Our weekly roundup of restaurant news for Sarasota and Manatee counties including Venice, Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch.
| Sarasota Herald-Tribune
This week’s restaurant and bar news includes several exciting restaurant openings, a new pizza option, dining deals and more. Let’s begin with a steakhouse and bourbon bar that just opened in Lakewood Ranch.
Bourbon & Bones opens
Bourbon & Bones Chophouse and Market, created by Steve Bishop and business partner Ron Fuller, has opened in Lakewood Ranch. The two also own Bridge Street Bistro and Island Time Bar & Grill on Anna Maria Island, Riviera Dunes Dockside in Palmetto and Surf Shack in Tampa.
Bourbon & Bones, occupying space that previously held El Toro Bravo, has a completely renovated interior with seating for 150 guests in linen-draped booths and tables and at the handsome bar featuring an abundance of warm woods and distinctive lighting.
“We want to offer a unique steakhouse and bourbon bar environment to Lakewood Ranch that is culinary inspired with a one-of-a-kind interior design,” Bishop said. “Our food rivals the highest end steakhouse in Sarasota while our prices are modest. We call it casual fine dining.”
Executive Chef Jacob Rodibaugh and Executive Sous Chef Michael Church are offering hand-cut certified Angus beef aged in house for a minimum of 30 days. Beef is ground in house, and herbs are grown on the premises. In addition to the beef, the menu includes a nice assortment of poultry and seafood dishes.
Appetizers include fried cauliflower, citrus cured salmon and fried gator tail; plus soups and salads. Classic prime rib, filet mignon, a 16-ounce Kansas City strip steak, and braised short ribs, all with assorted toppings and add-ons, are among the entrees. Other dishes, mostly made from scratch, include buttermilk fried chicken, bone-in pork chop, seared scallops, shrimp and grits and burgers. Sides include grilled asparagus and creamed corn with bacon and boursin cheese, among others.
For lunch, diners may choose from assorted soups, salads and handhelds like avocado toast, Rockefeller flatbread and bourbon-glazed grouper; as well as brunch dishes such as chicken and waffles, benedicts and steak medallions and eggs. Among desserts are bourbon bread pudding and crème brulee.
The full bar provides over 50 bourbons (70 whiskeys) as well as bourbon flights, a wine list, creative cocktails and craft beers.
The fresh market includes beef, seafood, poultry, pork and sides with sustainable packaging. Customers may order from the market or menu for prepared food online or call ahead for curbside pickup or delivery, and there is distance dining inside according to COVID-19 regulations.
Bourbon & Bones Chophouse and Market, at 8205 Natures Way, Unit 119, is open Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday from 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., serving lunch, dinner, happy hour and weekend brunches. The restaurant may be reached at 941-893-5403, bourbonandboneslw.com or facebook.com/bourbonandBonesLW.
Bistro at Sarasota Art Museum opening
When the Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College, which debuted in December, reopens on Oct. 1 attendees will be able to explore exhibition galleries as well as a new dining destination dubbed Bistro. Even folks not entering the museum will be able to visit the new restaurant for a tartine featuring house-made ricotta or perhaps roasted mushroom spread. Operated by the Constellation Culinary Group – responsible for various cafes inside cultural institutions including Verde at Perez Art Museum Miami and The Restaurant at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach – Bistro will be open to the general public as a stand-alone restaurant, with the purchase of a museum ticket not required to dine in, get takeout or order delivery service from the restaurant.
Bistro will serve local and seasonal-inspired dishes, with menu specials featured on the blackboard behind the counter, an homage to the museum being housed in the old Sarasota High School building. Kaytlin Dangaran, a Tampa native who most recently worked in Miami, is the executive chef and general manager.
“Creating a menu and space within a museum presents a unique opportunity to draw inspiration from the art and artists around us,” Dangaran said in a statement. “With the museum and Sarasota’s eclectic and multi-faceted population in mind, Bistro provides a space with soul-nourishing cuisine and thought-provoking art that is accessible to everyone.”
The menu is described as being influenced by local Florida farm stands. It will feature homemade soups, tartines, “market fresh salads, artisanal sandwiches,” charcuterie and cheese, fresh-baked breads from C’est La Vie in Sarasota and traditional French pastries. Bistro includes an interior dining space with outdoor seating within the Museum Plaza. The counter service eatery also will serve Parliament espresso using beans sourced from La Virgen Coffee Estates in Nicaragua and organic milk from Sutter’s Quality Foods in Sarasota.
“We wanted to extend the museum experience into the eatery through curated installations and recurring design elements,” said Anne-Marie Russell, executive director and curator at the Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College, in a statement. “Our harmonious collaboration with Constellation Culinary Group created a unified space combining art and cuisine, two universal languages of the human experience.”
In related news, The John and Mable Ringling Museum recently opened Mable’s Coffee and Tea inside its McKay Visitor’s Pavilion, with plans announced for a pair of restaurants to also open on the museum grounds in Sarasota. The Ringling Grillroom, also inside the McKay Visitor’s Pavilion, will replace Muse and provide fine dining and upscale beverages. It’s set to open around mid-October. The Banyan Garden Bistro, a more casual dining spot, is expected to open on the Ringling grounds before the end of the year.
Bistro, at 1001 S. Tamiami Trail inside the Sarasota Art Museum, will be open Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit sarasotaartmuseum.org/bistro.
While Sarasota restaurant Smacks Burgers & Shakes closed Friday (Sept. 18) following seven years in business, another local restaurant’s owners have revealed their plans to purchase the property as part of a further expansion.
Jeff and Melanie Gambino, owners of the Parrot Patio Bar & Grill restaurants in Sarasota and Bradenton, signed a contract to purchase the 2407 Bee Ridge Road property, with the closing set for the first week of October.
They plan to open a third Parrot location with a new fast-casual concept called The Parrot Express, with hopes of opening sometime in December. The restaurant will offer contactless and online ordering, as well as takeout services including curbside pickup, which have become increasingly popular with customers amid the pandemic.
“We realized we needed to expand our Sarasota presence due to demand, but we also wanted to do so in a manner that fit into the changing trends in the restaurant industry,” Gambino said in a statement. “We feel these two Sarasota locations will complement each other as they will offer the same great food and service, but two very different concepts.”
The restaurant’s menu will feature popular dishes from the other Parrot locations including the Parrot Burger, beef on weck, Buffalo shrimp and Shanghai salad. It will also add healthy selections, including more vegan and gluten-free choices.
The owners plan to renovate the former Smacks building with decor mimicking the other Parrot restaurants, with seating for about 75 people following social distancing guidelines. Gambino said he hasn’t decided if they will serve alcohol, which Smacks did not.
An homage to a popular Sarasota drive-in from the 1950s, Smacks opened in 2013 and was known for its burgers, fries and frozen custards. It was owned by Gecko’s Hospitality Group, which operates the local Gecko’s Grill & Pub chain as well Dry Dock Waterfront Grill on Longboat Key, Dockside Waterfront Grill in Venice and Red Barn Bar in Sarasota.
Parrot Patio Bar & Grill opened its first location on Webber Street and Beneva Road in 2018, originally under the name The Lazy Parrot, before adding a Bradenton location on State Road 70 near I-75 last year. The Bradenton location is currently in permitting to add a new 4,000-square-foot patio with an outdoor bar and additional outside seating, with plans to be completed by fall 2021.
Oasis opens in Rosemary District
A Rosemary District building that has housed numerous restaurants in recent years has a new tenant, whose name may already be familiar to Sarasota residents.
Oasis Restaurant & Bar is now open at 1525 Fourth St. The business is a continuation of Oasis, an LGBTQ bar and club in Sarasota’s Gulf Gate neighborhood that closed earlier this summer.
Owner Gabrielle Tackett said Oasis will continue to incorporate the LGBTQ community and nightlife, but the focus will be as a restaurant.
“We wanted to incorporate food; we got a lot of requests for food, and just because we were a nightclub, we weren’t allowed to serve food,” Tackett said. “So we wanted to expand and do something bigger.”
The brick building at 1525 Fourth St. recently housed Catrinas Tacos and Tequila Bar, which closed last year. It was also previously the location of restaurants Salsas & Boogaloo, Servandos and Darwin’s on 4th.
Initially opening with an abbreviated menu of handhelds and bar bites such as burgers, nachos and wings, Oasis plans to offer lunch, dinner and Saturday and Sunday brunch. Tackett said the menu will have a world fusion feel, with several specials and vegetarian or vegan options.
Oasis will also feature craft cocktails and beer, with eight taps currently. And though Tackett said they’re currently being cautious due to the pandemic, they hope to feature some live entertainment such as drag queens and other performances, as well as taking advantage of the surrounding arts community.
The restaurant seats about 150 people at full capacity, Tackett said. It falls under current state guidelines of 50% indoor capacity and parties spaced at least 6 feet apart, as well as a city of Sarasota ordinance requiring masks when social distancing cannot be maintained and exemptions such as while eating or drinking. Takeout is also available.
For current hours and more information, call 941-217-5082 or visit facebook.com/oasissarasota.
Opera’s ‘Taste of Downtown’ taking place through Oct. 2
Since 2013, Sarasota Opera’s annual Taste of Downtown has given food and wine enthusiasts an opportunity to support the Youth Opera and sample the downtown restaurants and specialty food shops on the stage of the Sarasota Opera House. Due to current health restrictions, this year Taste of Downtown has been re-imagined as an online fundraiser. Donors will have the opportunity to dine at leisure with a discount at many of the restaurants that have participated in past years.
For a gift of $75 or more made between today and Oct. 2, donors will receive a discount card to use at Tsunami Sushi & Hibachi, Mattison’s City Grille, Mattison’s Forty-One, Clasico Italian Chophouse, Brick’s Smoked Meats, Mediterraneo, Nancy’s Bar-B-Q Lakewood Ranch, Five-O Donut Co. and Noela Chocolate. Discounts vary by restaurant and the card will be valid Oct. 1-Nov. 15, 2020. For more information, visit at sarasotaopera.org/taste-2020 or call Sarasota Opera’s Development Director, Scott Guinn, at 941-328-1304.
4 & 20 Pasty Company adds pizza
Sarasota’s 4 & 20 Pasty Company, which has been specializing in British-style baked goods for over 15 years and was purchased in 2019 by Cristina Alfaro and husband Marcelo Fernandez, has added a new pizza offering called Marcelino’s Pizza Rustica.
“Why pizza? That is one of Marcelo’s passions,” Alfaro said via email. “We love pizza and he has mastered an amazing crust that we want to share with the neighborhood. We are offering takeout and also delivery through DoorDash.”
The British goodies will remain a top priority, though.
“We are still offering the best British pasties, sausage rolls and pork pies in town and we are committed to maintaining the authenticity of our British baked goods,” Alfaro said. “We have also expanded the imported British groceries section and spruced up our retail establishment. We remain mostly takeout and offer limited outside seating.”
4 & 20 Pasty Company is located in Swift Plaza at 5638 Swift Road, Sarasota. For more information, call 941-927-1421 or visit 4and20pastycompany.com.
‘Let’s Eat! – Englewood’
The Englewood Florida Chamber of Commerce’s sixth annual restaurant week promotion “Let’s Eat! – Englewood” continues through Oct. 1, with more than 20 restaurants participating. The dining celebration includes a three-course prix fixe dinner menu for $26 and a two-course prix fixe lunch menu for $13. The “Let’s Eat” restaurant menus are available for viewing at letseatenglewood.com.
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