Sarasota’s Best Restaurants: Eat Here
I love my job! And, when I say job I mean my job associated with this blog. When else do I get to dine out and be wowed by chefs and service alike? I feel so special when I get to meet the chefs, to talk directly to the managers and really get to know a place.
I have been doing some restaurant visits and everyone is aware that whatever happens during my dining might be fodder for my blog. This allows the restaurant to show off a bit and deliver the best of their best.
When we arrived at Eat Here on Main St, they had been waiting for our arrival and had lots of great things for us to sample. Unfortunately, it was only Trudy and I and there would have been no way for us to finish everything they brought out.
Dale, the manager was amazingly kind and helpful. I couldn’t help but notice that he wasn’t just treating us special but every table that was there that night. He told us stories of how the items got on the menu and directed us to the best selections. He would stop by to check on our meal but was never overbearing or pushy. He would chat for a few minutes and then head off to greet other guests. He was such a nice guy.
One of the suggested menu items was this….
In that little tin, are perfectly cooked local caught shrimpcargots–with a little bacon and collard greens. A great starter and one of the standouts for Trudy.
The house smoked fish dip was one of my favorites (first picture). I love fish and I rarely buy it at restaurants here because I really only want to support local fishermen and US caught seafood. Eat Here specializes in local seafood and they are very clear about it on their menu.
Dale suggested we try the deep-fried beets and while interesting they were not my favorite. I guess they are a best-seller so people must love them but I am a little weird with beets. I want to like them but I just don’t really.
Like I said, I was wowed by their fish selection and wanted to order fish for every course. I was so excited to see that they had wild salmon on the menu (friends don’t let friends eat farmed salmon!). It is very rare to see that in Florida. Alaska and Washington, maybe, but very rare in Florida. I love wild salmon and was very happy with my choice. Especially the corn casserole. So good. I don’t even want to know how many calories were in that little dish. (Sorry about the picture quality..I was losing my natural light fast.)
Trudy ordered the pot roast. Dale had mentioned it won an award for the best in the city–beating out even the local Amish eateries. She knew she had to try it. She loved it but by that point we were so stuffed she only had room for a few bites. Lucky for her husband she brought home the rest.
We didn’t think we were going to have room for dessert and before we could turn it down, Dale said, ” I hope you don’t mind but I took the liberty of bringing out three desserts for you to sample. ” Mind? Us? We would never turn our nose up at dessert!
Out appeared an apple crisp, a creme brulee and a chocolate budino–basically a really thick pudding with a sprinkle of sea salt. I am normally not a creme brulee type of girl but this was divine. Trudy loved the apple crisp–she is more of a fruity dessert person and we both loved the chocolate.
I know I need to go back to figure out how they make that budino. Perfection.
I almost forgot to mention the rooftop bar. It is cool. It feel like a bigger city type venue with views of the downtown skyline, interesting cocktails (my fav: The Bees Knees concoction of gin, honey , lavender and lemon), and live music on occasion. When we visited, it was quiet but that was great for conversation and just hanging out.
Eat here has three locations in the area including the downtown location (188 Main St), Anna Maria Island (5315 Gulf Drive Holmes Beach, FL) and Siesta Key (240 Avenida Madera).
With an intriguing menu, the use of local ingredients and locally caught seafood, it is definitely a place to go back to time and time again. Actually as I write this, I think I might get my kids to take me there for Mother’s Day tomorrow. They will love the food and will be welcomed by the staff–a perfect combination.
If you decide to try it out, I would love to hear your thoughts!