Archive for March, 2011

03/14/2011

Currents

(2005) It once was called Scalini’s and before that Pompano Cay. Now the restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota is called Currents, but much more than the name has changed. Both the decor and the menu have been thoughtfully updated and streamlined. The dining room’s design is now ultra-clean, relying for its punch on the […]

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03/14/2011

Cosimo’s

(2007) It used to be that mall food was associated with fast food, not fine dining. That’s changed in a big way. Nowadays, you’ll find many chain and independent restaurants either incorporated into the array of retail at a mall or saddled up next to it as free-standing eateries. In Sarasota, we’ve been ahead of […]

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03/14/2011

Chutney’s

(2007) Chutney’s, in the foodie’s mecca of Southside Village, is a “nabe.” At least that’s what we would have called it when I lived in Chicago, which abounds in small restaurants serving what once might quaintly have been thought of as “niche cuisine,” usually a style of cooking and foodstuffs associated with one particular patch […]

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03/14/2011

C’est La Vie

(2007) For the adventurous diner with eclectic tastes, the restaurants, bars and cafés that line Sarasota’s Main Street between Palm and Orange avenues constitute the mother lode. Tapas or sushi or pho, Peruvian or Italian or Mexican cooking, cheap or dear, clubby or utterly unpretentious: It’s all right there in three gloriously mixed-up blocks. On […]

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03/14/2011

Caragiulo’s

(2009) Drawing upon 15 years in Sarasota running a downtown Italian-American trattoria, the locally famous five Caragiulo brothers have now opened a Caragiulo’s in Bradenton. The new place seems roomier and the menu offers a few more options than the original Palm Avenue location, but the friendly service, comfortable surroundings, good wines and engaging movie […]

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03/14/2011

Captain Brian’s Seafood Market & Restaurant

(2009) You probably know Captain Brian’s Seafood Market and Restaurant, either because it’s a regular stop when you’re in the neighborhood or because a friend told you it’s the place to go when you just want a nice piece of fresh fish with no fuss. That’s just what the captain delivers. He casts his nets […]

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03/14/2011

Bijou Café

(2010) Downtown Sarasota’s popular Bijou Café is a charming example of old school done right. The mostly abstract art that graces the latté-colored walls of the main dining room sets the tone of understated sophistication. It’s engaging but not intrusive. The paintings and other works on paper and cloth morph into ideal dining companions, expressive […]

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03/14/2011

Americano

(2007) Five Points is quickly becoming the epicenter of activity in downtown Sarasota. With The Grape drawing an evening crowd and Patrick’s the quintessential standby, the addition of a decidedly Italian trattoria makes the area even more appealing. Brought to you by the owners of Epicure, just a block further west on Main Street, Americano […]

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03/14/2011

Beach Bistro

(2003) At Sean Murphy’s Beach Bistro on Anna Maria Island, the stunning water views take center stage. But when the food arrives, drag your gaze from the setting sun and enjoy the riches on your plate. Eating at the much-awarded, 17-year-old Beach Bistro is like dining in Eden, both for the unparalleled sand ‘n’ surf […]

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03/14/2011

Bahi Hut

(2005) Of all things, the Bahi Hut on North Trail was highlighted in a recent issue of Coastal Living magazine in a feature on cross-country tiki bars. Writer Steve Millburg praised the Hut’s 1960s vintage décor, but cautioned guests about the “fearsome” signature mai tai, saying, “There’s a two mai tai limit, for good reason.” […]

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03/1/2011

Healthfront

  Dance Trance for Charity Have you heard about Dance Trance, the popular, high-energy aerobics workout with driving music and light effects? The Palmer Ranch Y has made Dance Trance the star of its upcoming glow-in-the-dark fundraiser for Strong Kids Campaign. On Friday March 25, a two-hour Dance Trance mega-class will turn out the lights […]

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03/1/2011

Homefront

Russian Realism Known for its elegant palette, evocative subjects and technical virtuosity, Russian Realism has become increasingly prized by art historians, collectors and investors who recognize its significance as one of the most important movements of the 20th century. Nowhere is this appreciation more apparent than at Sarasota’s new Lazare Gallery, where Russian Realism experts […]

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