Steve Seidensticker

Restaurateur


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With the opening of Louies Modern and The Francis ballroom, 60-year-old Steve Seidensticker—along with his children, Joe, Patrick and Lisa—has turned the first floor of a parking garage on North Palm Avenue into downtown Sarasota’s hottest new restaurant and community gathering scene.

Our concept was: “To create an urban, downtown venue. We’re excited about the vibrancy of downtown Sarasota; there seems to be a real resurgence.”

It differs from our Southside Village restaurant, Libby’s, because: “It’s participatory. The food’s all based on wood ovens and you’re right in the middle of it; the exhibition kitchen makes it that way.”

Working with my children is: “They’ll say a pain in the ass. I’ll say absolutely delightful. It’s incredible to see how committed and hard-working they are. It’s certainly tough; you’ll do things and act certain ways you wouldn’t with a work associate, but you have to wake up in the morning and love each other. And our partner, Jeff Greco, is like family.”

Number of hours we worked to get it opened: “Too damn many.”

I spent the opening day: “Moving furniture and lugging glasses in from the storage unit, and we’re still doing it.”

The most popular menu item is: “Burrata salad on a Himalayan pink-salt block served with heirloom tomatoes.”

My favorite item is: “The kale salad. I’m not a vegetarian, but I’m starting to eat less beef.”

In my own kitchen: “I grab the limes and fish sauce. I spent a number of years working and doing nonprofit work in Southeast Asia, and I cook a lot of that kind of food.”

My next restaurant project is: “The development of a replicable model.”

 

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