Restaurants

Metro Diner Now Open in Sarasota

By | September 6, 2017

Metro Diner Logo

Metro Diner LogoAs part of the renovation of the Westfield Siesta Key Mall, new restaurants are moving in and one that is now open is Metro Diner.

Since its humble beginnings in 1938 and its revival as Metro Diner in 1992, Jacksonville’s favorite place for breakfast has been serving satisfied guests for nearly 25 years. In 2000, master chef Mark Davoli and family took over and elevated the menu to include innovative new dishes created from local ingredients. Known for warm, welcoming service, familiar faces and award-winning food, Metro Diner is a go-to eatery for locals, visitors and those just passing through town.

They have expanded throughout the southeastern United States and in Florida to 18 locations with Sarasota being the latest. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.

We had brunch there on a recent Sunday morning and it was buzzing. After a short wait we were seated and promptly greeted and served. I would describe the food as comfort food with many popular menu items. Portions are large. It was all good and I’m sure we’ll be going back soon. Here’s a couple photos of our meals:

Metro Diner Breakfast

Breakfast

BLT for Lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To check out the Metro Diner menu visit metrodiner.com.

To keep up-to-date on the progress and changes at the Westfield Siesta Key Mall visit their website at www.westfield.com/siestakey.

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Duffy’s Sports Grill Now Open in Sarasota

By | August 3, 2017

Duffy's Logo

Duffy's Logo

Duffy’s Sports Grill opened recently on University Parkway in the former Revelry location between Lockwood Ridge Road and Tuttle Avenue. The original “Duffy’s Drafthouse” was founded by two childhood friends turned business partners in Lake Park, Florida in 1985.  In addition to plenty of beer choices, Duffy’s had only 4 items on the menu:  Grilled Mahi Sandwich, Hot Ham and Cheese, Smoked Sausage and ½ lb. Cheeseburger.  All of these original items were served with potato chips so there was no need for silverware or even a fryer.  From the beginning, Duffy’s Drafthouse became known for “The Coldest Beer” and “Best Burger” in town…and it was wildly popular.

Duffy's InteriorToday, rebranded as “Duffy’s Sports Grill”, the combination of quality dining, memorable hospitality and sports has proven to be a successful recipe. Recognized as the premier sports themed restaurant concept in South Florida, they continue to expand with locations from Miami to Orlando. The new location in Sarasota completely remodeled the space to include more TV’s than I’ve ever seen in a sports bar. The menu has a wide variety of choices and service is friendly and prompt. Next time your favorite team is playing (or not) check out Duffy’s.

Visit www.duffysmvp.com to view the menu and check out their locations.

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Il Conte in Lakewood Ranch

By | July 25, 2017

Il Conte

Il ConteThere is a new dining option in Lakewood Ranch at San Marco Plaza. Il Conte Ristorante & Pizzeria opened a couple months ago and is receiving rave reviews. The menu features homemade Italian cuisine inspired by the region of Puglia, Italy. This enchanting seaside region of southern Italy hosts vast beaches, lush farmlands and vineyards, and breathtaking castle ruins.

Home to many of the dishes that Italy is famous for, Puglia is most known for its fresh and local produce. Chickpeas, homegrown herbs and spices, olives and olive oil, tomatoes, and an abundance of fresh seafood are just a few of the ingredients that have crafted Puglia’s cuisine. At Il Conte the presentation is modern and coincides with Puglia’s reliance on greens, legumes, pasta, seafood, olive oils, and simple cheeses.

Il Conte PizzaOn a recent visit we shared a Parma pizza with prosciutto, burrata cheese and arugula. Their pizzas are handcrafted with inventive ingredients. With a glass of regional red wine this was a delicious option. There are other menu options including salads, sushi, pasta, seafood and meat dishes. We will definitely be back to try some of those in the near future.

The décor is a clean, modern open concept with tables, high tops and bar seating as well as outdoor patio dining. A full bar is available including regional wines and Italian craft beers. They are open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. To learn more about Il Conte and/or view the menu visit their website at www.ilconterestaurant.com.

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Alpine Steakhouse in Sarasota

By | June 15, 2017

Alpine Steakhouse
Alpine Steakhouse
If you’ve never heard of the Alpine Steakhouse in Sarasota you are missing out on  something of a cultural landmark. Being more than 40 years old, it was the first place in Sarasota to specialize in prime meats of the New York City steakhouse persuasion, and has continually been operated and crafted to perfection by the same family. It’s a combination butcher shop, market and restaurant.

Since opening in 1975, Alpine Steakhouse has specialized in homemade ingredients and prime meats pioneered by Karl Ehmer, the revolutionary butcher from New York City. Matt Rebhan’s father, Mark, took over the business of his father, Henry, and the restaurant continues to be a collaborative father-son family effort for your enjoyment to this day.

Diners, Drive-Ins, DivesIt was also the first, and remains the only, place in the whole state that sells fresh TurDucKen, a contemporary Cajun dish involving a whole boneless turkey stuffed with a whole boneless chicken, a whole boneless duck and any mix of sausage and seasoned bread dressing. The dish is immensely complicated, requiring the knife skills of a surgeon, and, with actual roasting time, takes 16 hours to prepare. It has been featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” show on the Food Network.

Alpine Steakhouse is proud to be the recipient of the Sarasota Magazine Readers’ Choice award for “Best Restaurant for Steak” for the past consecutive four years. You are tempted by only the best prime dry-aged steaks, veal, lamb, chops, chicken and fresh seafood to make your dining decision exciting enough before you consider the traditional German specialties like wiener-schnitzel, sauerbraten and bratwurst and more. And with more than 60 imported beers along with an extensive fine wine selection every palate will be more than satisfied.

Alpine Steakhouse Entry

They are centrally located in at 4520 S. Tamiami Trail and hours are Monday to Thursday 9am to 9pm, Friday & Saturday 9am to 9:30pm and closed on Sunday. Phone 941-922-3797.

 

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Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week

By | May 17, 2017

Savor-Sarasota-2017

Savor-Sarasota-2017

Sarasota is known for having the #1 beach in the USA but we also have the highest concentrations of Zagat®-rated restaurants in Florida. During Savor Sarasota (June 1-14th) you can enjoy multi-course meals from the Sarasota area’s famed eateries for just $16 per person for lunch and $32 per person for dinner. And with a spread from Peruvian to French and every flavor in between, you’ll taste your way around the world in no time.

This event is quite popular so be sure to call and make reservations. There are so many choices that you can’t dine at all of them in the two week period but it’s a great time to check out a few. Most of the restaurants participating will have their menu posted on the website so you can check it out ahead of time. Not all are offering a lunch menu so check the website before you plan to visit. To see the list of restaurants, chef profiles and menus as well as other information visit the website at www.savorsarasota.com.

 

 

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Dining at The Coolinary in Sarasota

By | May 9, 2017

The Coolinary

The CoolinaryThe Coolinary was recently voted “The Best Restaurant Redesign” by Sarasota Magazine. The second-story Main Street space has housed a French restaurant, a Creole eatery, a Belgian beer joint, Irish pubs and more. None has looked as sexy as The Coolinary with its romantic bar, whimsical lighting and comfortable mod seats. Ask for a table by a window, where you’ll enjoy Hungarian-inspired cuisine and a rare elevated view of downtown.

The Coolinary InteriorWe visited the restaurant recently and were pleasantly surprised with the neat décor, fabulous cocktails and food that was top notch! The menu consists of the freshest and tastiest vegetables, fruits, and homemade products. Including jams, chutneys, honey, dairy products, cheeses, fish and seafood, and free-range meats. It is a huge part of their core values to exclusively use GMO-free, hormone-free and no artificial ingredients in any of their products. They also have several vegan options. Check out the menu at The Culinary Menu.

They are open Tuesday through Sunday with happy hour from 4-6pm. If you’re looking for a new dining experience downtown I recommend a visit to The Coolinary. They are located upstairs at 1359 Main Street in Sarasota.

For reservations visit their website (thecoolinary.com) or call 941 312 4773.

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Crab & Fin Restaurant

By | April 15, 2017

Crab & Fin

Crab & Fin

One of the gems of St. Armands Circle for a great dining experience is Crab & Fin. We dined there last week for a family birthday and were very happy we did. The restaurant has a great location right on the circle and has both indoor and outdoor dining available. Valet parking is available and I highly recommend it as the area is always busy and parking is limited.

Crab & Fin Outdoor Dining

From the moment you enter and speak with the host/hostess you can tell they know their business. We had a reservation and were promptly seated in the dining room and quickly greeted by our waiter for the evening. The menu features pristine & unique seafood from around the world coming from ecologically responsible fisheries who promote only sustainable seasonal or aqua cultured varieties.  NONE of the seafood offerings are farm raised. There are other things on the menu (beef, chicken, etc.) but it’s hard to pass up the seafood.

crab & fin pineappleThe four of us each ordered a seafood dish (Scottish Salmon, Domestic Black Grouper, Ciopinno) and none were disappointed. After dinner they brought out a warm chocolate lava cake with ice cream for the birthday girl and then a beautiful tray of dark chocolate dipped pineapple slices. What a treat!

After dinner a stroll around the circle is always fun. Between the shops and people watching it makes for a fun evening. If you’re looking for a great spot for fresh seafood you have to check out Crab & Fin!

For reservations call (941) 388-3964 or visit their website at http://www.crabfinrestaurant.com/

 

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The Beach House Restaurant

By | January 26, 2017

Beach House

Beach HouseEd Chiles, owner of the Chiles Restaurant Group, remodeled the interior of the Beach House last year and we visited over the weekend. The new décor is now a more upscale beach atmosphere with a large central bar facing the Gulf of Mexico. Even the menu is not your typical beachfront fare.

The BeachHouse Interior

There is a good variety with many dishes that have locally sourced ingredients which is their focus these days. We snacked on the smoked fish dip which was quite good and then ordered seafood dinners; mine was grouper tornedoes topped with spinach, sundried tomatoes and a lemon caper sauce over risotto. My husband ordered a mixed seafood plate with scallops, shrimp and grouper. Both were excellent.

Beach House Deck

The outdoor deck of the restaurant is currently under construction but they still have plenty of outdoor tables for dining. If you haven’t ever been to the Beach House or haven’t been lately, I recommend you check it out as the food is delicious and the view can’t be beat…that is unless you visit one of the sister restaurants; the Sand Bar on Anna Maria Island or Mar Vista on Longboat Key. All three get five stars in my book!

For more information visit http://beachhouse.groupersandwich.com.

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Dockside Waterfront Grill in Venice

By | December 28, 2016

dockside-waterfront-grill

dockside-waterfront-grillLooking for a great casual waterfront restaurant? The owners of the popular Gecko’s restaurants purchased the Marker 4 restaurant in the Fisherman’s Wharf Marina recently. The decor has been updated but they retained the large tiki hut for that tropical feel. It is situated in the center of the marina so a great spot for boat and people watching.

Many of our favorite dishes from Gecko’s are on the new menu along with many more with an emphasis on fresh seafood. They have a full bar and daily drink specials. They are open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.

If you’re looking for a fun spot on the water check them out…you’ll be glad you did!

To get directions and/or view the menu visit their website.

 

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A Culinary Dining Experience at Puccini’s

By | November 10, 2016

puccinis

puccinisI had the good fortune of eating at Puccini’s last week (2881 Clark Rd., Sarasota) and gave it 5 STARS! Puccini’s Chef Richard does his magic and cooks in the rear half of the restaurant for those in the back half to see. All the food looked delicious and ours was truly top-notch.

puccinis-chefA few pointers:

1. Call for a reservation. There are only about 16 tables.

2. If you want to really be in the action, ask for the 5-top chef table right next to chef.

3. It is completely BYOB and there didn’t seem to be any rules other than you must open your own wine (the law).

4. Cash only…no credit cards. Puccini’s is perfect for anniversaries, birthday’s, special date night, or to impress clients. VERY good and a must visit!puccinis-storefront

Puccini’s is located at 2881 Clark Road in Sarasota

Phone: 941-923-7002

Puccini’s Website

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