Tidbites: Sarasota produces food and drink winners


Tidbites: Sarasota produces food and drink winners


Date: March 27, 2013
by: June LeBell | Contributing Columnist




+ The Bunny Trail Is ‘Hoppening’
Kids and, well, older kids can celebrate Easter early with the 27th annual Easter egg hunt this Saturday, at the Sandbar restaurant. Bring your own basket and get to this fun Anna Maria eatery, right on the water, by 8:30 a.m. for some light refreshments. The hunt starts at 9 a.m. and is followed by a chance to see the Easter Bunny as he leads the parade down Pine Avenue for the Easter egg roll. At 10:30 a.m., stand by for the third annual Easter bonnet contest. Refreshments will be provided by the Sandbar and Anna Maria Donuts.
Mar Vista, on Longboat Key, is having its 25th annual Easter egg hunt at 10 a.m. Saturday, and it promises every egg found will contain a treat or special surprise.

+ The Bunny Trail Hops Up to the Bar
For a bit more epicurean sophistication on Easter Sunday, one of the best brunches around can be found at The Table Creekside, with mouthwatering dishes such as salmon pastrami bruschetta, bagel crostini, farmer’s cheese spread and caper berry mignonette, and restful waterside views and a chance to win a gift certificate or two.

Terry Ryan, founding partner of the urbane and cutting-edge Carmel Café, on Cooper Creek Boulevard., says, “Holiday brunches traditionally are when people leisurely gather to enjoy each other’s company while also enjoying great food.”

Carmel Café is offering its “Mod Med” cuisine with foods and flavors traditionally associated with Mediterranean countries in a fun, easy-going, but stylish setting.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar has announced the return of its annual three-course Easter brunch with choices that include baked brioche French toast, right, with a walnut crisp and its fabulous white chocolate bread pudding for dessert.

Libby’s Café + Bar has Easter plans with a special buffet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and à la carte options from 3 to 10 p.m. The buffet includes too many luscious things to list, but among those that pop up like baby chicks are the omelet station (create your own, but let someone else do the work!), mini crab cakes, pot roast and mashed potatoes, blueberry pancakes with warm maple syrup, all sorts of salads and sides and a host of sweets from chocolate truffle cake to baked cinnamon buns.

Executive Chef Dwayne Edwards is putting together more than 65 dishes for the Easter brunch at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, and, thinking the kiddies need something to call their own, he’s also creating a pint-size buffet that will feature children’s favorites for a festive feast.

+ More Favorites for Feasting at Easter
Michael’s On East is hopping down the bunny trail with a special brunch that will knock your bunny slippers off. This holiday buffet is open from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and features foods that are so beautifully displayed, right, it’s almost a shame to eat them. But, believe me, you’ll manage.

Harry’s Continental Kitchens, on Longboat Key, has been extra busy with Passover specials but now it’s focused on Easter with a deli-style twist. You can eat in or take it home and enjoy your meal in the comfort of your own dining room. What’s to eat? How about: leg of lamb with potatoes, buttermilk biscuits and green beans, or baked ham with scalloped potatoes. Don’t want to bother with the cleanup? Visit Harry’s and eat there.

Duval’s New World Café, on Main Street, has a special Easter mimosa brunch buffet. The Broken Egg is getting in on this special day with Easter benedicts and mimosas. And Ophelia’s on the Bay is serving Easter dinner all day Sunday, with more mimosas and bloody Marys than you can even imagine. Of course, the view at Ophelia’s is always spectacular: Fish are jumping and the pelicans are soaring. That setting makes you feel spring has really sprung, and its food never fails.

+ Call Your Nearest Bunny or It Won’t Be Funny!
Almost every restaurant we’ve mentioned has one caveat, one reservation: Make a reservation! Easter brunches, lunches and dinners are probably the most sought-after restaurant meals of the year and you don’t want to be left at the curb. It’s not too late to make your plans. Happy Easter eating.


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