Crab Trap One
Route 19, Palmetto
A legend in its time, Crab Trap One redefines native cuisine with a tendency towards the unusual – gator tail, octopus, shad roe, conch, Florida perch and of course, crab. The surroundings are rugged and tropical.
100 Spring Ave, Anna Maria
This out-of-the-way restaurant is well worth discovering – you can dine casually by the beach on the deck or in the picture windowed dining room.
Moore’s Stone Crab Restaurant
800 Broadway Street, Longboat Key
As you may guess, crab is the speciality at this restaurant. You can’t beat Moore’s freshness thanks to the owners inventory of 5000 crab traps. Florida lobster, scallops, clams, frogs’ legs and shrimp are also on the menu.
Maureen’s Martini Bar and Restaurant
5350 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Suite 102, Longboat Key
You’ll find this gem open from October to May – outside of this period you’ll have to travel to Wildwood, New Jersey where the entire restaurant migrates for the summer. This contemporary restaurant is a delight, serving a wide range of both modern and more classic dishes. Also be sure to order yourself one of the 25 martinis on offer – from a classic James Bond to a Hershey Kiss.
431 St Armand’s Circle, Lido Key
You’ll find brick archways, wooden accents and wine racks in this cozy continental dining room. On the menu you can normally find veal piccata, dover sole meuniere and sautéed calf livers – as well as European versions of beef, pasta, poultry, veal, lamb and seafood dishes.
1551 Main Street, Sarasota
One of the better Italian eateries in the area, you’ll find authentic northern Italian cuisine served up in the bright café atmosphere. The pasta, meat and seafood selections include gnocchi, enzo veal with gorgonzola and sun-dried tomatoes, snapper with wine and fresh tomatoes.
3713 Bahia Vista, Sarasota
This is one of the most popular Amish-style eateries in the area. You can try fried mush for breakfast or sample a lunch or dinner specialty of broasted chicken or liver and onions. Desserts and bakery goods, and even the noodles are home made.
Alley Cat Café
1558 4th Street, Sarasota
Meals here are served outside in an overgrown garden that feels like a Caribbean backyard. Selections include blue crab, corn and brie cakes, grilled Angus beef, herbed polenta with grilled vegetables and stuffed chicken breast.