Sarasota + Bradenton Restaurants
6600 Gulf Drive
Anna Maria Island , Florida
Tel: 941 778 6444
Hidden among rental properties on the north end, the Beach Bistro is the pièce de résistance of Anna Maria Island's dining scene. The New American and Mediterranean-inflected Floridian cuisine is worth a splurge: Red bell pepperpapaya jam enlivens grouper; capers, caviar, and Key lime crème fraîche dress up Nova Scotia salmon; and roasted duckling is spiked with wild berry sauce. Finish with the decadent chocolate truffle terrine.
5540 Gulf of Mexico Drive
Longboat Key , Florida
Tel: 941 383 3633
The signature global dishes of this romantically lit downstairs dining room include tuna sashimi over rice noodles; citrus-marinated shrimp in coconut curry; and flambéed cracked-pepper steak. The Haye Loft, a casual dessert bar upstairs, serves a wider selection of goodies than you can get in the restaurantfrom homemade pies à la mode to made-to-order specialties like bananas Foster and cherries jubilee.
900 Gulf Drive
Bradenton Beach , Florida
Tel: 941 778 1919
Hugely popular, kid-friendly, and informal, the Gulf Drive Café serves up Reubens, tuna melts, Greek gyros, rib-eye steaks, crab cakes, and all-day breakfast with waterfront views of Bradenton Beach. Grab a seat in the breezy patio area, even if the clouds look menacing overheadwhen the sky opens up, shades roll down to keep out the rain.
6621 Midnight Pass Road
Sarasota , Florida
Tel: 941 349 1792
Decorated with bright tapestries and murals depicting llamas and villagers bearing flowers, this Peruvian-American restaurant in Sarasota draws a devoted following, so call ahead. The traditional Peruvian dishes such as tacu-tacu con pollo, a succulent chicken breast over black beans and rice, or seafood puteria, a spicy broth laden with shrimp, scallops, mussels, calamari, olives, and capers, are best paired with an imported Peruvian beer.
9105 Midnight Pass Road
Siesta Key , Florida
Tel: 941 349 2212 or 877 229 9601
Amid water lily ponds, swooping seabirds, and gardens of tropical flowers, this elegant restaurant overlooking Little Sarasota Bay prepares fresh and flavorful New American fare. The menu changes nightly, but you might find black grouper with coconut-macadamia panko crust and tropical fruit jam; Malpeque oysters baked in black truffle and Parmesan butter; Kobe beef rubbed with garlic paste; and slow-roasted poulet rouge with blackberry-balsamic syrup.