Another piece is added to downtown Sarasotas culinary landscape.
Busy. Big city. Buzz.
Those are some words that flashed through my head the minute I first walked in the door of Sean Murphys new Sarasota dining destination, Eat Here.
When youre a local culinary legend like Sean, expectations are sky high. Were talking Beach Bistro high. Even though the PR conversation centers around less fancy (think upscale casual), more accessible dishes, its hard for consumers to shift gears. Weve been trained to complete this equation: Sean Murphy = elegant, fine dining. And, to his credit, that training has worked.
But, can those expectations that have been so carefully cultivated and that are so hard to forget, be met by a new dining concept? In short, the answer is yes. A BIG yes.
The first Eat Here restaurant opened up in Holmes Beach last year. Its a stones throw away from Seans iconic Beach Bistro. They tried to tamp down expectations. Its not Beach Bistro light was the pre-opening the mantra. And, the truth is, its not. And thats OK.
The new place has its own very distinct and unique personality. The food and atmosphere certainly stand on their own. Even without the lead in from its famous sibling. When you walk through the front door, Eat Here, as the name suggests, makes you want to do just that. The small plate format begs you to try it all.
Located at the corner of Links and Main in downtown Sarasota, Eat Here is bringing sorely needed new life to that part of the business district. Between that and the opening of the Half Shell Oyster House across the street, that corner is once again humming with activity. Its great to see.
The restaurant is almost three separate experiences rolled into one neat little package. Before or after your meal, enjoy a drink at the upstairs bar. The bar has a menu all its own. Great light bites to get you started or finish you off.
They put together a fantastic cheese plate. My favorite dessert. I only wish this were available at my dinner table on the first floor.
You can choose your own downstairs dining experience. Either in (fast paced and busy) or out (quiet and laid back). Having both options covers all the bases.
One of my favorites on the menu is the Cedar Key Clams. They are pan cooked with chardonnay, a splash of pernod, a little garlic and sweet cream and a soupcon of curry.
Oh, you certainly cant forget the frites. Crunchy and delicious.
Opening a new restaurant is not childs play. Most times, its hard for the result to meet the expectation. In the case of Eat Here, the result exceeds it. Lets hope Sean is holding down his little corner of Sarasota for years to come.
Click here to have a peek at the rest of our Eat Here photos.
1888 Main Street
Sarasota, Florida 34236