Brasa   pisco bdrzax

Brasa & Pisco's "tacu tacu a lo brasa" ($18) is a sculptural achievement as much as a culinary one. Roughly as tall as a downtown condo building, this stack of Peruvian specialties is built out of a hunk of ultra-tender steak, a gently sautéed egg, plantains, onions and herbs, all set atop a fried, egg-shaped bulb stuffed with beans and rice. It's almost too beautiful to eat. Almost.

Caragiulos, on South Palm Avenue is Sarasota, has a nice collection of appetizers that the kitchen presents in mini glass jars, enough for two to share. A favorite of ours is the caponata (rough-chopped eggplant spread). It’s savory and, depending upon the hand of the chef, can have a piquant and spicy flavor. Caragiulos' caponata has a layer of smooth goat cheese mousse on the top and the dish is served with pieces of homemade focaccia. At $6.75, it’s the perfect appetizer.

Beulah's veal osso bucco, a recent special, is a highlight of the restaurant's menu--served atop creamy pea risotto, it's ultra-tender and topped with a dash of bone marrow. Enjoy with one of the restaurant's signature cocktails and you've got the perfect meal. 

In a pinch for Passover, we ordered potato kugel ($6.49-$16.99) from Nellie’s Deli, and it did not disappoint—a delicious, dense potato pie with a hit of onion.  A great takeout option, and next time we’ll try some of Nellie’s other Passover foods, too.

If you want to feel a little bit fancy, order a macaron from Le Macaron ($2.25). This dainty little French sandwich cookie is comprised of a shell made of ground almonds and soft meringue that's then baked and stuffed with creamy filling. Le Macaron offers a whole range of flavors, from chocolate to salted caramel, but we're particularly partial to the pretty pink rose, which is light and sweet and floral without being overpowering.