Date: November 20, 2012
by: June LeBell | Contributing Columnist | june@junelebell.com



+ New restaurant features homey setting
Sarasota’s gastronomic economy is certainly picking up. New restaurants are popping up, and some old favorites are moving.

CasAntica, owned and operated by Peter Migliaccio, who, with his, wife, Susan, started Siesta Key’s Café Gabbiano, just opened at 1213 N. Palm Ave. in the Florida Studio Theatre section of town. Yes — it’s the same site that served the now-defunct Jack’s Steakhouse, Aria and, for a short period last year, Zwiwwel, a German restaurant. But Migliaccio is doing something different, and it should have staying power.

“The (restaurant) industry has lost the caring for people,” he told us on the phone a few days before the recent grand opening. “That’s the most important thing — that and the setting. That’s what counts most.”

Migliaccio cares by creating a warm, snug atmosphere with good food and special wines.

“We have boutique wines, bottles you can’t get any place else,” he says. “CasAntica can seat 56 inside and 40 outside. It’s smaller than Café Gabbiano, but the kitchen is bigger.”

“Intimate” is the best way to describe the restaurant.

“It’s really an old house (that’s what ‘CasAntica’ means),” he says. “It was two small bedrooms, a living room and a fireplace, and we’ve created a restaurant with cozy, small rooms.

“I’ve been in the industry for almost 44 years, and I know caring for people is what means the most.”
CasAntica is open from 4 to 11 p.m. seven days a week.

+ Chef Lum is creating new ‘tastes of Asia’
Chef Lam Lum, of Siesta Key’s Taste of Asia, has made himself scarce recently because he’s been out due to foot surgery. Now he’s back, and he’s added some fascinating delicacies to the already wide-ranging menu.

Not only does this inventive chef specialize in Laotian, Vietnamese and Thai cuisine, Lum has created vegetarian and gluten-free dishes. There’s even a vegan menu.

If you look at the diversity of Lum’s offerings, you’ll find some dishes amply seasoned with a spicy sense of humor. From the “Lum-plings” (homemade steamed dumplings with chicken, pork or fish, cabbage, chives and sesame flavor with special soy sauce), to the “Chix on da Beach” (chicken breast breaded and fried, served with mixed veggie fried rice and choice of house sauce) and “Crazy Bull” (marinated beef short rib grilled with ginger, aniseed and cinnamon, coupled with mixed veggie fried rice), you know Lum’s had a hand in everything.

Now the inside scoop: In summer 2013, Lum will be moving from the current location on Siesta to 4413 S. Tamiami Trail. Meanwhile, enjoy this creative menu at 5110 Ocean Blvd.

+ Beach Bistro named a top restaurant
Zagat once again named the Beach Bistro the No. 1 restaurant in Tampa Bay and the Florida Gulf Coast region. The restaurant received 28 out of 30 points for cuisine and 27 out of 30 points for service, landing it a top spot in Zagat’s 2013 America’s Top Restaurants Survey.

“For more than 27 years the Beach Bistro has been providing the very best locally sourced farm product, prime domestic meats and line-caught seafood,” says Sean Murphy, Beach Bistro owner, in a prepared statement. “We also have one of the best chef teams in the country, an exceptional staff and loyal patrons who continue to visit us year after year.”

The bistro, located at 6600 Gulf Drive, in Holmes Beach, is open at 5 p.m. daily.


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