Smack Restaurant From 1932 to 1959, the Smack Restaurant was a Sarasota institution. The brainchild of Walter T. “Mack” McDonald, it was first a hamburger stand on the corner of Maine and Pine streets, then a full-service restaurant at Osprey Avenue and Main Street. During World War II, it even functioned as a drop-off and pick-up point for soldiers commuting between the Sarasota and Venice air bases.
Where the Chefs Dine
Who’s a better judge of a restaurant than a chef? Some Sarasota standouts tell us where they like to eat and what they order when they’re not on duty.
James “Jimmy” Baselici, Louies Modern, Executive Chef
“Indigenous, Derek’s or Mozaic. I prefer chef-owner establishments. The chefs put their heart into their food and you can taste it. I like to order their most interesting items, to embrace their strengths. Handmade pasta with Cortez bottarga at Derek’s was one of the best things I ever ate.”
Kyle Harrington, Libby’s Cafe + Bar Executive Chef
“Pizza and sandwich places, like Lucia’s Pizza. Great pasta, amazing pizza, and the sandwiches are on point. I also love Yummy House for good Chinese food. For sushi, I like J-Pan. And when it comes to a good steak, Fleming’s.”
Lan Bradeen, chef-owner of Melange
“Matsu, at Vizen, is among the best Japanese chefs in America; [famed sushi chef] Morimoto visited and loved it. His food is imaginative, creative, beautiful, incredibly fresh, and perfectly executed. I order the omikase [tasting menu] because it’s Matsu’s own choice. Reserve ahead, so he has a few days to prepare.”
Caleb Taylor, chef de cuisine at Jack Dusty at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota
“I just moved here a few months ago, but I’ve been able to get out a little bit. I love to go to Drunken Poet—I usually order the tom yum goong, a traditional Thai soup—and I’ve been to State Street Eating House. I like to support the local guys.” —Compiled by Taylor Meredith
“My ill-advised actions, in a few moments of sophomoric, hand-rubbing glee, have cost me.” –Former Republican Party of Sarasota County chairman Bob Waechter, pleading guilty to impersonating a political rival.
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This article appears in the February 2014 issue of Sarasota Magazine. Like what you read? Click here to subscribe. >>