Where Word of Mouth Begins
What Savvy Diners say about area restaurants
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(Italian); Dntn. Sarasota
Reviewed by Kathleen C. on 7/1/00 / meal: Dinner / party of: 2 / spent: $45++ Food: Poor / Kid_Friendly: Good / Service: Poor / Value: Poor / Cleanliness: Good / Wine_List: Fair Ambience: Fair / Overall Rating: Poor / Return or recommend? No
Poor quality food; poor service. We tried their summer special menu which was not special at all. The choices are limited and not the same portions as the regular menu. Appetizer is a split appetizer and entrees are portioned down. Everything we had was mediocre: fried shrimp, zucchini appetizer; snapper (fishy and tasteless); veal scallopini (tough; one small piece which couldn't have been more than 2 oz.) and tiramisu (old and dried out).
Demetrio's, (Italian), Sarasota
We have eaten there many, many times. The food is consistently good. The dish we love most is baked deep dish spaghetti or shells and the great Greek salad. If you haven't tried Demetrio's "deep dish" you are really missing a good casual dining treat.
Don Pablo's Mexican
VERY noisy! For the price the food was good, service quick. So noisy you couldn't talk without yelling. Food being served and dirty dishes handled at same time. Where is there some good Mexican food?
Durango's Steaks, Sarasota
LOVE the warm bread served with meal! One fellow diner had a
HUGE burrito...he hates guacamole and finds now they're just charging extra
Dutch Valley, (American home-style),
Very reasonable for decent quality. If you eat out a lot and are looking for an inexpensive, informal, dependable meal, this fits that bill. This is a home-type restaurant. Nice dinner salad with beets and assorted veggies, or you can order a huge salad topped with chicken, etc.as a full meal. Portions are ample and the flavors are good. If you go, ask for Judy for your server - she is very attentive, and clues you in how and what to order. Most of their dinners include soup or salad, entree, veggies, starch, and desert. The rice pudding is excellent!
El Adobe Mexican, Sarasota
This has been our favorite Mexican restaurant almost 20 years. The food has always been good, service above average and the price reasonable for a family.
English Cottage, Sarasota
Will try other specialties. The wait staff of three were very
attentive, always on the move and the owner jumped in whenever there was a gap. There was
a capacity seating at 6:30 but it looked as though all were being taken care of as
English Open Pub, (English pub-style
My wife, my son and I decided to have dinner after purchasing a gift certificate and we were glad we did. I had Fish & Chips and it was all I could handle. 2 big slabs of Cod cooked just right, along with steak fries, this even came with a vegetable which surprised me. My son had the Kids Fish & Chips and he said he would get it again. My wife had a shaved steak sandwich which was very big. She said it had excellent flavor. Our waitress, Missy, was very good and checked in on us often. The atmosphere was pleasant and I would definitely stop in again. The price was right.
Epicure, Dntn. Sarasota
Always prepared to give a new business a few tries. Pleased there's a nice spot Midtown where you can have a late snack, coffee/dessert, or after-show whatever! Negatives may be attributed to my server or my "high expectations" since it is a Meditteraneo-owned restaurant.
Recommend with qualifications. Hope the staff recognizes that one person is just as important as a group of 4 or 6. That a female is as valuable a return customer as couples, males, or groups. That locals offer greater potential of success than visitors and foreigners.
After theatre, I ventured in about 9:40PM for a late dinner with glass of wine. Though the waitstaff and busperson were cordial, my waitress was apparently not enamored by a single female or perhaps less skilled/trained in the "art of waitressing" and having personality which supports return customers. The Merlot wine was far too warm and only a half-glass; price also was greater than quoted by waitress. The seafood linguini was to be in a lite tomato sauce--it was saucy, but not what I expected. It was actually a rather modest portion with some nice flavor noted, but not blended. The portion was sufficient for me at such a late dinner, but potentially insufficient for many at the dinner hour. The price for pasta and Italian bread with olive paste was a reasonable $11.95, but not a particularly hearty portion nor good economy since that is all you receive. I had to ask a second waiter to bring my wine while I awaited the dinner ordered--the waitress was focused more on servicing beverages for a group of 6 diners across the restaurant. I watched several tables order coffee and dessert -- all appeared satisfied. I was obviously disappointed, decided to tip the waiter privately for providing my glass of wine, and left hoping for a better experience if I try Epicure again in the future.
Figaro's (Italian), Sarasota
Good italian is hard to find! Affordable, my guests really enjoyed it. Formerly Gastronomia's, Figaro's has changed ownership and management,but the kitchen and waistaff, along with the menu, remain the same. The eggplant rollatini is the best I've found in Sarasota. The spinach and cheese lasagna with pine nuts was tasty but a touch dry, for it lacks sauce. Bread lovers will be happy with the pickings and the lovely herb olive oil with which it is served. Try Italian beer while your there, and the tiramisu is worth a try as well. Even my pastry chef friend says so. If you are a large party, reservations are recommended.
Fish Tales, (Seafood), Sarasota
Quality of food preparation has declined. There are too many
other good places to eat. We have patronized Fish Tales at its two previous locations, as
well as the current location. We have recommended the restaurant to our friends with no
hesitation. No longer can we do that. I ordered the Soft Shell Crabs. Never have I had
"soft" shell crabs with shells that could not be chewed. My husband had the
fried oysters, which we always thought to be excellent there. On this night they were
soggy and greasy. After dinner I told the waitress about the crabs (she could see the
shell remains on my plate.) She said she would "tell the chef." Even though we
will not patronize that restaurant again, someone else may benefit. Right after my
complaint, the people at the table behind us complained about their dinner. For them, she
called the "owner," a youngish woman. I don't know if there was any resolution
for them other than having a second ear for their complaint. When we entered the
restaurant about 6:20, we were surprised to see a number of empty
Fish Tales, (Seafood), Sarasota
Service was very attentive and sincere. Food was delicious and served hot. This was my first visit to the new location and verything was as good as ever. The only drawback (for those of us who might like to have dinner at 8PM or there about) is that they close at 8PM every night (Friday, until 9PM). Fun place to enjoy casual dining.
Flying Bridge, (seafood) Osprey, FL
We'll give it another try, bad time of the year. Beautiful atmosphere, food not bad for the price. My husband & I have been to The Flying Bridge several times before and it was always great. Last nite however it was just one of those times where nothing went right.
Our New England Clam Chowder came out luke warm which after
we told the waitress she nuked in the microwave oven and was much better but tasty. My
scallops were not listed as Sea scallops which I assumed they were; my mistake. They were
small but tasty in a pesto sauce wich was just o.k. The vegetable of the day we had to pay
extra for was Snap Peas that were over done and cooked in too much oil. My husband had
Salmon in a parchment paper with baked potato which he said was very good. There was not
that many people in the restaurant at 7pm, yet service could have been much much better.
It definitely was an off nite. My husband ordered Lemon Meriange Pie with coffee, both
good. No drinks. We paid $42.00 with tip. The waitress did not charge for the Snap Peas
and gave my husband the pie on the house for she also knew that everything was just going
wrong for her and for us. She was a good sport.
Forest Lakes Restaurant,
Great food, great value. Always a good choice. Comments: Always a pleasant experience. Music for dancing and listening. Convenient location. Can make reservations. Service is quiet and unobtrusive. Dinner rolls are great. Pecan crusted chicken a real taste experience. Watch for special nights when food and entertainment are outstanding.
Forest Lakes Restaurant,
Sue and I enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Forest Lakes Country Club, our first trip back since the Savvy Diners Dinner. A great experience. We were greeted by a smiling Jennifer and seated immediately. Of course, Walt and Leslie treated us like VIPs! Sue had the Pork Medallions which were breaded, sauteed and served with a demi glace. She shared a little with me and we both thought they were excellent. I had Chicken Cordon Bleu also served with a demi glace and it too was excellent. The twice baked potato and couscous were also very good and vegetables were perfectly cooked al dente. Entrees were served with a nice dinner salad and fresh from the oven rolls. Neither of us are big drinkers so, while we didn't enjoy anything from the wine list, we did notice many excellent selections. While neither of us really had room for dessert, we each had a Chocolate Eclair. If we were going to make any recommendations, it would be to eliminate this item from the dessert menu. It doesn't have the quality of the rest of the menu. But, we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and will definitely go back more often. By the way, as busy as the restaurant was, our waiter, Charlie, was most attentive (despite the fact that a table of ladies next to us all had separate checks and wanted to argue their change with him)! If you haven't tried Forest Lakes Restaurant at the Forest Lakes Country Club, do so without delay . you won't be disappointed.
Chose the ambiance wanting a New York Grill atmosphere to celebrate a special "gals night out" and friend's birthday. Absolutely one of the more exciting night spots (and great classy lunch venue too). Seems to be the current in-spot--and so fun and so LOUD!
The cocktail selection is vast and interesting. One MUST try the "Espresso" martini in classic stem glass rimmed with coarse raw sugar and chocolate shavings. A drink to savour! Food available lite to full dinner in both dining room and around bar in bar booths and bar-height tables (if you can stand the high volume conversations and tolerate smoke--tho smoke eaters do a job, they can't pull it all. Portions are more than ample and delicious. Outstanding server (Jason) treated us three gals like The Three Queens bearing gifts. Our birthday gal wanted a taste of New York and she was thrilled with the whole scene. A MUST TRY.
French Affair, (French)
Tonight's bouillabaisse was superb including mussels, shrimp, scallops, soft shell crab and two types of fish. The dish was sumptuous and portion enormous. This was truly an outstanding selection for me and companion. We decline wine though our abstinance broke our hearts since to eat French cooking without the pleasure of fine wine is really a sin! Small dinner salad was tastey and reasonably priced. Fresh crusty bread served with oil or butter is always a favorite (we asked for and received a plentiful portion of fresh chopped garlic to add pizzaz to the oil for dipping the bread.
I was quite pleasantly surprised since it's been almost 2 years since my last rather disappointing visit. Having been a regular years ago, I took a hiatus which made this visit exceptionally enjoyable. Now, I can't help but wonder if the "grouper French Affair" would live up to original standards back around 1995-98 when it was my staple at that cafe. Guess I'll have to return very soon and try it--I hope I love it as back in those earlier years.
French Affair, Sarasota
It is wonderfully French; we love it! A "hole in the wall" French deli-cafe with delicious and authentic food.
French Affair, Sarasota
This was a return after 2 years, and a fine dining experience. Honored our Entertainment card, resulting in the $16 per person charge,, tax & tip included. Recommended for anyone enjoying French cooking, and who doesn't! Proprietor Alain Mons runs a fine small French restaurant. Reservations definitely required, as there must be only 6-7 tables in all
French Affair, Sarasota
Many menu items are unique to the French Affair. Very enjoyable experience always. The proprietor(s), chef and staff are friendly (very French but not hostile to English), and the menu is large and innovative. Particularly fine for us non-fish-lovers are the Magret of duck, the sweetbreads grenobloise and the Veal Liver, which is truly gourmet here.
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