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West Grille, Venice, FL
Reviewed by Dan K. on 1/30/00 / meal: Lunch / party of: 2 / spent: $20 / Food: Excellent / Kid_Friendly: Very Good / Service: Very Good / Value: Very Good / Cleanliness: Excellent / Ambience: Very Good / Overall: Very Good / Return?: Yes
Good food for the price. Very comfortable atmosphere. Too bad it's not at the beach. We were promptly seated in one of the rooms of the restaurant. Very clean and although we weren't asked for smoking/non preference, we were seated in a non-smoking area. I enjoyed their daily salad special, grilled salmon strips over greens with a nice coconut mango dressing. The salmon was flavorful and tasted fresh. The greens were a bit lacking and contained too much iceberg lettuce and I thought would have been better with some romaine. My companion enjoyed a grilled tilapia sandwich and they gladly substituted a dinner salad for the included sides of french fries. The fish was cooked just right even though the tilapia filet is thin, it was not overcooked as is often the case. All in all a very favorable experience.
Key West Grille, Venice
King Creole (Cajun/some American),
I have been to King Creole at least 8 times since it opened in March. Lunch and dinner are affordable, delicious, and unmatched in this area, considering the cuisine they serve. The seafood Jambalaya is the best I've had outside New Orleans, and the Shrimp po-boy is fresh, delicious, and smothered in a tasty creole remoulade. Drinks are authentic New Orleans, and include mint juleps, hurricanes, and sazeracs. If you miss dinner, stop in for late night entertainment, which begins nightly at 9pm, and includes the areas best jazz and blues bands, New Orleans style zydeco, and even karioke. Pick up a schedule to see when each of your favorite bands are performing. Staff and owners support the gorgeous and friendly atmophere by making you want to return.
King Creole (Cajun/some
We had Shrimp Creole and Crawfish Etouffe and it was the best we've had outside of New Orleans. Both House salad and cornbread were excellent. Don't know about dessert as the meal was filling enough. Our waiter gave good service and the restaurant is lovely. Good music also. Can't wait to go back. They serve regular meals as well as Cajun food.
Landmark, (American), Venice
My wife and I returned to The Landmark Restaurant in Venice after an absence of perhaps 6 months. Atmosphere, service and promptness of honoring our reservation were all excellent. Salad greens were fresh and plentiful, but the salad dressings were at best unexceptional. The entrees, however, were and are a different story. My wife ordered veal and really loved it. (I wasn't crazy about the sauce, but she thought it remarkable.) I ordered Prime rib, which was cooked just right - medium rare, nicely aged and with au jus just the right taste. The garlic mashed potatoes were "garlicky" and delicious and the other vegetables were tasted and not over-cooked. In short an excellent and delicious meal, which completely pleased two fairly different palates and preferences. We'll return and continue to recommend it to friends.
Lattitudes, N. Sarasota
Excellent value brunch buffet. Food quality for a brunch buffet was way above average. Besides the usual made to order omelettes and sliced round of beef, there was perfectly done eggs benedict; seafood newburg; marsala chicken; grilled salmon; crisp sauteed green and waxy beans; rice pilaf; and the usual scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage. Salads were limited; desserts were also very good. Price $13.99 per person and for $1.00 you can have unlimited champagne (Roget). You can sit inside a bright air-conditioned dining room or sit outside facing the marina. A good place for outdoor dining with a pleasant view; even the dining room has pleasant marina views.
Lazy Lobster (Seafood), Sarasota
My lobster was terrible! My husband & I got there at 7pm. A little bit of a wait because they don't take reservations. We sat at the bar which is an aquarium. It's really lovely. We sat down about 1/2 later and I ordered this huge Florida lobster tail which was so mushy I couldn't believe it. My husband ordered fried shrimp and said they weren't bad. The lady owner came over and asked how everything was and I told her the tail was mushy, she took it away and did offer another meal which I said I wanted "Maine" Lobster tails. She comes back with 3 squiggly things on a plate with some vegetables. I asked where the lobster tail was and she said that was it. She cleaned out the tail part. I'm from N.J. and when you order a lobster tail it's a beautiful piece of lobster meat attached to the tail and you remove it. Again she offered another dish and I just took the fried shrimp which my husband had. It was just alright. We won't be back at this restaurant. I have to say they did try, but to no avail. Too many other places to get GOOD Lobster. The wine was served in glasses that are hand painted with fish, very pretty but very skimpy with the portion they give you.
Le Chang, Dntn Sarasota
This Cantonese style restaurant has been open only two weeks, yet this was the third visit for one couple in our party. I don't believe it has done any advertising. The oriental decor is subdued almost to the point of non-existence. Linen tableclothes enhanced our expectations. We shared numerous dishes. Each item in each dish was prepared to perfection. Of many entrees and side dishes we ordered, shrimp with pea pods seemed a trifle bland. All others were uniquely flavorful. We did not have Peking Duck, but heard from others that it is superb. Service was a bit slower than in ordinary Chinese restaurants, but I'm sure it was the result of preparing our dinner to our order rather than mass production preparation. The owner oversaw and occasionally assisted at least a part of the service at several tables, perhaps at all of them. The cost may seem a little high, but I'd say it included about 13 drinks among the eight of us, so the food cost certainly was reasonable. I had only one drink, so my comments aren't liquor flavored. I've had better tasting fortune cookies, and more interesting fortunes. The restaurant is actually one of two divisions. The other, Midoro I believe, is for Japanese cuisine. It is open for business, but is not yet fully operational. Le Chang is set back from the street, in the walk-way next to Caragiulo's. Difficult to spot. Park in the convenient garage behind the restaurant. Reservations are accepted.
Le Chang (Chinese) Sarasota
Would return only to give it a second chance. Our guest liked the meal. However, my husband and I are from Hawaii where Chinese food is first rate. The hot sour soup lacked some normal ingredients, like tofu; it was too much like soy sauce and water and not sufficient vinegar. Our best dish was the sizzling seafood platter. We also ordered Peking duck which wasn't served with traditional garnishes of green onion and cucumber. The mushu pork was also average. In both cases, the menu said it came with 4 pancakes, but only 3 pancakes were served even though there was extra filling for more pancakes. It seems to me, they should have at least served the stated number of pancakes.
Le Chang, (Chinese) Sarasota
We were thrilled to find a new Chinese Restaurant with owners from Boston, Mass. Since I grew up in Conn and my husband in Boston, we have longed for the "true and real" dark lobster sauce made there, not the white stuff served here in local Chinese restaurants. We were joined two other couples. Dick grew up in the Boston area and enjoyed speaking with the owner, Mr. Chang, about Boston restaurants. We, of course, ordered Shrimp in Lobster sauce. It was absolutely WONDERFUL!!!. We also order boneless spareribs, called pork strips in Boston; they were delicious. The meal comes with white rice for the whole table. The other two couples also enjoyed their meals, but we were so thrilled with the dark lobster sauce, we didn't pay much attention to anything else. We returned with my parents. Needless to say we had Shrimp in Lobster Sauce again. Mom had Wonton Soup, which we all tried, and it was delicious. We ordered egg rolls, which are like spring rolls. We thought the order was just one egg roll, but it is two. So with three of us ordering egg rolls, we got 6. Very tasty. Dad had a Pork dish, also very good. Mom enjoyed Shrimp in Lobster Sauce also. I recommend this restaurant to all, especially Bostoners who have missed the dark lobster sauce. Prices are a bit higher than the other Chinese Restaurants around, but for us it is truly worth it. I am also thrilled we will have a Savvy Diners Dinner party, and it will be held when we can go.
Le Chang (Chinese), Sarasota
Peking duck was one reason for going and it is not done the way it is in Hong Kong, healthy but not what was expected. We reccomend it, though, because other people would probably like it
Le Colonne, (Italian), Sarasota
The veggie pizza looked & tasted perfect. Canneloni not filled enough, but very tasty. Friendly, but not for kids. especially at these prices. Salad was good, house dressing was oily though. Only had salad and main course. Definately get the pizza!
Leverock's, Johnie; Seafood, Sarasota
2 of us ordered off the Early Bird Menu, we both had the Crab Cake and Fried Shrimp, excellent crabcakes! Our grandmother ordered the Crab Cake Imperial from the regular dinner menu. We had the 'Sampler' as an appetizer which consisted of one crab cake, 4 salmon fritters (moist and very good) and some onion rings. Our waitress was very friendly and knowledgeable. As to the cleanliness of the place, it was clean, but I noticed alot of flies inside, one kept buzzing our food!
Leverock's, Johnie; Seafood,
We felt, even though the service was very good for Christmas Eve, the seafood was frozen, which the manager confirmed, on the items we ordered. (They were not the catch of the day). The steak was somewhat tough but tasted very much like tenderizer. Overall, food was not good.
We were disappointed because their Manatee Av location is excellent and we were looking forward to having one close by. They were very good about coming around and asking how the meals were, and when my husband said his was not good, the manager volunteered to take the entree off our check.
Longhorn Steakhouuse, Sarasota
Good food!! Had a DELICIOUS Philly Steak & Cheese sandwich. Had selection of sides of fries, baked, spiced apples. Meat was SO tender, just the right amount of cheese without being too gooey, and just a smattering of onions for flavor!! My companion had a HUGE burger done perfectly.
Madfish Grille, (seafood),
This was my 3rd visit, and I've yet to have a better than fair meal. My husband and I arrived at noon on Thursday for lunch; each of us needed to return to work within an hour. We ordered almost immediately. The restaurant was busy, but not packed. Chris got the Crabcake sandwich, which was quite good. I ordered the special - Grilled Mahi-Mahi over stir- fried vegetables and rice. The special was $7.95 and included a cup of soup or salad. I chose the soup, a Shrimp & Basil bisque. The bisque was heavenly - full of cream and butter and lots of flavor. Unfortunately that was the only part of the meal I enjoyed. The entrees arrived at about 12:40, leaving us only about 10-12 minutes to eat before having to return to work. I tried my fish and found it dry (slightly overcooked) and the sauce for the rice and vegetables was a brown sugar base and simply too sweet for my liking. Because we didn't have time to wait for anything different, I didn't attempt to send the dish back, but I was disappointed that the waiter never returned to check on how our meals were and when called for the check cleared away my (barely touched, still full plate) without asking if there was anything wrong or if I wanted to take home the remainder. This is one of few nicer places between my office and my husband's, so I'm sorry to say I won't be giving it a 4th try.
Mama Leone's (Italian) Osprey, FL
The dining area is small, but there are three seperate areas, including an outside patio. Italian music in the background - low sound level. My wife had Veal Picata and I had the Marsala. Both excellent and we brought nothing home. If you are fortunate enough to get Ronnie; she is a top shelf waitress. Friendly and efficient.
Mamma Onesti's (Italian), Sarasota
Two friends, my wife & I had a dinner reservations. Our
table was waiting for us with a "reserved" sign on it. (Unfortunately no server
was assigned to that table, and we ended up being waited on by the manager herself, and
extremely competently and helpfully.) The minestrone soup order by my friend was
pronounced excellent, and the salad enjoyed by we other 3 was first rate. We order 4
different entrees: Eggplant Rollatini; Shrimp Fra
Mamma Onesti's (Italian), Sarasota
First review by Dorothy on 9/10/00
9-30-00 Mamma's revisited
Mamma Onesti's (Italian),
I was drawn to Mamma's because it was "opening night" for Art Rollini in the Lounge. Art, as always, drew some diehard followers (Buffet has his parrotheads, Rollini is followed by true lovers of good music. The lounge comfortably supports nine tables of 4, a small bar at the piano for 5-6, and even room to cut a rug! The lounge sounds travel towards a secondary but large bar and bar-tabled area with 3 TV's showing everything from sports to Be a Millionaire or whatever the latest is.
Enjoyed stuffed eggplant special which was delicious, hearty, and served in the Lounge after a nice glass of chianti and a cold light draft in chilled mug. The dinner (an extremely reasonable $11.95), sported generous salad, portion of pasta, and scrumptuous garlic rolls. I was very comfortably as a single and enjoyed the comaraderie of "Art's hearts" who dined and chatted when not soaking in Rollini's bossanova rhythmns, Sinatra sound-alikes, and the best Rodgers & Hart showtunes.
Meadowlark, The Meadows,
Overall value/price/quality was excellent. Went twice to confirm lst findings. Their current Fri. night buffet special @ $8.95 (unfortunately only thru 4/30/00) was excellent. Food was always fresh at the buffet tables. Meat servers very attentive to you requests for amounts, doneness and variiety. Each entree was in itself excellently prepared and tasty. Their intent after Mothers day is to institute another type of special meal. Seating is in two dining rooms. Smokers may eat in the full bar dining room and non-smokers are seated in a large, totally smoke free, separate dining room. Reservations are suggested because their capacities do run at maximum because of their quality of food and values. I almost did not want to do this and call further attention to a great find. Their Menu has many other standard offerings and specialties, again at a most reasonable price. Their full bar serves excellently mixed drinks at modest prices.We fully intend to return and would recommend this establishment without question.
Competent preparation. Authentic Italian; large portions. We were told the restaurant was very noisy so we went in the early evening and sat in the bar portion of the restaurant, which is relatively quiet. We thoroughly enjoyed: gnocchi (outstanding), vitello tonnato; risotto and a pizza. All were excellent. Prices were higher than in nice restaurants in Italy (we had just come back from a recent trip) but, what the heck, this is Sarasota.
Mi Pueblo, (Mexican), Sarasota
Very satisfying food, service and friendliness of staff and owners. Great, fairly inexpansive restaurant. Eating out 3/4 times a week we treasure small affordable restaurants that serve ethnic food without pretense. Staff are not only experienced in restaurant work, they are also very well trained. Menu is not huge, but not tiny and almost all of the menu items are extremely tasty. (My wife prefers mildly spiced food and I like it hot, and Mi Pueblo has been able to satisfy each of us at the same meal).
Mona Lisa (Italian), The
We learned about Mona Lisa in February and finally got there last night. What a wonderful evening. You park in the general parking lot near the Suntrust bank in the Meadows Shopping Village, and find the path between the buildings that leads to the rear of the buildings, and there before you are tables with umbrellas facing a lake, nestled between trees and greenery. The restaurant is small, probably seats about 40-45. Being out of Season as we now are it was a fairly quiet night, and we were given a table, unfortunately not looking out at the wonderful scene outside, but on the side of the building. Owner, Sam Gerolmo, was the waiter for the evening. He promptly presented our menus, and took our drink order. At $9.75 for a 1/2 liter of White Zinfindel, about 4 1/2 glasses, it was the house wine, and an excellent one. We ordered cold antipasto and were pleased with the assortment of meats and cheese. It was not overly buried in vegetables, and with delicious bread on the side, was a nice beginning. Butter was served with the bread; if you prefer the dipping sauce so many restaurants now serve, you can request it.
The special of the evening was stuffed shells, 4 large shells served with a light sauce we refer to as Northern Italian. Mouth watering, and even though Gene doesn't care for a lot of cheese, he polished of 3 1/2 without a problem. Having finished most of the bread, and a second helping as well, (my weakness) along with the antipasto, I opted for a second appetizer, and chose Mussels. I've had a yen for good mussels; these were GREAT.. The sauce was a hearty red, well spiced, just a little too much salt, but excellent. Great for dipping the bread, which I did. The mussels were tender, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. With no room for dessert we asked for the check. Three hours later I was still glowing in the warmth of a lovely evening. This restaurant is really worth the trip, particularly now when you can really enjoy it without crowds milling about. This has gone on our Must Go at least once a month, and is now our first choice for fine Italian Dining.
Morel, (Continental), Sarasota
The early menu (until 6PM) made this a glorious dining event. Every dish was superb and all four diners were more than satisfied. New owners, Freddy and Pauline Mayer have an opportunity to make a great success. The early menu ($14.95 for appetizer and entre plus coffee/tea was fantastic. Consensus was that the soup of the day, a boullebaise- style soup was outstanding and mixed greens salad was just perfect. Even the bread toasts on edge of the soup bowl were delicious. From the pork tenderloin, pasta, and two fish entrees (tuna and salmon) every one was thrilled. Service was professional and waiter charming. Visits by the owners and relaxed cafe charm added to our desire to hurry back. We're already planning a return this coming weekend.
Mr. Wong's (Chinese), Sarasota
Excellent service and food quality. Very good value. My fiancée and I enjoyed a delicious dinner choosing from their "Dinner for Two" selection of Orange Peel Chicken and Shrimp and Broccoli. The meal included a selection of three appetizers, soup and the entrée. Of course the traditional hot tea was served promptly. Everything was to our liking. I was surprised, although it was close to 8PM, that the restaurant was so quiet on a Thursday night. Maybe because they've started free delivery to a limited area. So we might not be back, but we will get food from Mr. Wongs again!
Munroe's, Dntn. Sarasota
Munroe's since it's opening has been one of my favorite restaurants for casual elegance as well as local convenience. It's always one of my first choices for dining plus theatre--and I can even walk if so inclined!
Server (Jason) was charming and provided just enough attention not to be interruptive. It was also a pleasure to chat with Mrs. Munroe and Chef Rick Munroe. We were thrilled to enjoy the Chef's generous Savvy Diners "Gift Certificate" which made the special event particularly great--fine dining and then JOAN BAEZ who is even better than her performances of the 1970's. Dinner included a good glass of Merlot for both of us, two escargot special appetizer salads and then we shared the two grilled shrimp dishes (one an appetizer and second an entree). We made certain not to overeat and fall asleep in our Opera House seats (always a possibility with such excellent cooking). Thanks to Savvy Diners for the contest and Chef Rick Munroe for his generosity and fine dining!
New China, Nokomis, FL
Being Jewish, I've often heard there are 2 things that Jews really know: Guilt -- and Chinese Food. Trust me on this one, fellow food lovers, there is not a better Chinese restaurant in the county for the price. New China is a little slow on service (especially now that season is upon us), but the food is well worth the wait. My husband and I started our meal with steamed dumplings (on the menu as fried, but they were more than happy to accomodate us). We then shared an order of Pork Szechuan - perfectly spiced with fresh crisp snow peas, and one of our favorites, Char Shui Ding - roast pork with chunks of vegetables and covered with almonds. A great meal at a great price -- and I don't know what more any foodie could ask for.
Noah, (eclectic; seafood), Sarasota
Overpriced for what you get! Blah atmosphere; chairs hard as hell. Had to ask for a cushion for my back which they provided not only to me but 2 other customers.
Heard so much about this place, my husband & I decided to try it. We saw an Ad for their Summer Tasting Menu: Three Courses, $20 pp. including a glass of wine (which was terrible). We both ordered Cabernet. I sent mine back to find out it was a Spanish wine of some sort. I then requested Chardonnay and got Pino Grigio. I said fine because I'm getting aggravated. Our waitress was inexperienced and the other waiter a very young fellow. Both wore filthy aprons; quite unappetizing to look at. I couldn't believe it. When we arrived she gave us the regular menu which was so expensive. They advertise the Summer Menu and then they give you the regular one. We had to ask for the Special Menu that they were advertising. She didn't seem to like that. Our bread came out burnt; I wanted to send it back but my husband was already getting embarrassed by our complaints and said "I'll eat it but will never return". Salads were very good. We both ordered the Salmon on top of smashed potatoes with tomatoes, scallions and herbs on top which again was delicious. They only offered 2 entrees: the salmon and a pork chop dish. Big Deal! Dessert was a Lemon Tart with a little cream on top surrounded by a raspberry swirl and topped with a spearmint sprig. Very small portion but good. Coffee was good but we had to wait for it awhile after dessert was served. Service was terrible! I'm glad we tried the $20 Special Summer Menu and not the regular menu because I would have had a fit paying those prices with no atmosphere. Where we sat the view was of a parking garage. That is the only thing you could look at. Never again! We were so disappointed. Terrible Place.
Noah, (eclectic; seafood),
I dined at Noah with a friend to celebrate his birthday. We had reservations, so were a bit surprised to find ourselves being led to an uninviting table on the lower-level in a room nearly filled. When the host noticed the small table against the wall was not to our liking, he led us to another on the upper-level near an open door that led to a outdoor sitting area on the roof. We had before-dinner drinks there as the waitress detailed the menu and her favorites to us. Service was great except wine wasn't regurly refilled during dinner. My appetizer was goat cheese wrapped in Romaine lettuce served with toast point; my friend enjoyed smoked salmon served on buckwheat blini with caviar! Yumm!! Entrees were roasted escolar over pesto mashed potatoes with Japanese cucumber and avocado relish. My friend ordered Chilean sea bass with potatoes. We were both extremely happy with the food and wine. Tuesday night was slow; so our dining area was all to ourselves. We thoroughly enjoyed dim lighting, wonderful Arabic music and each other's company. Although entrees range from about $16-25, our tab was $110, including gratuities.
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