Food & Drink in Fruitville

$17 for $30 Worth of Italian Food and Drinks at Primo! Ristorante 

Primo!

Sarasota

$30 $17

Wood-oven-baked pizzas; more than 15 pasta dishes flavored with veal, seafood, and housemade italian sausage

$10 for $20 Worth of Produce and Groceries at Vung Tau Oriental Market

Vung Tau Oriental Market

Sarasota

$20 $10

Shoppers can find Thai, Chinese, Malaysian, Korean, Japanese, Philippine, Indian, and Vietnamese groceries

$17 for $30 Worth of Homestyle American Comfort Food at Word of Mouth Downtown

Word of Mouth Downtown

Downtown

$30 $17

Omelets, benedicts, soup, specialty sandwiches, and other comfort fare in the dining room or on a dog-friendly patio

$6 for $10 Worth of Candy — Dulcefina - Chocolate and Sweets

Dulcefina Chocolate And Sweets

Sarasota

$10 $6

Local businesses like this one promote thriving, distinctive communities by offering a rich array of goods and services to locals like you

Japanese-Thai Fusion Cuisine at Pacific Rim (Up to 47% Off). Two Options Available.

Pacific Rim

Southside Village

$30 $18

(455)

Expansive menu is composed of Japanese-Thai fusion cuisine, including sushi rolls, wok creations, curries, and noodles and rice dishes

$16 for $30 worth of Italian Cuisine and Drinks at Café Gabbiano

Cafe Gabbiano

Siesta Key

$30 $16

Family recipes inspire pasta dishes with seafood, breaded veal, and chicken with wine sauce; a cellar boasts more than 220 wines

$11 for $20 Worth of Italian Cuisine for Dine-In or Takeout at Papa Giorgio's Family Italian Restaurant

Papa Giorgios Family Italian Restaurant

Sarasota

$20 $11

Housemade sauce & fresh, oven-baked bread mingle amid signature rosa pasta and NY-style thin-crust pizzas

Vegetarian Cuisine and Seafood for Dine-In or Takeout at Veg (Up to 52% Off)

Veg - A Vegetarian & Seafood Eatery

Gulf Gate

$24 $12

(310)

Eatery ranked as the area's best vegetarian-friendly restaurant by Sarasota Magazine serves vegan brisket, as well as wild-caught seafood

Pizzeria Cuisine on Sunday–Thursday or Friday–Saturday at Filippo's Pizzeria (Half Off)

Filippo's Pizzeria

Sarasota

$18 $9

(151)

Casual Italian restaurant with fresh pizzas and calzones, seafood, veal, and chicken pastas, and hearty meatball subs

$17 for $30 Worth of French Cuisine and Drinks for Dinner at Miguel's Restaurant

Miguel's Sarasota

Sarasota

$30 $17

French and continental cuisine such as escargot, lamb chops with mint, and filet mignon with béarnaise sauce and peppercorn cream sauce

$42 for a Winery Tour, Tasting, and Bottle of Wine for Two at Florida Orange Groves Winery ($84 Value)

Florida Orange Groves Winery

St. Petersburg

$84 $42

Experience premium fruit wines in tour that includes extended tastings, wine pouches, take-home bottle, and glasses

Italian Food and Drinks at Lunchtime for Two or Take-Out at Gio Fabulous (Up to $7 Off)

Gio Fabulous

Bradenton

$20 $13

Italian specialties such as spinach ricotta pizza, chicken Parmigiano, and spaghetti with shrimp, scallops, and calamari in white wine sauce

Japanese Food and Drinks for Two or Four at Samurai Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar (Up to 43% Off)

Samurai Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar

Bradenton

$30 $17

(159)

Diners cluster around gas-heated hibachi grill, where chefs prepare steak and seafood meals with flair; sushi bar showcases colorful rolls

Italian Lunch for Two or Take-Out at Gio Fabulous (Up to 40% Off)

Gio Fabulous

Gio Fabulous Ellenton

$20 $12

Italian entrees, such as wild mushroom ravioli and manicotti made from a family recipe, plus pizzas with thin crusts handmade daily

$20 for Four Groupons, Each Good for $7 Worth of Hot Dogs, Burgers, Fries, and Drinks at Rippers Roadstand ($28 Value)

Rippers Roadstand

Ellenton

$7 $5

Cooks deep-fry their hot dogs and smother their 100% beef burgers in toppings such as jalapenos and A1 sauce; fries are hand-cut in house

$6 for $10 Worth of Frozen Yogurt — Sweet Berry Yogurt

Sweet Berry Yogurt

Venice Farms

$10 $6

Local businesses like this one promote thriving, distinctive communities by offering a rich array of goods and services to locals like you

Wine-Making Demo for One, Two, or Four at Southshore Uncorked (Up to 54% Off)

Southshore Uncorked

Apollo Beach

$30 $15

Professionals demonstrate the techniques for making handcrafted wines and send each guest home with a bottle of their own

$19 for Two Dozen Oysters and Two Drinks at The Island Grille & Raw Bar ($36 Value)

The Island Grille & Raw Bar

Tierra Verde

$36 $19

Oysters served steamed, fried, or raw on the half shell, paired with well drinks, house wines, or glasses of beer

$22 for $40 Worth of French and Continental European Fare at La Cote Basque in Gulfport

La Cote Basque

Gulfport

$40 $22

(199)

French, Italian & German entrees showcase dishes such as roast duck in amaretto cherry sauce, sauerbraten, and beef wellington

Entry for Two or Four to the Tampa Bay International Curry Festival on October 4 (Up to 73% Off)

Tampa Bay International Curry Festival

Vinoy Park

$27.50 $10

Come taste chefs from around the world demonstrate their famed curry dishes while enjoying a fun day filled with entertainment

Upscale Casual Waterfront Dining for Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner at Fresco's Waterfront Bistro (Up to 40% Off)

Fresco's Waterfront Bistro

St. Petersburg

$25 $15

(476)

Entrees such as mahi mahi filet, Montréal seasoned and topped with a sweet Thai chili sauce and homemade mango salsa

Pub Food and Drink at Durty's Bar and Grille (Up to 50% Off)

Durty's Bar and Grille

St. Petersburg

$20 $11

Tear into a burger and stay a while with a game of pool or join in with a nightly event, like karaoke or trivia

$12 for $20 Worth of Pizzeria Eats for Carryout from Jet's Pizza

Jet's Pizza

Saint Petersburg

$20 $12

(10)

Pizzeria specializing in deep-dish pies, as well as wings, salads, and subs

$138 for $250 Worth of Nutritional Supplements — Dr.Bernard Bloom Proactive Health

Dr.bernard Bloom Proactive Health

West and East Lealman

$250 $138

Local businesses like this one promote thriving, distinctive communities by offering a rich array of goods and services to locals like you

Chicken-Sausage and -Meatball Sandwiches at Jimbo's Joint (50% Off). Two Options Available.

Jimbo's Joint

Historic Kenwood

$8 $4

(4)

Chicken sausages, chicken meatballs, and falafel put a healthy twist on classic eats such as meatball subs and Chicago-style hot dogs

$200 Worth of Catering or a Catered Lunch for Up to 10 People from Catering by Saffron's Cuisine of the Sun (Half Off)

Catering by Saffron’s Cuisine of the Sun

Saffron's on the Go - Downtown

$200 $100

Catered dishes such as boneless chicken sauteed in Jamaican curry with onions, sweet peppers, and coconut milk

$23 for $40 Worth of Pizza and Italian Food for Dinner at Joia Fabulous Pizza & Martini Bar

Joia Fabulous Pizza & Martini Bar

Riverview

$40 $23

(27)

Classic Italian pastas and slow-cooked meat dishes compliment hand-tossed pizzas and drinks

$20 for Oktoberfest Weekend Pass with Beer from German American Friendship Society of Pinellas ($40 value)

German American Friendship Society of Pinellas

Pinellas Park

$40 $20

Commemorative beer boot is filled with German beers at a festival that includes Oompah music, dancing and authentic German food

Appetizers and Drinks for Two or Four at Catch Twenty-Three (Up to 48% Off)

Catch Twenty-Three

Multiple Locations

$48 $26

Appetizers such as curry mussels and shrimp scampi flatbread, paired with martinis, wine, or draft beers

Indian Cuisine for Dine-In or Takeout, or Lunch Buffet for Two at Cilantro Indian Cuisine (Up to 40% Off)

Cilantro Indian Cuisine

Tampa

$24.92 $15

Chefs artfully layer spices to create both classic and complex Indian staples, from chicken tikka masala to goat rogan josh in a sealed pot

Cold Mixed Appetizer Plate and Drinks for Two or Four at Gengiz Khan Turkish Grill (Up to 48% Off)

Gengiz Khan Turkish Grill

Ballast Point

$26 $14

Guests enjoy fresh and healthy fare including hummus and stuffed grape leaves as belly dancers glide through on Friday and Saturday nights

46% Off Northern Italian Cuisine and Drinks at Vino E Pasta

Vino E Pasta

Tampa

$24 $13

(33)

Dishes lauded by the Tampa Bay Times include 15 types of pasta tossed with pesto, alfredo, and bolognese and served with 38 wines

$15 for $30 Worth of Tapas and Drinks at The Manhattan Dolce Bar & Bistro

The Manhattan Dolce Bar & Bistro

Virginia Park

$30 $15

Share tapas-style dishes such as beef carpaccio and shrimp ajillo at an eatery with nightly live entertainment

$39.99 for a Romantic Dinner for Two at a Mystery Location Near Tampa (Up to $77.80 Value)

Saffron Indian Cusine

County Line Coalition

$77.80 $39.99

Enjoy a two-course meal and drinks at a romantic date-night spot—but you won't find out where until you buy the deal

Saturday Night Laughs in New Tampa for One, Two, or Four on September 6–December 6 (Up to 46% Off)

Saturday Night Laughs in New Tampa

Heritage Isles Golf & Country Club

$11.54 $8

Live_logo

Top-notch local and national comedians, including Tampa favorite Trish Keating, stoke laughter in a lush country club

Bar Food at Hogan's Beach (Up to 52% Off). Two Options Available.

Hogan's Beach

Rocky Point

$25 $12

Watch the big game on flat-screen TVs while filling your plate with wings, burgers, pizza, and more; bar has more than 20 beers on tap

Italian Food and Drinks for Two or For Take-Out or Delivery at Islands Pizza (Up to 40% Off)

Islands Pizza

Davis Islands

$20 $12

(14)

Pizzeria pairs 20 draft beers and cocktails with hand-tossed pies, grinders, and wings slathered in Caribbean-jerk and lemon-pepper sauces

One Dozen Cookies or One 15" Cookie Cake at Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip (Up to 39% Off)

Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip - Tampa Mall

Tampa

$17.99 $11

Delight in dessert with a fresh-baked batch of iconic Nestlé Toll House cookies or a customizable cookie cake

Afghan Cuisine for Lunch or Dinner at Anaar Bar and Grill (Up to 48% Off). Three Options Available.

Anaar Bar and Grill

Tampa

$20 $11

(20)

Enjoy hummus, lamb-and-rice dishes, veggie kebabs, and gyros

$10 for $20 Worth of Latin-American Food and Drinks at Monserrate Restaurant Bar & Grill

Monserrate Restaurant Bar & Grill

Northwest Tampa

$20 $10

(23)

Latin-American restaurant offers a tour of Caribbean, Central, and South American dishes; wines and beers from around the world

$20 for $40 Worth of Cookie Bouquets at Cookies by Design

Cookies by Design

Multiple Locations

$40 $20

Artfully arranged & custom-decorated cookies for birthdays, holidays & other special occasions

$16 for $30 Worth of Korean Cuisine at Rice Restaurant & Market

Rice Restaurant & Market

Town N County Park

$30 $16

(16)

Korean barbecue, stir-fry, stews, and noodle dishes pair with small plates of sautéed, blanched, and pickled vegetables

Four Meat and Seafood Items at Land and Sea Market (40% Off). Four Options Available.

Land and Sea Market

Multiple Locations

$40 $24

(20)

Choose from all-natural chicken breasts, grouper fingers, tilapia fillets, chicken nuggets, and cocount shrimp

$10 for Two Groupons, Each Good for $10 Worth of Frozen Yogurt, Juices, and Coffee at Frogury ($20 Value)

Frogury

Tampa

$10 $5

Create your own sundae using non-fat, low-calorie frozen yogurt and more than 40 available fruit, candy, and nut toppings

$52 for $100 Toward a Prix Fixe Meal for Two or More at Six Tables Tampa

Six Tables Tampa

South Tampa

$100 $52

(77)

New six-course menu created daily by award-winning chef in romantic six-table eatery

$10 for $20 Worth of Barbecue and Burgers at Mike's Smokehouse BBQ & Grill

Mike's Smokehouse BBQ & Grill

Tampa

$20 $10

(8)

Choose between gator baskets, ribs, sausage, chicken, catfish, and frog legs, or go for broke with the hearty "redneck platter"

Contemporary Fusion Food at Cheap (50% Off)

Cheap

Courier City/Oscawana

$30 $16

(49)

Eclectic restaurant and bar with a fusion menu of sushi, burgers, pizzas, and other contemporary dishes

$11 for $20 Worth of Burgers, Steaks, and American Food at EATS! American Grill

Eats! American Grill

Fairoaks Manhattan Manor

$20 $11

(48)

Recipes from across the country comprise an Americana-inspired menu with midwestern BLTs on texas toast and New York-style buffalo wings

Dinner Show for One or Two from The Murder Mystery Company (52% Off)

The Murder Mystery Company

The Spaghetti Warehouse

$120 $58

Interactive dinnertime murder mystery that stars professional actors tests diners’ sleuthing skills throughout a multicourse meal

$19 for Beer Appreciation Tour for Two with Two Beer Flights and One Growler at ESB Brewing ($36 Value)

ESB Brewing

Tampa

$36 $19

Get a behind the scenes look at the distilling process, and then sample TK brews before taking home a full growler

$495 for $900 Worth of Catering Services — Making Memories Catering, Inc.

Making Memories Catering, Inc.

Redeem from Home

$900 $495

S'Mores Station lets people make s'mores at your wedding or party

$10 for Two Groupons, Each Good for $10 Worth of American Food at MTC Downtown Cafe ($20 Value)

MTC Downtown Cafe

Tampa

$10 $5

Breakfasts made from scratch, fully loaded cheeseburgers, and gyros satisfy appetites alongside sweeter options such as housemade pastries

$11 for Two Regular Pita Combos at Pita Pit ($17.20 Value)

Pita Pit Tampa

Downtown Tampa

$17.20 $11

(15)

Pita builders pack freshly cooked meats, melted cheeses, and fresh toppings chosen by customers into a tasty, portable pita

Breakfast or Carry-Out at The Bungalow Restaurant and Bar (40% Off)

The Bungalow Restaurant and Bar

Tampa

$20 $12

This bar and restaurant makes room for a little luxury with a special-feature Skybox area, plenty of game-night access, and superior dishes

$14 for Pizza and Beer at Ledo Pizza ($22 Value)

Ledo Pizza

Carrollwood

$22 $14

(25)

Pizzeria dishes out square-shaped pizza topped with thick-cut pepperoni, buffalo chicken baked cheese fries, subs, pasta, and salads

$22 for $40 Toward Lunch or Dinner at Ocean Blue Sushi Bar

Ocean Blue Sushi Bar

Carrollwood

$40 $22

(42)

Sushi chefs create rolls for everyone from meat eaters to vegans, served alongside Japanese classics like pork dumplings with ginger shoyu

$12 for $20 Worth of Pizzeria Cuisine at ABC Pizza

ABC Pizza

Wellswood

$20 $12

(25)

Build-your-own pizzas and gourmet pies topped with crab, feta, or shrimp mingle with grinders and pastas at a pizza chain open since 1966

In-Home Wine Tasting for Four or Eight with Complimentary Bottle of Wine from PRP Wine International (Up to 87% Off)

PRP Wine International

University Square

$150 $19

(3)

Wine consultants travel to homes, pouring samples from four or six different bottles for small groups

Half-Pound or One-Pound Candy Gift Bag, or Four-Pound Candy Catering Bin from Sweet Crime Inc. (51% Off) 

Sweet Crime Inc.

On Location

$45 $22

Candy catering store with a home or office delivery service of gummies, rock, sugar free and wrapped candy; catering for special events

$15 for $30 Worth of Mexican Food at Urban Cantina

Urban Cantina

Multiple Locations

$30 $15

(364)

Freshly made Tex-Mex and authentic Mexican specialties, including tacos, tortas, and calorie-conscious salads

$17 for $30 Worth of MIiddle Eastern Food and Drinks for Two at John Rolfe Tobacco Company

John Rolfe Tobacco Company

Downtown

$30 $17

(9)

Enjoy Middle Eastern dishes and drinks in this fully-stocked cigar bar

$12 for $20 Worth of Pub Food and Drinks at Dachshund's Bar & Grill

Dachshund's Bar & Grill

Town N Country Park

$20 $12

Hot dogs steal the show here, each made from meat like kielbasa or black Angus beef and topped with items like blue cheese or pico de gallo

$13 for Mexican Food and Drinksr at Casa Ramos Tampa ($22 Value)

Casa Ramos Tampa

Tampa

$22 $13

(37)

Mexican staples and fruit-infused margaritas served in festive eatery with Saltillo clay tiles lining the walls and bar

$11 for Two Groupons, Each Good for $10 Worth of American Food at Big City Grill, Co. ($20 Value)

Big City Grill Co.

Brandon

$10 $5.50

New menu inspired by American favorites such as potato skins, New York strip steaks, and fresh seafood

Afternoon Tea for Two or Four at William Dean Chocolates (50% Off)

William Dean Chocolates

Belleair Bluffs

$60 $30

(29)

Renowned chocolatiers host afternoon tea complete with scones, sandwiches, and sweets

Ice-Cream Cones, Sundaes, and Shakes at Topper's Creamery (Up to 55% Off). Three Options Available.

Topper's Creamery

Largo

$15 $7

(6)

Soft-serve french vanilla bean, chocolate, strawberry, and flavors of the week; sugar and fat free, and frozen yogurt offerings

$11 for Two Groupons, Each Good for $10 Worth of Comfort Food at Eatz ($20 Total Value)

Eatz

Clearwater

$10 $5.50

Diner dishes out homemade comfort food such as meatloaf melt with fries, chicken pot pie, fish and chips, baked potato soup, and carrot cake

$12 for $20 at Deeya Indian Cuisine

Deeya Indian Cuisine

Clearwater

$20 $12

A fusion of Southern, Northern, and Punjab dishes such as chicken madras, rogan josh with lamb or goat, and Punjabi channa masala

Lava-Rock Meal with Wine and Dessert for Two or Four at Cork N Brew Bistro (Up to 48% Off)

Cork N Brew Bistro

Clearwater

$66 $35

Scallops, lamb, and filet mignon cooked at the table on an 824°F lava rock

$17 for $30 Worth of Italian Cuisine, Pizza, and Drinks at CDB's Pizza & Italian Restaurant 

CDB's Pizza & Italian Restaurant

Multiple Locations

$30 $17

Menu of Italian classics includes manicotti dinners, hot grinders, signature pizzas, and chicken parmigiana

$6 for $10 Worth of Coffee — Cafe Charlie

Cafe Charlie

Clearwater

$10 $6

Local businesses like this one promote thriving, distinctive communities by offering a rich array of goods and services to locals like you

$17 for $30 Worth of Japanese and Italian Food for Two or More at Kobe CS Italian Japanese Steak House

Kobe CS Italian Japanese Steak House

Clearwater

$30 $17

Chefs whip up Japanese- and Italian-style dishes

Wine-Tasting Package for Two or Four with Tour and Take-Home Bottles at Aspirations Winery (Up to 54% Off)

Aspirations Winery

Clearwater

$70 $35

(6)

Enjoy wine samples and food pairings before taking a behind-the-scenes tour, leaving with souvenir glasses and a 750ml bottle of wine

Appetizers with Draft Beer or Wine for Two or Four at 2 Palms Bar & Bistro (Up to 55% Off)

2 Palms Bar & Bistro

Clearwater

$19.99 $10

Shrimp-cocktail, fried green beans, and chicken-finger appetizers complement draft beers and house wine

$23 for $40 Worth of Italian Cuisine and Drinks at Cesare's at the Beach

Cesare's at the Beach

Clearwater

$40 $23

(42)

Family recipes steer creation of housemade pastas, handcrafted desserts, and entrees of chicken, veal, and seafood

$16 for $30 Worth of Sushi and Thai Food for Dinner for Two or More at Bangkok Jazz Thai Restaurant

Bangkok Jazz

Bangkok Jazz

$30 $16

Diners sample curries, noodles, fried rice, marinated meats, and other dishes from Thailand, accompanied on Friday nights by live jazz

Indian Cuisine for Lunch, Dinner, or Takeout at Mayuri Indian Restaurant (Up to 45% Off)

Mayuri Indian Restaurant

Temple Terrace

$30 $16.50

(194)

Chefs prepare traditional northern and southern Indian dishes alongside chinese fried rice and chow mein

$12 for $20 Worth of Indian Dinner Cuisine for Two at Desi Tadka

Desi Tadka

Oldsmar

$20 $12

(95)

International wines and imported beer complement traditional curry, rice, and tandoori dishes from the Punjab region

$12 for $20 Worth of Create Your Own Stir-Fry and Drinks for Dinner at bd’s Mongolian Grill

bd’s Mongolian Grill

Oldsmar

$20 $12

(258)

Clients create their own mix of meat, veggies, and sauces for chefs to sauté in front of their eyes on a 600-degree grill

Select Local Merchants

Featured on WTSP’s Flavors of Tampa Bay, El Lago Ranchero serves Mexican fare amidst warm yellow walls and mission-style tiled archways. Waiters shuffle tamales, shrimp tacos, and fajitas—each paired with rice and beans—to tables inside the eatery or on a patio shaded with umbrellas. Guests can quell sweet cravings with fried ice cream and flan or sangria and margaritas as they try to find the courage to tell their date their second, secret middle name.

8126 Lakewood Main St
Lakewood Ranch,
FL
US

Lakewood Ranch Plastic Surgery's experienced team of aestheticians rejuvenates visages by softening skin spots and diminishing the effects of aging. The HydraFacial procedure uses a specialized spiral tool to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize tired faces, leaving human emoticons beaming brighter than a warehouse rave attended by lightning bugs. The technicians carefully consider each patient's skin type and epidermal flaws before concocting a custom serum, which is then deposited into the deep layers of skin, providing nutrients and hydration. Each gentle treatment reduces acne-spawning oil, smooths fine lines, and provides antioxidant protection against ravening hordes of roving free radicals, while providing less discomfort than being plunked by a softly thrown marshmallow.

6310 Health Park Way
Lakewood Ranch,
FL
US

Behind their teppanyaki grilling stations, chefs at Kumo Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi flip lobster tails, filet mignon, and shrimp through the air as diners look on. A short distance away from the hibachi flames, chefs at the sushi bar craft fresh hand rolls based on local catches, such as the cape coral maki with salmon, tuna, and avocado, and the Top of the World roll with yellowtail, scallion, and cucumber. Staffers pour hot and cold sake and imported beer for patrons to quaff when not digging into a noodle bowl. The dining area?s decor teems with Asian accents such as bamboo shoots, a zen-garden-inspired rock wall, and a zen-garden-inspired ball pit.

5231 University Pkwy.
Sarasota,
FL
US

Bill Shumate's career as a restaurateur began in 1964 when he opened a small burger shack that catered to the hearty appetites of University of Oklahoma students. After spending the next several decades opening and operating eateries, Shumate decided that his next venture should somehow honor his burger roots. He partnered with Joanie Corneil in 2006 and developed a concept choosing the name Square 1 Burgers to reflect this full-circle journey. Unlike that original restaurant, though, Square 1 Burgers grew over the years, eventually expanding to several locations throughout west central Florida.

Although the concept was intended to be a return to basics, Square 1 isn't constrained by traditional conventions. Patties of Meyer's all-natural red Angus beef, Kobe, lamb, ground buffalo, and portobello mushroom caps all appear between the buns, providing a wealth of options to consider before even thinking about toppings. This eclectic spirit is also apparent in the menu's selection of appetizers, which includes everything from sun-dried tomato and artichoke hummus to homemade double-dipped onion rings. Even the milkshakes made with Blue Bell ice cream seem like faithful renditions of an American classic at first. However, the grown-up versions with Baileys, vodka, and Kahlua or brandy, cr?me de cacao continue to demonstrate Square 1 Burgers' playful spirit.

5239 University Pkwy
University Park,
FL
US

“I believe that if you’re not cooking with all five senses, you’re not cooking,” declares Derek Barnes in his feature for Sarasota’s Hot Chefs. It’s this maxim that earned him a lifetime of culinary achievement, starting with a four-year stint under the expertise of Emeril Lagasse and leading to a Zagat rating for his own restaurant and the title of semifinalist in the 2009 James Beard Awards. Derek channels these achievements into the innovative dishes he creates at his eponymous restaurant, which specializes in what he calls progressive American cuisine. That “progressive” moniker can mean a lot of things, whether it’s anointing a dish of foie gras with hazelnut honey and walnut streusel or braising a savory lamb shank in the tart flavors of lime and cilantro. Unlike a time-traveling Byzantine explorer, the chef doesn’t obsess over his plentiful spice cabinet, as the menu’s simple-grill selection serves up fresh cuts of steak, fish, and poultry in a simple, unadulterated form. Each flavor note finds its ideal complement in a wine list that features 100 bottles, many of which are available by the glass.

514 Central Ave
Sarasota,
FL
US

A flash of silver glimmers in Little Sarasota Bay, mere feet from the lush, tropical patio of Ophelia's on the Bay. It could be the belly of a leaping dolphin, the petals of a water lily, or the shiny lures of fishermen as they reel in the evening's catch. No matter its source, this sparkle reminds guests that simple pastimes such as nature gazing and family dinners are among life's greatest riches. Owner Stanley Ferro has honored this sentiment by naming Ophelia's after his grandmother, an epicure who has lived in Sarasota for more than 40 years.

In the kitchen, chefs use black grouper and tuna to showcase recipes from Florida's coasts and seaside countries such as France, Nicaragua, and Japan. Maine lobster tails morph into Mexican-inspired rellenos, and New England sea scallops bask in an emulsion of caramelized shallots and dill. Within the dining room, floor-to-ceiling windows frame views of the bay, where sea captains dock their boats or play Marco Polo with the nearby nesting herons. As the evening sky dims, moonlight casts a romantic glow over the patio's white tablecloths, and guests raise glasses of French champagne to a lovely evening under the stars.

9105 Midnight Pass Rd
Sarasota,
FL
US