Sarasota County Blog

Savor Sarasota Guide: Restaurants O thru Z

Get a taste of the town as you enjoy three-course, prix fix-style lunches for $15 and dinners for $30 at Sarasota’s top restaurants, wine bars and bistros.

Sarasota has the highest concentration of Zagat-rated restaurants in the state of Florida, and with more than 60 restaurants participating in this year’s Savor Sarasota Restaurant week, you’ll definitely want to save room for seconds. Get a taste of the town as you enjoy three-course, prix fix-style lunches for $15 and dinners for $30 at Sarasota’s top restaurants, wine bars and bistros.

Not sure where to start as you embark on your culinary journey? We’ve prepared a list of participating Savor Sarasota restaurants to help you plan your course.

In our third and final installment, you’ll find Savor Sarasota’s offerings from O-Z. Find restaurants A-C here and D-M here.

Off the Hook Seafood Restaurant

Off the Hook Seafood Restaurant, located in Sarasota’s Gulf Gate district, is a casual seafood restaurant specializing in straightforward favorites including Gulf shrimp, New England style crab cakes, and fresh fish served to order. Off the Hook features a full bar and stocked wine cellar.

Ophelia’s on the Bay

Boasting an “extraordinary” Zagat rating for the duration of a full decade, Ophelia’s on the Bay is frequently recognized as one of the top restaurants in Florida, and one of the most romantic dining spots in Sarasota. Since 1988, Ophelia’s has been serving award-winning New American cuisine, with an emphasis on spectacular seafood. For Savor Sarasota, Ophelia’s offers a tantalizing variety of dining options to be enjoyed in the restaurant’s two glass-walled dining rooms, or al fresco on the patio overlooking Little Sarasota Bay.

Painter’s Palate

From the founders of the Drunken Poet Thai Bistro in downtown Sarasota, Painter’s Palate brings a colorful splash of Thai-French fusion food to north Sarasota. Located across from Ringling College of Art + Design, Painter’s Palate offers up creative sushi rolls, Asian-inspired pizzas, and imaginative outside-the-box entrees.

Roast Restaurant & Bar

Locally sourced seafood and prime cuts of meat take the spotlight at Roast, an iconic historic landmark in downtown Sarasota’s theatre district. Adjacent to the Sarasota Opera House, Roast is the latest culinary incarnation to inhabit the elegant vine-covered building, which originally housed real estate offices when it was constructed in 1925. Roast specializes in modern American cuisine, and complements its rich menu selection with wine pairings from around the world.

Roessler’s Restaurant

Family owned and operated since 1978, Roessler’s Restaurant is a south Sarasota favorite specializing in classic continental cuisine. Situated on three acres of manicured gardens that include a charming bridged lake and gazebo, Roessler’s has a reputation for romance. The restaurant features a Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence-winning wine list to accompany its selection of European-inspired fine cuisine.

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse

Spanning over five decades in the business of butchering and broiling, and with restaurants scattered across the nation, Ruth’s Chris is one of the most recognizable steakhouses in America. Ruth’s Chris’ signature 500° sizzling plates feature six-ounce filets for Savor Sarasota, or a choice of salmon or stuffed chicken. Pair your meal with a glass of wine from Ruth’s Chris’ award-winning wine list for a decadent dining experience.

Saltwater Cafe  

When it comes to seafood, Saltwater Cafe has earned its share accolades, both locally and nationally: In recent years, Saltwater Cafe has been voted best seafood in Venice, recognized as one of the top restaurants in the state in Florida Trend’s ‘Great Florida Restaurant Guide,’ and awarded the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and Wine Enthusiast Award of Distinction. This dog-friendly cafe features over 300 items on its regular menu, including seafood, steak, pasta and pizza.

Salute!

For great Italian and Mediterranean cuisine at the heart of downtown Sarasota, look no further than Salute! Ristorante. For Savor Sarasota, Salute! prepares a selection of authentic Italian food to be enjoyed al fresco on one of the largest patio dining areas in downtown Sarasota. From bruschetta and caprese to lasagna and tiramisu, expect to delight in Italian classics in Salute!’s Savor Sarasota spread.

Sardinia Restaurant

The second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily), the island of Sardinia is recognized in the culinary world for its flavorful elegance. Chef Dino Carta was raised and attended culinary school in Sardinia before apprenticing as a chef in Tuscany. Today, Chef Carta brings the entrancing flavors of the Mediterranean to Sarasota at Sardinia Restaurant. Though Chef Carta’s dishes are inspired by classic Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, the meals crafted at Sardinia feature locally-sourced fish and fresh produce from local farms.

Seasons 52

Savor Sarasota newcomer, Seasons 52, was voted Best New Restaurant in 2016 by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, and is perhaps best known for its signature flatbreads and pairable wines. Kick off a three-course Savor Sarasota meal with your choice of one of the restaurant’s signature flatbreads, sized to share, and follow up with generous entree portions of burgers, mahi mahi tacos, wood-grilled cuts of meat, and more. Finish out with mini indulgence desserts and cocktails, and see for yourself why Seasons 52 is one of the most-booked restaurants in town.

Selva Grill

Ceviche, chimichurri skirt steak and trendy tapas are just a few of the Latin flavors featured at downtown Sarasota’s most chic Peruvian-fusion, late-night restaurant and lounge. Selva’s accolades include Florida Trend’s Golden Spoon Award, Diner’s Choice awards from Open Table, Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence, Zagat recognition and rave reviews in the New York Times.

Siesta Key Oyster Bar

Siesta Key Oyster Bar—known to the locals as ‘SKOB’—is one of the most well known and longstanding restaurants in the beachy Siesta Key Village. From its its tantalizing fresh raw bar and first class seafood to its laid-back bar bites, SKOB has something to offer for everyone. Take advantage of SKOB’s Savor Sarasota offerings to sample oysters three ways—classic oysters rockefeller, buffalo, and garlic parmesan.

Stonewood Grill & Tavern North

Stonewood Grill & Tavern specializes in a broad array of seafood, steak, and premier quality burgers. Enjoy classic cocktails with a unique twist, like the strawberry-rhubarb mojito or the maple old fashioned, or pair wines from Stonewood’s wine menu—which is largely populated with Californian selections—with dinner at Stonewood’s north Sarasota location.  

Table Creekside

The ambiance of south Sarasota’s Phillippi Creek combined with Table Creekside’s award-winning menu and cocktails makes for an unforgettable waterfront dining experience. Sophisticated, globally-inspired dishes from the land and sea are the stars of Table Creekside’s Savor Sarasota menu, which also features $15 specials on bottles of Chilean wines from Viña Maipo.

The Black Eddy Bistro

In April, The Black Eddy Bistro celebrated its eight anniversary in Venice, where it’s been a local favorite since opening its doors in 2008—and it’s no wonder why. Prior to moving to Venice and opening The Black Eddy, chefs/owners Edward and Allyson Glennon worked in New York as private chefs to celebrities including Jimmy Buffet, Rupert Murdoch, Neil Young and Martha Stewart. The Black Eddy specializes in American cuisine.

The Capital Grille

The Capital Grille specializes in dry aged beef and fresh seafood in its restaurants across the United States. The Capital Grille’s Sarasota location opened at University Town Center in 2014, with an attention-capturing, glass-walled wine room as the focal point in the steakhouse’s sleek contemporary atmosphere. Enjoy dry-aged sirloin, seared salmon or an upscale steakhouse cheeseburger with parmesan truffle fries on the Capital Grille’s Savor Sarasota menu.

The Melting Pot

It’s all about the dip at The Melting Pot, where dining is an interactive experience. Meals at The Melting Pot begin with a cheese fondue course, followed by combination ‘be-your-own-chef’ fondue entrees, featuring seafood, chicken, beef, pork and vegetables with signature dipping sauces. Close out with a dessert of fresh fruit, pound cake, brownies and marshmallow treats dipped in decadent chocolate fondues.

The Rosemary

Bermuda native, George Armstrong, grew up in a military family and spent much of his life traveling across the globe before settling in Sarasota. When the opportunity arose to take over the restaurant space formerly occupied by Savory Street in the Rosemary District, Armstrong leapt at the opportunity to open his own restaurant, The Rosemary, in 2015. The bistro-style restaurant features contemporary, eclectic cuisine inspired by Armstrong’s travels around the world.

The Starlite Room

The Starlite Room, which occupies the space formerly inhabited by the Broadway Bar, is the latest hotspot for theatre fans in Sarasota. The Starlite Room maintains a mid-century American theatre aesthetic, providing the perfect ‘encore’ to an evening at the Van Wezel or the Florida Studio Theatre. Sip classic cocktails and enjoy high quality American cuisine, along with nightly live entertainment, in a mid-century New York supper club-style setting fit for the Rat Pack.

Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar

For a taste of the tropics, visit Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar and indulge in island bites. Chef Shannon Mills, formerly of the Ritz Carlton, specializes in seafood and Caribbean-style cooking. Located in St. Armand’s Circle, Tommy Bahama is minutes away from the world-famous Lido Beach. The restaurant’s second-story dining room offers breathtaking views of Sarasota sunsets, providing the perfect end to a day on the Gulf of Mexico or browsing the St. Armand’s shops.

Tsunami Sushi & Hibachi Grill

Tsunami Sushi & Hibachi Grill puts a creative slant on Asian fusion in downtown Sarasota. Colorful, expertly prepared sushi, sashimi and hibachi-grilled fusion dishes may take the spotlight, but Tsunami’s unique cocktails like the cucumber saketini and Asian mojito also deserve their share of accolades. Pay a lunchtime visit to Tsunami for a bento box-style special during Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week, or sample sushi of your choice and hibachi-style entrees at dinner with tempura ice cream and scrumptious dessert martinis.

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