Sarasota dining abuzz with new restaurants

 Although our weather has been chilly, it has been anything but in the Sarasota dining scene. A flurry of mid-season activity will introduce us to half-dozen or so new restaurants in the coming days, weeks and months. Here is a survey of the newest spots and a sneak peek of some of the coming attractions.

Clásico Café + Bar:
1341 Main St.
Sarasota, FL 34236

Located on the corner of Palm and Main (the former home of Sarasota News & Books and Media On Main), this hip, modern yet nostalgic space opened for happy hour and dinner two weeks ago. Their serving plan is ambitious and will eventually include breakfast, lunch and a late-night menu. Keep an eye on this place because it will have a lot to offer. Louies Modern:
1289 N. Palm Ave.
Sarasota, FL 34236

A spin-off from Libby’s Café + Bar, Louies Modern is an entirely new concept offering modern American cuisine in a cool, urban setting. Located on the ground floor of the Palm Avenue parking garage, Louies will offer both indoor and outdoor seating as well as banquet, catering and special event services in an adjacent spaced named The Francis. Although this project has been delayed and is behind schedule, the finishing work has begun and, from my perspective, it will be worth the wait!

Made Restaurant:
1990 Main St.
Sarasota, FL 34236

Modern American Delicious Eats just opened for dinner nightly on Friday, March 1. At the former location of Brasserie Belge, Made has significantly renovated the interior to support its offering of upscale American comfort food. A casually elegant setting, a widely appealing menu and wallet-friendly pricing should make this spot a popular place to dine. Lunch service is scheduled to start March 11.

Gillian’s Pizzadelli:
1410 Main St.
Sarasota, FL 34236

The newest location of Gillian’s opened with a clever new name on Friday, March 1. This casual spot offers thin-crust pizza and deli sandwiches; breakfast, lunch and late night menus; coffee, lattes and more. A convenient, casual, comfortable spot on Main. Social on First:
1219 1st St.
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-444-7072 Still a work in progress, this casual eatery plans on offering American and Italian comfort food in an upscale indoor/outdoor setting. From my perspective, this opening is still a number of months away, but if décor is any indication, it too will be worth the wait.

The Usual Place:
2157 Siesta Dr.
Sarasota, FL 34239

Located on Siesta Dr. just east of 41, this new eatery is taking over the former location of Bistro Figliulo. Opening soon, its menu is planned to be casual Italian.

3501 S. Tamiami Trl.
Sarasota, FL 34239

Although the name screams Italian, the restaurant is billing itself as a fusion of Italian, American and Asian cuisines. Located in the Southgate Mall (formerly Cosimo’s) the restaurant boasts a casually elegant setting. Ziti offers lunch and dinner daily and has been open for about two weeks,

Since all these new restaurants need some time to “season,” we will wait before we offer a more detailed review. In the meantime, we’ll be visiting and learning more about their menus.

Sarasota is fortunate to have such a vibrant and dynamic dining scene. When new restaurants add to the local culinary culture, we all benefit. After all, who doesn’t like to eat?

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About the Author

Jack Littman-Quinn is a serial entrepreneur, writer, blogger, foodie and social media enthusiast, covering current trends in food, restaurants and dining in Sarasota. You can read more of Jack's restaurant reviews at

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