Why isn’t there an acceptance of creative cuisine the way there is an acceptance of ordinary cuisine? That should be fixed.
Those of you who know me personally or who visit dineSarasota.com on a regular or semi-regular basis know one thing. I don’t like to write restaurant review. It’s not that restaurant reviews aren’t useful to people looking for a place to dine. Its just that sometimes it’s hard to be overly critical, knowing each of us has very different likes and dislikes. It’s a recipe for a lose-lose situation.
I would rather write about a singular dish or maybe an experience. Culinary commentary can be just as helpful as food critique. I’m hoping that’s the case here.
You see the sign above. You know what’s coming. Sarasota is now home to a place that would be perfectly suited for San Francisco, Seattle, or some of the trendier parts of NYC. In fact, if it were located in any of those places, I would wager that a line would start to form outside the front door and maybe stretch around the building.
Diners in those locales are completely accepting of food that might take them a little out of their comfort zone. They actually seek that out. Now, we have the opportunity to put ourselves in that same enviable position.
I don’t want to sound like we don’t have dining options that test the limits of culinary creativity. Derek Barnes does an awesome job at his namesake restaurant. As does, Sean Murphy at Beach Bistro, Tommy Klauber at Pattigeorge’s, and Jose Martinez over at Maison Blanche. All great, innovative chefs putting plates out of their kitchens that are as beautiful to look at as they are delicious to consume.
We have a new entry in that space. The Mad Crow Brewery and Grill. Part brewpub, part gastropub.
Every bus needs a driver. This bus is driven by Chef Eric Bein. At least from the food side of the operation.
Eric (yes, the same Chef Eric from Station 400) has put together an eclectic menu that should be a treat for anyone looking for dishes that can be seen on shows like Top Chef, Iron Chef, and Man vs. Food. Programs like these have been making this type of food popular for the past few years. Yes, I’m talking roasted bone marrow and duck hot dogs here.
Dishes take seemingly normal concepts and add a special twist to them.
Not your mother’s deviled eggs that’s for sure. Not unless your mother spending her day braising pork belly to top off her creation. I would love to have someone bring these deviled eggs to our next neighborhood potluck. Fat chance.
Then there are these seemingly innocent Diver Scallops. When you add a little radish, orange segments, and creamed leeks they really shine. Oh, let’s not forget the fingerling potatoes poached in rendered duck fat that this dish sits on top of. The oranges are a fantastic accent to the potatoes. The acid in the citrus brings all of the flavors of the plate together.
That’s worth a second look.
Gorgeous and delicious. A combination that’s tough to beat.
Not every item on this menu is going to be for everyone. Just like any other place you would try. But, there is something for everyone’s individual taste and palate. Actually, more than one thing. The fun is in the discovery of those dishes.
Here’s my hope. Sarasota diners give Mad Crow a try, see that the food is approachable, creative, and delicious, and then clamor for more places like it to open and thrive here in town. Wouldn’t that be amazing and fantastic!?
Want to see more great food photos from Mad Crow? Check them out here.
MAD CROW BREWERY & GRILL
1525 4th Street
Sarasota, Florida 34236
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