World Famous Beaches and glorious sunsets need only one thing to make it a perfect vacation, and that’s food. We have collected a list of some of the wonderful restaurants that provide gourmet diners and fish shack nibblers a wide range of choices.
Blue Dolphin Café
A fast and friendly breakfast and lunch. The menu includes omelets, sandwiches, wraps, waffles, griddlecakes and health-conscious dishes – at reasonable prices. 7:00am-3:00pm daily in season – 8:00am – 3:00pm (May-November). Dinner on Fridays (December to April) with reservations. 5370 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key. (941) 383-3787.
Located in the Centre Shops, this trattoria on Longboat Key has great brick-oven pizza, linguine in fresh clam sauce, veal scaloppine and other Italian favorites. Dinner 4:30pm-10:00pm. 5370 Gulf Of Mexico Drive (in the Centre Shops), (941) 383-0010
Providing fine dining since 1980, this romantic restaurant offers a variety of classical and eclectic dishes. Try the Haye Loft for a fine selection of coffees, spirits and desserts accompanied by nightly live music. Sunday-Thursday 6:00pm-10:00pm, Friday & Saturday 5:00-10:00pm. The Haye Loft is open 6:00pm-11:00pm. 5540 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key. (941) 383-3633; www.euphemiahaye.com
Harry’s Continental Kitchens
Harry’s incorporates fine dining, gourmet deli and premier catering. Try the upscale cozy Florida style restaurant for dinner or lunch. Grab a gourmet sandwich or dinner to go at the deli and order your beach party platters with catering. Lunch 11:00am-2:30pm, Dinner 5:00pm-9:30pm, Sunday Brunch 10:00am-2:30pm. 525 St. Judes Drive, Longboat Key. Reservations are suggested for the Dining Room. (941) 383-0777; www.harryskitchen.com
This cozy nook in Whitney Beach Plaza at the island’s north end is open daily for breakfast and lunch. Evenings are for private functions. Monday-Saturday 7:00am-2:30pm, Sunday 8:00am-1:00pm. 6836 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key. (941) 383-0689
Established in 1911, this Florida classic on Sarasota Bay has fabulous views. Try a steamer pot out on the patio or dine inside. 11:30am-10:00pm daily. 760 Broadway, Longboat Key or by sea to Marker 39.
Mattison’s Steakhouse at the Plaza
Hand-cut aged steaks and a wide menu of delicious dinners and wines by one of Sarasota’s favorite chefs, Paul Mattison. Bar opens at 5:00 nightly; dinner starts at 6:00. 525 Bay Isles Parkway, Longboat Key. (941) 387-2700; www.mattisons.com.
Moore’s Stone Crab
Great Florida fresh seafood in a casual atmosphere that overlooks Sarasota Bay. Stone crab season is mid-October through mid-May. 11:30-9:30 daily. 800 Broadway, Longboat Key. (941) 383-1748