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Mar 29, 2013 09:33 AM

best sarasota restaurants

What are the best sarasota restaurants

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  1. We're not local, but we vacation there for a week or so each year, and we always go to Derek's in downtown Sarasota (Central Ave), and Bologna Cafe on South Tamiami. I'd highly recommend them both, although the experiences are totally different. Derek's is contemporary American, and Bologna Cafe is a strip-mall hole-in-the-wall that makes its own pasta.

    We sometime go to Ophelia's or Euphemia Haye when my parents visit because they like that traditional/stuffy style.

    We always try a new place or two, and this year I have Mozaic and Lavanda on my list. I'm interested on other people's thoughts on those.

    1. As it turns out, Derek’s is moving to Bradenton and Bologna Café is moving to Osprey. Mozaic is excellent – got a NY Times notation in their article on 36 hours in Sarasota; Lavanda is good. Both of them are wine/beer only. There is a lot of info on Sarasota restaurants if you do an historical search. As always, you may not agree with the taste of the posters – I generally don’t -- so taking their opinions is a crapshoot. These boards are best for objective information (e.g., openings, closings) and not for opinions, imho.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Longboat

        Thanks for the heads-up. I'll call to make sure they're not moving until after our next visit in about a month.

        We also have Pomona Bistro and Selva Grill on our "try sometime" list. Any thoughts on those?

        I hear what you're saying about other people's recommendations. They're a good starting point, but the restaurant's website is generally the best source of info for me. You can usually tell from a sample menu what the chef is trying to do, and whether there's real thought and effort being put forth.


        1. re: TThomas

          Pomona is a “hot” restaurant, very popular, excellent, established by two of the four partners who owned the now-defunct Zoria. Reserve well in advance in season. I go there every couple of weeks. Wine and beer, very nice wine list. Selva is also very good, it lost some of its buzz when its founder left – he started up Darwin’s last year and that’s popular now too but I still prefer Selva. Full bar.

          1. re: Longboat

            Sounds like you really know your SRQ restaurants!

            What do you think about Louie's Modern and Roast?


            1. re: dabrah

              Louie's Modern is one of the current "hot" restos, don't hear too many good things about Roast, although the one time we were there it was good not exceptional. Also, "Social on First", is taking the lead for hip decor, excellent small plates and a fabulous outdoor area that includes a huge cocktail table fireplace, (high tech gas), and an outside bar, seating areas with retractible roof, etc.

      2. Try Indigenous for its seasonal food. Its really fresh and delicious.
        Try Vizen if you like sushi.
        Owens Fish Camp is good for seafood, but beware of the wait!! No reservations!!
        Enjoy :)

        2 Replies
        1. re: christinet.

          The first two on your list are my favs as well.

        2. Bologna Cafe is now closed at their old location, opening around mid April at their new location, a very cool new 2 story building, with outside covered dining, a private room for up to 16 guests, and a balcony. The kitchen will be expanded as well as the Fresh Mozzarella "laboratorio", We can't wait for Barbara, Claudio, and Dimitri to reopen!!

          Bologna Cafe
          -Bay Street Village
          3983 Destination Drive #102 (US 41 South across from Calico Corner)
          Osprey, FL 34229
          Phone: (941) 927 9262

          1. Heavenly Ham & Devil Dogs has the best reuben on the planet.
            Vizen for sushi
            Ceviche for Tapas and atmosphere
            Columbia for Cuban and Spanish
            Thai Restaurant for Thai
            Tommy Bahama because it is amazing
            Pontillos in Gulf Gate for pizza
            Salty Dog on Mote for fried and water views
            Walt's for fried seafood.\\
            Micheals on East because it is amazing