And away we go…
We’re at the starting gate of 2022. So, let’s get this year kicked off with a rundown of some of the best places to dine in and around town.
By all indications, even with an ebbing and flowing pandemic, 2021 was a record year for a lot of our local Sarasota restaurants. We certainly appreciate you supporting them throughout the past year, and I know they do as well.
With the holidays (and all the celebrating and merriment that accompanies them) completed, you might be considering laying low for a bit. It’s natural to give yourself some recoup time after all of the toasting and grazing. You can go that route. No judging here. But I will tell you that you just might be missing out on some wonderful new local fare.
We’ve added three new spots to our database of Sarasota restaurants. Two of them feature pizza. And the third is the return of a familiar name.
Sophia’s Tuscan Café (4944 S. Tamiami Tr., (941) 365-2998) opened in the space once occupied by Anthony’s Deli in The Landings shopping center. Not to panic, they are still serving the same delicious deli sandwiches. But now their menu is pumped full of other delights, including a big variety of pizzas and calzones. They have a Chicago Beef sandwich on the new menu. It just so happens that I’m a connoisseur of Chicago Beefs. That’s true of most of us that were raised in the Windy City. Sometime soon I’m going to see if Sophia’s measures up!
New pizza place number two is Fresh Mozzarella’s Pizzeria (2289 Ringling Blvd., (941) 330-8787). This is more of a traditional pizza spot. It’s located on the short end of Ringling Boulevard, pretty close to Payne Park. Lots and lots of pizza here, plus some delicious baked subs. They also have Italian wedding soup every day!
Our last new spot for the month is a name you might remember, Prime Serious Steak (133 S. Tamiami Trl, (941) 837-2007). They had a location just outside of the front doors of the Sarasota Square Mall. Now they’ve opened a restaurant in Venice. It’s right at the corner of 41 and East Venice Drive, a "prime" location. Yes, they still have the onion loaf! Plus a nice selection of steaks and chops.
Here’s the main event. Let’s have a look at our top five for the month.
Number one this month is Phở Cali (1578 Main St., (941) 955-2683). I think that they’re getting comfortable in the top spot. Well, I guess serving warming Vietnamese food in the Sarasota “winter” is just what folks are looking for. I know that a big, steaming bowl of pho sounds incredibly delicious. (Oh, we’re going to be talking about local soup stops later in the month. Keep an eye out!).
We're staying with our Main Street/Asian cuisine theme. Number two this month is The Drunken Poet Cafe Thai Bistro & Sushi Bar (1572 Main St., (941) 955-8404). It’s obvious that you think it’s the season for Asian comfort food. A nice plate of pad Thai can seriously make you feel a whole world better.
Ophelia's on the Bay (9105 Midnight Pass Rd., (941) 349-2212) comes in at number three this month. It’s the first time, I think, that our top three from the previous month all remain the same. I know that with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, lots of you will be searching for info on Ophelia’s. You don’t need me to tell you this, but if you are even considering a February 14th dinner there you had better call ASAP!
This is one that I always have a hard time figuring out. I like going down to the Casey Key Fish House (801 Blackburn Point Rd., (941) 966-1901). Don’t get me wrong. Island drinks or a cold beer by the water is always fun. And it certainly does have that distinctly Florida island feel. OK, I may be overthinking this a touch. Whatever the reason, The Casey Key Fish House is our number four place this month. People love it for a variety of reasons.
Rounding things out at number five is Main Street sushi spot, Yume Sushi (1532 Main St., (941) 363-0604). It has been a long time since we have had the pleasure of mentioning them on our monthly roundup. They were one of the first sushi places in town to really make a splash. This goes back a fairly long way too. Back then, they were located on the other side of Main! Happy to see folks are still interested in their cuisine and looking for info on them.
This month, a couple of old favorites cracked the top ten for the first time in a little while. Nancy’s Bar-B-Que at Lorraine Corners is out at Lorraine Road and State Road 70. Also in the top ten is Spice Station on Boulevard of the Arts. I just love it when I see old familiar faces pop up on our list.
Here’s a link to the complete list for this month:
There were a lot of Asian-influenced places in our list for this month. So how about a sushi making lesson? Your instructor for this brief class is none other than Iron Chef Morimoto! Sit back and watch a master at work. Meshiagare!
SARASOTA FOOD EVENTS CALENDAR
We’ve done all of the heavy lifting for you! All you need to do is make that reservation. Here are some upcoming local food events that we think you might find interesting…
LOCAL FARMER’S MARKET INFORMATION
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