What  Savvy Diners say about Sarasota, Venice, Bradenton restaurants

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Reviews alphabetized
by restaurant name

A thru C
D thru F
G thru J
K thru N
O thru R
S thru Z

   //// NOTE ////
In some cases, reviewers rate eateries using a numerical scale of
1 to 5 where -5 is the highest rating. 

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A-C / D-F / G-J /
K-N / O-R / S-Z

Oriental Buffet, Sarasota
Reviewed by Carol G. on 12/17/99 / meal: Dinner / party of: 4 / spent: $60 / Food: Very Good Kid_Friendly: Excellent / Service: Very Good / Value: Excellent / Cleanliness: Good / Ambience: Good / Overal: Very Good / Return?: Yes / Recommend? Yes

Really cannot find a better value meal for miles! Choices are unending and get better each visit. Probably the least desirable are some of the customers--can only commend the the food (taste, variety, quantity), service/price. As long as one does not require a restaurant with decor or view, this beats just about any oriental Chinese, Japanese Sushi, Mongolian or Buffet restaurant in Sarasota.

Each visit the sushi/sashimi choices have been expanded, there is expansive salads, fruits, appetizers and soups, unbelievable hot buffet main entree dishes, Mongolian bar-b-q opportunity and even rare roast beef. You can top off the hearty buffet with great macaroons, cream puffs, cake, and soft ice cream plus fruit. We barely had room to enjoy the Tsingtao beer. All in all, another satisfying meal with wonderful variety only 15 minutes from downtown and plenty of parking.

Ozzie (eclectic), Sarasota
Reviewed by Jenni E. on 10/21/00 / meal: Dinner party of: 2  spent: $60 / Food: Excellent / Kid_Friendly: Poor / Service Rating: Excellent / Value: Excellent / Cleanliness: Excellent / Ambience: Excellent / Overall: Excellent / Return?: Yes /  Recommend: Yes

Excellent food! When a restaurant is deemed "eclectic" I find myself intrigued and almost compelled to try it out. My husband and I are glad we went with our instinct. Ozzie's menu selections are fabulous and the food is exceptional. One of the appetizers listed was Perogi, which my own grandmother and mother have made from scratch for my birthday every year for 30 years and they are an all day affair to prepare. I had to try them out. They were incredible - not my mother's, but damn close! They are simply egg dough moon ravioli with a filling of cabbage and onion (my mother makes them filled with saurkraut - my personal favorite) and Ozzie serves them swimming in scallion butter with a dab of sour cream on the side. Mouthwatering! Both my husband and I had the filet (he had the blackened) and they were fork tender! They do not kid around when they say blackened either! The filet was served with scallion mashed potatoes and a sauteed onion and mushroom creation. Absolutely perfect! The service was exceptional! Two of my biggest pet peaves on dining are (1) having to constantly request a refill on my drink(s) and being charged per drink. My husband and I do not drink alcohol and he always has a soda and I always have a glass of ice water and coffee. Although they do charge per soda at Ozzie, they never have you wait long enough to ask for a refill on your drink. I am a cream-a-holic with my coffee and they made certain I had plenty of cream to accompany my seemingly bottomless cup of their wonderful blend of coffee. We dared not attempt dessert this trip, as the appetizer alone was as filling as a meal, plus our salads and entrees, so we will have to go back to try their tempting desserts next trip. I would really recommend Ozzie to anyone wanting a very relaxed atmosphere, superb cuisine and a relaxing evening. We will definately go again!!

Patrick's, (American Menu) Sarasota
Reviewed by Cathy C. on July 15,00 / meal: Dinner / party of: 2 / spent: $20 / Food: Very Good Kid_Friendly: Good / Service: Very Good / Value: Very Good / Cleanliness: Very Good / Wine_List: Good / Ambience: Good / Overall: Very Good / Return?: Yes / Recommend: Yes

We've dined here many times, having tried burger's, fish and lobster. We have never been disappointed. One of the best items on the menu, which we have ordered more than any other item, is the Eggs Patrick - eggs benedict with steak instead of ham or turkey. We had this for a late night supper after the theatre. As usual, it was terrific. They also have some nice wines by the glass which are not outrageously priced.

Pepin's, (Continental), Sarasota
Reviewed by Debbie K. on 7/23/00 /  meal: Dinner / party of: 4 / spent: $??? /  Food: Excellent / Kid_Friendly: Fair / Service: Excellent / Value: Excellent / Cleanliness: Very Good / Wine_List: Very Good / Ambience: Good / Overal: Excellent / Return?: Yes

Food was delicious and beautifully presented. They are also health conscious, so meats are trimmed fat free and salt, in most cases, is substitued with natural flavors with only Virgin Olive Oil used. The only drawback is it is a little too pricey for its strip mall location but it is nice to have such a fine restaurant of this calibre in our neighborhood.

Phillipi Creek Oyster Bar, Sarasota an00020a.gif (1492 bytes)
Reviewed by P.Baker on 1/9/2000 / meal: Dinner / party of: 3 /  spent: $45 / Food: Excellent Kid_Friendly: Very Good / Rating: Very Good / Value: Very Good / Cleanliness: Excellent Ambience: Very Good / Overall: Excellent / Return?: Yes / Recommend: Yes

Have never been disappointed at 'The Creek'. My only complaint (which I always mention to the waitress, but it never seems to change) is the front of their 'newspaper style' menu has a bold paragraph heading about 'rock shrimp' yet, guess what they DON'T serve?  Can one get rock shrimp here anymore?

Plaza (the); American, Longboat Key
Reviewed by N. Gillet on 9-26-00 /   party_of: 2 had: Dinner / spent: $111. / Food: Excellent / Service: Excellent / Ambience: Good / Wine List: Excellent / Cleanliness: Excellent / Value: Excellent / Overall Experience: Excellent / Return? Yes

This is a WONDERFUL restaurant, especially for a special occasion. During summer, they run a $46 per couple prix fixe menu, which has to be one of the best dining deals in town. Unfortunately, the night we were there, the only thing on that menu my wife wanted was chicken, and at 7:30 pm, they were out of it. (One wonders how a restaurant can run out of a staple like chicken so early in the evening.) We shared chateaubriand pour deux, and at $24.95 per person, it too was quite a deal. We ordered it medium rare, which is the way it was served and it was almost fork tender. VERY flavorful. Parmesan mashed potatoes were exceptional, but the julienned vegetables seemed a little commonplace for such a five star establishment. I ordered a side of jumbo asparagas with hollandaise. I am VERY finicky about hollandaise sauce. Most is not lemony enough for me; The Plaza's certainly was. Still, I think the dish could have been improved by the use of some less jumbo stalks. The reason we rated the ambiance only "good" is that the restaurant was uncommonly warm, one could even say it was downright hot. When asked, the server explained that the island had been without electricity for serveral hours, and they had been unable to crank the AC as they normally would have to cool the restaurant, after having been closed for two days. Following dinner (sans dessert...who had room?), we moved to the piano bar, where we were entertained with the best of Gershwin, Lerner & Lowe, Porter, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and others, until 9:00 pm. NINE O'CLOCK?? That's right folks. It seems the EXCELLENT pianist can only play until that absurdly early hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Friday and Saturday, he can go on till eleven. (Wednesday night, a jazz trio is offered.) One last word about the piano bar: with its dark veneers, leathery club chairs and gargantaun stone fireplace, one could easily imagine being in a fine private club outside London. In fact, the entire restaurant could be likened to an old-line private club atmosphere. I was VERY happy NOT to be the only gentleman present in a coat and tie (seemingly, a lost custom on these shores), although they are obviously not required. In short, an exceptional experience for a special occasion. We do plan to return.

Plaza (the); American, Longboat Key
Reviewed by Dorothy on date: 08/22/00 / meal: Dinner / party of: 4 / spent: $140. / Food: Excellent / Service: Excellent / Value: Excellent / Ambience: Excellent / Return?: Yes Recommend: Yes

The restaurant is lovely. Beautifully decorated and in a nice setting. Tables are not on top of each other, providing an easy atmosphere for talking and dining. Tom, our waiter, was excellent-very well trained and knowledgeably about the menu. The food was excellent and the desserts were wonderful. We enjoyed their summer menu which was $42 per couple. Three courses and a glass of wine. Will return but their regular prices are expensive. A great place for a special occasion.

Plaza (the); American, Longboat Key
Reviewed by Tina P. on 8/22/00 / meal: Dinner / party of: 4 / spent: $72. / Food Quality: Excellent / Kid_Friendly: Fair / Service Excellent / Value: Excellent / Cleanliness: Excellent / Wine_List: Very Good / Ambience: Excellent / Return/recommensd?: Yes

It's top notch!  Among the best places in Sarasota as far as actually geting dressed up and feeling special! My husband and I and our dear friends went tonite to their $42.00 No Excuses not to visit Longboat Key special summer dinner. For the price it was absolutely spetacular! Our waiter (TOM) was just a gentlemen; very knowledgeable and had suggestions and good statements to tell us about their menu. We all started out with the Lobster Bisque soup which was absolutely the best we've all tasted in a long time. Our entree's were also the same quality. Myself and our male friend had Swordfish, excellent. My husband had Chicken breast and Penne, also excellent. Our 4th party had Crab Cakes New Orleans style which she also loved. Wines were also excellent. Desserts of N.Y. Cheesecake with strawberries marinated in Grand Marnier was superb and the Chocolate Pecan Pie was also to die for. $72.00 with a tip was excellent!

Poseidon, (Seafood; Asian influence), Longboat Key, Sarasota
Reviewed by Sandy S. o: 6/6/00 / meal: Dinner / party of: 2 / spent: $67.68 / Food: Fair / Kid_Friendly: Fair / Service Rating: Fair / Value: Poor / Cleanliness: Poor / Wine_List: Good / Ambience: Poor / Overall Rating: Fair / Return?: No / Recommend: No

Poor Dining experience. Too expensive for the quality of the food and the service. I have eaten at this restaurant many times and always been satisified. The menu has changed. They had a lot of fish as usual, however, everything was prepared Asian Style. My friend could find nothing to eat other than steak. She said the steak was good. I ordered Tuna which was fair quality. The restaurant was very noisy. We sat by a window which was loaded with dead and live outside bugs. For two drinks, Two platters, and two coffees we paid $67.68 with out tip. We both decided we'd never return. If I want food with an Asian flavor there are very good Asian resaurants.

Rod & Reel, Anna Maria Island, Bradenton area an00020a.gif (1492 bytes)
Reviewed by Rema & Bill H. on 2/6/00 / meal: Lunch / party of: 4 / spent: $35.00 / Food: Very Good / Kid_Friendly: Very Good / Service: Excellent / Value: Excellent / Cleanliness: Very Good / Ambience: Excellent / Overall: Excellent / Return?: Yes / Recommend: Yes

Great spot to bring visitors. Out on a pier, overlooking the north bay - you can see the Sunshine Skyway bridge....a tiny place, the chef does good stuff on an even tinier grill== great burgers, omelets, crab cakes -- savvy wait staff...super laid back "Florida at its best" kind of place

Ruth's Chris Steak House, Sarasota
Reviewed by Mort M. on 4/12/00 / meal: Dinner / party of: 2 / spent: $100 / Food: Excellent / Service: Excellent / Value: Very Good / Wine_List: Excellent Overall: Excellent / Return?: Yes / Recommend: Yes

Quality and service were superb. Manager (Michael) personable and friendly. Wonderful steaks, excellent service, friendly personnel. The perfect meal was slightly diminished by a cup of lukewarm coffee.