Archive for March, 2011

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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03/14/2011

Marina Jack

(2008) Marina Jack has always been about the view. In fact, it sometimes feels as if the Sarasota bayfront fixture has been around as long as Sarasota Bay itself. For years it’s been the first place many of us have taken visitors for a taste of coastal living, as well as for that staple from […]

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03/14/2011

Mangrove Grill

Mangrove Grill is located in Palmetto, but with its casual island décor, relaxed waterside setting and breezy menu, it might as well be Margaritaville. Mangrove Grill is a friendly neighborhood hangout for the upmarket enclave of Riviera Dunes Marina Resort, a burgeoning community of estate homes and high-rise condominiums on the Manatee River. I can’t […]

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03/14/2011

Maison Blanche

I like Maison Blanche on Longboat Key almost as much for the theater of the place as for the ambrosial haute cuisine it serves so beautifully six evenings a week. Think of it as a play. Act I: Setting All the machinery of this fine restaurant is offstage. The kitchen, for example, is the sanctum […]

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03/14/2011

Lido Beach Grille

The makeover that turned Christopher’s on Lido into Lido Beach Grille was, in the main, a success. And if views figure prominently in your plans for an evening out, you’ll swoon over this restaurant’s lofty perch on the eighth floor of Lido Beach Resort. The bar, staffed by affable pros, looks north through a wall […]

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03/14/2011

Libby’s Cafe + Bar

(2009) First came the beloved and long-running originals, Fred’s and its trusty sidekick, The Tasting Room. Next was the new Fred’s, which was pretty good but didn’t last long. Now Libby’s Café + Bar holds pride of place in the block opposite Morton’s Market in Sarasota’s Southside Village, and the good times have returned. The […]

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03/14/2011

Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse

(2008) Red and lots of it is the right shade for a steakhouse, as anyone who has made the pilgrimage to Bern’s in Tampa, the Bay area’s reigning homegrown, over-the-top exemplar of the form, knows full well. Hyde Park Steakhouse in downtown Sarasota (the mother ship is in Cleveland) employs a more subdued and varied […]

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