The Traveling Steve's

Dining out in Sarasota – fun dinners Downtown!

Steve (DOS) and I stayed in Sarasota a week on this Way-Cation, and enjoyed dining out each night at the nearby downtown restaurants. Although we had a car, it was much more convenient taking Uber the short distance to the Main Street and other restaurants, and not worry about parking or having some vino and driving back to our hotel, the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. Downtown Sarasota has loads of nice restaurants, and is a fun place to walk around, browsing the many shops and art galleries by day, and dining out at one of the many restaurants in the evening. It reminds me of Winter Park in Florida, and the many restaurants around Park Avenue there.

We have been to some of these restaurants I’m blogging about below before, and others were new to us, but all were good. Below our some of our dinner photos during our stay in Sarasota. We went to Classico the first night, which is a fun and lively Italian Chop restaurant with live entertainment provided by a singer/pianist dressed to the part to entertain with black suit and hat, playing energetic music from Billy Joel and other 70/80s in a similar genre. Quite entertaining and several ladies got up and danced along with the music; really enjoyable! They have both indoor and outdoor seating, although we sat inside both times we went.

Next up is Connors Steak and Seafood Restaurant. While Connor’s is not actually downtown, it’s nearby, and also a short Uber ride from our hotel and downtown. Connor’s is consistently one of our favorite restaurants in Sarasota and the quality, service, and atmosphere are every bit as nice as a Capital Grille restaurant, and is similar to one of the “Talk of the Town” restaurants in the Orlando area. We went to Connor’s twice on our visit in Sarasota this week, and both visits were wonderful! The shrimp cocktail appetizer has some of the best and biggest shrimp we’ve had anywhere! The wine list is exceptional, and very reasonably priced for such quality wines, while the steaks are top notch as well, and DOS loves his rack-of-lamb!

The 1592 Restaurant was a new restaurant for us, and was quite lively and fun! The energetic atmosphere was contagious, and we had a nice and fun evening out there.

Later on during the week, we met our Sarasota friends Chuck and Tom there for lunch, this time sitting outside in the sidewalk cafe part portion of the restaurant.

One night we took a dinner cruise on the Marina Jack II; a nice buffet dinner and sunset cruise, which sails from the marina in downtown Sarasota. Marina Jack also operates a huge restaurant and bar on the waterfront there among other things such as private events, and if you get there early you can have a drink in the nearby bar while you wait on your 6:30pm ship boarding time. (The sunset cruise departs at 7pm.), We took this dinner cruise a couple years ago, and enjoyed it just as much this visit.

The Marina Jack II has pre-assigned seating (we had a nice table for two in the forward “atrium” section of the boat where we dined last time), and offers a good quality buffet with Salmon, Prime Rib carved to order, salad, veggies, and several desserts. There is also a full bar aboard, and you are served drinks (tea and coffee are included, beer, wine, and cocktails are extra) by an attentive wait staff.

Plus you dine while admiring spectacular views of the bay, and sailing right by the multi-million dollar homes and condos dotting the shoreline, and ultimately the sun setting over the water.

DOS and I really enjoyed dinner, and even went back for seconds of the Salmon and Prime Rib! After dinner we had a choice of desserts at the dessert table, and I had one of my favorite “light desserts”, Key Lime Pie, while DOS had that plus a strawberry cheese cake as well!

The Marina Jack dinner cruise really makes for an enjoyable evening!

The Marina Jack II dinner cruise really makes for an enjoyable evening, and we will definitely do it again on our next visit to Sarasota, probably in August. We arrived back at the dock area as it was dark, and I took this pic of the downtown Sarasota area as I got off the boat.

And finally, our dining tour of Sarasota concludes with yet another restaurant that was new to us, but has been operating in Sarasota since 1996, Mediterrano Cucina Italia. Mediterrano was absolutely fabulous and casually elegant, and was packed with diners, but we were seated right away for our 7:45pm reservation. The restaurant is much larger than it looks as it has several rooms, and we were seated at a nice table in the quieter section of the back dining room.

We shared a wonderful lasagna appetizer.

Don’t worry, we shared this huge Chicken Parmigiana entree dish!

This Chicken Parmigiana was an entree for one! So glad we shared this between us!

So I hope you’ve enjoyed dining out with us in this post! Sarasota is definitely one of our favorite cities for multiple reasons, the weather, the beaches, the arts and culture, the many wonderful restaurants, parks, museums, and slower-pace than some of the other busier Florida cities such as Orlando, Tampa, and Miami. We thoroughly enjoyed our week Way-Cation here in Sarasota, and look forward to returning again soon!

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