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Lobster Love

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By Judi Gallagher   2010 is going to be a great year for eating.     While 2009 was a year for budget-watching, 2010 appears to be beginning in a more promising way, with more diners and even more new dining establishments.   Look for an increase in deals on the casual dining scene, like […]

January 4, 2010


By Judi Gallagher
 
2010 is going to be a great year for eating.
 
 
While 2009 was a year for budget-watching, 2010 appears to be beginning in a more promising way, with more diners and even more new dining establishments.
 
Look for an increase in deals on the casual dining scene, like the Outback’s lobster and sirloin special and Aqua Restaurant’s early-dining menu for under $20. Fine dining is clearly focusing on attracting a broader spectrum of customer by introducing longer happy hours, small plate dining, and year-round prix-fixe menus. See Harry’s Continental Kitchens and Fleming’s Prime Steak House as examples.
 

The much sought-after luscious Maine lobster has made a grand entrance onto our Suncoast eating scene. The Colony Beach and Tennis Resort and Michael’s on East are but two fine eateries offering attractive lobster pot specials. However, take a trip south on U.S. 41 to Bit of Boston in Venice for the best lobster roll this side of Bar Harbor, Maine.

Sharing a lobster with Roxanne Joffe.

 

New on the scene but residing in a traditionally attractive location (most recently Café on the Bay and Maureen’s before then) is The Lazy Lobster on Longboat Key. To be sure, this is a dining-up establishment, in a comfortable atmosphere with casual dining prices—all with fine-dining service. The Lazy Man Lobster at $19.95 is probably the best deal, since all the lobster labor is done for you. It’s served with drawn butter, and you also get to order twice the meat for $33.95. (Guess which option I chose!!)

 Lobster hits the Sarasota dining scene at plenty of locations.

 

For those few who don’t enjoy lobster, the grilled swordfish, basted with curried honey glaze, was scrumptious at $18.95. Even the small plate side dishes, like the lobster mac n’ cheese and the bowl of steamer clams, were pure, simple, and downright satisfying. While Sunday brunch here has not been experienced yet, I was excited by the combination breakfast and lunch options. The restaurant has a second location on North Lockwood Ridge, which offers the same menu.
 

For those who are looking for a snuggy lobster night at home, think of going to the “fish guy” (Gary of Maggie’s Seafood) at the Farmer’s Market Downtown on Saturday mornings. ($8.99 lb.)

 Even the desserts at Lazy Lobster make "dining up" a special experience.

 
No matter how you crack it, lobster and 2010 are off to a good start.
 








Chef_Judy