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Need a Sarasota Dinner Rec for Tonight...

picklelicious Aug 2, 2011 07:24 AM

A last minute change in plans has me in Sarasota tonight. I'm there on business so, we'll be on an expense account, which means price considerations aren't that big of a deal. It seems like in the past we always end up at Columbia Restaurant, which i generally enjoy, but I'd like to switch it up this time if I can get a good Chowhound recommendation or two. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. s
    snobman Aug 2, 2011 07:42 AM

    Duval's or Cafe Bologna, both on S. Tamiami Trail between Bee Ridge and Stickney Pt. Rd. Duval's has great seafood, something very hard to find in Sarasota, while Cafe Bologna is genuine Italian. You can't go wrong with either one.
    Good Luck

    -----
    Good Luck Cafe
    1910 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605

    5 Replies
    1. re: snobman
      w
      Wallace Aug 2, 2011 08:29 AM

      I am pretty sure Cafe Bologna closes for a month sometime around August or Sept. You may want to call first. Derek's Culinary Casual, downtown, is nice. We had two very nice meals there recently.

      1. re: Wallace
        o
        ospreycove Aug 2, 2011 09:09 AM

        Wallace, you are right, Bologna Cafe closed for vacation, Barbara and Claudio go to their mountain house near Bologna) last Saturday, they will re-open on 23 August. Below is from their site.

        Hi,
        We are closed for vacation from August 1st to August 23rd.
        ( we are going to Italy, Bologna, Modena, Rimini etc....)
        and,
        from August 24th to September 17th
        there will be available a Special Summer Menu,
        Dimitre and Danny will take care of You
        Thank you for being the Best Friends and Customers in...the whole World !!!
        See You Soon
        Ciao
        Barbara & Claudio

        1. re: ospreycove
          LilMsFoodie Aug 2, 2011 11:15 AM

          Hey Osprey, can you tell me if this Barbara and Claudio are the reason Marcella Hazan spends time in Sarasota.

          1. re: LilMsFoodie
            o
            ospreycove Aug 2, 2011 02:17 PM

            LiMsfoodie.......Victor and Marcella Hazan are very good friends with Barbara and Claudio. The Hazans live on longboat Key, close to Sarasota. They often are at Cafe Bologna with their son Guiliano and his wife, for lunch or dinner

        2. re: Wallace
          picklelicious Aug 2, 2011 09:24 AM

          Thanks for recs, we'll look into them.

      2. i
        irwin Aug 2, 2011 12:48 PM

        With expense account and you dine at Columbia????
        What's wrong with Ruth Chris's, Flemings or Cafe E"urope????

        19 Replies
        1. re: irwin
          picklelicious Aug 2, 2011 02:22 PM

          Local rep really enjoys it. I've decided to kick things up a bit. As far as Ruth's and Flemings, been there done it enough that I like to try other things.

          1. re: picklelicious
            sweet_polly Aug 2, 2011 03:05 PM

            I love, love, LOVE Cafe L'Europe on St. Armand's.

            1. re: sweet_polly
              picklelicious Aug 2, 2011 03:09 PM

              Perhaps next time, I've already made reservations at Derek's.

              1. re: picklelicious
                scubadoo97 Aug 2, 2011 03:12 PM

                Derek's is excellent. I highly recommend them.

              2. re: sweet_polly
                picklelicious Aug 2, 2011 03:12 PM

                Just looked at Cafe L'Europe menu...man are they proud of food!!! Is it that good?

                1. re: picklelicious
                  sweet_polly Aug 2, 2011 06:14 PM

                  I think it is, in a classically Continental kinda way that makes everything seem "special". And, hey...you did imply that you wanted to give the old expense account a workout. ;)

                  1. re: picklelicious
                    m
                    Mother of four Aug 4, 2011 08:29 PM

                    Not one of my favorites. Where you are going is far better. Enjoy!

                    1. re: picklelicious
                      i
                      irwin Aug 5, 2011 05:47 AM

                      yes-yes-yes
                      Cafe L'Europe it is.............

                      1. re: irwin
                        m
                        Mother of four Aug 6, 2011 11:35 AM

                        It's funny,we usually agree on restaurants, but this is one we totally disagree on. I have never had a decent meal there, and you have had totally different experiences.

                        1. re: Mother of four
                          i
                          irwin Aug 6, 2011 02:50 PM

                          yes, we love it there......
                          They have a great chef this year.....
                          I am up north for the summer, and hope they keep the chef for next season. People watching is fabulous also...
                          Have a great summer.
                          Irwin

                      2. re: picklelicious
                        i
                        irwin Aug 6, 2011 02:51 PM

                        So Pickle:
                        where did you end up at ?
                        did it meet approval ?
                        Just wondering .....

                        1. re: irwin
                          o
                          ospreycove Aug 7, 2011 05:17 AM

                          Irwin.....Any info on the following report, that Duval's is opening on Main St.?

                          Thanks,

                          Under construction are The Irish Pub on Main occupying the former Stairway to Belgium space, Duval’s World Cafe occupying the former space of the Nook on Main Street, Bistro Figliulo occupying the former Deli Lane space on Siesta Drive, and Indigenous occupying the former space of The Canvas Café

                          -----
                          Deli Lane
                          2157 Siesta Dr, Sarasota, FL 34239

                          1. re: ospreycove
                            i
                            irwin Aug 8, 2011 06:18 AM

                            Ceci DuVal says sometime this summer or fall she is opening a mini version of her restaurant. They will take the best dishes and duplicate them for her very casual restaurant on Main St.
                            It will also offer take-out. I guess it appears to be a lite-version of her other restaurant.

                            1. re: irwin
                              o
                              ospreycove Aug 8, 2011 07:10 AM

                              Thanks for the info.!

                              1. re: irwin
                                m
                                Mother of four Aug 8, 2011 12:13 PM

                                i really hope that they can manage both places. Unless they find a good manager it could be difficult, and that's not saying anything about the chef. I'm sure they have figured it out, or are in the process of.
                                I too am up North for the summer, and always wonder what will still be there when we return. Have a good one!

                                1. re: Mother of four
                                  o
                                  ospreycove Aug 8, 2011 01:51 PM

                                  Mo4 The way restaurants have been opening and closing in SRQ I wouldn't bet the "rent" on any restaurant being there, especially after today's debacle in the stock market!!!!!, We will see who is still standing come October.......

                                  1. re: ospreycove
                                    m
                                    Mother of four Aug 9, 2011 09:08 AM

                                    It's funny, but the one's that are consistent in food and service seem to remain as long as they don't expand to much larger and fancier quarters. Couldn't we all name more then a handful of wonderful restaurants that did just that and are long gone. My most favorite was Fishtails when it was in Gulfgate...no reservations, tiny, had to wait outside....but, wonderful fish and reasonable prices. There was also a small Italian restaurant that was in a strip mall on 41, before Stickney called Gastranomia (I'm sure that's not how it was spelled, but it sounded like that), where, when it first opened you stood outside and drank their tiny cups of free wine while you waited for a table...food was nothing to write home about, but what fun it was...all the new people that you met, inexpensive and decent food. Somehow the one's that came never did take their place! Just reminiscing!!

                                  2. re: Mother of four
                                    i
                                    irwin Aug 9, 2011 05:27 AM

                                    Mo4--you are right...
                                    Management is always a problem.
                                    Hopefully she has it all figured out.
                                    Have a great summer.

                              2. re: irwin
                                picklelicious Sep 4, 2011 06:52 PM

                                I ate at Derek's Culinary Casual. Very interesting menu he offered up. I had a chilled mango and crab soup, and what i didn't see coming was a rather strong cilantro edge to it that at least for me, detracted from an otherwise good offering. Cilantro is just something that I personally struggle with...I wish that wasn't the case. For the main course I had a snapper dish that was one of the better fish entrees I've ever eaten, just magnificant. In the dish there were also some nice sized mussels. that were cooked perfectly, and had some type of flavor fused in (without any sauce), that was quite unique and tasty, I wasn't able to identify what that flavor was, except I liked it very much. The black bean sauce that went with the fish was unlike any other black bean sauce I've ever had, just amazing...I'd give that dish a rare 10.

                                The dessert was what appeared to be a deconstructed carrot cake, which at first I didn't think was that special, but as I kept eating, I seemed to enjoy it more and more.

                                So I give the Derek's Culinary casual 2 thumbs up. Thanks for recs.

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