Siesta Key Restaurant reccos
My husband is an ex-chef so we have high expectations when dining out. We'll be in Siesta Key next month and I'm looking for ideas on where to go for dinner.
Well, with high expectations you are setting yourself up for disappointment - Sarasota is much better than it used to be, but it's still a town with more money and transient residents than a solid local culture and the restaurants reflect that.
The best meal I've had recently in Sarasota is at Derek's Culinary Casual near downtown - it's a bit of a drive but may deliver the quality an ex-chef is seeking. Another option might be Lan's downtown as well
If I were you I'd focus on finding good food with a really relaxed vibe like in Siesta Village and not on transcendant food. We love the Old Salty Dog (both locations - but since your on Siesta visit that one) for its interesting take on a deep fried hot dog with your choice of toppings. I get it with bacon, chili and cheddar. Basically, sit outside after a day at the beach, get a cold beer and anything fried using their specialty batter. For lunch takeout, also try Anna's sandwiches - not too fancy but for some reason they're great on the beach with their special sauce (depending where you are staying Anna's I or II should work for you). They've been around forever. Another place we like for atmosphere is kinda divey but a good option for fresh stone crabs (in season) is Captain Curt's (tolerate the cheesy website below - doesn't really match the vibe)
I really think you need to set your expectations right and you can have some nice meals, but if you are looking for big city quality you will probably just being wasting your time and money.
Thanks for the tips Yosemite. I've grown up visiting the area and for the most part -- know what is available (so my expectations are set). Haven't been in two years now so was curious to know what may be new or "hot".
Can't wait to try a fried hot dog... and I think Captain Curts has the best chowder on the key and will have to try if it is in season!