Oh, Happy Day

By Beau Denton September 27, 2010

If you haven’t picked up the October issue of Sarasota Magazine, you are in for a treat. A visit with fork in hand to Andrea’s Restaurant on Siesta Drive gave me a taste of all things great in the world of Italian food. While Andrea and I selected one particular dish, there were so many in contention.



Beet carpaccio at Andrea's.

Andrea’s vegetable risotto on any given night could marry the fresh garden flavors of asparagus or shitake mushrooms with fresh herbs in a creamy wave of perfectly cooked rice.



The eggplant trio is a trifecta.

The Eggplant Trio melts in your mouth—eggplant with goat cheese mousse and a touch of aged balsamic; caponata, the  chilled Sicilian eggplant dish that Andrea expertly recreates with dried apricots for balance; and Eggplant and Buffalo Mozzarella Tempura—a dish that Andrea created  several years ago that should be entered in the culinary dish of fame. As for THE hot dish— well, grab a magazine and make a reservation and let me know if you agree.



The hot dish.

I have been saying for some time now that we cannot get a decent Chinese restaurant around here. The closest has always been T.C. Choy’s on South Howard in Tampa—which still has the best Peking duck and dim sum—but I am pleased (no, make that ecstatic beyond mere words) to tell you I have found great Chinese in a strip mall in Bradenton on S.R. 70 West in the Loew’s shopping plaza.



Real Chinese found at last.

When Bobbi Groeschel first told me about Bangkok Tokyo, I thought, no way, how could one restaurant specialize in sushi, Thai and Chinese and do it right. Well, I can put my chopsticks where my skepticism came from—this is very, very good Chinese. The roast duck with ginger and sautéed vegetables was perfect, pork fried rice a Chinese classic with abundant chunks of the salty diced pork. Singapore noodles with the slight hint of curry are a necessary order, along with Sizzling Wor Bar and House Special Cantonese Chow Mein on crispy noodles.



Wor su bar at Bangkok Tokyo.

We have eaten there six times in three weeks. At last my culinary dreams came true—now we just need that real Jewish deli!

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