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Apr 12, 2012 03:31 PM


Had lunch today at this new place in downtown SRQ. We shared really good buttermilk onion rings, house jarred tuna made into a tuna salad served open face on house made English Muffin bread, Their own cured Corned Beef, w/house made sauerkraut, again, on their own bread. The dinner menu looks really good too. Very fair prices for food of this quality!

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  1. I just read the menu. Omg that menu looks amazing. What kind of atmosphere is it there? I want to give them a try.

    2 Replies
    1. re: suzigirl

      The place has a very relaxed feeling, nice bar, and one gets the feeling that the staff, from the chef/owner to the wait people are very passionate about what they are doing. That is evidenced in the way they talk about their menu, wine list and sourcing. overall "State Street" is an easy place to like!!

      1. re: ospreycove

        That is exactly the kind of place I like. Your passion comes out in your food. It can taste of 'love'. I was eyeballing the lobster truffle Mac n cheese. The house made bread is that as amazing as it sounds?

    2. My question is off-subject but, having just moved here, would you please explain the " SRQ" meaning? I can not figured out what each letter stands for (other than the S, of course)
      Thank you!!!

      1 Reply
      1. re: vitaminD

        SRQ is the abbreviation/call letters for the Sarasota airport.

      2. Last night, against our better judgment, we dined at State Street Eating House. I say this because we have a policy of never frequenting restaurants that don’t take reservations. Still, there was a pull in that a number of friends recommended it and also because their publicity indicated that their bar was something special. I love authentic Manhattan cocktails – ones that are made with 100% rye – and they’re hard to get. In Sarasota, I’ve found rye only at Pattigeorge’s, The Table and Salute. I figured I’d get it at State Street too.

        So, at 6:45 PM we phoned ahead to get on their call-ahead list for 7:30 PM and headed out from Longboat. We arrived a few minutes early, checked in with a friendly hostess and waited till about 7:45 to get seated. We met friends who had just finished and whispered on their way out not to order the steak but that the pot roast was good. Well, OK.

        We were pleased to note a couple of things as we reviewed the materials on the table. First, they had about seven featured drinks and two contained rye – Manhattans and whiskey sours. Further, the Manhattan recipe was listed and it was perfect. Second, the menu was very nicely priced, as was the wine by the glass. Appetizers average about $8, main courses about $18 and wines about $8. Bring it on.

        We ordered a chardonnay for the wife and a Manhattan for me. The drinks were slow in coming as the bar was overwhelmed and clearly not properly staffed for the volume they were seeing. After a while the Chard arrived – it was a label I wasn’t familiar with but decent enough. I was advised, though, that they were out of rye. I was stunned – this was a big-league bar? After I recovered, I ordered a Plymouth gin martini, in and out with the vermouth.

        And then we broke another cardinal dining rule: never order food until the drinks arrive. But I figured, what the heck, the wife already had her wine and how long could my drink take? Well, it took until we were finished with our appetizers. We both had arugula salad with a light vinaigrette dressing that was quite good. Still without our drinks, we signaled our waitress that we didn’t want to see our main courses until we had our drinks and she understood.
        My martini finally arrived and I felt, after lifting the two large olives out of the glass, it was a pretty chintzy pour. I might add the chardonnay was a pretty chintzy pour too, and we had to order a double to follow the first as it was gone after a couple of sips. $8 wine by the glass isn’t priced so attractively if it’s a small glass.

        About 10 seconds after the drinks arrived so did our main course. We both ordered the same thing (we’ve been married a long time): the beef short rib pot roast – that our friends had recommended. The portions that arrived were small plate sized. Again, $18 for a main course is a good price but not such a good price for a small plate. That said, the meat was excellent. It had a small portion of vegetables that also came with it: excellent carrots, good potatoes and some sort of long, stringy green vegetable that we both sort of quasi-choked on as it didn’t really want to go down our throats. The waitress – who was excellent, by the way – had pointed out that the vegetable portions were small and perhaps we wanted some side dishes but we had declined.

        Having consumed our main course, we couldn’t wait to get out of the restaurant and went for dessert and after dinner drinks elsewhere. From the time we sat down to the time we left was just 45 minutes. Know that this is a loud, uncomfortable (to us), turnover place where you won’t be dining leisurely, enjoying your food and drink. While this may change out of season or on weeknights, the restaurant has a lot of kinks still to work out. As we left, the wife commented that in many ways in our six years in Sarasota this was our least enjoyable dining experience. As always, your mileage may vary.

        21 Replies
        1. re: Longboat

          Good review LBK. I guess they need some work on bar stock levels, since they are apparently swamped with biz. From what Longboat said in his review and what I observed at lunch; this place seems to be about quality of ingredients, prepared well, but not about quantity, which for me is fine. Remember the old restaurant saying, "We just want to feed"em not fatten "em", that definitely applies here. I noticed at lunch, which also was a capacity crowd at 12:45, is the make up of the clientele, mainly younger professionals, I feel this demographic is their target. As seen by their "Snack Blackboard" served from 2:30 to 5:30, end of lunch service to beginning of dinner; they are expecting an active after work bar biz. Overall I see State Street developing into a fast moving bar serving good food. We will see.......

          1. Since my daughter just moved from SRQ to Texas and I live on the east coast, I really don't have a dog in this hunt, but that has never stopped me before.

            I have found a review pointing out faults as well as praise to be far more illuminating then a OMG, TDF, the best in my 22 year life!!!!!. Different generations seek out different qualities, sometimes at the same venue. I have been severely disappointed by rave reviews from opening month, and when using Yelp, spend far more time reading the one or two star reviews.

            At least Sarasota has a Chowhound scene. The only other consistent town on this site is Orlando. And the rest of the state outside Miami/Dade is basically forgettable with the random gem. So be greatful for what you have, and keep up the truthful reviews, please.

            1. I like the idea of State Street, which is mostly what I think they are selling, but I don't think the food is where it should be yet. My wife and I had one lunch meal there a couple of weeks ago. I had the corned beef sandwich which was a soggy mess. I could forgive that if the corned beef was good but it wasn't. The thing that it reminded me of the most was Steak-um. My wife had a veggie burger that was really under-seasoned/under-sauced, just bland. Oddly, the "Hand Cut Fries with Pink Sea Salt" were also under-seasoned. We also had the braised kale and the sweet potato and neither side was in anyway remarkable. I like what State Street is trying to do but they are going to have to step up the food. Hopefully, these things will get ironed out as they get their footing.

              1. re: Longboat

                My husband and I went for dinner saturday night and had a great time UNTIL we were asked to leave. No, we weren't misbehaving. We went with intentions of sitting at the bar but the bar was full and half the tables were empty so they seated us at a two top. Ordered drinks off the cocktail menu, and when they finally came we're delish-especially the French 75. Agree with other posts, slow drinks and confused wait staff. We seemed to have one for drinks and one for food but then sometimes could only find waiter #1 so just started asking whoever walked by . Anyways, ended up ordering a bunch of starters because we were seeing a movie after and were planning on popcorn. And yes, I get it, waiters want a big check. But we both had 3 drinks so we ran up a $115 check for 2 people which is more than we would have spent on an entree and a glass of wine. They must have asked us if we needed anything else 10 times while we were talking and enjoying our cocktails. Then finally with still a third of our drinks left and having only been at the table for an hour and ten minutes, Waiter #1 came over and said if you guys don't need anything else we have a lot Of people waiting for tables, so...
                So, yes, we got kicked out of a restaurant. It's a shame because the food was great, the atmosphere was great, but the waitstaff needs to get organized and get some tact. I understand where they were coming from. I've waited tables before. They could have kindly asked us to move our drinks to the bar. So my summary is- if you're going out with friends to catch up and dine, chat over dinner, don't go here- you only get about 45 minutes before the dirty looks start. But if you're looking for a quick bite and drink its great

                1. re: Karry

                  I find that totally unacceptable; epsecially in a bar area. Even though my previous post was s fasvorable one, I will now put State Street Eating House at the bottom of my list! Contrast that with some other places in SRQ where the house assumes you have the table for the night!

                    1. re: Longboat

                      LBK, We were there soon after they opened, lunch was very good. Bottom line is it looks like they "Can't handle the success of the biz". Too bad..........

                      1. re: ospreycove

                        Not being able to handle the volume is one issue – that’s a kitchen and a wait/bar staff problem that can potentially be solved (if the kitchen is physically adequate). The second, and broader problem, is that, whether they say it or not, they self-define as a turnover place. We were out in 45 minutes because it just wasn’t nice to be there and we scooted, going elsewhere for dessert. Karry was essentially thrown out in 45 minutes. Either way, they want you in and out with dispatch. The dining equivalent to “slam, bam, thank you m’am.” If you really want to dine there – and I don’t anymore -- lunch is the way to go.

                        1. re: Longboat

                          You know....I hate to say it but we went to, "Shore Diner", the new Carugulio place on St Armand's, last Friday evening; the bar was packed, restaurant full., table service was very friendly but a bit inept, and as soon as we said no to desserts with a half bottle of wine still on the table it was "Wham bam, cleared the table (4 top), check, thank you and come back soon" .

                          LBK, this may not be your cup of tea; reservations ONLY for groups of TEN or more!!!!!

                          1. re: ospreycove

                            You have to admire the Caragiulos: they started with a mediocre (at best) red sauce Iti on Palm Avenue that no one patronizes (except at lunch on nice days when you can sit outside; I know, I’ve done it). And building from this, they’ve had a big hit with a greasy fried fish place, Owen’s Fish Court, that takes no reservations and is basically heartburn central. Crappy wines, fried fish, ketchup and tartar sauce in plastic individual portions, good beer. People line up for it. Go figure. Then they moved on to backing Nancy’s, and since I virtually never eat BBQ, I have no idea how it is but the initial postings I read suggested something was lost between the legendary moveable truck that she became famous for and the actual restaurant. What do I know? Now they’ve got this St. Armand’s diner that is jammed and less than gracious (as per Ospreycove’s posting). I hate to say this, but in all sincerity: the Caragiulo’s will never get my patronage but as a business person my hat’s off to them. ;-)

                            1. re: Longboat

                              LBK....As a notable person once said, "No one ever went out of business underestimating the taste of the American consumer"...........

                    2. re: Karry

                      They do have a web site. If you hit guest book you could comment on your experience. Just copy and paste your post and see what kind of response you receive from them. After reading a few of these posts I have no desire to spend my money there. Wonder who owns it???

                      1. re: Mother of four

                        Wow, after reading these reviews/experiences I don't think I have any desire to eat at either State Street OR Shore Diner, and they were both on my list of places to try! We absolutely love living here in Sarasota, we live between Sarasota and Bradenton and have many lovely places we love to eat for which we are grateful. One of my pet peeves is being rushed during dinner, and then out of a place. We had that experience at Libby's, too. Never again.

                        One of my favorite places to eat with GREAT food and no rush is Pier 22 on the river in Bradenton. Great eclectic menu with local ingredients, small plates to full dinners or sandwiches, eat on the patio, the bar or the dining room. And they ALWAYS tell us to "take our time, no rush."

                        1. re: gypsyrose

                          In contrast to the "Let's see how many times we can turn the tables", places; my favorite restaurant assumes that it is your table for the evening, whether you arrive at 6:30 pm or 9:00 pm one is never rushed. Just some of the cultural differences between USA maximize everything, turnover included and Italian, (Emeiia Romagna) sensibilities and respect for food and those who enjoy it. Oh, Bologna Cafe is the restaurant to which I am refering.

                          1. re: ospreycove

                            We had a wonderful meal at Bologna before we came back north for the summer. It's so close to us which is another plus. Have been back to the Table twice since our visit and not in a rush to return. Too much emphasis seems to be on presentation and not enough of the preparation of the food. I was really disappointed as when we were there,aside from the closeness and noise factor the food was quite another restaurant that's close to us! Oh well, on to to new and better,or old and better!

                            1. re: Mother of four

                              You wrote: >Too much emphasis seems to be on presentation and not enough of the preparation of the food. I was really disappointed as when we were there, aside from the closeness and noise factor the food was quite good.<

                              Not sure I understand how the food is quite good but at the same time without adequate preparation…? Not being confrontational, just curious.

                              1. re: Longboat

                                We were there with Ospreycove and wife along with other Chowhounds when lit first opened. The post was to him.

                          2. re: gypsyrose

                            That surprises me about Libby's, as we have been there many times and have never had that experience. The one that is known for it is Bonefish,their food is good but no way am I interested in having food practically thrown at me.

                            1. re: Mother of four

                              Went back to "Shore Diner" last night w/another couple. Noise level was much better as there was not an "event" in the back area, the innovative disappearing roof was retracted in the back area, thus creating a gentle breeze throughout the dining rooms. I split Oyster sliders as a starter, a nice tasting variation on a much overused idea, rolls were warmed and the oysters freshly fried, also split the Feta salad, a Greek style salad but with cubes of seedless watermelon. For second courses the table had Sauteed Yellowtail Snapper served on tiny Black Lentils, The house special Fried Chicken, and 2X Braised Pork Belly served on Cheddar Grits and Arugula with a Sunny side up Egg on top.( Double your dose of Lipitor for this one!). Not a scrap left on any of the plates, good sign. Overall the experience was pleasant, and the service was not "Get 'em in get 'em out"; this time it was a leisurely evening.

                              1. re: ospreycove

                                Amazing how a dining experience can change so much from one time to another in such a short time!

                                1. re: Mother of four

                                  M'04......Especially in the new places. Hope you are enjoying your summer, see you in the fall.