The Ritz-Carlton's new burger bar is an idea whose time has come.
By Judi Gallagher
There is a new “bar” in town, and the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota is good and proud of it!
The scale and location of this tree-blessed, respectfully ornate waterfront property makes a visit here a destination. From its sweeping and inviting driveway, to the professionalism and friendliness of the valets to the “shine” and impeccable welcoming of the lobby area to the myriad of east wing banquet/event configurations, there is no venue in Sarasota like the Ritz- Carlton.
The Vernona restaurant, although seemingly searching for identity in previous times (identity clear and much more tasteful since Chef Greg Howe took over the reins), has always been deemed “culinary first class,” as the anteroom with its Sunday brunch (happy to say back in full extravagance), Friday sushi night and all-around comfy arena does too impress. Then there’s the sultry beckoning of Ca d’ Zan, with an ambiance, musical sound and bar presence unparalleled here in Sarasota.
Now, responding to the economics of change, the Ritz has decided to accentuate its magnificent wrap-around veranda and lush water-side environment by promoting a Burger Bar menu, at the outdoor cafe. Yes, that’s right—quite affordable, very pleasing burgers—over six different types, including a “double”—on a toasted, buttery bun, with home-made, eclectic shakes (try the s’mores version with toasted marshmallow and nutella), crispy French fries, plump onion rings, albeit frozen…..as well as chicken sandwiches….. all ritzimpeccably prepared and served. Oh, yes, there is a veggie burger. Seriously, if you are heaping into a burger bar two words you don’t mention are diet and vegetarian. Think of this as ’50s drive-in burger joint meets Sarasota royalty. The prices are so not the Ritz Carlton, either— burgers range from $6 to $9 with a million-dollar view and no servers on roller skates. With more and more restaurants offering burgers, I have a feeling this is going to be a good year for carnivores.
The burgers and shakes are both A-OK at the new Bayview Burger Bar.
Offered Friday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. outside at Bay View, the Burger Bar is one more very good reason to make your destination the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota. Full bar available—but seriously, don’t miss the chocolate shake.