Good ol’ Savor Sarasota. Nothing like a “limited-time offer” to inspire you to go out and do the things you should have been doing anyway.
I think I always feel obligated to check out those local restaurants I’ve yet to check out, but Savor Sarasota puts a list right in front of me and says, “Choose. Clock starts…NOW.” So CCB and I sat down to plot our course in the hopes of making timely reservations.
We kick off the festivities at Libby’s. We’re officially there for a media tasting of new menu items (not necessarily Savor Sarasota options), but the tasting coincides with the June 1 beginning of Savor Sarasota, so we consider it the first feather in our S.S. cap for 2011.
This year’s buzz (among my social group, at least) centered on Euphemia Haye—a few of us admitting we’d never been there and the experience was long overdue. So CCB and I hope to team up with Web Editor Megan and Little J for this one. We figured a Saturday would be best for any Longboat Key trips, saving downtown Sarasota spots for the weekdays, when I’m down here anyway. The temptations of Euphemia’s S.S. menu? It’s a toss-up for me between the duck and the lamb—both sound delish—but of course, we anticipate the famous desserts most of all, and as much as I like pecan pie, I cannot turn down chocolate mousse.
Our other Longboat Key destination will be Harry’s Continental Kitchen, whose menu features, as CCB pointed out, an item that has “Hannah” written all over it: bacon-crusted diver sea scallop, horseradish cabot white cheddar fondue, garlic crostini. In case you missed it, the keywords there are “bacon,” “scallop,” “horseradish,” “cheddar” and “garlic”—and that’s just a first course. (I think the seafood entrée featuring “crab and feta relish” is right up CCB’s alley.)
We also knew Savor Sarasota was a perfect activity to share with the Deelios—Mr. Deelio, especially, is quite the bacon-loving, pasta-making foodie. They might be our Harry’s dining-mates, but we’re also penciling in Mad Crow—we’d be quite the beer-loving foursome, and we hear the Crow has tweaked its cuisine recently. The ambience is just right for a Friday-night event, and bone marrow would be the must-have item for me off of their S.S. menu. No, it’s not a totally new restaurant experience, but a good excuse to revisit the Crow.
It seems a travesty that I’ve never been to the 25-year downtown landmark Bijou, or Mozaic, which has been enthusiastically recommended by the most sophisticated foodies (including the mag’s own John Bancroft). We plan to hit those up in a one-two, Tuesday-Thursday combination next week. I’m thinkin’ the tuna with red chili oil from Bijou’s menu (the honey-sherry vinaigrette for the “Rocket Salad” has also piqued my palate).
I don’t even know where to start with Mozaic—the first course is a three-way tie for me: leek and gruyere soufflé, coconut-lobster veloute or escargots a la dijonnaise? I can’t choose; I might just have to close my eyes and point. For the entrees, mushroom ravioli and garlic-sherry cream sauce are two things I find it difficult to resist—and in this case, they both come with the duck confit, so I’m pretty well sold.
You’ll notice we scheduled those around our standing boxing and hockey activities, and there’s going to be some intense Wednesday-night tennis to try to burn off all the cream and confit we’ll be consuming. No, we probably won’t come anywhere close to burning our calorie surplus, but we’ll worry about that in two weeks.