Table Tops – Some of Our Favorite Sarasota-Area Restaurants

More than just gorgeous, world-class beaches, the Sarasota area boasts a range of exceptional dining options.

With choices ranging from innovative fine dining establishments to quaint waterfront hideaways bursting with Old Florida charm and everything in between, Sarasota is truly food-lover’s destination set to find its way onto America’s culinary map. Our vibrant city adores unique dining concepts and treasures its tried and true mainstays that have provided delectable food and fun for generations of visitors and residents. No matter what the craving, you can guarantee there is a menu to be found in the Sarasota area that does it and does it well.

As longtime area residents and people about town, our agents and branch managers have sought, savored and selected the preferred dining spots they enjoy sharing with guests, clients and family alike. So here—in no particular order—is the first sampling of a multi-part series highlighting some of our favorite Sarasota-area restaurants:

• The Casey Key Fish House – Laidback and relaxed, the Casey Key Fish House offers casual waterfront dining with an “Old Florida” feel in mind. A favorite spot of Longboat Key South agent Deborah Beacham, the restaurant is located just over the north bridge at Blackburn Point to Casey Key. Here you will find fresh seafood served daily from 11:30 am to 9 pm. Owner Jimmy Von Hubertz and Master Chef Willie Tia present terrific food served with warm hospitality. There are daily lunch specials—Deborah’s favorite lunch is the Caesar salad with grilled mahi—and customers rave about the ahi tuna, Bouillabaisse and almond snapper dishes available on the more extensive dinner menu. There is an outdoor section where dogs are allowed (well mannered, of course), so Deborah’s poodle is always welcome! Boat docking available. Learn more HERE.

• Madfish Grill – With a dinner menu offering a selection of Caribbean-inspired cuisine from starters and tapas to seafood to salads and sandwiches, Madfish Grill is a favorite of Siesta Key Branch Manager Debbie Judge. Located  at 4059 Cattlemen Road in Sarasota, this locally owned spot serves great cuisine lending itself to the islands and a selection of great steaks. Plus, the bar area is a great place for a lively evening. Fun fact: the restaurant was a bank at one time and the private room is the old vault! Learn more HERE.

• Pattigeorge’s – While he has several favorite dining spots in the area, Pattigeorge’s on the bayfront of Longboat Key stands above the rest for Longboat Key South agent Michael Moulton and his wife, Katie. For Michael, what makes this place special is the fact that it is one of Sarasota’s few waterfront restaurants that he can take friends in their boat to after a magical sunset cruise up Sarasota Bay from his home on Bird Key. Pattigeorge’s draws its culinary inspiration from coastlines around the globe, bringing together American regional favorites, Italian traditions, exotic Asian flavors and exciting Caribbean and Latin American nuances. There is an item on the menu for all tastes, nice wine list suggestions and a very friendly staff. Click HERE for more information.

• Beach Bistro, Anna Maria Island – This award-winning surfside dining location is a favorite special occasion restaurant for New Homes & Condominiums director Amy Drake, who lauds owner Shawn Murphy as a complete original. From the cleverly written menu to the exquisitely prepared dishes and the intimate beachfront setting, every meal at Beach Bistro is a memorable experience. Shawn teases the palate, giving a glimpse of the culinary adventure ahead with a complimentary Amuse-Bouche of roasted roma tomato blue cheese soup, accompanied by homemade crostini, fresh pesto and more roasted tomatoes marinated in fresh olive oil. The service is attentive and personal, and the wine list is approachable, with selections for all tastes and budgets. Amy suggests you plan ahead because seating is very limited. Click HERE for more information.

• The Bijou Café – An admirer of several Sarasota-area restaurants, Georgina Clamage, branch manager of the South Longboat Key office, finds The Bijou Café as one of her favorites. Specializing in Continental-American Cuisine, The Bijou Café brings an award-winning wine list and focuses on exemplary, unobtrusive service. Located in the center of downtown close to the Opera House, theatres and the library, The Bijou Café has always been one of Georgina’s favorite places to go before the Opera or to celebrate a special night. She was introduced to the Bijou by her godfather when she first moved to Sarasota in 1997.  This destination has been the site of many long lunches in which she will always remember fondly.  Click HERE for more information.

• Chutney’s – Located on Hillview Street in Sarasota, Chutney’s is a favorite of Longboat Key South agent Hannerle Moore. A Sarasota staple since its opening in 1987, Chutney’s offers great dining adventures in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. Husband-and-wife team Ash Shukla and Denise May provide the ultimate personal touch, as they know most of their regular clientele by name, and work to make dining in the small but casually appealing restaurant like visiting friends. Click HERE for more information.

• Selva Grill – From fancy to funky, company president Drayton Saunders has three expectations when recommending a favorite spot: great food, atmosphere, and service. On a Saturday night when the rest of Sarasota may begin to feel sleepy, Drayton can’t help but recommend Selva Grill. Drayton has grown to love Peruvian food from his time spent in South America. Selva Grill allows him to indulge his ceviche craving while offering a fine dining experience with lots of refined creativity. The menu is engaging and has enough range to please the more traditional to the more adventurous diner. It’s also one of the places Drayton loves to take out-of-town guests to show off the new energy on Main Street. The atmosphere is fun and brings a bit of a Miami vibe to downtown dining.  Rounding out his big three is service, and Selva’s staff definitely understands we are not big city. Drayton enjoys the fact that both regulars and newcomers get the same smile and upbeat attitude. Its Main Street location puts it at the heart of downtown, but what keeps Drayton coming back is the chimichurri skirt steak with fried sweet plantanos. Visit HERE for more information.

  • User Gravatar Emelie Zack
    July 28th, 2010

    Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion 2001 Siesta Dr., Sarasota is great for atmosphere and cuisine.We experienced exceptional service. With those three combinations you are not apt to go wrong.

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