A Burger A Week – Opus Restaurant & Lounge
Gulf Gate is home to an unexpectedly great burger!
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📝 This restaurant has closed since this article was originally published
When I started making my original list for this yearlong burger adventure, stop #19 was not on it. Maybe I didn’t include them because I never considered them to be a burger spot. I was wrong.
As I was mindlessly stumbling through my FB news feed one afternoon (just like a lot of you may do on occasion), up popped a pretty delicious-looking burger. Or at least a delicious-looking burger photo.
Yes, this burger was from Opus Restaurant & Lounge. Of course, the burger part of my brain switched on. I went to their website, but no burger. ☹️. I figured this must be a special they were running that day.
📝 If you remember (but you probably don’t), one of the criteria to be included on the burger list was that you had to have a burger on your regular daily menu. I wanted to make sure that everyone could try that burger too.
I could settle this pretty quickly. One quick email to Chef Kyle Harrington revealed that, YES, the new Opus Burger was on the regular menu. The website just hadn’t caught up yet. Now they’re on the list!! 🍔 (When I crafted my list, I left a few vacancies for this very reason.)
💥SPECIAL REQUEST… This burger stop taught me that there might still be a place or two that deserves to be on our list that might have been overlooked. If you think you know one of these spots, please send it to us. If it’s not already on and we add it, we’ll take you along for the ride! >> THIS PLACE SHOULD BE ON THE LIST!
Thank you. Now back to our burger…
Opus is a pretty upscale experience. They’ve got a nice comfortable dining room space.
It includes a relaxed-feel bar area.
There’s also a fantastic outdoor area for when you’d like to enjoy your Opus Burger al fresco.
Since this burger tasting might require a more… refined palate, I thought a professional “Ride Along” taster would be required. Enter Chef Stuart Gates.
Chef Gates is relatively new in town. His culinary roots are firmly planted in the south. Mississippi, NOLA cuisine (he makes a killer gumbo), and the flavors of Charleston, SC, are all in his wheelhouse.
🌟 OH, he’s also a former competitor in the World Food Championships in Las Vegas, NV!
Stuart is a private chef. So, that means he can bring his delicious dishes directly to you. Talk about convenient! Here’s some additional info in case you’re interested in finding out more about him and his food. (Chef Gate’s Website & Instagram)
OK, Let’s get to it. Here’s how our Opus Restaurant & Lounge burger experience went down…
RESTAURANT: OPUS RESTAURANT & LOUNGE (6644 Gateway Ave. (941-925-2313)
DATE OF VISIT: JANUARY 11, 2023
STOP #: 19 OF 52
BURGER TASTED: THE OPUS BURGER
📒 OUR TASTING NOTES
🍔 This burger is served as listed on the menu: Pancetta, provolone, caramelized onion & 48-hour frites ($18)
• The blend they use for the burger itself is pretty perfect. It’s short rib, brisket, and sirloin. So, it tastes like a burger should taste, meaty! And as Stuart noted, it also means that if your burger comes to the table a touch over your preferred temperature, no worries. That blend has enough fat content to keep it nice and juicy!
• This is a good-sized burger. For a burger this big, it was surprisingly easy to eat. You won’t have to bring your own burger-tasting bib for this one. 😃
• The caramelized onions and provolone cheese really complemented each other nicely. It’s a flavor combo that works well together. (We’ve seen a lot of caramelized onions on our travels. Here’s one. And another one!).
• The Fries (or frites!) – Stuart and I both could not stop eating the fries. We agreed these fries were off-the-charts great. He commented, “They don’t even need the harissa ketchup” that came alongside. “Delicious just on their own!” 🍟
• We checked the rest of the room on the afternoon we were there. A whole lot of people ordered the Opus Burger (there was a burger on at least half the tables). So that means the restaurant is probably on to something.
Let’s check out how all of this looked when we ordered it…
BURGER TAKEAWAYS: A great “gourmet” style burger • It’s not cheap, but it’s worth the burger splurge • Attentive service. That’s what you would expect from this type of place • It’s a nice place for an upscale lunch meet-up or a date • Again, THE FRIES!!
👀 SNEAK PEEK: Next up, a Sarasota “mini-chain” that literally had people standing in line for its weekly burger special.
🍔🍔 FREE BURGER! Yes, we are giving away a $20 Opus Restaurant & Lounge gift card. That amounts to a FREE burger for the winner. HERE’S THE ENTRY FORM. Just fill it out, and you’ll be entered. We’ll pick one at random in a couple of weeks. You’ll also get a free copy of our new 2023 Sarasota dining book!
JOIN SARASOTA’S BEST BURGERS FACEBOOK GROUP HERE!
✅ Did you miss a week? No worries. Here’s a link to our A BURGER A WEEK SERIES ARCHIVE! 🍔