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best sarasota restaurants

ljb701 Mar 29, 2013 09:33 AM

What are the best sarasota restaurants

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  1. t
    TThomas RE: ljb701 Apr 1, 2013 01:18 PM

    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. l
      Longboat RE: ljb701 Apr 1, 2013 04:53 PM

      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
        TThomas RE: Longboat Apr 3, 2013 09:42 AM

        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
          Longboat RE: TThomas Apr 3, 2013 10:34 AM

          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
            dabrah RE: Longboat Apr 20, 2014 09:15 AM

            Sounds like you really know your SRQ restaurants!

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


            1. re: dabrah
              ospreycove RE: dabrah Apr 20, 2014 10:11 AM

              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. c
        christinet. RE: ljb701 Apr 2, 2013 07:22 AM

        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.
          Delucacheesemonger RE: christinet. Jun 18, 2013 08:14 PM

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

          1. re: Delucacheesemonger
            christinet. RE: Delucacheesemonger Jun 19, 2013 01:42 PM

            have you tried Louie's Modern yet?

        2. o
          ospreycove RE: ljb701 Apr 3, 2013 11:11 AM

          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. b
            BlueHerons RE: ljb701 Apr 4, 2013 10:42 AM

            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

            1. s
              Sunfire RE: ljb701 May 12, 2013 05:28 AM

              Check out Mozzarella Fella on Main St. Downtown. They have great sandwiches, daily specials, and awesome fried calamari! And homemade fresh mozzarella! Nice owners too, small family run business. Amazing food!

              1. l
                libstewart RE: ljb701 Jun 19, 2013 02:04 PM

                My husband and I just returned from Sarasota and at his request enjoyed two dinners at Owen's Fish Camp. DH was particularly fond of the Shrimp and Grits and my favorite was the Fried Green Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese and Country Ham Crisps. We tend to be early diners and did not experience a wait.

                1 Reply
                1. re: libstewart
                  ospreycove RE: libstewart Jun 23, 2013 09:44 AM

                  Try the Shrimp and Grits at Blue Rooster........Really very good!!!!

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