Archive for March, 2011

03/16/2011

Saltwater Cafe

The Saltwater Cafe has lots of things going for it-comfort, variety, value and size. It also has a nautical theme, including a long, colorful aquarium that parallels a line of booths. A dark, handsome bar (complete with old-fashioned black-and-white tile floor and brass boot rail) separates the two main dining areas from a private, glass-enclosed […]

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03/16/2011

Roy’s

(2007) “Aloha. Welcome to Roy’s.” The hostesses, servers, bartenders—you name it—everyone utters Roy’s Restaurant’s signature greeting about a zillion times a night. Extending hospitality is one big part of the carefully crafted Roy’s experience. Hawaiian fusion cuisine is the other. And since Roy’s may well be the only Hawaiian-fusion eatery outside of the 50th state, […]

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03/16/2011

Polo Grill and Bar

(2008) Polo Grill and Bar, chef Tommy Klauber’s latest venture, has moved into the space briefly occupied by the ill-fated Fred’s at Lakewood Ranch. Despite a wait staff that’s stretched a bit thin, Polo Grill is up and running and full of promise. The main dining room looks much as it did in the space’s […]

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03/16/2011

Pho Cali

Pho Cali is composed of a big room accommodating a range of seating arrangements, and it’s devoted exclusively to Vietnamese dishes. As with downtown’s Taste of Asia, you’ll find multitudes of items from which to choose. We began with the pancake appetizer, banh xeo tom thjt, a mix of shrimp, pork and vegetables folded into […]

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03/16/2011

Pattigeorge’s

Owner/chef Tommy Klauber has made Pattigeorge’s not only a Sarasota institution, but a gathering place for the area’s young and restless, with fun special events (including interactive dinners where the guests take a turn at tableside cooking) and a menu with plenty of small-plate foods for nibbling and sharing over fancy cocktails and gossip. They […]

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03/16/2011

Ortygia

(2009) On 13th Street West near 13th Avenue West in Bradenton’s still nascent Village of the Arts, look for a brightly painted cottage under a big shade tree and a hand-lettered sign at the curb: EAT HERE. Heed the sign. You have found Ortygia, a hidden treasure. Chef Gaetano Cannata, who presides over both his […]

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03/16/2011

Ophelia’s On The Bay

(2004) High standards continue to be expertly fulfilled at Ophelia’s on the Bay, along-running Sarasota classic. Ophelia’s seats 150, and the inside dining areas has windows overlooking Little Sarasota Bay. Outside, a covered terrace and a stone patio offer even closer proximity to the pretty view, while a weathered wooden deck almost puts diners in […]

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03/16/2011

Ocean Star Japanese Restaurant

(2008) This little storefront restaurant’s extensive menu places a strong emphasis on fish, as you would expect, but beef, chicken, tofu and a variety of vegetables also have roles to play. Ocean Star Japanese Restaurant‘s styles of preparation range from sushi and sashimi through tataki, tempura and teriyaki to noodle dishes and straight-up frying. My […]

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03/16/2011

Michael’s on East

(2006) There it sits in an unfashionable part of town, no view of water, nature preserve or even a golf course. Its neighbors are a food market and drug store, and it shares parking space with a behemoth medical complex on the other side. Who would think from just driving by that Michael’s On East […]

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03/16/2011

MoZaic

(2009) In mid-December, a superb little restaurant and wine bar debuted quietly on Main Street in downtown Sarasota. Those foodies whose radar was working (count international cooking teacher Giuliano Hazan among them) enjoyed a rare treat: a table at a moment’s notice at one of the best new restaurants to open here in recent memory. […]

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03/16/2011

Melting Pot

(2009) Fondue is a food trend that came and went and is now back again. Home sets are appearing on bridal registries, and Target has a great- looking Michael Graves-designed fondue set for only $40. But if you want to eat your fondue in a restaurant with all the work done for you, investigate the […]

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03/14/2011

Mattison’s 41

(2008) Chef Paul Mattison, a veteran restaurateur with a reputation and a following along this stretch of Florida’s Gulf Coast, seems to have done it again with his latest venture. Even a mere five days after opening, when most new restaurants are just beginning to find their legs, Mattison’s 41 was running as smoothly as […]

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