Featured Restaurant

The Granary in Lakewood Ranch

By | August 31, 2015

The Granary

The GranaryAs of today there is a new dining option for breakfast and lunch in Lakewood Ranch. Karen and Malcolm Ronney (former owners of McAllister’s on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch) have opened The Granary in th Ace Hardware/Crowder’s Plaza on Lakewood Ranch Blvd. We had the good fortune to attend their soft opening last week and here’s what we found.

The Granary InteriorThe ambience is rustic and comfortable with exposed brick, soft lantern lighting, rustic wood tables. The menu features traditional favorites with a modern twist. I ordered the “french toast sandwich” which was french toast with apple slices, brie and caramel in the middle. It was really good, the apples were nice and tender as they grill them along with the toast. My husband ordered the “ranch hand omelete” which was stuffed with all the meats (sausage, bacon and ham), diced red pepper, topped with hollandaise sauce, chopped tomatoes and scallions. It was delicious as well. The coffee was good too and they have quite a few hand-crafted selections as well as the set up to get a cup to go if you like.

They have beer, wine and bubbles, desserts and catering available too. They are open 7 days a week: Monday – Friday from 7:30am-3pm; Saturday & Sunday from 8am-3pm.

To check out their menu visit The Granary.

 

 

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Pomona Bistro and Wine Bar

By | July 21, 2015

Pomona Bistro

Pomona BistroRecently we had a neighborhood dinner at Pomona Bistro and Wine Bar. I had not dined there before but had heard it was a great restaurant. We had a group of 30 there on a Wednesday night and they handled us beautifully. One of the two owners (Arthur) was there and couldn’t have been more attentive.

The menu is varied and changes seasonally. It features locally sourced meats, seafood and produce. They have a great selection of small plates as well as full dinners and desserts. I had the bistro salad with dijon mustard vinaigrette followed by a roasted halibut. Both were delicious and plentiful…sadly no room for dessert.

Like the dinner menu, the wine list evolves throughout the seasons with heavier reds in the winter and lighter whites and rosés in the spring and summer. The list features wines from California, Oregon, France, Italy and Spain. To bring out the best flavors, the wines are decanted and served by the quartino (approximately 1-1/2 glass), half carafe (approximately 2-1/2 glasses) or by the bottle.

When the weather cools off a bit we’ll be back at Pomona to check out the outdoor lounge complete with a fireplace and of course to have another fine meal.

The restaurant is located north of Fruitville on North Orange Avenue in Citrus Square. Check out their website for more information and sample menu at Pomona Bistro and Wine Bar.

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Zagat Rated Local Restaurants

By | June 18, 2015

Zagat Book

Zagat BookBefore there was Yelp and Trip Advisor we relied on Zagat to tell us where the best restaurants were and they are still at it! I was not surprised at all to find that 24 restaurants in our area make their current list of the best dining spots. I have been to many of these and can concur with their findings. If you’re in the mood for a great dining experience check out one of these:

Beach Bistro (Anna Maria Island)

Maison Blanche (Longboat Key)

Bijou Cafe’ (Sarasota)

Euphemia Haye & Haye Loft (Longboat Key)

Morel Restaurant (Sarasota)

Selva (Sarasota)

Michael’s on East (Sarasota)

Mozaic (Sarasota)

Ruth’s Chris Steak House (Sarasota)

Roy’s (Sarasota)

Andrea’s (Sarasota)

Darwin’s on 4th (Sarasota)

Ophelia’s on the Bay (Siesta Key)

Mediterraneo (Sarasota)

Yummy House China Bistro (Sarasota)

Cafe L’Europe (St. Armands Circle-Lido Key)

Pattigeorge’s (Longboat Key)

Indigenous (Sarasota)

Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse (Sarasota)

Libby’s Cafe & Bar (Sarasota)

Owen’s Fish Camp (Sarasota)

Columbia Restaurant (St. Armands Circle-Lido Key)

Bonefish Grill (Sarasota & Bradenton)

Jack Dusty (Sarasota)

Zagat Logo

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10th Annual Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week

By | May 19, 2015

Savor Sarasota

Savor SarasotaThe first two weeks of June is one of my favorite times of the year in Sarasota. Traffic has died down after the busy winter season and many of the best restaurants around participate in Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week. It’s a great opportunity to try new places or visit some of your favorites as they offer special menus and prices from June 1st through the 14th. During Savor Sarasota you can enjoy 3-course meals for just $15 per person for lunch and $29 per person for dinner. Not all of the restaurants are open for lunch so check their website for participating restaurants and hours.

http://www.savorsarasota.com/

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Burger & Beer Joint is Now Open at The Mall at University Town Center

By | April 24, 2015

Burger & Beer Joint

Burger & Beer JointBurger & Beer Joint recently opened at The Mall at University Town Center (their 5th location). Their menu is heavily centered on massive gourmet burgers and a huge selection of beer but they also have appetizers, salads and other items to choose from. You can select a burger from their signature list or design your own. Or if you’re really hungry try the Motherburger…10 pounds of Premium Black Angus Beef!

A unique offering is their “Adult Shakes” which are alcoholic drinks made with ice cream and various liquors. The atmosphere is a sports and rock & roll theme.

Check out their menu at http://bnbjoint.com/burgers

The Mall at UTC has emerged as a great destination for dining with Kona Grill, Seasons 52, Brio Tuscan Grille, Cheesecake Factory, Capital Grille, Sophie’s at Saks and now the Burger & Beer Joint. This is a great time of year to get out and visit some of these new and local favorites.

 

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Great Italian Restaurant in Sarasota

By | March 17, 2015

Mona Lisa portrait

Mona Lisa portraitHidden in The Meadows of Sarasota is a little gem of a restaurant call Mona Lisa. I had the occasion to dine there recently with family and will definitely return. This is a small, quaint spot in the Shopping Village within The Meadows neighborhood. There are about 12 tables with white tablecloths inside and several more on an outside patio overlooking a lake. It’s a very casual and comfortable setting.

Mona LisaThe food is not your run-of-the-mill Italian. I ordered one of the specials which was Seafood Sambuca which consisted of shrimp and scallops in a Sambuca cream sauce over linguini pasta…delish! All entrees come with your choice of house or ceasar salad , a side of pasta with your choice of sauce and fresh bread. Other dishes at our table were grilled salmon, tilapia with white wine and lemon and veal piccata and everyone was pleased with the quality of the food. The service was very attentive even though it was a busy night. They really do make you feel like they’re glad you’re there. Beer and wine are available.

Even though this is a small family operated restaurant they seem to be well known in the area. We were there on a Tuesday evening and it was busy with several groups waiting. I’d definitely suggest making a reservation if you go and I highly recommend that you try it next time you’re in the mood for an authentic Italian meal.

For reservations call 941-377-6562 or visit their website for menus and other information at www.monalisasrq.com.

 

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New Dining at the Mall at University Town Center

By | December 22, 2014

University Town Center Mall

University Town Center MallSarasota has a tremendous variety of dining options and now with the newly opened Mall at University Town Center we have quite a few more including: The Cheesecake Factory, Kona Grill, Seasons 52, Brio Tuscan Grille, The Capital Grill, Sophie’s, Mandarin Express, Antie Anne’s Pretzels, Rise Pies Handcrafted Pizza, Starbucks and Smoothie King. There are even more scheduled to open in the coming months: Burger & Beer Joint and Yo! Sushi.

If you’re looking for a fun outing…check out the new mall and try one of these new restaurants for lunch or dinner.

For their location and more information visit the mall’s website at http://www.mallatutc.com/dining_entertainment

 

 

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CineBistro Coming to Westfield Southgate Mall

By | November 24, 2014

CineBistro

Great Job Westfield Southgate Mall and Cobb Theaters!

CineBistro

Westfield Southgate Mall on Siesta Drive in Sarasota has announced they plan to open a new 7-screen movie theater in 2015. CineBistro is a luxury movie theater for adults 21 and older. If you have not been to one of the current locations (closest is Hyde Park Village in South Tampa), you are missing out. It is the perfect combination of “dinner and a movie” set all in one place!

They feature reclining leather chairs, a chef inspired menu, playing first-run and independent movies. The Sarasota location is also planning a bar with a dining lounge and patio. The food options are: appetizers, entrees, salads, sandwiches and desserts. You may also order from a full bar, beer and wine list.

If you choose to dine while watching the movie, the wait staff efficiently takes your drink and food orders just after being seated in the theater. Right before the movie begins, the staff delivers your order so as not to disturb you or the other guests in the theater. I initially thought it would be a good fit for the Lakewood Ranch area, but like this choice better. Southgate is a perfect place for those in all areas of Sarasota, Bradenton and Venice, but will also allow our residents and visitors to Siesta Key and Lido – Longboat areas to make a quick trip.

I’m looking forward to the Grand Opening! Here is the website to keep an eye on the new location opening and check out other locations… http://cobbcinebistro.com

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Rosa Fiorelli Winery

By | October 14, 2014

Rosa Fiorelli Winery

Rosa Fiorelli WineryLast weekend the weather was perfect for a convertible ride so we headed east from Lakewood Ranch to check out the Rosa Fiorelli Winery in east Manatee County. We tasted some really nice wines and enjoyed chatting with Heather and Rosa in their tasting room.

They have been in business for 16 years. The Winery has its own building for fermenting and bottling, and a separate building for tasting and sales and has recently expanded to 10 acres of vineyard and a 3000 sq. ft. winery. Mature grapevines allow for u-pick fresh grapes bronze or black Muscadine grapes in early August to September.

I always thought that muscadine grapes would just make a very sweet wine but found they have quite a variety from dry to sweet. The last sample was of a dessert wine that was to die for with a bite of chocolate!

Throughout the year they offer tours and Wine & Dine events so check out their website for dates and further information.

www.fiorelliwinery.com

 

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Happy Birthday Smacks Burgers & Shakes!

By | August 2, 2014

S'Macks Logo

S'Macks LogoS’macks Burgers & Shakes, the younger sibling of Gecko’s Grill & Pub, is celebrating a big birthday. Wednesday, August 6th marks the beginning of the Better Burger concept’s one year milestone at the corner of Bee Ridge & Shade in Sarasota.

S’macks is Polished Casual food with a conscience. With its 100% Hormone and Steroid free Bison Burgers, Choice Angus, and locally sourced Top Dogs, S’macks’ original menu evolved to honor the requests of our guests, and now includes Chicken and Vegetarian options, daily Chef Specials, specialty Iced Teas, and inspired Frozen Custard flavors. S’macks’ Fries, a tasty crinkle cut, immediately earned “Best Fries” distinction with SRQ Magazine.

Join S’macks to celebrate its Birthday with Frozen Chosen Happy Hour from 3-5pm Monday through Friday this week, where you can make a Birthday wish and enjoy your choice of Frozen Custard, Shakes, or Concretes for half price.

Smacks Burgers & Shakes
Compliments SRQ Daily

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