Tag Archives: Shellfish

Lazy Lobster of Longboat Key: 5350 Gulf of Mexico Dr Longboat Key, FL

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After a photo shoot with my dad for engagement pictures, Gabriel and I planned to take him out for dinner to thank him. Our plans changed when my mom and step-dad called and said they’d like to join us for dinner- and ended up taking US out instead. We definitely still owe my dad a dinner, and felt lucky to have a great meal with a family who all get along really well.

Lazy Lobster is close to where they all live, and Gabriel and I had recently sampled and enjoyed some of their food at a food festival, so it was a great choice for all of us.

We were seated quickly when we arrived, and a waiter took our drink orders and told us the specials. A quick review of the menu revealed a ton of choices that sounded appealing. As a seafood lover, I’m not hard to please when it comes to fish as long as it’s not all breaded and fried.

I started with a small garden salad with excellent blue cheese dressing. The vegetables were all fresh and vibrant, and with the fresh bread and butter it made a lovely first course. For my entree, I had the potato crusted grouper. It had a crispy coating and was served with a grainy mustard sauce. It came with carrots in an amaretto sauce that were probably my favorite part of the meal. I also had haricot verts in place of the rice that normally comes with it- and they were also bright and flavorful, fresh and cooked the right amount. I hate mushy vegetables and it’s always nice to find a restaurant who really doesn’t overcook them.

For dessert we all shared (but in actually I probably ate more than my fair share) the trio of sweets that included a chocolate mousse, a strawberry shortcake, and a key lime pie (If I am remembering correctly). They were all very good- but not as exciting as I had hoped. It was nice to be able to sample 3 desserts instead of just one, but each one wasn’t really all that spectacular.

Overall, this restaurant was quite good- and has a really pretty outdoor eating area with heating lamps for when it’s chilly. The menu is fairly basic for seafood, but had lots of good options. The service was very attentive, quick, knowledgeable and polite. I would definitely go back!

The Lobster Pot: 5157 Ocean Blvd, Sarasota, FL

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After spending a gorgeous afternoon kayaking at Siesta Key, Gabriel and I were hungry and thirsty and decided to use a coupon we had for The Lobster Pot. When we arrived, we were seated right away near the window and a waitress came over with menus. We asked for big glasses of cold water with lemon and some bread and sat back to look over the menus.

A waiter immediately brought over a basket of yummy looking cornbread and we continued to wait for our water. And waited. And waited. Finally, about 10 minutes later our waitress brought our waters over and we slurped them down like we’d been in the desert for a month. Phew. Hopefully this would not be indicative of the wait time for our meals.

We noticed that many of the items on the menu were listed as ‘market price’ and I did not hesitate to ask the waitress to run down the numbers for us. I’m glad I did, as some of the items were well into the $34 and up range and definitely curbed what I’d planned to order. We decided to start with the steamers appetizer. (market priced at $13.99) We also decided to share 2 entrees. I ordered the parmesan ranch salad topped with lobster and Gabriel ordered the Shore dinner (fried clam strips, broiled scallops/shrimp and fish- which are usually prepared with seasoned bread crumbs but we asked to go without them) and sides of garden veggies and mashed potatoes. Our food arrived quickly and we decided that the water delay was just a fluke. The cornbread was fresh, warm and tasty and we asked the basket to be cleared since we’d already emptied it.

The steamers arrived in a large pot- actually way too large for the relatively small number of clams inside. They were served with the traditional water bath and melted butter. We dug in right away and I was kind of disappointed. These were only ‘okay’. For the amount of money they cost, I would have expected them to taste much fresher than they did- and at least to be given a quantity that justified it. That said, since I didn’t really love them, I guess I didn’t really want more than were served anyway. Uh oh, so far this meal was not going very well.

Luckily, once the entrees arrived things turned around. My salad was large and beautiful, topped with a generous amount of shelled lobster and parmesan cheese. The parmesan ranch dressing on the side was excellent and turned out to be a great dip for the shrimp that came with Gabriel’s meal. The clam strips on Gabriel’s plate were crunchy, not greasy and turned out to be some of the best clam strips I’ve ever had. The broiled seafood was only so-so, as they lacked flavor. They were served in a very buttery sauce- that we’d asked them to go very light on and without seasoned bread crumbs by our request. I guess the flavor usually lives in those bread crumbs so maybe it was our fault for foregoing them- but even so, if it were really cooked right, I think the flavor should have remained. I think it was the fact that they were drowning in butter that took away from the freshness. The sides were also only so-so. As someone who usually finds mashed potatoes pretty hard to resist, these didn’t even really tempt me after the first bite. They were creamy and smooth- and I prefer chunks. The flavor was somewhat off-putting and I couldn’t identify the reason. The vegetables were fine, but nothing to write home about.

Judging from the plates on the next table over, the amount of crab legs for the price also seemed really small. I think overall, this restaurant is fine- but not great. It’s overpriced for what it is, and it’s in total tourist-trap land. I highly doubt we’ll be back…Although if I have a craving for clam strips I suppose there is a possibility.

My suggestion in general is don’t eat on Ocean Blvd. All of the restaurants are only decent, they are all over-priced and over-crowded. Yes, they are convenient if you are spending the day at the beach, but there are SO many better options if you are willing to drive 10 minutes away. Check out the great options on Gulf Gate or head downtown or to Hillview.

Ping’s Chinese Cuisine: 5445 Fruitville Rd Sarasota, FL

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I met my dad and my honey here for dinner a few nights ago at my father’s suggestion and was pleasantly surprised. When I first walked in, I found a totally unexciting atmosphere in a strip mall. It looked like a run-of-the-mill coffee shop inside, but did have a very friendly hostess/waitress to show me to my seat.

We sat in a booth and were immediately served ice water and a bowl of VERY crunchy noodles with duck sauce. I find these very hard to resist and must admit that I ate more than I should have. We looked over the menu and decided to share a seafood with mixed vegetables dish and a shrimp with lobster sauce dish. I also tasted a bit of my dad’s wonton soup– and must say that it was better than average. Not too salty, fresh and definitely homemade. The entrees were also very fresh and full of large pieces of lobster, shrimp, scallops and a great assortment of vegetables.

The service was super friendly and fast and had the feel of eating in someone’s home- where they really put attention and love into what they cook. This, along with a few other experiences I have had so far in the area, has already changed my preconceived thoughts about eating ethnic foods in Sarasota. It DOES exist, it does NOT make me miss living in NYC, and it IS a great value and worth a visit.