The Hottest Sarasota Dinner Spots

The Hottest Sarasota Dinner Spots

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A Food & Drink map by
7 Places
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    Chefs Pedro Flores and Rafael Manzano have cooked elsewhere, but they’ve found a happy home together at The Table Creekside in a rambling wooden building on the banks of Phillippi Creek. Done up in white, sea-glass blue and shiny silver, the place has an ambiance that’s young, modern and chic. The bar is known for its infused craft cocktails, while the kitchen is known for just about everything.
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    Almost a secret, like a pop-up restaurant. Some people think they ought to knock on the door three times and say Joe sent them. You have to bring your own wine, pay by cash or check, and reserve by talking to someone in person. But it’s worth it.  Dining here is like being invited into a friend’s home. It’s romantic, too, with a wall of little shelves that hold votive candles. The kitchen is open so you can watch chef Richard De Felice prepare your meal.
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    This cozy storefront restaurant (there’s a side patio with fireplace that offers another mood option) in a commercial/residential neighborhood near downtown Sarasota is like a private club. Regulars walk to their favorite tables from their condominiums and folks who drive in from the islands always see someone they know. The owners/chefs, Arthur Lopes and Ryan Boeve, are like friends who cook for you in their own home. 
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    the gold standard for a big, casually elegant restaurant that does lunch and dinner as well as late-evenings in the bar. There’s a superb catering division, too. Running this very big show are Michael Klauber and Phil Mancini, a formidable team with the awards to prove it, including their recent induction into Florida Trend’s Golden Spoon Hall of Fame. 
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    It’s urban, hip, and the ever-present owners welcome guests and entice them with wine and pizza from a wood-burning oven at the bar or a leisurely meal in one of the three modern European-style dining rooms. Since it opened in 1996, this self-assured downtown hotspot has maintained a chic vibe and a menu that features simple, flavorful Northern Italian dishes. 
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    The tone is comfortable, contemporary luxury that doesn’t take itself too seriously. There’s a very good bar with classic and inventive new cocktails, and the leading-edge American food is prepared in a stylish open kitchen and presented with great emphasis on color and construction. The burrata and tomato salad was a classic from Day One. 
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    Chef-owner Steve Phelps, recipient of several world-class culinary awards, is a genius with seafood and passionate about fresh and local. The kitchen is tiny and the menu restricted to about six small plates and as many entrées. Everything is carefully thought out, but the food isn’t fussy or precious; Phelps is just brilliant with flavors. Sit in one of the little rooms inside or outside on the porch. The wine room/bar is quite romantic. 
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