The question was, “What is your favorite restaurant for a hot Sarasota summer night?” The expected answers would have been “waterfront locations with balmy breezes.” But, the responses were surprising, and the choices reflect the diversity of options in our town.
“We love going to Epicure and sitting outside enjoying a cocktail and a beef carpaaccio or ensalata tropicale. Although it’s warm out, it’s still nice to enjoy the fresh air! It’s also fun to see how downtown is growing and to support a local business.”
— Nicole Kaney and Dustin Stroth
“The light afternoon/dinner menu at Shoogie Boogies in Towles Court is a hidden Sarasota gem, though they are open in the evening only during the Art Walks (the third Friday of each month). It is the perfect place to eat under the stars, enjoy a homemade iced tea and escape into the old Southern charm of the surrounding gardens. The ambience is magical ... and the food is great, too.”
— Nikki Sedacca
“I have two favorites — Owen’s Fish Camp and Café Epicure. The atmosphere at Owen’s is wonderful, and I love the oysters and the fried green tomato salad. I am very picky about Italian restaurants, but the pasta at Epicure is delicious, and that olive spread with the fresh bread? To die for.”
— Donna DePoalo
“Bijou Café has a great menu with special summer selections. Everyone knows your name and is professional. Puccini’s is the best new restaurant with superlative food. There’s no liquor license, so bring your own wine. Roy’s summer special in which you bring your own wine and pay no corkage fee is hard to beat.”
— Sen. Bob Johnson
“Two summer dining experiences that are a complete must are Michael’s On East and Salute. They both have phenomenal menus, the wines are to die for and the service is perfection; both provide ownership detail at every guest table.”
— Roger Capote
“ … Selva Grill and Owen’s Fish Camp. Both have a great atmosphere and incredible food. At Selva, I like eating inside because of the art and decor. At Owen’s, I prefer eating outside on the adorable patio to get the full experience of the restaurant. You can’t go wrong with either restaurant, especially if you are trying to beat the summer heat.”
— Lauren McComb
“For me, it’s the people who make the difference. My favorites: Mediterraneo for the veal Milanese and the wonderfully warm greeting you get when you walk in the door; Derek’s Culinary Casual for a delicious burger and a shoe parade; and Caragiulios Italian Restaurant for making the chicken Caesar wrap ‘Jackie-style’ — delish! To keep the hair under control, eating inside is a must!”
— Jackie Rogers
WHERE TO EAT
1287 First St.
1298 N. Palm Ave.
Caragiulios Italian Restaurant
69 S. Palm Ave.
Derek’s Culinary Casual
514 Central Ave.
1970 Main St.
Michael’s On East
1212 S. East Ave.
Owen’s Fish Camp
516 Burns Lane
7252 S. Tamiami Trail
2001 Siesta Drive
23 N. Lemon Ave.
1345 Main St.
1919 Morrill St.
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