Primarily known as a specialty chocolate shop in Sarasota, Sirard's continues to grow and expand. Just about a year ago, Sirard's moved into a new, larger location in Palmer Plaza, just off Clark Road. Not only did this location provide more room for the ever-growing chocolate business, but it also provided a comfortably cozy space for a casual café.
The café menu, which is served between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., is limited, but it does offer a range of options, including soups, salads, paninis, sandwiches and daily specials. As one might expect, chocolate is a special ingredient in a number of menu items. For our meals, we chose the following:
- Chocolate Chili: Served with cocoa nib corn bread. $4.25 Real comfort food made even better with the addition of chocolate. Not very spicy and certainly not sweet, but had a rich 'mouth feel.'
- The S. S. S. Sirard's Signature Salad: Organic spring mix, tomato, cucumber, dried cranberries and goat cheese rolled in candied walnuts, all tossed in a cocoa vinaigrette garnished with a strip of chocolate-covered bacon. Served with a mini muffin of the day. $7.99 With Yum Yum Chicken Salad $9.95 A must-have. Sounds crazy, but it was light. Great for a summer's day. All produce was fresh; the chicken salad had sliced almonds and grapes. A great mix of flavors and textures - crunchy, refreshing and sweet. I saved the chocolate-covered bacon for dessert.
- Seared Chicken Breast Wrap: Sliced cocoa-rubbed chicken breast, lettuce, tomato and Swiss cheese with chocolate wasabi mayo, all rolled in a wrap. Served with chips or pasta salad. $8.99 Once again, another interesting combination and use of chocolate. The contrasting flavors of chocolate and wasabi added some dimension and depth to this sandwich. It took an ordinary wrap and made it stand out.
- Pear Crumb Torte a la Mode: $6.95 Full disclosure: pear-lover here. This was an outstanding dessert. The sweet, subtle flavor of the pear with the rich, silky creaminess of the ice cream is a flavor/texture combination that is tough to beat.
- Southern Falafel (Veggie): Two veggie patties made with field and lima peas, served on top of pita bread with hummus, tomato, cucumbers and red onion, served with tzatziki sauce and fresh fruit. $8.99 A healthy, delicious combination of textures and flavors. Reminds me more of an American, rather than a Mediterranean, version of falafel and pita bread. Very colorful. Great flavor and portion.
- Pork Loin Mojo Panini: Sliced pork loin marinated in special cocoa mojo topped with caramelized red-onion relish, gruyere cheese and served with a dipping au juice. Served with chips or pasta salad. $8.99
One word: Wow! This was an outstanding sandwich. Fresh, moist, fully flavored with a side of mole for dipping. My mouth waters just typing this description.
Although Sirard's does not offer beer, there is a small selection of wines by the glass, bottles of champagne, soft drinks, and specialty drinks and coffee to accompany your meal. The wait staff is very friendly, cheerful, accommodating and efficient. They make a pleasant lunch even more enjoyable.
When the ordinary lunch just won't do, think chocolate. Your taste buds will thank you.
Sirard's Chocolate Café
5170 Clark Road
Sarasota, FL 34233
Café Menu 11:00am-2:30pm