Michael’s On East
The go-to: Outstanding house-cured salmon on crunchy crostini with sweet roasted yellow beets and rich Montchevre goat cheese, drizzled with caper oil.
Also amazing: Black pepper beef carpaccio rolls with shaved Parmesan, black pepper oil and chives.
1212 East Ave. S., Sarasota (941) 366-0007 / bestfood.com
The L-Bar at Libby’s
The go-to: “Seoul Kitchen” chicken lettuce cups—spicy-sweet shredded meat topped with kimchi and crushed peanut, wrapped in cool, crunchy butter lettuce.
Also amazing: Fresh four-cheese tortelloni sautéed with bright, sweet pear in an indulgent white truffle crema sauce.
1917 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota (941) 487-7300 / libbyscafebar.com
Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse
The go-to: Ultra-juicy dry-aged sirloin sliders on sweet toasted buns with crisp pickle chip and fresh cherry tomato.
Also amazing: Ribeye-and-blue-cheese flatbread—big slices of steak and the salty/spicy play of blue cheese and horseradish, all on a crisp crust.
35 S. Lemon Ave., Sarasota (941) 366-7788 / hydeparkrestaurants.com
The go-to: The famous skirt steak, seared and served with plantains, earthy, al dente beet relish and chimichurri—spicy, sweet, meaty and mouthwatering.
Also amazing: Pan con pato—baguette bread sliders stuffed with shredded duck confit dripping in its own rich gravy and topped with criolla onion.
1345 Main St., Sarasota (941) 362-4427 / selvagrill.com