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Sarasota/LBK You catch/we cook

I do it all the time. You need to have the fish cleaned, though, when you bring it. I go out with a captain and he does that.

May 27, 2013
Longboat in Florida

Sarasota/LBK You catch/we cook

Pattigeorge's.

May 25, 2013
Longboat in Florida

best sarasota restaurants

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.

Apr 03, 2013
Longboat in Florida

best sarasota restaurants

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.

Apr 01, 2013
Longboat in Florida

brasserie belge in sarasota - closed!

Oct 01, 2012
Longboat in Florida

SARASOTA "STATE STREET EATING HOUSE"

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.

Jun 15, 2012
Longboat in Florida

SARASOTA "STATE STREET EATING HOUSE"

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. ;-)

Jun 11, 2012
Longboat in Florida

SARASOTA "STATE STREET EATING HOUSE"

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.

Jun 11, 2012
Longboat in Florida

SARASOTA "STATE STREET EATING HOUSE"

I rest my case.

Jun 11, 2012
Longboat in Florida

Sarasota/LBK trip report

Great review. I agree on the steak, btw, I almost never order steak in a “non-steak” restaurant because it is rarely top prime. Somehow, Maison Blanch manages to get it and serves exceptional steak.

May 24, 2012
Longboat in Florida

Bistro at the Concession Bradenton / Sarasota

Wow – great review.

To answer OspreyCove, I still think this is run by Sean Murphy as it has many of the Beach Bistro’s dishes: tomato soup with a sprinkle of Maytag blue cheese and Floribbean Grouper come directly from the BB’s menu. Aside from the service, the distance is a real problem as you virtually need to hire a driver or take a taxi (or have someone hold-back) if you have cocktails or drink a bottle of wine -- or two. (For this reason, I’ve never gone to the Polo Grill at Lakewood Ranch). Murphy used to offer a small “bus” to take groups of 4 or more (I think it was 4) to the Beach Bistro from Lakewood Ranch and other locations. I wonder if he does the same in reverse for the Concession? That would make it interesting.

May 06, 2012
Longboat in Florida

Sarasota/LBK Help!

On sports jackets: no place in Sarasota requires one. I tend to wear a sports jacket to Vernona, which is sort of elegant, but that’s the only place I wear one and it’s sort of just to get into the “feel” of the place. . Summer in Sarasota gets very casual at the restaurants but at Beach Bistro and Maison Blanche you’re still going to want to wear collared shirts. At Patti’s you’ll want a collared shirt but can wear nice shorts with it instead of slacks. I’ve seen shorts at Beach Bistro but I wouldn’t wear shorts there nor would I wear shorts to Maison Blanche. And if you really do like to put on sports jackets, a lot of men will be wearing them at Beach Bistro and some men will be wearing them at Maison Blanche and so go for it.

Like you, I get cold from air conditioning and so I usually bring along a light jacket or sweater that I don’t put on if not needed. Pomona is always chilly but you’re not going there. Pattigeorge’s is not usually cold, nor is Maison Blanche but Beach Bistro sometimes is.

May 02, 2012
Longboat in Florida

Sarasota/LBK Help!

Let us know!

May 02, 2012
Longboat in Florida

Sarasota/LBK Help!

Mother’s Day (and Valentine’s Day) are probably the two worst restaurant days of the year. Virtually all restaurants are jammed, there’s usually a limited menu, the kitchen is stressed – which means the servers are stressed. Reservations are at a premium and you’ll probably end up waiting even with reservations, particularly if they don’t know you. I don’t normally like buffets but the Ritz Carlton (Vernona) often has buffets on holidays and that’s one way to go. Vernona is usually good about tables being ready at the time reserved and because it’s a buffet (or at least I think it may be on Mother’s Day) a lot of the server and kitchen problems disappear. Tommy Bahamas is usually good about reservations too. They can always be counted on to be open for holidays and Sundays when other restaurants are often closed. Wherever you pick, make a reservation right away.

May 02, 2012
Longboat in Florida

Sarasota/LBK Help!

Maison Blanche was a one star Michelin restaurant in Paris (I lived in Paris but didn’t know the restaurant then) – which is a very high rating indeed. People throw around “star” ratings here but Michelin only goes to three stars and any stars at all is huge. The owners (husband chef, wife hostess) moved here and didn’t miss a beat. No booze at Maison Blanche, just wine and beer. No worries about wine by the glass, they have a good ones, both colors, including a very good champagne. You might just stick with that. That’s a serious comment, by the way. Champagne goes with both fish and meat dishes -- and spicy dishes too. Pretty much anything. Oftentimes Champagne is also the relative best buy on a wine list and when it is I just order a bottle and drink it with dinner all the way through.

May 02, 2012
Longboat in Florida

Sarasota/LBK Help!

kengk: Flattered you asked, here’s my list per your category and number of restaurants requested. There are others I would put into the upscale casual list if you asked for more. As always your mileage may vary.

Fine dining:
Maison Blanche (closed for part of July, open most of August)
Beach Bistro
Michael’s or Vernona (depending on the atmosphere you prefer – there’s a huge difference between the two).

Upscale Casual:

Pattigeorge’s
Pomona
The Table or Tommy Bahamas

Fried Seafood Joints

Can’t help here, don’t eat fried beachy-type food. Lazy Lobster is a step up from a fried seafood joint and is as close as I get. ;-)

May 01, 2012
Longboat in Florida

Who has best oyster sandwich in Sarasota/LBK?

Truthfully, not sure anymore since we stopped going too.

Apr 28, 2012
Longboat in Florida

Who has best oyster sandwich in Sarasota/LBK?

..when the fish and seafood isn't sold out....

Apr 26, 2012
Longboat in Florida

Mozaic in Sarasota

Mozaic is excellent. The cuisine is essentially sophisticated Moroccan-French and whenever I go – the last time was about a week ago -- I study the menu online before arriving so that I can look up a few of the Moroccan dishes that I’m not familiar with. No worries if you don’t do that as the servers know the menu intimately. Wine only but has a very good “Wine Spectator” endorsed wine list. As a “cocktail” we ordered a sparkling (Champagne-style) wine from New Mexico that we didn’t know at all and it was surprisingly good. Nice atmosphere, nice welcome, you feel good being there. Be sure to specify that you want a table downstairs as that’s where you want to be. http://www.mozaicsarasota.com/

Apr 24, 2012
Longboat in Florida

SARASOTA "STATE STREET EATING HOUSE"

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.

Apr 14, 2012
Longboat in Florida

More Sarasota restaurants

And they have escargot!

Mar 23, 2012
Longboat in Florida

More Sarasota restaurants

www.bistrotfl.com

Sorry, I meant to include the website.

It's inexpensive, you can see from the menu.

I was there during the week last week and it wasn't full. Probably would be on weekends. The have free parking just west of their entrance in the gap between two buildings.

Mar 23, 2012
Longboat in Florida

More Sarasota restaurants

'62 Bistro on Hillview.

Mar 22, 2012
Longboat in Florida

Herald-Tribune Review of Cafe L'Europe -- Sarasota

Local restaurant reviewers usually over-exaggerate the qualities of area restaurants . Not in the case of this lukewarm review of Café L’Europe, where the Herald-Tribune critic is basically saying that the restaurant has been coasting for years and is, essentially, mediocre and expensive. He’s right. http://www.ticketsarasota.com/2012-02...

Feb 22, 2012
Longboat in Florida

SARASOTA/ BRADENTON 3 day visit.....

Correction: 11 miles long (10.8). http://www.longboatkeychamber.com/com...

Jan 31, 2012
Longboat in Florida

SARASOTA/ BRADENTON 3 day visit.....

Longboat Key is 11 miles long and the speed limit is 45 mph for most of the Key and 35 mph for the rest (a small portion). The speed limits are ruthlessly enforced. Also, there is heavy traffic now in-season. Arithmetic tells you this isn't a 5 - 6 minute drive.

Jan 31, 2012
Longboat in Florida

Indigenous in Sarasota?

As usual, I’m a contrarian on this site. I don’t bother you much anymore with my views and principally read the site simply to find out information about new restaurants. That said, the genuflecting toward Indigenous is a little hard to take, particularly the virtual advertisement from ThreeKitcheneers. I liked Indigenous OK enough when it was the Canvas Café and it’s OK also now, but when someone on the board tries to figure out whether to dine at Indigenous or Michaels based on the quality of food – well, that’s going too far in Indigenous admiration.

We made reservations some months back on a Saturday night and was told that the only inside table available for our group of 5 was in the bar room and I remembered that from the Canvas days and said OK. What we weren’t told was that the bar would be crowded on Saturday night and that people would be falling all over our table and we couldn’t hear conversations. So, with no other table available, we left. We then returned for a two top on a weeknight. We don’t like dining outside, get bit up, and so we again reserved inside. We were in that little room on the right just after you enter the restaurant. It was tight and what others might call cozy, I call cramped. We each ordered appetizers and a main course. One dish was very good and the other three all had an off-taste about them. It wasn’t a question of quality but rather an issue of pairing ingredients that don’t pair well just to be different. You see this a lot in restaurants today as chefs try to be unique. The food network doesn’t help. The only restaurant in town that pulls this off well is Derek’s, which is excellent. Needless to say, we didn’t “spontaneously burst into tears” over Chef Steve’s cuisine. Nor is “elegant” I word I would use to describe the place. And by the way, if a chef has worked all over town – there may be a message there that ain’t necessarily good.

That said, I like Chef Steve and am happy for his current success. Indigenous is good for Sarasota. The place is crowded and if you want to dine outdoors it really is an excellent choice. It's OK to like a restaurant for a lot of reasons (ambiance, outdoor dining -- to name a couple) without putting its food into a category above where it belongs.

Dec 19, 2011
Longboat in Florida

Nancy's Bar-B-Q in Sarasota

I guess I'm not sure how this could be "Fairly priced" if, as you say, the "brisket was inedible," "dry as a bone" and the pulled pork "had little to no wood flavor"? I don't eat BBQ so I have no direct interest here one way or the other, but it seems to me that a meal such as you've described is unfairly priced at any price. Just saying....

Jul 14, 2011
Longboat in Florida

Anniversary dinner in Key West recs

Louie’s Backyard. I agree completely with Zagat’s review:
Food 25 Décor 27 Service 23 Cost $57
“It doesn’t get any better” than “the sea, the sun, the food” at this “classy, romantic” “longtime winner” in Key West, voted Most Popular in the Keys for its “magnificent” ocean view, “superb” Caribbean-American cuisine and “informed” service; dinner can be a “wallet-bust” and a few cite “snooty” treatment, but to its legion of champions there’s just “no other place like it”; P.S. “make reservations well in advance.”

Jul 04, 2011
Longboat in Florida

World's 50 Best Restaurants...

FWIW, San Pellegrino each year publishes a list of what they see as the world's 50 best restaurants.

http://www.theworlds50best.com/awards...

Six of the fifty are in America, the top U.S. one is in Chicago and the rest are NYC.

None are in Florida. ;-)

Jun 24, 2011
Longboat in Food Media & News