Jump to content


Photo

Anna Maria Island (Florida)


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 Rubee

Rubee

    New member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 13 October 2006 - 05:28 PM

Heading to Anna Maria Island and the Bradenton/Sarasota area this week. Any suggestions? Last year we went to Moore's Stone Crab which was great, will be back again this year. New to us this year - plan to stock up at Supermarket Acapulco Tropical in Bradenton, including fresh in-house tortillas. One restaurant on our definite list is "The Sign of the Mermaid" - anyone been?

I'll be sure to report back also. Thanks!

#2 Rubee

Rubee

    New member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 25 October 2006 - 02:45 PM

Here's some of the highlights from our trip last week.

Our first stop driving in from the Tampa Airport to Anna Maria Island was in Bradenton - Supermarket Acapulco Tropical (3525 1st St.). This place was great! A Hispanic market, it was chaotic and crowded on a Saturday afternoon, with lines at the butcher and seafood counters. We had planned on just picking up a few supplies, but ended up getting enough for a couple of meals. Stocked up on some things to bring home like panela and Tapatio hot sauce (only 75 cents). We bought Mexican sodas (they had real Mexican Coke in glass bottles too), some fresh cilantro, crema, tortilla chips, and mango puree for margaritas. We overdid it at the prepared food counter; I wanted to just point at everything and order it all. There were piles of chicharrones, ribs, and roasted chickens (one chicken with salsa and a pound of tortillas for $5.99), and bins filled with roasted meats, seafood, stews, soups, etc. Also a menu for burritos, tacos, combination plates, etc. We bought menudo, carnitas, pico de gallo, guacamole, ceviche, both flour and corn tortillas (made in-house and still warm!), and a couple of burritos and tacos (al pastor and carne asada) loaded with fresh onion, cilantro, and salsa - no rice filler in these burritos! There were also a few tables and chairs squeezed into a the corner, which were constantly filled. I'm sure English is spoken, though we used Spanish. We ended up having my family over later that afternoon and feasted on a wonderful Mexican meal with mango margaritas. Everything was excellent. The only slight disappointment was when we had the menudo for breakfast later in the week - no hominy. I wish we had a place like this in Boston. One of the employees also told us to check out the bakery next door, but we ran out of time.

Also thought Maria’s Mexican at the Red Barn outdoor market was another great spot for delicious Mexican food. Watched them make fresh tortillas as we stood in line. Everything was good – quesadillas, sopes, and especially my gorditas and horchata. My brother and SIL never had horchata before, and the man at the counter kindly offered them a sample (and my SIL promptly ordered her own). I also liked the various salsas – green, red, and an avocado and cilantro puree that you help yourself to. It's outside by the produce vendors.

New Pass Grill & Bait Shop at City Island in Sarasaota by the bridge. Known for their burgers, and what a view! Casual spot where you order at the counter and take a stool at one of the few weather-worn tables or counters overlooking the water.

Cortez Kitchen – We went to this place twice. Tucked away in Cortez Village in Bradenton, this is a retail seafood market and casual restauran on the waterfront . We stopped in for an afternoon snack of stone crab and margaritas, and immediately made plans to return for lunch later during the week. Rustic atmosphere and reasonable prices. Large menu including fresh steamed, grilled, and fried seafood, sushi rolls, bbq ribs, soups, and salads. Great grouper “Reuben”. Good burger (though not as good as New Pass), but don't order the side of mac-n-cheese unless you like Kraft from the blue box. Other sides include hush puppies, fried okra, cheese grits, fries, etc. Definitely on my list of favorites – you can spend a whole afternoon here. Live music at night, full bar.

Our other “twice in a week” restaurant this trip was Ooh La La Bistro. Our new favorite high-end restaurant on the island (we liked this better than Beach Bistro last year). We had a wonderful dinner with my brother and SIL, and brought my parents back the next night for Happy Hour. Delicious food made with high-quality ingredients - the chef formerly worked at Café L’Europe in Sarasota - and I liked the cozy bistro atmosphere with a large L-shaped bar. We had a fun time with the friendly and efficient staff - Chris and Cynthia the first night, Patty, TT, and Bonnie the next. Great bread – it’s shipped from France par-baked and finished at the restaurant. The first night we started with the decadent fries cooked in duck fat and served with truffle ketchup, and the Anna Maria Island favorite of “lobster-cargot” (chunks of Florida lobster cooked in butter and garlic). Everybody’s entrée was delicious – my special of Thai red snapper with green papaya jam and jicama citrus salad with red curry, panko-crusted scallops, beef Wellington, and my husband’s Tournedos Rossini with filet (they use organic grass-fed beef) with foie gras. We finished off at the bar with a great Bananas Foster, and Chris gave us a couple of glasses of sparkling red to enjoy (Rosa Regale
Brachetto d'Acqui). The next night, the six of us returned, sat at the bar for Happy Hour, and enjoyed some appetizers. They had a jazz trio at 6:00, and two-for-one wine and beer 5:30-6:30. My mother loved the soup du jour so much (black bean and roasted red pepper), that she actually ordered another one! Other highlights were the New Orleans Shrimp in a garlicky tomato sauce, the crispy black bean cakes, and the chipotle Caesar salad. My parents also loved Ooh La La, and my dad proclaimed he’ll be back and order the same dinner he had - lobster bisque and the warm goat cheese salad with raspberry vinaigrette. Finished off with a fantastic strawberry shortcake with a perfect, not-too-sweet, home-made biscuit with fresh whipped cream big enough for all to share. We loved this place. It’s worth seeking out - hidden in a strip mall in Holmes Beach. We had a great time and could definitely see hanging out at the bar and becoming regulars. ; )

http://www.oohlalabistro.com/


Moore's was great - we had jumbo stone crabs and key lime pie. We've been here before for the same meal. Sign of the Mermaid was a disappointment - prices high (same as Ooh La La), but not half as satisfying (apps and entrees took way too long, empty water glasses, long wait for another bottle of wine, an overcooked seafood entree, etc.). Some dishes were very good (clams and mussels duo, grouper in phyllo, filet) and the seafood was very fresh, but we wouldn't go again.

#3 Rail Paul

Rail Paul

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 19,233 posts

Posted 30 December 2007 - 12:33 AM

NY Times has a 36 Hours Guide to Sarasota this week


QUOTE
Darwin Santa Maria, the chef and owner of the Selva Grill (1345 Main Street, 941-362-4427; www.selvagrill.com), is originally from Peru, and the flavors of his country of mountains and coasts infuse almost everything on the menu. And everything on the menu is worth trying, as Selva serves quite possibly the best food in town. The ceviches de la casa alone offer 10 choices ($11 to $17), not including the daily specials. It’s a tough decision, but the Selva ceviche, made with corvina, cusco corn and roasted camote (sweet potato), tastes like the first day of summer. It’s served up in a lively space, with a crowded bar and friendly patrons who wave to one another as they come and go



36 Hours


QUOTE
By day, sleepy Hillview Street seems an unlikely spot for night life, but when the weekend rolls around, good luck finding a parking spot. A handful of buzzing restaurants and bars have recently opened along this block-and-a-half stretch. For lively ambience and inventive food, go to the Table (1936 Hillview Street, 941-365-4558, www.thetablesarasota.com), an upscale restaurant that serves so-called Atlantic Rim cuisine, which blends Caribbean, South American and southeast American flavors. Favorites include spring rolls with Havana short ribs ($7.95) and grilled salmon encrusted with Venezuelan crab and served with purple sticky rice ($23.95). Ask for a table in the back room; a D.J. starts spinning at the bar around 9 p.m. By 10 p.m., it’s a full-on dance.

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#4 Goinfre

Goinfre

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 35 posts

Posted 02 January 2008 - 01:37 AM

I live part time on Longboat Key and dine out about every night when there. Here are the right addresses in the Sarasota/Bradenton area (not in any particular order):

Cork (Sarasota, St. Armands Circle)
Beach Bistro (Holmes Beach)
Zaks (steak) Sarasota
Maison Blanche (Longboat)
Zoria (Sarasota)
Ophelia (Siesta Key)
The Table (Sarasota)
Selva Grill (Sarasota)

===================================================
I don’t wish to be everything to everyone, but I would like to be something to someone.

-- Katherine Kurtz


#5 scamhi

scamhi

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,321 posts

Posted 02 January 2008 - 05:44 PM

QUOTE(Goinfre @ Jan 1 2008, 08:37 PM) View Post
I live part time on Longboat Key and dine out about every night when there. Here are the right addresses in the Sarasota/Bradenton area (not in any particular order):

Cork (Sarasota, St. Armands Circle)
Beach Bistro (Holmes Beach)
Zaks (steak) Sarasota
Maison Blanche (Longboat)
Zoria (Sarasota)
Ophelia (Siesta Key)
The Table (Sarasota)
Selva Grill (Sarasota)

===================================================
I don’t wish to be everything to everyone, but I would like to be something to someone.

-- Katherine Kurtz


what goinfre said...
we had a decent except for the weird spaztle at the Old Hamburg Schnitzelhaus on Anna Maria last week.
Haxen ( giant pork shank with crackling) and nicely fried pork and veal cutlets with various toppings. The spaz was more like broken noodles.

Where are you on LBK?


#6 Rail Paul

Rail Paul

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 19,233 posts

Posted 28 April 2008 - 12:37 AM

Zoria, Ophelia and Selva Grill were mentioned favorably in a recent Herald-Tribune roundup of area restaurants. The overall list covers Manatee county, Sarasota county, and Charlotte county.

Here's a sample...

QUOTE
SARASOTA

Americano Café

The chrome and red vinyl furniture, open kitchen and high ceilings are reflective of straightforward preparations, like creamy polenta or sautéed mushrooms in a basket of Parmesan cheese. Pastas, chicken, beef, and seafood dishes, rotisserie specials. Smooth, silky panna cotta provides a light finish. Excellent service. Good wine selection. 1409 Main St., Sarasota; 365-1026. Barrier-free access.

Bijou Cafe

Renovated after a fire destroyed the old building, Bijou Cafe now presents an even more sophisticated ambience. This doyenne of downtown has earned its reputation over the past 20 years, with patrons who appreciate its shrimp Piri Piri, crab cakes, pommes gratin Dauphinois, braised lamb shanks and other Bijou standards that have evolved into local classics. 1287 First St., Sarasota; 366-8111. Reservations suggested.

Bacco's Tuscan Dining

An outdoor dining area, two side rooms and a main dining room, with high ceilings and mocha-colored walls lined with prints are conducive to relaxed dining. Bacco's menu is a solid representation of Italian cooking. Mussels and clams in a rich wine-based broth let the flavorful juices of the shellfish dominate. Other items include bacala (dried cod reconstituted in milk) and stuffed calamari, millefoglie (layers of pastry, pastry cream and fresh berries) and panna cotta. A judicious wine list matches the menu. 23 N. Lemon St., Sarasota; 365-7380. Barrier-free access.

Broccolini's Restaurant

Italian food in a pleasant room and ample space so that no one is crowded. The menu is chock-full of familiar dishes like pasta e fagioli, linguine alle vongole and chicken Marsala. One of the fish specials, the Costa Smeralda (mahi-mahi and crab over white beans) displays the robust qualities of country cooking, while the catch of the day reflected a thoughtful element of Broccolini's menu -- a choice in preparation. 6525 Superior Ave., Sarasota; 926-8525; www.broccolinisarasota.com. Barrier-free access.

Café Baci

Café Baci is a little taste of Italy in our own backyard. The main dining room is spacious, allowing comfortable spacing between the tables. Prices are reasonable, the staff is friendly and the extensive menu includes traditional favorites as well as a few surprises. Classic favorites include eggplant parmigiana, gnocchi, red snapper Baci, and ravioli di funghi (with mushrooms). Café Baci, 4001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; 921-4848; cafebaci.net.

Canvas Café

This unique little oasis in the heart of Sarasota's Towles Court is first and foremost a restaurant, with an art gallery on the side. With indoor and outdoor seating, and a modern décor, this restaurant pleases with seasonal American cuisine, with entrées including arctic char, North Platt River Valley filet mignon and pan-seared scallops with lobster edamame succotash. A variety of events throughout the week include wine tastings, Starving Artists Nights and Drag Queen Bingo. 239 S. Links Ave., Towles Court, Sarasota. Major credit cards. 366-2233; canvascafesrq.com.

Ceviche

Ceviche is located in the historic Sarasota Times building, originally constructed in 1925. The four-story restaurant includes a rooftop bar with water views. The Ceviche menu is comprised of more than 100 different hot and cold tapas, as well as paellas and cazuelas, with most of the tapas recipes originating in northern Spain and Catalan. 1216 First St., Sarasota; 952-1036; ceviche.com.

Chutney's Etc.

Sarasota has become an epicenter for ethnic foods, and Chutney's Etc. has been feeding that demand since 1987. Owners and husband-and-wife team, Ash Shukla and Denise May, have created a consummate neighborhood restaurant, specializing in well-known Indian and Middle Eastern favorites. From chicken and lamb kebabs to stuffed cabbage, falafel and babaghanoosh, the food is a spicy treat. 1944 Hillview St., Sarasota; 954-4444; chutneysetc.com.

CiCi's Pizza

Enjoy CiCi's wallet-pleasing buffet menu -- pizza, pasta, salad and dessert -- all for under $5. CiCi's pizzas start with dough that is made from scratch daily. Toppings include vine-ripened tomatoes, whole-milk mozzarella and a variety of other toppings including pepperoni, beef, ham, chicken, sausage, peppers, onions, fresh mushrooms and more. Signature creations include CiCi's BBQ pizza, spinach alfredo pizza, macaroni and cheese pizza, zesty veggie and Mexican-style pizza. 8347 Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota, 358-6262; www.cicispizza.com.

Citrus Café

Citrus is a charming little cafe, where you can enjoy lunch inside or out. With a variety of platters, including its Bistro Tenderloin Salad, Mediterranean Platter, Citrus Spinach Salad or Pasta Primavera Salad, and a selection of sandwiches including everything from its Vegetarian Delight to a Roast Tenderloin & Boursin sandwich, everything at Citrus is fresh and delicious. A limited dinner menu is served on Friday nights. 543 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota; 957-0432.

DaRuMa

Thriving in Sarasota Crossings, DaRuMa offers boxes and dinners from the sushi bar with teriyaki and tempura creations as well as assorted sushi and sashimi combinations served with miso soup and a green salad. Tableside teppanyaki cooking is available. Appetizers: dumplings, tempura, yakitori, seafood rolls or negamaki. Entrées include many meat and seafood combinations. In Sea Delights -- a combination of shrimp, scallops and tuna -- the shrimp and scallops were quite large, the tuna was seared and sliced, meltingly tender inside, just warm outside. Filet mignon was fork-tender and shrimp perfectly cooked. Dinners were accompanied by grill-sautéed vegetables and fried rice. 5459 Fruitville Road, Sarasota; 342-6600; www.darumarestaurant.com. Barrier-free access.

Déjà Vu

Tucked into a row of shops on Gulf Gate Drive is Déjà Vu. Inside are a handful of tables, decorative tiles and a large aquarium. The menu changes weekly. Crab cake is augmented by generous chunks of shrimp then varied further with chipotle flavored mayonnaise. Calamari came with Dijon-flavored sauce and tomato. Beef filet was cooked exactly as ordered. Cheese ravioli almost stole the show. The pasta was just al dente, the filling rich, and the tomato sauce thick and flavorful. Carrot cake was excellent, and an apple tart revealed a deft hand with pastry. Small selection of wines by the bottle or glass. Good service. Reservations advised. 2164 Gulf Gate Drive; 926-2994. Barrier-free access.

Derek's Culinary Casual

Derek's menu blends the traditional and the trendy, humble comfort food and elegant fusion in an engaging way, including dishes such as smoked trout terrine, yellowfin tuna Boudin and veal shank ravioli -- each dish crafted with skill and culinary imagination. 514 Central Ave., Sarasota; 366-6565; www.dereks-sarasota.com. Barrier-free access.

Divino

Situated on Main Street, Divino cooks up a mix of classic and modern Italian dishes. For appetizers, try the Polenta Concia with mushrooms, sausage and cheese, or the Piccolo Fritto (calamari, eggplant and zucchini with a side of marinara pesto sauce). Entrées include a variety of pastas, beef, roasted duck and fresh seafood, including a salmon fillet roasted in parsley and lemon sauce and garnished with fresh vegetables. 1766 Main St., Sarasota; 330-9393. Reservations suggested.

Esca Restaurant and Bar

Esca has crafted an appealing balance in both cooking and decor. It is Italian at its core, but plays frequent variations on it. The pastas give diners a choice to sample from the most delicate tastes to the most hearty. A small-but-amiable wine list, a little tour around the world. 1888 Main St., Sarasota; 365-3722; www.escasrq.com. Barrier-free access.

Etrusco Ristorante

Etrusco Ristorante is unassuming, with décor limited to richly colored walls and framed prints. Crisp linens and fresh flowers on each of its dozen tables make the small space appealing. Complimentary crostini topped with a mild liver spread came while we perused the predominantly Tuscan menu. Steamed mussels are available in red or white sauce. Portabello mushroom with Gorgonzola sauce was delicious. Chilean sea bass cooked in parchment with olives, tomatoes, capers and olive oil was excellent. We finished our meal with a serviceable tiramisu. 430 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; 364-4641. Barrier-free access.

5-One-6 Burns

Taking its name from its address, 5-One-6 Burns combines charm and skillful cooking to offer satisfying meals. The style is what might be called American bistro, casual but with attention to detail and a willingness to experiment. On the menu: Sweetbreads paired with wild-mushroom ragout; Organic Chicken, succulent and more tasty because it was free-range; Skirt Steak, tender and full-flavored, accented with a slightly sweet wine sauce. 516 Burns Lane, Sarasota; 906-1884;






Manatee, Sarasota, and Charlotte counties

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#7 Rail Paul

Rail Paul

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 19,233 posts

Posted 03 May 2008 - 09:02 PM

Crab restaurants are discussed in this article:


QUOTE
The sautéed real crabmeat, seasoned with herbs and spices and served with diced tomato and a side of roasted red pepper remoulade, is more filling than it appears. ....Barnacle Bill’s Seafood, 1526 Main St., Sarasota; 365-6800, www.barnaclebillsseafood.com.


Lightly seared and crispy on the outside, moist on the inside and rich with seasonings, it is a decadent beginning to what will likely become an unforgettable meal. ..Ophelia’s on the Bay, 9105 Midnight Pass Road, Sarasota; 349-2212, www.opheliasonthe bay.net.


Take, for instance, the Crabcake Sandwich at Crab & Fin on St. Armands Circle. It consists of a broiled cake on an English muffin with melted cheddar cheese and a slice of tomato for $12. ...Crab & Fin, 420 St. Armands Circle, Sarasota; 388-3964, www.crabfinrestaurant.com.


Two blue coastal lump jumbo crab cakes come seasoned with herbs and spices and two sauces... Bluewater Grill & Tavern, 6152 14th St. W., Bradenton; 758-0081, www.bluewater bradenton.com.


The crab cake appetizer for about $6 is served breaded with lemon wedges and marinara sauce, or cocktail sauce by request. .. Anna Maria Oyster Bar, 6906 14th St. W., Bradenton; 758-7880, www.oysterbar.net.


Got crabs?

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman