The Lock and Key

We had visited friends in Sarasota and it was getting late in the day. We were starving and as we get back onto the island we saw that The Lock and Key Restaurant was the open for dinner.  They have plenty of specials and my wife chose the Shrimp Vera Cruz and I got the Surf and Turf.  While waiting for the entrees we split a crab cake appetizer. Everything was delicious and we finished with a S’mores Ice Cream Pie. Delicious. Energized from Dinner we found out that they had entertainment and we listened to a group called “Storm Warning”. Perfect end to a perfect evening. For more information call 941 474-1517

Gulf View Grill

For over thirty years the Gulf View Grill has been sharing great food and great sunsets with residents and guests on Manasota key. When we called for a dinner reservation we asked for a table by a window so we could see the direct sunset. They did not disappoint. We ordered Veal Piccata and the hand cut Filet Mignon. Margie loved the lemon butter sauce and my Filet was perfectly cooked so it was tender and juicy. Sides included salads and bread and for dessert we had a rock slide brownie. As the evening came to an end we watched the sunset and were lucky as we saw the “Green Flash “at the end of the sunset. WOW. For more information call 941 474-3500. Visit Their Website

Flounders Restaurant and Tiki Bar

We were looking for a great beach bar and restaurant with some entertainment and a laid-back attitude and we found Flounders right by the Englewood Beach round about. Unique Tiki-Tizers, Tacos and Burgers are the choice here and you can wash these down with many specialty cocktails including You Only Live Once Mojitos, Tiki-Ritas and The Rum based Castaway.  I ordered a Shrimp Burger and Margie ordered the Lobster Roll.  While waiting for our food we were able to play bean bag toss and listen to Kenny Rose, one of the entertainers Flounders has both in the afternoon and evening.  For more information call 941 460-8280.  Visit Their Website

Beach Road Wine Bar and Bistro

I was driving onto Manasota Key and I see a new restaurant called the Beach Road Wine Bar and Bistro. I stop in and am pleasantly surprised with the menu. Bison and Kobe Beef Burgers in Englewood. No Way. Sugar Cured Ahi Tuna. Impossible. But I am wrong as all of these items and more are on the menu. Then I take a look at the beer and wine menu and they have loads of choices of wine by the glass and loads of seasonal and mainstream beers.  I order the Key West Dogfish IPA, Ahi Tuna appetizer and Kobe Beef Burger as my main. The sugar cured tuna is perfectly cooked and the Kobe Beef Burger is a great change from regular burgers. They just taste better. For more information call 941 474-6564. Visit Their Website

Mango Bistro

It is Thursday and we are walking along Dearborn Street and seeing all of the art galleries, antique stores and the seasonal Farmer’s Market when we realize we have created a big appetite. We look up and we see The Mango Bistro. This is a great example of a Healthy Food restaurant but the difference is everything is really tasty. They are open for breakfast and lunch and on Friday and Saturday they are open for dinner as well. Mango Bistro specializes in burritos, salad bowls and crepes. I go ahead and order a “French” crepe and my friend orders a Thai Shrimp Burrito. I get a Mango Smoothie and my friend gets a Berry-Berry Smoothie. We add the Super Greens Scoop and we feel like we have more energy to continue to explore Dearborn Street. For more information call 941 681-3500. Visit Their Website

Farlow’s On The Water – Caribbean

No Worries Man when you step into Farlow’s on the Water. Keith Farlow was born in St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands and he has a great feel for Caribbean cuisine. Laurie, his wife, has a passion Southern cooking. This fusion creates many great dishes.  While waiting we had the Fried Green Tomato appetizer. Perfect. In looking at the menu they have some great meat dishes but we are all over the seafood offerings. I get the St. Kitts Blackened Tuna and Margie loves Shrimp and Grits. We were there on a Friday night and were able to enjoy the entertainment they have Wednesday’s thru Saturday’s. Farlow’ s On the Water is open for Lunch and Dinner. For more information call 941 474-5343. Visit Their Website


It is Sunday late afternoon and I am really hungry. I am thinking Salad Bar and Seafood. We look on the internet and the answer is Howards Restaurant. Since 1955 Howards has been in the restaurant business and Sundays they offer AYCE Fried Haddock with Salad Bar and Soup. The owners Ken White and Bryan Domian have built this newest rendition of Howards and they really created a beautiful place to eat. They gave Chef Cyndi free rein to make the menu fresh, clean and exciting. The bar is state of the art with large screen LCD TV’s and beer dispensed at a perfect 32 degrees and the bar rail has ice so the beer is always cold. Early Bird dinners, Sunday Brunch and a Bar menu of favorites round out what they have to offer. For more information call 941 473-0171. Visit Their Website

Vino Loco Wine Bar and Tapas Restaurant

We found a little gem in Olde Englewood Village called Vino Loco Wine Bar and Tapas Restaurant. We were looking for something different. This restaurant was it. Chef Katrina offers up a Tapas menu with a selection of olives and almonds, artisan cheeses and home-made charcuterie (special types of cold cut meats). It took some time to look through the 350 wines they have on site but the server was able to make a suggestion as to what wine would pair with our Tapas for 2 Platter. This was just enough for us and allowed room for dessert. In keeping with the restaurant theme we had warm brie with Honey drizzle. Perfect ending with coffee. For more information call 941 473-8466. Visit Their Website

Sea Oats Beach Club BBQ

One Day Only each week. Check with the office to sign up. The guests at Sea Oats Beach Club and Englewood Beach and Yacht Club have a fabulous mid-week cookout right on the Gulf of Mexico. The resort provides All You Can Eat Nathans Hot Dogs, Bubba Burgers, Mac and Cheese, Salads, Dessert and Soda or Water. Many times, people bring a side dish to share as well but this is not a requirement.  We need a minimum of 12 guests but have had as many as 72 guests attend the cookout. We have served over 27,000 people over the last 16 years and this is a high point to the week for the guests.

Englewood Beach and Yacht Club Welcome Breakfast

One Day Only each week. I checked in to Englewood Beach and Yacht Club late Saturday and had no chance to buy some food. I look at the activity sheet given to me a check in and what do I see but Sunday breakfast at 9:49 am. I am in luck and so I go down to the EBYC clubhouse Sunday morning and there I see Eggs, Bacon, French Toast, Orange Juice and Coffee right there waiting for all the hungry guests. I found out later that guests at the Sea Oats resort are invited as well.  This was great and I was able to then go out and enjoy the pool and the beach.