15 S. Boulevard of Presidents, St. Armands Circle, Sarasota, 388-1555; 15southristorante.com15 SOUTH RISTORANTE ENOTECA
High-end Italian cuisine along with excellent pizzas out of a blazing brick oven. 15 South also has a nice bar area up front and a music venue/nightclub upstairs.
431 St. Armands Circle, St. Armands Circle, 388-4415; cafeleurope.netCAFÉ L’EUROPE
Sarasota’s — and St. Armands’ — grande dame of fine dining is still chugging along with its repertoire of classic dishes. You can find the potato-crusted grouper and brandied duckling the restaurant has served for decades, along with a host of other straightforward fine dining standards.
417 St. Armands Circle, St. Armands Circle, 388-3300; chacha-coconuts.comCHA CHA COCONUTS
Tourist food and boat drinks, featuring fried shrimp and cold daiquiris served in plastic cups.
411 St. Armands Circle, St. Armands Circle, 388-3987; columbiarestaurant.comCOLUMBIA RESTAURANT
The Sarasota outpost of this family-owned Florida chain still serves the Spanish/Cuban food that made their headquarters in Ybor famous. The black bean soup and 1905 salad are almost required eating, especially the one day a year they roll back the prices almost a hundred years.
420 St. Armands Circle, St. Armands Circle, 388-3964; crabfinrestaurant.comCRAB & FIN
Although there’s nothing terribly fancy about the preparations, Crab & Fin has one of the most extensive selections of fresh fish and raw oysters in the greater Sarasota area. Order the Mote Marine locally farmed sturgeon for a truly Sarasota treat.
325 John Ringling Blvd., St. Armands Circle, 388-3325; daiquirideck.comDAIQUIRI DECK
The Siesta Key fixture has opened an outpost in the former Hemmingway's space, serving the same Deck Diesel and other frozen treats that made them famous, along with good bar food and a large raw bar.
40 Blvd. Of The Presidents, St. Armands Circle, 388-4444; lamalincherestaurant.comLA MALINCHE
Mexican cuisine that’s a slight step above the usual Tex-Mex restaurants.
700 Ben Franklin Dr., Lido Key, 800-441-2113, lidobeachresort.comLIDO BEACH GRILL
Perched atop the Lido Beach Resort, the Lido Beach Grill features surf and turf style dining and a Sunday brunch, complete with expansive views from both sides of the restaurant.
19B N. Boulevard of Presidents, St. Armands Circle, 388-5550; lynchespub.comLYNCHES PUB & GRUB
Lynches is a great place to hide from the unceasingly resort qualities of the rest of the circle, thanks to the deliciously casual pubby atmosphere, decent beer, and inexpensive Irish/American bar food.
19 N. Blvd. Of The Presidents, St. Armands Circle, 388-3119; newpass.comNEW PASS GRILL ON THE CIRCLE
This waterfront fan-favorite from the other side of Lido Key is opening a spot on the circle, with the burgers and fish sandwiches that have made it famous.
22 S. Boulevard of the Presidents, St. Armands Circle, 388-4348; lecolonneristorante.comRISTORANTE LE COLONNE
Le Colonne serves classic Italian fare -- from antipasti to, well, pasta -- in an elegant setting, along with a beautiful outdoor dining courtyard overlooking the teeming tourists walking by.
Lido Beach Holiday Inn, 233 Ben Franklin Dr., Lido Key, 388-5555SAND DOLLAR ROOFTOP RESTAURANT
Another restaurant at the top of a Lido Hotel, Sand Dollar serves the usual array of hotel dishes, as well as a credible breakfast buffet, alongside its excellent views.
465 John Ringling Boulevard, St. Armands Circle, 296-0301, facebook.com/shoredinerSHORE DINER
Making a bold architectural statement with its blend of inside and outside dining experience – a retractable roof brings the outside in – Shore Diner represents the newest venture for the inventive Mark Cargiulo. But it's not just the good looks that attract diners. The American Bistro approach gives St Armands a casual but imaginative style of cooking it has lacked up to now. The menu revolves, so return visits will bring new surprises. (Read the review.)
419 St. Armands Circle, St. Armands Circle, 388-2222, facebook.com/terraceonthecircleTERRACE ON THE CIRCLE
Formerly Cafe Galante, Terrace on the Circle serves three square meals a day, largely focused on Middle Eastern cuisine, with a smattering of Italian and American standards thrown in to appeal to the masses. It's on the second floor, so keep an eye out for the stairs and prepare for a nice view overlooking the park in the Circle.
300 John Ringling Blvd., St. Armands Circle, 388-2888, tommybahama.com/TBG/Stores_Restaurants/Sarasota.jspTOMMY BAHAMA TROPICAL CAFÉ
Don’t knock this touristy spot just because it’s touristy. The burgers and drinks are tasty, the décor is islandy (and admittedly contrived), and the second-story balcony tables offer a great view of the teeming hordes and swaying palm trees.
373 St. Armands Circle, St. Armands, 388-1400, venezia-1966.comVENEZIA
One of the Circle's bargains, Venezia serves excellent pizza and pasta, as well as a variety of other Italian dishes.
Restaurants and Bars
/ Friday, December 28, 2012