Sarasota Film Festival
Finding the right films to see among the hundreds screened at the Sarasota Film Festival is a daunting task. Picking a place to grab a nosh before, between or after a screening shouldn't be. Here are 10 spots that will sate your non-cinematic needs and near enough to the screenings to make for an easy foray into downtown Sarasota.
1990 Main St., Sarasota, 953-2900, maderestaurant.comMade
This new spot at the east end of Main Street serves updated and interesting takes on American classic, like chicken and with black-pepper waffles, bacon-wrapped corn dogs, confit duck wings, steak and eggs and more. Now open for lunch and dinner, Made also stays open (and serves food) until midnight during the week and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
1888 Main St., Sarasota, 965-8700, eatheresarasota.comEat Here
Sean Murphy's Eat Here restaurants have an undeniable energy to them that will give you a kick in the seat after a multi-hour documentary binge. The food is fun and tasty, there's plenty of outdoor seating, and the upstairs lounge features outdoor tables perfect for watching people walk by on their way to or from the next screening.
1991 Main St., Sarasota, 952-9400, halfshelloysterhouse.comHalf Shell Oyster House
The Louisiana-inspired menu is one reason to stop here before or after a film, but the sidewalk-adjacent courtyard is an even bigger draw, covered and separate from the downtown bustle but perfect for people-watching and potential star-spotting.
1970 Main St., Sarasota, 365-4122, mediterraneorest.comMediterraneo
Mediterraneo's Italian dishes are great, but the pizza -- cooked in a blazing oven behind the bar -- are a treat. There's a sizable bar area and outdoor seating tucked into a beautiful courtyard on the side, where you can see and be seen.
1900 Main St., Sarasota, 366-0095, sarasotasushi.comUtamaro Sushi Bar
While most restaurants near the Hollywood 20 are likely to become "scenes" with the influx of film-buffs, Utamaro can serve as a gentle escape from cinema hurly burly. The small restaurant makes great Japanese food, including some of the best sushi in downtown Sarasota.
239 S. Links Ave., Sarasota, 706-4740, indigenoussarasota.comIndigenous
Although just a couple of blocks away from the Hollywood 20, Indigenous feels like it could be miles from the fest. That's thanks to its idyllic location in the historic Towles Court arts district and the restaurant's design, which is chock full of reclaimed wood and natural elements. The food hasn't lost a sense of place, however, with innovative takes on Florida seafood and regional cuisine.
1668 Main St., Sarasota, 366-7600Mozzarella Fella
If you just want to grab a quick sandwich between films (or sneak one in for a mid-film nosh) Mozzarella Fella is you destination. The bread is crusty and hefty enough to handle the fillings, which include mozz made fresh daily, prosciutto, meatballs, eggplant and a host of other serious sandwich standards.
1568 Main St., Sarasota, 953-7111, melangesarasota.comMelange/Pangea/1564 Main Street
Although it's a few blocks from the Hollywood 20, Melange is the place for late-night eats (and not-so-late-night eats, if you'd rather). Chef/owner Lan Bradeen serves her worldwide fusion cuisine until 2 a.m. every night but Tuesday, which means bacon corn fritters, duck springrolls, ginger crab soup, braised cod and a whole lot more. Next door is Pangea, the hidden cocktail lounge by Bradeen's partner Brad Coburn, as well as 1564 Main St. -- a late-night sandwich shop opened by the couple.
1525 4th St., Sarasota, 343-2165, darwinson4th.comDarwin's On 4th
Darwin's has a trifecta that is difficult to beat: exceptional Peruvian-inspired cuisine, beer brewed in-house by a resident brewmaster and a killer happy hour. Add an interior that is intimate and loaded with historical accents and you have a wonderful spot for a post-screening breakdown of the latest films.
1525 4th St., Sarasota, 388-7539, blueroostersrq.comThe Blue Rooster
Although adjacent to Darwin's on 4th, the atmosphere at the Blue Rooster is considerably more energetic. There's live music nightly, a menu that treads heavily on Southern and low-country classics and a vibrant bar scene.
SFF 2013: Where to eat and drink
/ Monday, April 1, 2013