Featured Restaurant

First Watch Restaurant in Sarasota

By | May 27, 2014

First Watch Logo

First Watch LogoWay back when, in the 1980’s a trip to Sarasota was not complete without at least one stop at the quite novel First Watch Restaurant at 8383 S Tamiami Trail. In those days it was not common to find a breakfast, lunch or brunch restaurant with health minded food, what a fabulous concept! The smell of coffee and toast, so inviting. In those days the First Watch Restaurant was a family run, one of a kind spot. Though First Watch started in California in the early 80’s, it did not survive there but opened a few years later in Sarasota. In Sarasota it is was not only popular, but grew to hundreds of restaurants in 16 states!Sarasota has several locations but if you want to relax and feel like you’re on vacation and maybe you already are, you need to visit this location.

Waterfront Dining on the Patio

Waterfront Dining on the Patio

Don’t let it fool you that it’s in a small strip mall, the lakefront setting is peaceful with a choice of terrace dining or inside, still with lovely views from walls of French windows.. I’ve always been drawn to the Bacado omelet but love the Siesta Key Cocktail, a healthy choice with yogurt, fresh fruit and granola. One of my SearchForSarasotaHomes.com visitors has thoughts of moving back to Sarasota solely for their vegetable soup! Now that’s saying something!!!

Check out the menu at FirstWatch.com

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MONKS STEAMER BAR in Gulf Gate

By | April 24, 2014

Monk's Steamer Bar

Monk's Steamer BarOK, I’ve held off for a while now so as not to give away our favorite local hang-out and date-nite spot with my wife… But, here it is… Eat at Monk’s in Gulf Gate on Superior Drive! It is a local dive bar but full of energy, great staff, patrons, music and food! Monk’s serves up steamed oysters, raw oysters-the best in town, crab claws, shrimp, crawfish, clams, and more! They even sell wholesale. Don’t miss that famous laugh by one of our favorite bartenders, Pineapple! All the food is shucked and steamed right behind the bar as the guys (and gal) rush around like neutrons pleasing the crowd! Monk’s is smoke-free now but they just built a beautiful wood deck out front for the outside diners and smokers. If you want excellent seafood, DO NOT MISS MONK’S! Say ‘hi’ and tell ‘em we sent you!

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Polo Grill and Bar in Lakewood Ranch

By | February 28, 2014

Polo Grill

Polo GrillWe hadn’t been to the Polo Grill in awhile so last weekend my husband and I decided to check it out. We had heard that a new chef was hired and some remodeling had been done to the space so we were anxious to see it.

I would describe the atmosphere as casually elegant with the dining area divided by comfortable booths with tables inbetween. Ambient lighting and music was pleasant but the highlight of our evening there was definitely the food, although the drinks were good too. They have a special martini menu with some selections I had never seen before and their wine list is extensive.

The new chef, Stephane Pierre, has created a varied menu that uses locally sourced ingredients and all the sauces are made from scratch. We both ordered fish; I had the soy and honey laquered salmon and my husband had pan seared red snapper with a crabmeat and sundried tomato topping…both were outstanding! The presentation was what you would expect to find in an upscale restaurant.

According to Mark Resnick, the General Manager, they are having a good response to all the changes that have been made. There are quite a few special events that take place at the Polo Grill as well as Tuesday Night Trivia each week and live music every Friday and Saturday night. If you’re in need of catering or an event venue…they have that too!

If you haven’t been to the Polo Grill lately I encourage you to get reaquainted…you won’t regret it! It’s located on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch and open for lunch and dinner.

www.pologrillandbar.com

 

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Lucky to have Javier’s Restaurant and Wine Bar on Siesta Key…

By | January 31, 2014

Javier's Restaurant

Javier's RestaurantI count my blessings to live in Sarasota.  I count my blessings to have Siesta Key close by.  I count my blessings that Javier Arana and his wife Mary opened the ever fabulous ‘Javier’s Restaurant and Wine Bar’ on Siesta Key over 25 years ago!!  We are so lucky.

If you’ve not been to Javier’s Restaurant near Crescent Beach, you’re missing out and you’ll be mad at yourself for not going sooner. The hardest part might be trying to decide what to order, the menu is impressive! Javier is from Peru and has had a lifetime of experience in the kitchen, and it shows! I’ve included a menu for you to peruse, there is soooo much to offer. Typically I select the four course special and the ceviche is a must have, I also LOVE the lemon parmesan salad dressing and always, always have banana’s foster which Javier flambés up himself. The wine list is vast and there are wonderful South American wines, among others to choose from. They serve Peruvian beer too! Check out their menu at http://www.javiersrestaurant.com/index.html

Happy to say they abide by ‘Eat Fresh, Eat Local, Eat Organic’! Food Channel says that “Peruvian cuisine is considered one of the most varied and richest in the world”.  Greetings from Javier’s on Siesta Key!

Just south of the Stickney Point Bridge at 6621 Midnight Pass Road.   Tell them Debra sent you…

Javiers Restaurant Interior

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Blu Island Bistro

By | January 16, 2014

blu-bistro

“A hidden gem of an eatery on the Island of Venice”blu-bistro

It’s so great to have a pleasant dining experience at an eating establishment I’ve heard so much about but haven’t had the time to dine at yet. So one afternoon on a whim, based only on word of mouth, my husband and I decided to try this quaint eatery as I’m always in search of unique places to recommend to my clients and/or treat to a business breakfast, lunch or dinner.

We were so pleasantly greeted by the hostess and shown to our table which overlooked the pool area of the small hotel adjoining next door. The décor had a beachy cottage sleek comfortable feel as if I were on vacation myself.

The made to order daily specials sounded great but we decided to order off the menu instead with the chicken tacos along with cilantro/lime slaw & fresh fruit and the two-handed Reuben brisket sandwich with homemade fries- delish! When our plates arrived, my eyes widened at the presentation of  just a lunch portion….all I can say is ..Wow! Our waitress was still attentive despite the busier it became due to the lunch time crowd and by the time we paid the bill and left, every table was full including a wait. We will definately go back for lunch, then try the breakfast and dinner.

Located across from Venice Hospital on the Venice Island at 625 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice adjacent to the Sun Island Inn Hotel.  Before you go, look at  the menus at www.bluislandbistro.com

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Tequila Cantina in Sarasota

By | October 18, 2013

Tequila Cantina

Tequila CantinaTequila Cantina Tequileria & Tacos

1454 Main Street in Downtown Sarasota

Stopped by with a couple friends and family last Friday for happy hour (4-8pm). The owner, Kenny, greeted us and actually explained to us about the $3 beers, Chilean wines, wells, & margarita’s, and the $5 appetizers for happy hour! We sat outside and Nick, our server, immediately took our drink orders. The beer was cold and the appetizer wings were great. Spark Notes, our new favorite duo, was singing and were perched precariously above the bar and sounded great! The energy was pumping and the crowd was having a good time! Fun time, great drinks, food, and energy… I’ll be back….

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“Benvenuto! Welcome to Chianti”

By | August 23, 2013

chianti-ristorante-italiano
Chianti…Charming atmosphere and superb Italian cuisine.

 

Pleasantly surprised…. my senses were in for a treat! Chianti brings to Sarasota innovate and delicious Italian recipes with elegant presentation. The Executive Chef, Al Massa, and Owner-Chef Edward Pizzuti, are quite ambitious in the kitchen.   Chianti’s Old World,  traditional Italian recipes originate from many generations of family cooking in Italy, classic recipes from Sicily and Tuscany.

I had an opportunity to meet and talk briefly last evening with Owner-Chef Edwardo. I asked him what brought the Pizzuti Family to Sarasota?

He replied,  “after several visits to Florida, my wife Josie and I chose Sarasota for our retirement, but soon discovered that retirement was not for us. After spending the 2012 summer in our new Sarasota home, playing some golf and visiting many local restaurants, we saw a need for our type of Italian cuisine and our unique style of operating. When the location on 3900 Clark Road became available, we decided to buy the building and build Chianti Ristorante Italiano. After extensive remodeling and upgrading Chianti opened the doors. With combined expertise and talents in a very short time we have built a strong repeat customer base. Josie and I love Sarasota and plan on being here with Chianti for many years”.

For additional information…reservations and menu review CLICK HERE

                            Buon Appetito!

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Burns Square District

By | July 26, 2013

Owen BurnsThe Burns Square District was developed in the 1920’s
by Owen Burns.

Burns Square District…Very Historic…Very Cool.  A Collage of high end retail, restaurants, fine art, cinema and much more. I could write a novel about this historical site. However, since I am on my way to sell a home, I will highlight two favorites:

 

Owens Fish CampFirst, one of my favorite eateries Owen’s Fish Camp. Located in Burns Court on Burns Lane, Downtown Sarasota. Fabulous. Southern county style in a cool, comfortable urban setting.

 

 

Burns Court CinemaSecond, Nestled in the middle of historic Burns Square you will find Burns Court Cinema (look for raspberry-colored landmark). The Sarasota Film Society is a non profit member-supported cinema dedicated to providing the highest level of entertainment…first run foreign language, independent and art films.  A great way to spend the afternoon or evening…a great way to support the Sarasota Film Society…become a member.

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Shore Diner on St Armand’s Circle

By | May 31, 2013

Shore SignAs our evening  unfolded in our casual stroll along St Armands Circle, we decided to grab a quick bite to eat and I came upon Shore Diner at 465 John Ringling Blvd.  As many times as we have visited the Circle, I never noticed this restaurant on the  2nd floor from the sidewalk view .  Intrigued by the outdoor atmosphere, we decided to check the menu first, then settled into the bar area just for drinks and a few appetizers.  What a pleasant surprise and a nice change of pace.

Shore DinerThis ultra modern, hip  and  contemporary décor plus cool vibe to this establishment truly captivates you into thinking you could be sitting in South Beach.  As local residents ourselves, for moment we actually felt like we were on vacation.  From their eclectic menu with a multitude of choices,  we ordered the kung pao calamari along with the tuna tartare..both superb and in turn shared a corn & crab chowder that was simply out of this world!  My husband and I decided that this will be our next place to dine for either a lunch or dinner on our next visit to  St Armand’s Circle.  Be sure to give it a try on your next visit to Sarasota.

 

 

 

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Sun Garden Cafe on Siesta Key

By | April 24, 2013

Sun Garden Cafe

Sun Garden CafeOff the beaten path on Siesta Key, the Sun Garden Cafe is a casual garden restaurant. The menu features locally grown produce, fish caught in our local waters, farm fresh eggs and artisan foods from around the world.

Sarasota has voted Sun Garden BEST BREAKFAST, BEST LUNCH, BEST OUTDOOR DINING & BEST BACON for 4 years straight! Kick back with banana pancakes or kick it up with a Sun Garden original omelet or savor the delectable treats baked fresh in their bakery everyday. Either way, you’re sure to find paradise…..

Located at 210 Avenida Madera they are open for breakfast & lunch daily – 7 am – 2:30 pm.

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