Sarasota Restaurant and Food News
Restaurant, Food and Wine News in Sarasota, Florida

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(Sept. 1, 2010): The Table will be opening in two weeks on Phillippi Island in the former fish wholesale building near Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar. Pedro will be back in the kitchen and Rafael in the front of the house, along with many of the former staff from Hillview St. If they stick to the food they had at Hillview St. which made them popular, they will be successful.

(Sept. 1, 2010): 1603 N Tamiami Trl. A location that has housed a number of Italian restaurants and even a hookah lounge, (Aristo) is scheduled to open Oct. 1 as El Pescador.

(Sept. 1, 2010): Rumor has it the Irish Rover is planning on opening in downtown Sarasota. Their Gulf Gate location has closed.

(Sept. 1, 2010): Solarzano's Italian will be open shortly in Gulf Gate across the street from the former Brocollini Italian restaurant.

(Sept. 1, 2010): UPDATE: Shaner's has taken over the former Horse Feathers location in downtown Sarasota. Shaner's has closed the location at Clark & Beneva.

(Aug. 19, 2011) Zante Gyros opened yesterday in Gulf Gate.

The big move is on after 1/4 century at their old location. Patrick's is opening the first weekend in May at 1481 Main St. in downtown Sarasota. Just the opposite end of the block from their previous home of 25 years and 4 months.

The great burgers will be back and look closely at the decor which will be a tribute to various Sarasota arts events and organizations. Being next door to Mattison's City Grille and across the street from The Gator Club should add more excitement to the already busy Lemon and Main area.

Under construction in the old Pattelini's Pizza location is the 5 Pointes Deli. If the sign's promise holds true, it will be nice to see a deli open up at that end of Main St. It's just next to the old Patrick's location. Part of the construction includes adding seating and an entrance in the small lobby adjacent to the restaurant as well as moving the front door back about 10 feet to allow room for outdoor dining.

With the opening of a new Patrick's comes the closing of the nearby Olive Tree Cafe & Bar 1454 Main St.. It started with a lot of promise, but rumors of staff problems and inconsistent food led to another untimely restaurant closing.

Executive chef Ryan Boeve and pastry chef Arthur Lopes, both formerly of Zoria, are back at the new Pomona Bistro & Wine Bar at Citrus Square in Downtown Sarasota. The restaurant promises to use local ingredients from nearby farms and fishermen for their menu. The restaurant wine list features wines from California, Oregon, France, Italy and Spain.

The Table, formerly in Southside Village on Hillview Street, will be returning to the Sarasota food scene. They will be located on Phillippi Island on South Tamiami Trail. Good luck to Rafael and Pedro. We'll keep you updated on their opening plans.

Congratulations to Tommy Kouvatsos (Village Cafe) and George Nikias (Millie's) on the opening of their new restaurant Legacy Sarasota Grille. A soft opening was held Sunday Nov, 8, 2010. Several hundreds guests attended and enjoyed food from the new restaurant's menu. While there are some items that will be familiar to patrons of Big Al's (that previously occupied the same location) there are a number of new items. Despite the crowd at Sunday's opening, food seemed to be coming out of the kitchen at a good pace. The operator's previous experience in restaurant management was obvious. Good luck in your new venture.

Is Gulf Gate Sarasota's Little Italy?
With the opening of Dolce Italia in Gulf Gate the total number of Italian restaurants and pizza restaurants on Gulf Gate Drive, Gateway and Superior Avenues now numbers 8. In addition to this new business, the other Italian offerings in the couple of blocks between US 41 and Stickney Point are:
 • Broccolini Restaurant
 • Il Panificio Gulf Gate
 • Oh Mamma Mia
 • Piccolo Italian Market and Deli
 • Pontillo's Pizzeria
 • Rico's Pizzeria
 • Sal's Pizzeria & Pasta House
So when you have a craving for some prosciutto, pizza, pasta or cannoli, just head over to Gulf Gate.

Where are people spending their money? According to an American Express study of cardholder spending, the wealthy are spending more in fast food restaurants today. As reported in The Wall Street Journal, the "ultra-affluent" are spending 24% more at fast food restaurants than a year ago while other consumers are only spending 8% more on fast food. According to American Express: "...ultra-affluent consumers nationwide increased spending in quick service restaurants by 24%, compared to a 12% increase for this group in fine dining spending. When compared to smaller spending increases in other categories, it is interesting for the food and beverage industry to note that less expensive restaurants have caught the attention of this particular consumer group."

Bob's Boathouse returning? Rumor has it that the folks behind Bob's Boathouse, formerly at the end of Old Stickney Point Road on Siesta Key, are involved in the plans for a new restaurant to be built on the site of the former Carl Black GMC dealership on Phillippi Creek. Stay tuned for more details!

According to published reports, Libby's Cafe & Bar in Southside Village has filed a lawsuit against a Lakewood Ranch based magazine due to a rumor they published recently claiming that Libby's was planning on closing. According to Libby's owner, that is not true. has visited Libby's many times and judging by the crowds one wonders how the rumor could have started in the first place.

Fast Food Restaurants Dish Up Unhealthy Marketing to Youth; Researchers Release Unprecedented Report on Fast Food Nutrition and Marketing
According to a study from Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, the fast food industry spent more than $4.2 billion on marketing and advertising in 2009, focusing extensively on television, the Internet, social media sites and mobile applications. According to the study, preschoolers see 21% more fast food ads on TV than they saw in 2003, and somewhat older children see 34% more.

The Olive Tree Cafe & Bar opened on Main St. in downtown Sarasota. Owner Tony Tannus says it will be a Mediterranean cuisine offering Lebanese and Israeli foods featuring hummus, baba ganoush, etc. Tony says they'll even have mama ganoush!

More and more cities and towns have banned smoking. Now Boston joins the trend as smoking is banned at all indoor workplaces citywide, including some 700 bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Watertown, Saugus and Framingham have also gone smoke-free, joining a growing number of cities around the country. New York City is enforcing its ban. In Massachusetts, 77 communities have adopted total public smoking bans, and many others have partial bans. While public health officials, many nonsmokers and smokers alike say they'll appreciate the fresher air in Boston now, business owners and patrons are concerned about loss of business and ambiance, and what they feel is an infringement on their rights.
Tax receipts in Florida showed that business at restaurants actually increased after Florida's indoor workplace smoking ban went into effect several years ago.


Openings & Closings

Lido Island Grill (Opening Soon - Lido Beach)
Reef Cakes (Southside Village)
Doggystyle (Opening Soon - Downtown)
Rain Noodle House (Opening Soon - The Landings)
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams (University Town Center)
Arcade Monsters (St. Armands)
L&L Hawaiian Barbecue (Opening Soon - Fruitville)
Kojo (Downtown)
Origin Craft Beer and Pizza Cafe UTC (UTC)
Chaz 51 Steakhouse (Bird Bay Plaza - Venice)
Vino Bistro (Openign Soon - Rosemary District)
Tripletail Seafood & Spirits (The Landings
Island Fin Poke Co. Sarasota (Bee Ridge)
Brine Seafood & Raw Bar (Gulf Gate)
La Violetta Market & Kitchen (New Location - Opening Soon)
The Parrot X-Press Grill (Southgate)
Beauty of Sprouts (Moved - N. Orange Ave.)
Waters Edge Winery and Bistro (Opening Sonn - Downtown)
Ruby Tuesday (Closed - UTC)
Main Street Creamey (Downtown)
Bento Cafe (UTC Mall - Opening Soon)
Cafe Amalfi (Stickney Point - Opening Soon)
Pizza N' Brew (Downtown - Opening Soon)
Barnacle Bill's (Closed - Downtown)
Bob Evans (Closed - 14th St. W Bradenton)
Post Kitchen and Bar (Opening Soon - Shops at University Center)
Hoshi Sushi (Gulf Gate
The Whiskey Barrel (St. Armands)
Vino-Vino Italian Restaurant (Southgate)
China Taste (Osprey)
One Eyed Jack's (Bee Ridge)
Rise & Nye's (Downtown)
Atmosphere Italian (Reopening Soon - Sarasota Commons)
Skillets (Palmer Ranch)
Il Panificio's Siesta (Siesta Key Village)
Honeycomb Cafe (South Trail)
Yokuji Asian Restaurant (North Trail)
Donatos Pizza (Near Sarasota High)
Figaro Bistro (Opening Soon - Hillview St.)
Ham Heaven & Devil Dogs (Closed - Clark Road)
Blue Moon Grill (Closed - Bahia Vista)
Angelo's Limoncello (Cattlemen Road)
Sarasota Deli (Mobil Station - South Trail)
Freskia Pita (Fruitville & Honore)
Vernona Gourmet (St. Armands)
Drift Restaurant and Bar (Lido Beach Resort)
Seabar (Gulf Gate)
K-Nam (Beneva & Clark)
Rincon Tolteca (South Trail)
Donatos Pizza (Swift & Clark)
Fusion Gourmet By Chef Razo (Closed - Gulf Gate)
Acropolis Sarasota (Closed - UTC)
Nancy's Bar-B-Q (Closed - Downtown)
Sushi Bay Kitchen & Sake Bar (Cattlemen)
Chayhana Vostok Uzbek Cuisine (South Trail)
Duff's Original Buffet (Closed - Bradenton)
Pita's Republic (Closed - UTC)
Pita's Republic (Closed - Fruitville)
Mademoiselle Paris (Changed name from C'Est La Vie University)
Rasoi Indian Kitchen (Formerly Flavors of India)
S'Macks Burgers & Shakes (Closed - Southgate)
Oasis Restaurant & Bar (4th St. Downtown)
TooJay's (Closed - Southgate)
Anthony's Italian Deli & Eatery (Landings)
Origin Craft Beer And Pizza Cafe (Palmer Ranch)
Donatos Pizza (Fruitville & Honore)
Seven on Venice (Closed - Venice Ave.)
Rivera Maya (Closed - Cocoanut)
Punta Sur (Closed - Beneva)
Anthony's Italian Deli & Eatery (Landings)
Limoncello (Closed - Cattlemen)
Kumo Japanese Steakhouse (Closed - Venice)
Kruk's Philly Steaks (Closed - Landings)
Umbrellas (Closed - Downtown)
Mexico Lindo (Closed - St. Armands)
1812 Osprey (Closed - Southside Village)
Umbrellas (Closed - Downtown)
Fat Daddio's (Opened - Stickney Point)
Omelette and Company (Closed - S. Trail)
MacAllisters (Closed - Lakewood Ranch)
Lemon Tree Kitchen (Closed - Downtown)
Opa Opa (Closed - Gulf Gate)
Daily Bird (Closed - Downtown)
Zeno's Boardwalk Sweet Shop (Closed - St. Armands)
Surf Shack (Closed - St. Armands)
Peach's (Closed - 26th St. Bradenton)
Peach's (Closed - Cortez Rd. Bradenton)
Jason's Deli (Closed - University)
Denny's (Closed - Venice, FL)
Angelino (Italian Tradition) (Closed - Rosemary District)
Local Pizza (Osprey)
Solorzano Bros. Pizzeria (Closed - Siesta Key)
Sweet Tomatoes (Closed - Landings)
Cannon's Steak House (Closed - Gulf Gate)
Pino's (Closed - Shops at Siesta Row)
Tokaj (Closed - Gulf Gate)
Fork My Life (Closed - Gulf Gate)
Cafe Roma (Closed - Hillview)
Tela's Bistro (Closed - Bee Ridge)
Pazzo Southside (Open - Hillview)
Ka Papa Cuisine (Opening Soon - Southside Village)
Willows Cafe (Rosemary District)
Blue Koi (Bee Ridge & McIntosh)
Ama La Vita (Main Street)
Taco Bus (Inside Marathon Gas - S. Trail)
Louis Pappas Fresh Greek (Cooper Creek)
Bunhaus Vietnamese Kitchen (UTC)
Postal 98 (Pinecraft)
Tortellino Bistrot (Gulf Gate)
Romansq (Gulf Gate)
Doughbie Brothers Pizza (Closed - University Park)
Prague (Closed - Downtown)
Thai Seed (UTC Market)
Luna Rossa (Closed - Southgate)
Kruk's Philly Steaks (Closed - University Parkway)
Smoqehouse (South Trail)
Yaki Sushi Grill BBQ (University UTC)
Antojitos Cuban Cuisine (North Trail)
Bravo Italian Mediterranean (Closed - Southgate)
Kurtos (Downtown Sarasota)
Mojo's Paladar Real Cuban (Closed - Venice)
Barnacle Bill's (Closed - North Trail)
Whitney Bodega (Longboat Key)
Mitch's Kitchen (Formerly Bud's - Venice)
A Good Day Cafe (Blackburn Point Plaza Osprey)
Circo (Downtown)
Sarasota Grill & Pizzeria (Palmer Blvd.)
Rivera Maya Bar and Grill (Cocoanut Ave.)
Avli Mess Hall (Downtown)
Appizza A Pizza (Parkway Collection)
The Colombian Point Restaurant (N. Washington)
Cuccina Gloria (Nokomis - Formerly Joseph's Diner)
A Sprig of Thyme (Hillview St.)
Big Mike's Pizza (S. Venice)
Sarasota Food and Beer (Fruitville & Honore)
Norma Jean's Sports Bar (Closed - Fruitville Rd.)
Apollonia Grill (Landings)
Green Zebra Cafe (Downtown)
So Fresh (Downtown)
Irish 31 Pub & Eatery (Southgate)
GrillSmith (S. Trail)
Eatiny Thai & Sushi (Eatiny Thai & Sushi - Formerly Star Thai & Sushi)
Siegfried's Beirgarten (Downtown)
South Philly Cheesesteaks (Main St.)
62 Bistrot (Closed - Hillview St.)
Smashburger (Closed - University & Tuttle)
Nancy's BBQ (Lorraine Road - Lakewood Ranch)
Shake Shack (Mall at UTC)
Li'l Nancy's at the Ranch (Closed - Relocating Lakewood Ranch)
Brasa & Pisco (Closed - Lockwood Ridge)
My Village Pub (Siesta Village)
La Norma Ristorante & Pizzeria (Center Shops - LBK)
Teas Days (Gulf Gate)
Athens Family Restaurant (Bee Ridge near Tuttle)
Project Coffee (Burns Court)
Armando's Cocina Mexicana (Moved to 12th Street)
Chicken Kitchen (Closed - University Parkway)
Burger & Beer Joint (Closed - UTC Mall)
Bavaro's Pizza Napoletana & Pastaria (Downtown)
Pietros Ristorante Italiano And Wine Bar (South Trail)
Spacco Italian Grill (Closed - N. Lockwood Ridge)
99 Bottles (99 Bottles - Downtown)

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