Restaurants

Crows Nest Restaurant, Marina and Tavern

By | October 23, 2012

The ever popular Crow’s Nest has been a “must go” waterfront landmark restaurant in Venice since 1976. It’s situated along the Venice Inlet on Tarpon Center Drive and a short distance walk to the South Venice Jetty where you can enjoy a nice stroll after lunch or dinner.  

Best known for their fresh caught high quality seafood, choice steaks, chops, pastas, homemade sauces, they also have an unbelievable wine list of nearly 1000 selections. Most notably my favorite dinner entrée is the “Gunther Gebel-Williams Filet Mignon” always perfectly prepared to taste and secondly, the Grouper “Key Largo”. 

The restaurant is really neat because it offers two dining options: The first level is your comfy, casual, wood paneled Tavern atmosphere to enjoy sandwiches, raw bar favorites and famous “one way salad” and/or a late night snack with Friday and Saturday nights offering a variety of live music.  On the second floor, is your more romantic, elegant, upscale dining room opening up to panoramic views of the Intracoastal Waterway along with spectacular sunset views from your table on those clear sky evenings.  It’s also known as a Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence Recipient since 1994 and voted “Venice’s Best All Around Restaurant” by local newspapers.  

In addition to the Restaurant, the adjoining Marina offers boat slips, electric boat and kayak rentals.  For more information visit: www.crowsnest-venice.com

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O’Learys Tiki Bar and Grill

By | September 19, 2012

Looking for a cool little spot to hang out on the water, have some cocktails and take in the scenery. Then head to O’Leary’s Tiki Bar and Grill, one of Sarasota’s favorite watering holes.

Located on the bay in one of Sarasota’s hidden treasures, the Bay Front Park, O’Leary’s offers a fun and casual atmosphere where you can kick back and relax under the big Tiki Hut. Enjoy the sounds of Jimmy Buffett like music as you sip on a tropical drink and watch the dolphins play. O’Leary’s delivers a light menu, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner on picnic tables. Air conditioned indoor seating is also available.

Come by land or by sea and make use of the day dock. Your four legged friends are welcome too and the view alone is worth the visit!
Hours of Operation – Sunday thru Thursday 8am to 9pm, Fridays and Saturdays 8am to 10pm.
O’Learys Bar and Grill
5 Bay Front Drive
Sarasota, FL 34236

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Columbia Restaurant on St. Armands Circle

By | September 11, 2012

The Columbia Restaurant on St. Armands Circle in Lido Key is the oldest restaurant in Sarasota, open since 1959. I’m happy to report that it’s still just as great as it was when I first visited in 1976!

It’s hard to beat their Cuban sandwich, black bean soup and delicious sangria but they do have many other delicious things on the menu. Their specialty is authentic Spanish and Cuban cuisine featuring Paella “a la Valenciana,” Snapper “Alicante,” Pompano en Papillot and Filet Mignon “Chacho”. The 1905 salad is a popular choice and all the meals are preceeded with fresh, warm Cuban bread.

The Columbia has a great atmosphere with tables in a Mediterranean style dining room or the outdoor patio great for people watching. Service is always attentive. If you have never been to the Columbia or it’s been awhile, I highly recommend it.

Check them out at their website.

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Mi Pueblo Mexican Restaurant

By | September 4, 2012

Looking for authentic Mexican cuisine?  Check out the Three Kitcheneer’s favorite place, Mi Pueblo.  It is a local, independently-owned chain and one of the Sarasota-Manatee originals.  They have authentic family recipes, with organic and vegan selections as well.  Ole’!

 

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Food Spotting on Siesta Key

By | August 21, 2012

Everyone is always looking for a great place to eat (and drink) on Siesta Key, our country’s reigning #1 beach! (DrBeach.org)  Well the Three Kitcheneers help out again with some great choices for every meal! Check out what they have to say…see if the quality of the food matches the amazing beach. Spoiler Alert: Yes! The food is amazing.

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The White Horse Pub in Sarasota

By | August 5, 2012

We recently visited the White Horse Pub located in the plaza with Parkway Cinema at Lockwood Ridge Road and University Parkway. While we went for their great beer selection, we found they specialize in delicious home cooked British food such as Fish & Chips, Steak & Guinness Pies and Home Smoked British Back Bacon, smoked right there on the premises! 

I decided in the spirit of the Olympics going on in London this week, that I would try one of the British dishes and ordered the Cottage Pie. This was a crock filled with ground beef, carrots, onions, peas covered with mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese. It was served piping hot and was quite good. My husband ordered their version of a BLT made with the homemade back bacon and he was pleased with his choice too. The menu has many non-British items as well and enough variety that should please anyone’s taste. 

They have a great selection of 18 draft beers and many more bottled varieties. Happy hour is every day from 3-7pm. The friendly service and cozy British pub atmosphere made for a nice evening. Next time you’re in the area check it out!

Click here for more information: The White Horse Pub

 

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Three Kitcheneers in Venice

By | August 3, 2012

Did you know that within a 20-mile radius of downtown Sarasota, there are more independently owned Florida Trend Award and Zagat top-scoring restaurants than any other area?

They call themselves the Sarasota-Manatee Originals (http://www.freshoriginals.com/). Regularly, the Three Kitcheneers visit some of “The Originals” in an area and give their favorite food and dining choices. Recently they went to Venice so check out this video of their recommendations…

Bon Appétit! 

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J.R.’s Old Packinghouse Cafe Presents The Best Cubans In Town!

By | July 9, 2012

J.R.’s Old Packinghouse Cafe

I love a good cuban; I’ve loved them for years.  I love them when they’re hot, I love them when they’re cold, I love them when they’ve been hiding behind the milk for four days and I find them in the middle of the night.

I also love good music – particularly when it’s live.

That’s why my family and I go to J.R.’s Old Packinghouse Cafe in Sarasota.  With live folk, bluegrass, or acoustic music six nights a week, it’s been my family’s go-to restaurant for as long as I can remember. The cubans are hands-down the best in Sarasota, but if you want to branch out a little, they’ve got an extensive menu of good eats.

As the name implies, it was originally an old school celery packinghouse (FYI, the only celery you can get there now comes with the wings) and it’s got that ‘it’ factor charm that only comes with age. The food is excellent and the beer is always cold.  If you and yours are looking for a down-home good time then you’re guaranteed an unforgettable experience.

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GOODBYE ANNA’S Sandwich Shop in Siesta Key Village We Will Miss You

By | May 31, 2012

It was sad to walk over to Anna’s Sandwich Shop in the Village on Siesta Key to see the yummy deli had closed over the weekend. I remember going to Anna’s, I believe, where the Daiquiri Deck is now when I was just 7 years old (I am 42 now!!)! The location then was an old wood frame house with high ceilings built in the 1920’s and was just awesome! The shop must have moved three times since then around the Village. It is hard to believe that over 41 years ago, Anna’s was born and invented the world-famous ‘Surfer Sandwich’ consisting of heaps of ham, turkey, thinly sliced cukes and Anna’s famous (never duplicated mustard/mayo mixture) sauce! YUM! Anna’s hasn’t left the key completely and is still in the Southbridge Mall near Stickney Point Rd. They also have two other locations…one near the World of Beer on University Blvd. in north Sarasota and another location on Orange Ave. near downtown. So long Village Anna’s…we’ll miss you but will see you again here in the Village…I just have a feeling….

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Waterfront Dining in Cortez

By | April 27, 2012

Last week the Sarasota Herald Tribune did a story about the fishing village of Cortez in West Bradenton. This is a small community on the east side of the Cortez Road bridge to Anna Maria Island which has been a base for commercial fishermen for many years. Since we love to find great restaurants on the water, we decided to check  it out.

There are several restaurants in the village: The Cortez Kitchen, Star Fish Company and the recently opened Swordfish Grill which we decided to try. They have a large area of outdoor seating right on the bay complete with a modified tiki bar. The menu has a good variety with an emphasis on fresh fish  as you would expect.

They bring in fresh Florida oysters from Apalachicola and have them served raw or cooked in many different ways. I’m told they raw oysters were quite good. I ordered the crabcake sandwich which was a pleasant surprise as they are made inhouse and the predominant ingredient was Crab! The fresh catch was mahi and you could order it prepared any way (grilled, blackened, fried). Marty enjoyed it grilled and served on a ciabatta bun.

They have a full bar and great selection of beer so if you’re looking for a place to spend an afternoon or evening on the water check it out. We were glad we did!

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