Sarasota Magazine dining guide: a select listing of restaurants in Sarasota and manatee counties, arranged by location and compiled by our editors. (For more information, including directions and maps and links to our restaurant reviews, go to sarasotamagazine.com.).SARASOTA COUNTY
Barnacle barnacle, common name of the sedentary crustacean animals constituting the subclass Cirripedia. Barnacles are exclusively marine and are quite unlike any other crustacean because of the permanently attached, or sessile, mode of existence for which they are highly Bill's The fresh seafood at this popular spot will make you feel like you're sitting waterside. Ask for a table outside and enjoy the sights and sounds of downtown. 2526 Main St., Sarasota and other locations, (941) 365-6800; barnaclebillsseafood.com. $$
Bijou Cafe This romantic restaurant enchants with intimate dining rooms and a menu reflecting chef/owner Jean-Pierre Knaggs' French and South African heritage. Signature dishes include blue crab cakes and creamy potato gratin gra·tin
A top crust consisting of browned crumbs and butter, often with grated cheese.
[French, from obsolete grater, to scratch, scrape, from Old French; see grate1.] . 1287 First St., Sarasota, (941) 366-8111; bijoucafe. net. $$$
Brasserie Beige You can't go wrong with mussels and frites, and Brasserie Beige serves up some of the best (complete with mayonnaise for dipping your fries a la the Belgians). If shellfish aren't your thing, other options include salads, fish, chicken and steak dishes, not to mention Belgian chocolate-laden desserts. Full bar, too. 1990 Main St, Sarasota, (941) 706-1944; bras-seriebelge.com. $$-$$$
Cafe Americano Authentic Italian cuisine from breakfast through late night. Brunch on the spin ach and ricotta ri·cot·ta
1. A soft Italian cheese that resembles cottage cheese.
2. A similar soft cheese made in the United States. frittata frit·ta·ta
An open-faced omelet with other ingredients, such as cheese or vegetables, mixed into the eggs rather than used as a filling.
[Italian, from fritto, past participle of , lunch on octopus and feast on fresh sole. More than 400 wine bottles, outdoor seating. 1409 Main St, Sarasota, (941) 365-1026; cafeamericanosrq.com. $$
Cafe Amid This intimate ristorante, nestled into a cozy space on Main Street, offers creative takes on classic, hearty and contemporary Italian fare, including antipasti, soups, salads, pasta dishes and an impressive wine list. 1371 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 951-6896.$$
Cafe Epicure This trattoria trat·to·ri·a
n. pl. trat·to·ri·as or trat·to·ri·e
An informal restaurant or tavern serving simple Italian dishes.
[Italian, from trattore, host, from trattare , bar and gelateria bustles, with crowds spilling out onto the sidewalk. The wood-fired pizzas are great; you can't miss with the past a and meat dishes, either. 1298 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota, (941) 366-5648; cafeepi-curesrq.com. $$
Caragiulo's Homey atmosphere, friendly service and consistently delicious food (think homemade mozzarella and fresh-baked biscotti Biscotti (plural of Italian biscotto, roughly meaning "twice baked") are crisp Italian cookies often containing nuts or flavored with anise. Traditionally, biscotti are made by baking cookie dough in two long slabs, cutting these into slices, and reheating them to dry ). Bring your family for a big dinner or eat in the cozy bar on your way to or from an arts performance. Indoor and outdoor dining. 69 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, (941) 951-0866; caragiulos.com. $$
C'est La Vie C'est La Vie serves up authentic French breakfast and lunch staples (think quiches, crepes and sandwiches on crusty baguettes), plus coffee, tea and a mouthwatering mouth·wa·ter·ing or mouth-wa·ter·ing
Appealing to the sense of taste; appetizing: the mouthwatering aroma of a baking pie. selection of from-scratch breads and pastries. 1553 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 906-9575. $-$$
Ceviche ce·vi·che or se·vi·che
Raw fish marinated in lime or lemon juice with olive oil and spices and served as an appetizer.
[American Spanish, from Spanish cebiche, fish stew, from Tapes Bar and Restaurant Housed in a four-story historic building downtown, Ceviche offers more than 100 Spanish-style tapas dishes to try (you can wash them down with a glass of sangria san·gri·a
A cold drink made of red or white wine mixed with brandy, sugar, fruit juice, and soda water. Also called sangaree.
[Probably from Spanish sangría, ), plus a flamenco room open Fridays and Saturdays and the famous rooftop bar. 1216 First St., Sarasota, (941) 952-1036; ceviche.com. $$
Darwin's on 4th Thanks to the name recognition of its proprietor, chef Darwin Santa Maria, newcomer Darwin's on 4th has already gathered much buzz--and it lives up to the hype with its urban street food fare with a Peruvian twist. 1525 Fourth St., Sarasota, (941) 343-2165, darwinson4th.com. $$-$$$
Derek's Culinary Casual Culinary explorations from chef Derek Barnes include adventures in beef, lamb, duck, chicken, seafood, salads and soups with small and large plate options. The wine list is inspired. 514 Central Ave., Sarasota, (941) 366-6565; dereks-sarasota.com. $$$
Divino A lively downtown restaurant serving authentic Italian classics (Wednesday is osso buco night).. Divino is open for lunch and dinner and features a popular bar and live jazz Wednesday through Sunday. 1766 Main St, Sarasota, (941) 330-9393; divinosarasota.com. $$-$$$
Duval's New World Cafe The authentic shrimp po' boys are a crowd-pleaser, but Duval's cuisine could best be described as "global fusion": The chef's dishes are inspired by countries around the world. Extensive wine and beer selection. 1435 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 312-4001; duvalsnewworldcafe.com. $$
Eat Here The "little sister" of Sean Murphy's Beach Bistro has become a local go-to. Its well-edited and well-priced menu offers variations on comfort-food faves, with Murphy's signature twist and a skillful emphasis on seafood. 1888 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 365-8700; eatheresarasota.com; 5315 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, (941) 778-0411; eathereannamaria.com. $-$$
Ei Greco Opa! This perennial favorite features classic Greek and Mediterranean dishes like moussaka mous·sa·ka
A Greek dish consisting of layers of ground lamb or beef and sliced eggplant topped with a cheese sauce and baked.
[Serbo-Croatian, from Turkish mussakka .. kebabs, avgolemono soup and Greek salad. There are nightly specials, live Greek music the last Thursday of each month and outdoor-seating, too. 1592 Main St, Sarasota, (941) 365-2234; elgrecocafe.com. $-$$
First Watch A long-standing breakfast spot that's a local favorite, First Watch offers a wide array of breakfast fare and lunch items. Open until 2:30 p.m. daily. 1395 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 954-1395; 8383 S. Tamiami Trait, Sarasota (941) 934-6754; firstwatch.com. $
Galileo This intimate downtown restaurant features indoor and outdoor seating and a classic Italian menu built on seasonal ingredients. The cannelloni can·nel·lo·ni
1. Pasta in large-sized tubes.
2. A dish consisting of such tubes stuffed with meat, vegetables, or cheese and baked in a tomato or cream sauce.
[Italian, pl. ricchezze del mare is a crowd pleaser. 443 Burns Court, Sarasota, (941) 330-2811; eataliana.com. $$-$$$
Half Shell Oyster House Oysters, oysters, oysters! Half Shell Oyster House, whose roots are in Gulfport and Biloxi, Miss., recently opened in the former Zoria space on Main Street and features a seafood-heavy menu with a decidedly Southern twist. 1991 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 952-9400; halfshelloysterhouse.com. $$-$$$
Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse This downtown hotspot is a refreshed version of the classic American steakhouse offering steaks, chops, seafood and fish. The wine list features more than 50 wines by the glass, and the bar offers affordable bar bites and inventive cocktails. 35 S. Lemon Ave., Sarasota, (941) 366-7788: hydeparkrestaurants.com. $$$
Indigenous "Seasonal," "local" and "sustainable" describe this Towles Court restaurant--but we'd add "delicious" as well. Chef Stephen Phelps serves a menu of sophisticated American favor ites that, whenever possible, are sourced from local farms and fisheries. Well-edited wine list. 239 S. Links Ave., Sarasota, (941) 706-4740; indigenoussarasota.com. $$$
Lan The restaurant's three-course prix fixe menu is full of eclectic, exquisitely prepared food, like lamb leg with tangerine tangerine: see orange.
Small, thin-skinned variety of the mandarin orange species (Citrus reticulata deliciosa) of the rue family (citrus family). coulis cou·lis
A thick sauce made of puréed fruit or vegetables: raspberry coulis.
[French, strained liquid, from Old French couleis, from Vulgar Latin or duck confit with hoisin licorice licorice (lĭk`ərĭs, –rĭsh), name for a European plant (Glycyrrhiza glabra) of the family Leguminosae (pulse family) and for the sweet substance obtained from the root. glaze--and the late-night menu (1 a.m. week nights and 3 a.m. weekends) is just as tantalizing tan·ta·lize
tr.v. tan·ta·lized, tan·ta·liz·ing, tan·ta·liz·es
To excite (another) by exposing something desirable while keeping it out of reach. . 1568 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 953-7111; lanrestaurant.com. $$$
Marina Jack Upstairs in Marina Jack's lavish dining room, feast on award-winning blue crab cakes and black grouper while gazing out over Sarasota Bay and downtown Sarasota. Downstairs, the open-air raw bar is perfect for casual fare and cocktails. 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota, (941) 365-4232; marinajacks.com. $$-$$$
Mattison's City Grille Commanding the busiest downtown Sarasota corner, Mattison's shares some of its tables with the sidewalk. Sip top-shelf wines, down-to-earth beers (cocktails, too) and sup (from sandwiches to rack of lamb Noun 1. rack of lamb - a roast of the rib section of lamb
rack - rib section of a forequarter of veal or pork or especially lamb or mutton
lamb roast, roast lamb - a cut of lamb suitable for roasting ) under the Sarasota sky. Music nightly. 1 N. Lemon Ave., Sarasota, (941) 330-0440; mattisons.com. $$-$$$
MoZaic Zagat-rated MoZaic blends the flavors of France, Morocco and the Mediterranean to create delicious and beautifully presented food. The dinner menu offers creative takes on fish, seafood and meat, and the brunch menu puts new twists on classic favorites. Wine Spectator-award-winning wine list; full bar. 2377 Main St, Sarasota, (941] 951-6272; mozaicsarasota.com. $$$
Nancy's Bar-B-Q Nancy Krohngold produces some of the best 'que in town. You'll find chicken and pork options galore, but there's also a cant-miss chopped salad, mouthwatering sides and housemade desserts. 301 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, (941) 366-2271; nancysbarbq.com. $-$$
O'Leary's Tiki Bar & Grill The vibe is laid-back but the menu is packed: peel-and-eat shrimp, oyster buns, batter-dipped oysters and an ocean of brews and wines. Live music (most nights) creates the perfect soundtrack to the killer view of Sarasota Bay. 5 Bay front Drive, Sarasota, (942J 953-7505; olearystikibar.com. $
Owen's Fish Camp Owen's--located in a historic cottage in Burns Court--offers Southern-style cuisine with an emphasis on seafood (think shrimp and grits and a Low Country boil). A meal here is one you wont soon forget. 516 Bums Lane, Sarasota, (9413 951-6936; owensfishcamp.com. $$-$$$
Patrick's 1481 Patrick's is the real deal. Sports on the tube. Suits sealing deals. Super-sized burgers, sizzling steaks and full bar--it's
the ail-American joint gussied gus·sy
tr.v. gus·sied, gus·sy·ing, gus·sies Slang
To dress or decorate elaborately; adorn or embellish: gussied herself up in sequins and feathers. up with some downtown swank. 1481 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 952-1170; patricksofsarasota.com. $$
Pho Cali This authentic Vietnamese restaurant offers a wide variety of pho, noodle soups and other Vietnamese specialties. There's also pan-fried white fish, lemongrass lemongrass,
n Latin name:
Cymbopogon citratus; part used: leaves; uses: antitussive, antirheumatic, antiseptic, anxiolytic, antibacterial, antifungal, insomnia, vomiting, high blood pressure, fever; precautions: none known. chicken, crispy tofu tofu
Soft, bland, custardlike food product made from soybeans. Believed to date from China's Han dynasty (206 BC–AD 220), tofu is today an important source of protein in the cuisines of East and Southeast Asia. , roast duck and bubble tea (made with tapioca pearls). 1578 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 955-2683; phocali-sarasota.com. $-$$
Pomona Bistro & Wine Bar Pomona specializes in French and Italian fusion cuisine, with standouts including rosemary-and-lemon roasted chicken and chocolate souffles. 481 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota, (941) 706-1677; pomonabistro-andwine.com. $$-$$$
Retropotitan Nestled in a quaint 1920s Spanish Mission-style bungalow, "The Retro" offers from-scratch cooking, including a Guinness-and-goat-cheese burger, grilled meatloaf, broiled broil 1
v. broiled, broil·ing, broils
1. To cook by direct radiant heat, as over a grill or under an electric element.
2. To expose to great heat.
v. cod and steak frites. 437 Burns Court, Sarasota; retropolitangrilicom. $-$$
Salute! Downtown's Salute! features an extensive, heavily Italian menu, including a beautiful pasta list and a wine list starring bottles from the restaurant's own vineyards. Excellent happy hour deals. 23 N. Lemon Ave., Sarasota. (941) 365-1020; salutesarasota.com. $$ $$$
Savory Street Located in downtown's Rosemary District, Savory Street serves up standard breakfast and lunch fare, but. at night offers a unique combination of modernist Latin-American cuisine. Bring a bottle of your favorite wine. 411 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota, (941) 312-4027; thesavorystreet.com $-$$
Tropical Thai A Main Street mainstay, Tropical Thai serves classic Thai dishes but also a selection of macrobiotic items with steamed brown rice for those looking for a slightly healthier alternative. 1420 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 364-5775; tropicalthaiofsarasota.com. $$
Two Senoritas Ole\ Popular downtown eatery Two Senoritas offers diners Mexican and American Southwestern dishes, with hot salsa, creamy guacamole and flour tortillas made from scratch. An ice-cold margarita is a must. 1355 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 366-1618; twosenoritas.com. $$
Vernona at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota
Vernona at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota is just as perfect for a quick business lunch as it is for lingering over a three-course meal. Lunch and dinner offer many classic-yet-gourmet options, and there's always the famous Sunday brunch. 1111 Ritz-Carlton Drive, Sarasota, (941) 309-2008; ritzcarlton.com. $$$
Yume Sushi Sushi and sashimi star at Yume, (including low-carb rolls for those counting calories), but the restaurant also serves other Japanese specialties like bento A data structure used to store embedded documents in an OpenDoc compound document. Bento, which stands for lunch box in Japanese, provides a "container" to hold the data and a format for defining its contents. boxes, grilled fish and teriyaki ter·i·ya·ki
A Japanese dish of grilled or broiled slices of marinated meat or shellfish.
[Japanese : teri, glaze + yaki, to broil.]
Noun 1. . Plus more than 50 different kinds of ore mium sake are available. 1537 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 363-0604. $$
SIESTA SIESTA Cardiology A clinical trial–Snooze-Induced Excitation of Sympathetic Triggered Activity KEY
Bella Rorna Italian food is the star at this local favorite. Bella Roma is situated in the heart of Siesta Key Village. Pizza lovers will be happy to know that the space has been newly expanded to include Flavio's Brick Oven & Bar. 5239 Ocean Blvd., Siesta Key, (941) 349-0995; hellaromaitalianrestaurant.com. $$
Blu Que Island Grill Blu Que Island Grill serves up grilled, smoked meat, poultry and seafood in a prime Siesta Village location. Happy hour begins at noon--that's right, noon--daily, and there's live entertainment every day. 149 Avenida Messina. Siesta Key, (941) 346-0738; blusmokeislandgrill. com. $$
Captain Curt's Crab & Oyster Bar Captain Curt's is an old-tirney seafood joint located just off Siesta Key's Stickney Point. Reasonable prices and a casual atmosphere. 1200 Old Stickney Point Road, Siesta Key, (941) 349-3885: captaincurts.com. $
The Cottage At this Siesta Key eatery, choose plates to share from a menu heavy on seafood and starring heavenly ceviches and sashimi. 153 Avenicia Messina, Siesta Key, (941) 312-9300; cottagesiestakey.com. $$
Daiquiri Deck Daiquiris are part of the draw here, but there's also a raw oyster bar and an extensive selection of sandwiches, burgers, seafood and salads. Locations in walking distance from the beach on both St. Armands and Siesta Key. 520 Ocean Blvd., Siesta Key, (941) 349-8697:325 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, (941) 388-3325; daiquiri-decksiestakey.com. $
Javier's Restaurant and Wine Bar This Siesta Key mainstay serves up Peruvian cuisine. Ceviche is a star, but roast duck with cilantro risotto ri·sot·to
n. pl. ri·sot·tos
A dish of rice cooked in broth, usually with saffron, and served with grated cheese.
[Italian, from riso, rice, from Old Italian; see rice. and chicken stuffed with shrimp, spinach, scallions and feta fet·a
A white semisoft cheese usually made of goat's or ewe's milk and often preserved in brine.
[Modern Greek (turi) pheta, (cheese) slice, from Italian fetta, slice share the spotlight. Veggie options as well. 6621 Midnight Pass Road, Siesta Key (941) 349-1792;javiersrestaurant.com. $$-$$$
Ophelia's on the Bay Enjoy indoor or outdoor dining overiookrng Sarasota Bay. Combining local seafood and fine meats with Florida-grown produce, Ophelia's offers a menu with New World flair. The wine list is one of the region's best. 9205 Midnight Pass Road, Siesta Key, (941) 349-2212; opheliasonthebay.net. $$$
Siesta Key Oyster Bar This Siesta Key mainstay is just as popular with locals as with tourists. Casual with a beachy vibe, SKOB delivers food that's moderately priced and lots of drinks, tropical and otherwise. 5238 Ocean Blvd., Siesta Key, (941) 346-5443; skob.com. $
ST. ARMANDS, LIDO, CITY ISLAND
15 South Ristorante and Straight Up Martini Bar Authentic Italian specialties and wines on St. Armands. The upstairs martini bar features live jazz and Latin music. 15 S. Boulevard of Presidents, St. Armands, (941) 388-1555; ISsouthris torante.com. $$-$$$
Blue Dolphin Cafe Serving breakfast and lunch daily, Blue Dolphin Cafe offers comforting, hearty food. The eggs are locally sourced. 470 John Ringling Blvd., St. Armands, (941) 388-3566; bluedolphincafe.com. $
Cafe L'Europe A Sarasota institution, 34-year old Cafe L'Europe offers multi-continental cuisine, from Asian to classic French. 431 St. Armands Circle, (941) 388-4415; cafeleurope.net. $$$
Cha-Cha Coconuts Dive into island staples like fish tacos, burgers and coconut shrimp as well as a long list of tropical drinks, including Rum Runners and margaritas. There's live music, too. 417 St. Armands Circle, (941) 388-3300; chachacoconuts.com. $$
Columbia Restaurant Famous for its Cuban and Spanish food since the first in the seven-restaurant chain opened in Ybor City in 1905. Order the 1905 salad as an accompaniment to your meal, which could be anything from an authentic pressed Cuban sandwich to arroz con polio to ropa vieja. 411 St. Armands Circle, (941) 388-3987; columbiarestaurant.com/sarasota.asp. $$-$$$
Crab & Fin With its 33-year history and lovely sidewalk tables, it's no wonder Crab & Fin is a Sarasota mainstay. Start with Charley's Chowder chowder, stew of fish or shellfish with potatoes, onions, and pork (usually salt pork), thickened with crumbled hard bread. The name chowder seems to have originated from the French word chaudière , a Mediterranean fish soup, then proceed to coldwater oysters and fresh catches. There's pasta, sandwiches and chicken and steak, too. 420 St. Armands Circle, (941) 388-3964; crabfinrestaurant.com. $$-$$$
Le Colonne Meat dishes here are delightful (try the polio atla Rusticana), as are desserts (hello, tiramisu tir·a·mi·su
A dessert of cake infused with a liquid such as coffee or rum, layered with a rich cheese filling, and topped with grated chocolate. ), but it's the homemade pasta that's the real star. Sidewalk tables, too. 22 S. Boulevard of Presidents, St. Armands, (941) 388-4348; lecolon-nerestaurant.com. $$
Lido Beach Grille The Lido Beach Grille, located on the eighth floor of the Lido Beach Resort and featuring spectacular views, serves up consistently ambitious fare. Try the lump crab martinis and the pan-roasted free range chicken. 700 Ben Franklin Drive, Sarasota, (941) 388-5608; lidobeachresort.com/dining.html. $$-$$$
Lynches Pub & Grub Lynches offers authentic Irish fare, from corned beef and cabbage to Irish stew to cottage pie. Order a pint of Guinness and you'll feel just like you're back in the Old Country. 19-B N. Boulevard of Presidents, St. Armands, (941) 388-5550; lynchespub.com. $
Old Salty Dog This waterfront restaurant offers fresh seafood and burgers, an array of appetizers and one of the best water views in town. 1601 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, (941) 388-4311; 5023 Ocean Blvd., Siesta Key, (941) 349-0158; theoldsaltydog.com. $
Terrace on the Circle Located on a second story, Terrace on the Circle has one of the best views on St. Armands. Open daily for breakfast and lunch, the restaurant features Eastern Mediterranean, American and Italian cuisine. 419-A St. Armands Circle, (941) 388-2222; cafegalante.com. $
Tokyo Steakhouse & Sushi Bar There's a populist vibe at Tokyo, with its hibachi grill tables and performing chefs, but at the upstairs sushi bar masters of the knife turn out the standard sushi repertoire in anything but standard fashion. 29 N. Boulevard of Presidents, St. Armands, (941) 556-9758;$$-$$$
Tommy Bahama Tommy Bahama serves eclectic tropical fare and an extensive menu of cocktails. Start with the ahi poke Napoleon, and save room for the pina colada cake. 300 John Ringling Blvd., St Armands Circle, (941) 388-2888; tommybahama.com. $$-$$$
Chart House With a prime location and dramatic views, the Chart House is a favorite. You'll find fresh seafood, juicy steaks and decadent desserts like hot chocolate lava cake and a nice selection of wines. 201 Gulf of Mexico Drive Gulf of Mexico Drive is the major road that runs north and south on Longboat Key, Florida. It offers views of the Gulf of Mexico to the west and Sarasota Bay to the east. A state-maintained highway, Gulf of Mexico Drive is also known as Florida State Route 789. , Longboat Key, (941) 383-5593; chart-house.com. $$$
Dry Dock Waterfront Grille Dry Dock has indoor and waterfront dining overlooking Sarasota Bay. The grouper grouper, common name for a large carnivorous member of the family Serranidae (sea bass family), abundant in tropical and subtropical seas and highly valued as food fish. sandwich is a cant-miss item here; the homemade lobster bisque bisque 1
a. A rich, creamy soup made from meat, fish, or shellfish.
b. A thick cream soup made of puréed vegetables.
2. Ice cream mixed with crushed macaroons or nuts. is tasty, too. There's also a kids' menu. 412 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, (941) 383-0102; drydock-waterfrontgrill.com. $$
Euphemia Haye Euphemia Haye made news recently when sous-chef Jamie Gregorich was a contestant on Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen, but it's the food that keeps locals and tourists coming back. The "famous" roast duckling is a favorite. 5540 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key (941) | 383-3633; euphemiahaye.com. $$$
Harry's Continental Kitchens A Longboat Key institution since 1978. Harry's serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and features seasonal specials, wine-pairing dinners and a gluten-free menu, too. Harry's Deli & Take-Out has everything from deli sandwiches to "take-and-bake" dinners and wine. 525 Saint Judes Drive, Longboat Key, (941) 383-0777; harryskitchen.com. $$-$$$
The Lazy Lobster Starring lobster (and mussels) in all incarnations, sinfully rich lobster bisque, carnivore carnivore (kär`nəvôr'), term commonly applied to any animal whose diet consists wholly or largely of animal matter. In animal systematics it refers to members of the mammalian order Carnivora (see Chordata). offerings and an extensive wine list. The lemon sole Francaise is also spectacular. 5350 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, (941) 383-0440; chefbobslazylobster.com. $$-$$$
Maison Blanche Maison Blanche serves sophisticated French food in an equally sophisticated Longboat Key space. Adventurous eaters will appreciate the inclusion of sweetbreads on the menu. 2605 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key (941) 383-8088; maisonblancherestaurants.com. $$$
Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant and Pub Serving up first-rate Florida fare, inside and outside, with fantastic views of north Sarasota Bay. Menu highlights include steamer pots. Long Beach Bouillabaisse bouil·la·baisse
1. A highly seasoned stew made of several kinds of fish and shellfish.
2. A combination of various different, often incongruous elements: a bouillabaisse of special interests. , stone and blue crab cakes. 760 Broadway St, Longboat Key, (941) 383-2391; marvista-rest.aurant.com. S-$$
Moore's Stone Crab Restaurant Moore's features fresh stone crab during season, and fresh, local seafood the rest of the year. You can order your stone crabs to take home, too. 800 Broadway St., Longboat Key, (941) 383-1748; mooresstonecrab.com. $-$$
Pattigeorge's Pattigeorge's underwent a major menu makeover a few years ago, giving it a global feel without resorting to the once trendy fusion label. That and its location overlooking Sarasota Bay explain why Tommy Klauber's restaurant is enjoying a renaissance. 4120 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, (941) 383-5111; pattigeorges. com. $$$
Broadway Bar The Broadway Bar - the oldest-bar in Sarasota--has been serving local residents since 1925. Pizza is the focus here, but you'll find other Italian and American comfort-food favorites, like spaghetti and meatballs Noun 1. spaghetti and meatballs - spaghetti with meatballs in a tomato sauce
dish - a particular item of prepared food; "she prepared a special dish for dinner" , stromboli, chicken parm subs and Philly cheesesteaks. 1001 Cocoa-nut Ave., Sarasota, (941) 953-4343; broadway-bar.com. $
Currents Restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota Waterfront views, bright decor and lively bar scene. Signature dishes include roasted fennel fennel, common name for several perennial herbs, genus Foeniculum vulgare of the family Umbelliferae (parsley family), related to dill. The strawlike foliage and the seeds are licorice-scented and are used (especially in Italian cooking) for flavoring. and goat cheese almandine al·man·dine also al·man·dite
A deep violet-red garnet, FeAl2Si3O12, found in metamorphic rocks and used as a gemstone. salad. 2000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota, (941) 953-1234; sarasota.hyatt.com. $$
Da Ru Ma Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar Da Ru Ma has expertly trained Teppan-style chefs preparing Japanese classics at your table, a sushi lounge and a friendly cocktail lounge. 5459 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, (941) 342-6600; darumasarasota.com. $$-$$$
El Pescador The second restaurant by Joe Casadio--of 15 South Ristorante fame--offers up Spanish-and Italian-style Mediterranean fare. Excellent wine selection, plus house-made Italian pastries. 1603 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 312-4711; elpescadorsrq.com. $-$$
Kumo Japanese Steakhouse This award-winning restaurant has earned a reputation for excellent sushi, Teppan-style grilling and a full menu of Japanese classics. 5231 University Parkway, Sarasota, (941) 355-5866; 1740 E. Venice Ave., Venice, (941) 488-5866; kumojapane-sesteakhouse.com. $-$$$
Lee Roy Selmon's This is what you get when you combine a sports bar and Southern comfort food. This eatery features items like Mama Selmon's own meatloaf recipe and sweet-heat fried chicken. 8253 Cooper Creek Blvd., Sarasota, (941) 360-3287; 6510 Cortez Road W., Bradenton, (941) 798-3287; leeroyselmons.com. $-$$
Any of various species of edible mushrooms in the genera Morchella and Verpa. Morels have a convoluted or pitted head, or cap, vary in shape, and occur in diverse habitats. The edible M. Featuring award-winning American/Continental contemporary cuisine, including Atlantic salmon, grilled filet mignon, sea bass and duck breast. The extensive wine list is awe-inspiring. 3809 S. Tuttle Ave., Sarasota, (941) 927-8716; morelrestaurant.com. $$$
Treviso Holding court in the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is the state art museum of Florida, located in Sarasota, Florida. It was established in 1927 as the legacy of Mable and John Ringling for the people of Florida. Florida State University assumed governance of the Museum in 2000. , Treviso serves classic Italian and American cuisine and its modern-minimalist decor. Patio seating boasts a view of the grounds. 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, (941) 360-7390; trevisorestaurant.com. $$$
62 Bistrot Creperie and French Bistrot A bustling bistro serving inventive crepes, salads, sandwiches, cheese plates, delectable desserts and heartier French dishes, including cassoulet cas·sou·let
A casserole of white beans, various meats, vegetables, and herbs, slowly simmered or baked in a slow oven.
[French, stove dish, diminutive of cassolo, earthenware vessel , bouillabaisse and beef Bourguignon. 1962 Hillview St., Sarasota, (941) 954-1011. $$
Andrea's Andrea's serves made-from-scratch pasta and perfectly prepared meats and seafood, all reflecting Chef Andrea Bozzolo's hometown of Piedmont, Italy. 2085 Siesta Drive, Sarasota, (941) 951-9200; andreasristorante.com. $$$
Bangkok This is a haven for all things Thai. (You'll also find Burmese, Chinese, Indonesian, Malaysian and Vietnamese selections.) Vegetarian options too. 4791 Swift Road, Sarasota, (941) 922-0703; bangkoksarasota.com. $-$$
Cafe Baci This longtime local favorite special izes in Tuscan and Roman cuisine, including seafood, homemade pastas and veal. Plus, the expansive wine and spirits menu is inspired. 4001 5. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 921-4848; cafebaci.net. $$$
Chutney's Chutney's offers authentic Indian and Middle Eastern fare, including falafel fa·la·fel or fe·la·fel
1. Ground spiced chickpeas shaped into balls and fried.
2. A sandwich filled with such a mixture. , koo koo (spinach pie) and chicken masala and lamb vindaloo vin·da·loo
n. pl. vin·da·loos
1. A blend of red chilis, tamarind, and other spices, such as ginger, cumin, and mustard seeds.
2. Any of various dishes of southern and central India made with this spice blend. . A signature dish is spicy red beans over-sweet potato mash. 1944 Hitlview St., Sarasota, (941) 954-4444; chutneysetc.com. $$
Cosimo's Brick Oven Popular with both West-field Southgate shoppers and local pizza lovers alike, Cosimo's Brick Oven bakes a great pie-hut. also offers classic Italian fare, American favorites, a full bar and a gluten-free menu. 3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 363-0211; cosimos.net. $-$$
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar You'll find classic steakhouse fare and an excellent wine list, for sure, but Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar also boasts one of the best happy hours in town and innovative small plates. 2001 Siesta Drive, Sarasota, (941) 358-9463; flemingsst.eakhouse.com. $$$
Hiiiview Grill A casual mood and a sophisticated menu. Entrees include seafood, pasta, burgers and sandwiches, and small plates for diet-conscious gastronomes. Full bar. 1920 Hiiiview St., Sarasota, (941) 952-0045; hiUviewgrill.com. $$
J-Pan Serving sushi standards, original rolls and creative fusion dishes, this local favorite is famous for artistic presentations, friendly service and impeccably fresh fish. The lunch bento boxes are spectacular. 3800 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 954-5726;jpanrestaurant.com. $$
Libby's Cafe + Bar This Southside Village standout features modern American cuisine and puts an innovative spin on comfort food. An expansive menu of small and large plates. 1917 Osprey osprey (ŏs`prē), common name for a bird of prey related to the hawk and the New World vulture and found near water in most parts of the world. Ave., Sarasota, (941) 487-7300; iibbyscafebar.com. $$-$$$
Mattison's Forty-One The award-winning menu includes fresh seafood, aged beef, duck, tapas, creative cocktails and first-rate wines and brews. Live music and dancing most nights. 7275 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 921-3400; mattisons.com. $$-$$$
Mi Pueblo El Restaurants Mexicano & Cantina This family-run restaurant offers specialties that reflect the cuisine of Northern Mexico. Also offering a vegan menu. 4436 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota, (941) 359-9303 and other locations. mipueblomexican.com. $-$$
Michael's On East This much-awarded Sarasota institution boasts a plush ambiance am·bi·ance also am·bi·ence
The special atmosphere or mood created by a particular environment: "The noir ambience is dominated by low-key lighting . . . , an American-Continental cuisine menu and an adventurous wine list. It's where cognoscenti co·gno·scen·te
n. pl. co·gno·scen·ti
A person with superior, usually specialized knowledge or highly refined taste; a connoisseur. engage in serious talk over serious food or sip spirits in the piano lounge. 1212 East Ave. S., Sarasota, (941) 366-0007; michaelsoneast.com. $$$
Mrs. Chen's Sarasota has no Chinatown, but thank heaven for Mrs. Chen's. Crowds gather, lining up for the buffet, though some prefer table service. It's relaxed and affordable. 6125 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 924-0039. $
Oriental Buffet Sarasota's biggest buffet boasts more than 200 all-you-can-eat items to choose from. Crab legs offered nightly; kids ages 4 to 9 eat at reduced prices. 4458 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota, (941) 377-6699. $
Pacific Rim Think tempuras, grilled seafood and meats, curries and pad Thai dishes, lemongrass-based soups and an inspired sushi and sashimi selection. 2859 Hillview St., Sarasota, (941) 330-8071;pacificrimsarasota.com. $$
Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar Casual waterfront dining (indoors and out) and fresh seafood, burgers and sandwiches. Delights include the Cajun seafood gumbo and the steamed pots (oysters, clams, mussels). 5353 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 925-4444; creekseafood.com. $$
Piatti Think of Piatti as II Panificio's glamorous older sister--one that serves cocktails in a fun location in Gulf Gate. There's pizza, sure, but there's also a rotating menu of classic Italian favorites. 6630 Gateway Ave., Sarasota, (941) 923-5570; panificiousa.com/piatti/bistro.htmi $-$$
Roy's Start your meal with the famous Hawaiian martini, and then continue on to any of the seafood, hand-cut meat or sushi selections. Boasts an excellent wine list, too. 2001 Siesta Drive, Sarasota, (941) 952-0109; roysrestaurant.com. $$$
Ruth's Chris Steak House Their famous steaks are seared to perfection and sizzling when they hit your table. Dishes celebrating seafood, lamb chops, chicken and seasonal vegetables prove the rest of the food chain is not neglected. 6700 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 924-9442; ruthschris.com. $$$
Sam Snead's The hearty fare at this Southside Village hot spot ranges from flatbreads, soups, and salads to steaks, chops and Reuben sandwiches. All served in a golfer-friendly ambiance filled with memorabilia collected by Sam himself. 1830 S. Osprey Ave., Su/'te 200, Sarasota, (941) 906-7771; samsneadssarasota.com. $$
Siam Orchid This family-owned restaurant offers Thai and Asian fusion dishes, including pastakeemao (a heavenly affair of angel hair noodles stir-fried with sweet basil leaves), duck in many flavors, and an array of Thai curries. 4141 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (942J 923-7447; siamorchidrestaurant.com. $$
Square 1 Burgers & Bar The restaurant offers an impressive list of burgers that includes everything from classic beef and turkey to Kobe, chicken, buffalo and ostrich. 2737S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 870-8111; squarelburgers.com. $
The Table Creekside The Table returns to its culinary roots, this time in a sleek Phillippi Creek location. Guests can sit inside or out; menu options include chicken, steak and seafood. 5365 S. Tamiami Trait, Sarasota, (941) 921-9465; thetablesarasota.com. $$
TooJay's Gourmet Deli Restaurant & Bakery Celebrated for its New York-style delicates sen specialties, comfort foods, heart-healthy choices and delicious desserts. Applauded for its blintzes, potato pancakes, meat, loaf and vegetarian offerings. 3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 362-3692; toojays.com. $-$$
Vizen Japanese Restaurant You'll find some of the best sushi in Sarasota at Vizen, located in busy Gulf Gate. There are sashimi, sushi and tempura options, all prepared in the Edo style. 6559 Gateway Ave., Sarasota, (941) 926-0830; vizen-sarasota.com. $$
Yoder's You may want to loosen your belt at the end of the meal, which will consist of hearty Amish fare like fried chicken, meatloaf, roast turkey and smoked ham. And don't even get us started on the award-winning pies. 3434 Babia Vista St., Sarasota, (941) 955-7771; yodersrestaurant.com. $
Casey Key Fish House This Casey Key landmark offers diners waterfront atmosphere and unpretentious, seafood-centric fare, including bouillabaisse, ahi tuna, swordfish, stone crab, sea bass, wahoo wahoo: see staff tree.
Species (Acanthocybium solanderi) of swift-moving, powerful, predaceous food and game fish found worldwide, especially in the tropics. , monkfish monkfish
Any of 10–12 species (genus Squatina, family Squatinidae) of sharks having a flattened head and body, with winglike pectoral and pelvic fins that make them resemble rays. The tail bears two dorsal fins, and behind each eye is a prominent spiracle. , lobster and grouper. Pius, a famous tiki bar for fun drinks on Florida nights. 802 Blackburn Point Road, Casey Key, (941) 966-1901; caseykeyfishhouse.com. $$
Crow's Nest With fantastic views of the Crow's Nest Marina and Intracoastal Waterway, the Crow's Nest serves fresh Florida seafood, beef and pork. A Wine Spectator award-winning wine list and a lively tavern with raw bar menu. 1.986 Tarpon tarpon (tär`pŏn), common name for members of the family Elopidae, large herringlike game fish of the warm seas of the Western Hemisphere, ranging occasionally from Long Island to Brazil and to the west coast of Africa and entering freshwater Center Drive, Venice, (941) 484-9551; crowsnest-venice.com. $$-$$$
Le Petit Jardin A Venice institution offering classic French fare--think crepes, quiches, rata touille--as well as salads, sandwiches and home made soup, all at reasonable prices. 1500 E. Venice Ave., Venice, (941) 485-4449. $
Saltwater Cafe This Osprey restaurant has a varied menu guaranteed to please any paiate. Pizza is quite good here, as is everything from the burgers to the pan-fried softshell crab to unique pasta offerings. 1071 N. Tamiami Trail, Nokomis, (941) 488-3775; saltwatercafe.com. $$
Sharky's on the Pier Watch the sunset as you sip a tropical frozen drink, or stop in for a grouper sandwich after digging for sharks' teeth. There's live music too. 1600 Harbor Drive S., Venice, (941) 488-1456; sharkysonthepier.com. $-$$
Anna Maria Oyster Bar The oyster selection will wow you here, but the menu also offers succulent seafood selections (including fresh Maine lobster), pasta skillets, inventive salads and even land critters. 6906 14th St. \N., Bradenton, (941) 758-7800; 6696 Cortez Road W., (941) 792-0077, and another location; oysterbar.net. $-$$
The Bearded Clam Located at the Ramada ra·ma·da
n. Southwestern U.S.
a. An open or semienclosed shelter roofed with brush or branches, designed especially to provide shade.
b. An open porch or breezeway.
2. Inn Waterfront, the menu includes 12-oz. ribeye, a 21-piece shrimp trio, hot dogs on grilled New England lobster rolls and fish burritos. 7250 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 355-2600; thebeardedctamsarasota.com. $-$$
Captain Brian's Daily selections of Florida's freshest seafood have earned this favorite a Florida Trend Golden Spoon Award. Highlights include seafood chowder loaded with Gulf shrimp, snow crab and sea scallops. 8421 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 351-4492; captainbrianssea-food.com. $$
Ezra Cafe Chef and owner Donna Easton boasts a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology. Her "kitchen chemistry" includes such favorites as grilled Australian rack of lamb and the Ezra bento box. 5629 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, (941) 792-0990; ezrafinefoods.com. $$-$$$
The Grill at O'Bricks (formerly Mangrove mangrove, large tropical evergreen tree, genus Rhizophora, that grows on muddy tidal flats and along protected ocean shorelines. Mangroves are most abundant in tropical Asia, Africa, and the islands of the SW Pacific. Grill) In downtown Bradenton, the Grill features fresh seafood, perfect cuts of meat and a wide variety of smaller plates and salads for those with a lighter appetite. 425 12th St. W., Bradenton, (941) 896-8860; mangrovegrill.com. $$
Ortygia Chef/owner Gaetano Cannata celebrates his proud Sicilian heritage with rustic ! family recipes. Favorites include the housemade pates, roasted garlic bisque and the torta rustica, a classic ricotta-filled tart. 1418 13th St. W., Bradenton, (941) 741-8646; ortygiarestaurant. com. $$-$$$
Pier 22 Located on the Memorial Pier overlooking Manatee River, this restaurant/ballroom offers indoor and outdoor dining and a friendly outdoor bar with live music, with a menu emphasizing fresh seafood, lamb, duck and beef. 1200 First Ave. \N., Bradenton, (941) 748-8087; pier-22dining.com. $$-$$$
SoMa Diner has a cozy building that belies the creative menu served inside: It's best described as Asian-Southern fusion, with standouts like fried green tomatoes, Florida lobster fried rice and black tiger shrimp served in Thai lettuce wraps. Don't even think about skipping the truffle truffle (trŭf`əl) [Fr.], subterranean edible fungus that forms a mutually beneficial (symbiotic) relationship with the roots of certain trees and plants. The part of the fungus used as food is the ascoma, the fruiting body of the fungus. shoestring fries. 616 10th St. E., Bradenton, (941) 748-0002; soma-diner.com. $$
Star Fish Company Market and Restaurant This picture-postcard setting is ideal for enjoying vintage Florida food--and views. The Star Fish runs a commercial fishing business, so the fish you eat here is flopping fresh. 12306 46th Ave. W., Cortez, (941) 794-1243; starfishcompany.com. $
ANNA MARIA ISLAND
Beach Bistro Renowned for serving up some of the best food in the nation, this intimate, Gulf-front restaurant presents showstoppers like Bistro Bouillabaisse and Death by Foie Gras. Service is accommodating and unobtrusive. 6600 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, (941) 778-6444; beachbistro.com $$$
BeachHouse Restaurant Perfect views of the Gulf of Mexico Noun 1. Gulf of Mexico - an arm of the Atlantic to the south of the United States and to the east of Mexico
Golfo de Mexico
Atlantic, Atlantic Ocean - the 2nd largest ocean; separates North and South America on the west from Europe and Africa on the east , grouper sandwiches, and a bustling bar scene with live music. 200 Gulf Drive, Bradenton Beach, (941) 779-2222; beachhouse. groupersandwich.com. $$
Blue Marlin The seafood here is straight off the commercial docks at Cortez. Fresher fish and shellfish are hard to imagine, but the kitchen needs to know what to do with the catch or fresh is beside the point. Blue Marlin delivers on both counts. 121 Bridge St., Bradenton Beach, (941) 896-9737; hluemarlinami.com. $$
Bridge Street Bistro Enjoy spectacular views of the Gulf of Mexico while dining al fresco on the third floor terrace, at this relaxed yet refined bistro setting. Bridge Street Bistro serves expertly prepared dishes, from fresh seafood to steak to past a. 111 Gulf Drive S.? Bradenton Beach, (941) 782-1122; bridgestreetbistroonline. com. $$
Gulf Drive Cafe & Tiki Tiki
Tick of Dow Jones Industrial Average component issues. To get any closer to the beach, you'd need a snorkel snorkel, tube through which a submarine or diver can draw air while underwater. When in use, the top of the snorkel tube extends above the water surface into the air. . The family-friendly menu includes crepes, pancakes, sandwiches, burgers and fresh seafood dishes. Wine and beer, too. 900 Gulf Drive N. Bradenton Beach, (941) 778-1919;gulfdrivetiki.com. $-$$
MartiniVitie Bar The menu is geared to a little of this and some of that, from pizzas and flatbreads to a variety of small plates and a raw bar list. 5337 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, (941) 779-1000; martinivillefl.com. $-$$
The Sandbar sandbar
or offshore bar
Submerged or partly exposed ridge of sand or coarse sediment that is built by waves offshore from a beach. The swirling turbulence of waves breaking off a beach excavates a trough in the sandy bottom. Flip-flops and bathing suits are welcome on the Gulf-front outdoor deck; the inside dining room offers more formal service. The menu offers unfussy un·fuss·y
1. Not particular about or concerned with details.
2. Not cluttered or complicated, as with extraneous matters or details. Florida fare with an emphasis on fresh seafood. 100 Spring Ave., Anna Maria, (941) 778-0444; sandbar.groupersandwich.com. $$
Sign of the Mermaid This historic, 1920s-era cottage offers a cozy ambiance, a fresh take on Florida-inspired cuisine and an impressive beer and wine selection. Their Gold Coast Key Lime pies win national awards. 9707 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria, (941) 778-9399; signofthemermaidonline. com. $$-$$$
The Waterfront Restaurant Exquisite views of Tampa Bay, inspired wine and beer selection and a menu with emphasis on fresh, natural flavors, featuring local fish, produce and meats. Ill S. Bay Blvd., Anna Maria, (941) 778-1515; thewaterfrontrestaurant.net. $$-$$$
Broken Egg Looking for a big, hearty breakfast? Look no further than the Broken Egg. You'll find all the staples, as well as delicious off-the-beaten path favorites. Lunch menu, too. 6125 Exchange Way, Lakewood Ranch, (941) 388-6898; 140 Avenida Messina, Siesta Key, (941) 346-2750; 4031 Clark Road, Sarasota, (941) 922-2868. thebrokenegg.com. $
Polo Grill and Bar Chef Tommy Klauber provides sophisticated American cuisine with global soul (think tuna tartar wonton tacos and Mediterranean lamb tagine). There's also a hopping lounge area, happy hour and live entertainment. 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch, (941) 782-0899: pologrillandbar.com. $$-$$$
$ = inexpensive
$$ = moderate
$$$ = expensive