. Try the smoked trout terrine, the roasted duck breast, or the lamb shank. I'd avoid the "Caesaresque salad," which is a deconstructed Caesar salad and a bit so-so. Everything else I've tried here, though, is terrific.
4. Cafe Baci, 4001 S. Tamiami Trail, phone: (941) 921-4848. This is a Northern Italian place, although they serve some southern dishes. Try the Caesar salad here, or the osso buco, as well as all of the baked pasta dishes and desserts.
I hope that this helps.