There is absolutely no doubt about it. Season in Sarasota is in full swing. Here’s a question. I’m not a physicist or a geologist (I’m not even sure if geologist applies here). Anyway, at what point does this medium-sized sandbar that we call Siesta Key just sink right into the Gulf of Mexico? There are so many people on this barrier island at the moment that I think it’s a real possibility.
So, I’m sure you’re not living in a cave (although it might be the safest place for the next several weeks). You know things are busy around town. You want to get out and enjoy our fantastic Sarasota restaurants (especially if you’re on vacation!), but you don’t want your dinner wait to stretch until breakfast. Yes, it’s a dilemma.
Back in February, we wrote a little Sarasota Season Survival Guide. If you didn’t get a chance to read it back then, we suggest that you do. If you did check it out when it was first posted, now might be the appropriate time for a refresher course!
OK, April is here, let’s get to our list! Yes, we’ve added some new restaurants since we were last together.
Included in our new additions are two places that people have been anxiously awaiting their arrival on our restaurant scene. The first is Meliora (1920 Hillview St., (941) 444-7692). There has been a sign up at their Southside Village location for months, but no real signs of activity. They do have a pretty active Instagram presence. But not much else. They are touting themselves as “New American” cuisine. If you’ve been, please leave a comment and let everyone know what you think.
The other anticipated opening was Kore Steakhouse (1561 Lakefront Dr., (941) 928-5673). There is absolutely no mystery about this. It is Sarasota’s first Korean BBQ spot. Chef Danial Dokko (you know that name, he has two JPan restaurants) has brought this fun and unique dining concept to town. It’s going to be busy over there. It’s located in the new Waterside Place in Lakewood Ranch. This area is going to have a bunch of new places to eat opening in 2022.
We have also added a place to pick up some authentic NY/NJ bagels. We’re welcoming Jersey Girl Bagels (5275 University Pkwy., (941) 388-8910) to our little culinary community. They have been so busy making and selling bagels since their opening that they have actually had to close a couple of times to give their hard-working staff a breather. That’s seems like a lot of bagels!
Let’s take a look at the top 10 for the month of APRIL 2022!
Lots and lots of changes in our list this month. As a matter of fact, for the first time in recent memory, there is not one restaurant in the top five that was there in the month before. It’s great to see that people have been searching for different types of places.
Moving straight up to number one, after not even being in the top 25 last month, is Mattison’s Forty-One (7275 S. Tamiami Trl., (941) 921-3400). Chef Paul Mattison has been creating delicious dishes here in Sarasota for years. You’re going to see a theme running through our restaurants for this month.
Number two for April is GROVE Restaurant (10670 Boardwalk Loop, (941) 893-4321). This is a Lakewood Ranch Main Street favorite. And the weather is just perfect for their nice outdoor dining space.
Bradenton’s Pier 22 (1200 1st Ave. W., (941) 748-8087) The sister restaurant to GROVE comes in at number three this month. Fantastic seafood and water views are always on the menu at this popular spot. They also have a really nice event space that's just perfect for that big occasion.
Downtown hotspot Duval’s. Fresh. Local. Seafood (1435 Main St., (941) 312-4001) is number four. It’s another place that just makes the leap from being not included last month to the top five this month! They have a well-developed craft cocktail program here. You can read all about what Head Bartender, Anthony Rizzo is mixing up in a Bulletin piece we wrote in January.
The last of our top five for this month is The Capital Grille (180 University Town Center Dr., (941) 256-3647). Big, juicy steaks and a whole lot more. This was one of the first restaurants to open when the UTC Mall was just a newborn. Now the mall is all grown up, and The Capital Grille is still packing them in.
OK, back to my theory of the link behind all of these places. Easter is just around the corner, and it just might be that you’re searching for that perfect place to have a holiday meal. I mean, it’s just a theory, but I think it fits!
** A quick note. This month we're going to be asking our readers to help us make Sarasota Bites better. Keep an eye out for our reader survey! We would really love your input.
It’s finally baseball time for real. Well, it will be on April 7th. I love baseball! What goes better with baseball than food? Nothing is probably the right answer (oh, the right answer could also be a cold beer!). We’re going to be bringing you a little Sarasota Spring Training food recap next week. Until then, we’re going to tide you over with a little report from the MLB FoodFest! You probably won’t make it out to Coors Field to watch the Colorado Rockies play this season. You’ll miss seeing a great baseball stadium. But you won’t have to make the tough decision of whether or not to enjoy one of their signature (and bestselling) stadium foods, The Rocky Mountain Oyster! Let that sink in for a minute.
Here are some upcoming local food events that we think you might find interesting. All you need to do is make that reservation. We’ve provided you a link to more info.