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 ( 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


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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

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Dockside Waterfront Grill in Venice

By | December 28, 2016


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


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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Roni’s Café in Sarasota

By | October 4, 2016


ronis-careRoni’s Café is a great little family operated restaurant in Sarasota just east of Tuttle Avenue on Bee Ridge Road. We are frequent diners for brunch after church on Sundays and like the quality of the food, cleanliness of the space and the friendly service.

The menu features your normal breakfast and lunch dishes as well as quite a few Mediterranean items. This past week we were on the late side and since it was after 11am I ordered from the lunch menu and had a Chicken Gyro. This was really fresh and tasty with grilled chicken, tomatoes, onions and Tzatziki sauce. My husband generally gets the house skillet which is ham, onion, peppers cheddar cheese and home fries mixed together then topped with two eggs any style and your choice of toast. It must be good as it orders it every week.

They do a brisk take out business and offer specials daily. If you’re in the area and looking for a good breakfast or lunch stop in at Roni’s.

To view their menu check out the FaceBook page at Roni’s Café.

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The Lazy Lobster of Longboat

By | September 20, 2016


lazy-lobsterWhile having a week of “staycation” on Longboat Key this week, we had dinner at the Lazy Lobster. Initially we chose the restaurant because it was one of the few that were not closed for vacation during this slow time of the season on the Key. We did not make a reservation as things didn’t seem to be too crowded during the week with traffic being very light and just not that many people around. Anyway they were booked up for the night (on a Monday no less!). They have some high top tables that were available in the bar area so we settled in there.

We had a delicious dinner starting with their lobster bisque and a salad. Entrees we chose were the Bar Harbor Combo (sauteed lobster tail meat, gulf shrimp & large sea scallops in lemon-garlic butter, potato gratin & vegetable) and one of the daily specials which was shrimp and scallops with spinach and red onion in a light red sauce over linguine pasta. Both dishes were outstanding!

If you’re in the mood for some good seafood (particularly lobster as it’s supplied daily from Boothbay Harbor, Maine) check out the Lazy Lobster. They do have a good variety on the menu but obviously lobster and seafood is their specialty. The staff is friendly and attentive and we’ll definitely go back.

You can view their menu and other information on their website here.


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For Live Music Head to the Blue Rooster

By | August 29, 2016

Blue Rooster

Blue RoosterFor live entertainment and some of the best bands around town, head to the Blue Rooster on Fourth Street between Lemon and Orange. Open every day but Sunday and Monday for dinner, this is the place for good southern comfort food and a fun atmosphere. The Blue Rooster menu features New American Southern fare which takes simple, locally-sourced base ingredients and transforms them into true blue southern comfort cuisine with a down home twist.They have a full bar with happy hour specials from 5-7 pm daily. On Sundays from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm they have a Gospel Brunch complete with a southern buffet featuring live gospel plus traditional and contemporary spirituals!

To view the full lineup of music click here.

Blue Rooster is located at 1525 Fourth Street, Sarasota FL
Telephone 941-388-7539







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Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week

By | May 17, 2016

savor sarasota

savor sarasotaWe look forward to this event every year. From June 1st through the 14th many of our local restaurants prepare special menus and deals so it’s a great time to try some new ones or visit some old favorites around town. Click the link below to see all of the restaurants participating and what menus they are offering. In previous years some have even extended these deals throughout the summer so check it out!

Savor Sarasota

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Apollonia Mediterranean Grill

By | February 27, 2016


ApolloniaWe have been talking about dining at Apollonia since it opened at The Shoppes at University Town Center over two years ago and finally got around to it this past week. It took over the restaurant formerly occupied by Urban Flats and it didn’t take too many cosmetic changes to adapt to the space.

Apollonia BarThe atmosphere is casual and comfortable. We were seated inside at a table next to the front windows which are large sliders that open when the weather permits as was the case for us. They have a generous bar area as well as a few outdoor covered tables.

Our server greeted us promptly and we ordered a glass of wine from their extensive list of wines by the glass. I ordered the Gyro Platter which consisted of rotisserie spiced lamb with rice pilaf, grilled vegetables, tzatziki and pita bread. My husband ordered the grouper Florentine. We were pleased with the quality of the meals, presentation, and felt the prices were very reasonable.

If you’re in the mood for a little Mediterranean food I would recommend this restaurant. Check out their website for more information.


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