Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Reviews



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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03/14/2011

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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02/18/2010

Bellagio Ristorante

Lower in profile but more authentically Italian in its menu is Bellagio Ristorante. Located on a neat and unassuming strip of retail and office space across from Payne Park on Washington Boulevard, the restaurant has attracted loyal regulars eager to indulge in chef-owner Dante Tassotti’s wonderfully prepared Italian cuisine. This restaurant is deceptive. It looks […]

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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

Mangrove Grill

Mangrove Grill is located in Palmetto, but with its casual island décor, relaxed waterside setting and breezy menu, it might as well be Margaritaville. Mangrove Grill is a friendly neighborhood hangout for the upmarket enclave of Riviera Dunes Marina Resort, a burgeoning community of estate homes and high-rise condominiums on the Manatee River. I can’t […]

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03/1/2013

Restaurant Review: Harry’s Continental Kitchens

By John Bancroft Harry’s Continental Kitchens, long a stalwart on Longboat Key, is at the heart of what has become a mini gourmet empire at the corner of Gulf of Mexico Drive and St. Judes Drive. Catering services, a corner store (not your average convenience store), deli and wine shop now complement a restaurant that […]

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04/1/2013

Restaurant Review: Jack Dusty at The-Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota

Here’s the very first thing you need to know about The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota’s new restaurant, Jack Dusty: It would be a shame, if not a crime, to pass up the local caviar starter ($21). Imagine a chilled black oblong platter on which are seated two perfect little canapés, each one featuring a black swoosh of […]

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01/1/2013

Restaurant Review: Melange

We were crazy about chef Lan Bradeen’s eponymous Main Street restaurant before she retooled her menu, redesigned her dining room and changed the name to Melange, or, as she spells it, mé*Lan*ge. Now we like it even better. The revamped enterprise capitalizes on two trends in fine dining: a menu of snacks, soups, salads and […]

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02/1/2013

Restaurant Review: Yummy House

By John Bancroft The marvelously well-named Yummy House on the North Trail is first and foremost an excellent restaurant serving delicious dishes, both familiar and exotic, in a pleasant, upbeat dining room done in understated earth colors and with tables dressed in white cloths. That its primary fare is Hong Kong/Cantonese is a deliriously happy […]

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