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2017 provided some big new tastes—and a few unsurprising closings. But along with those came some incredible openings, too. Here are a few notables.

Coming in with a strong opening right at the end of the year is Napulè, the new Italian restaurant on the South Trail, which has blown my socks off. It's the latest from the successful duo behind Venice's Made in Italy, who sold that space last year to build Napulè. The restaurant is chic, with two stories of glass walls, a salumi counter that just screams "Florence," and a sexy bar—plus, the golden dome of a wood-burning pizza oven. If you don’t have a reservation for dinner two weeks in advance, forget about it. (But don’t worry too much, Napulè also serves lunch.)

There are several new places at Westfield Siesta Key, of course, but the shopping center to watch in 2018 is The Landings. With Corkscrew Deli still filling the sandwich need, DaRuMa opens soon, along with Apollonia Grill (one of my favorites) sometime in 2018. Plus, Station 400 has a new outpost there, as well. 

Gone (and maybe forgotten) this year is Square 1 Burgers & Bar. Square 1's burgers certainly had some influence on our burger scene, but in a sea of good competition, like S'macks and BurgerFi, the company—once a promising growing brand—has disappeared locally. (There are still other locations around the state.) 

Daily Eats, out at UTC, also closed recently. While I initially liked some of the lunch offerings, service was not good—and just because it works in Tampa doesn’t always mean it works here.

And my 2018 wish: please send us good Chinese food—please! Haven’t been able to scratch that one off in 21 years.

As we coast into the New Year, a tip of the hat to all the chefs and restaurant folks that work so hard every day, and who have made Sarasota a culinary destination. Forks up to you!

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Editor’s Pick

Daily Eats Closed

$$ American, Breakfast/Brunch, Burgers 8491 Cooper Creek Road, #107

Daily Eats opens early, slinging breakfast from 7:30 a.m. till closing time, with a range of omelets ($9-$10), eggy bowls ($8.50-$12) and griddled grub ($7.5...


$ Burgers 257 N. Cattlemen Road, $90

BurgerFi, a Florida-born chain, wins the beef wars thanks to using grass-fed beef with no hormones, steroids or antibiotics and energy-conserving design stra...

Editor’s Pick

S’macks Burgers & Shakes

$$ Burgers, Ice Cream 2407 Bee Ridge Road

 S'macks is a brainchild of the team that runs Gecko's, the local mini-empire that has been sourcing much of its vegetables from Sarasota's Honeyside Farms, ...

Square 1 Burgers & Bar Closed

$$ Burgers Multiple Locations

It’s the burgers that are the star here—and there’s everything from Angus beef to chicken, buffalo, pulled pork, tuna, ostrich and even vegetarian.

Editor’s Pick

Station 400

$ Breakfast/Brunch Multiple Locations

Set in a charmingly restored 1852 railroad depot, Station 400 is a popular choice for breakfast and lunch.

Editor’s Pick

Apollonia Mediterranean Grill

$$ Greek 8235 Cooper Creek Blvd

This handsome addition to the University Parkway dining scene presents a modern twist on Greek dishes.

Da Ru Ma Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar

$$$ Asian, Sushi 5459 Fruitville Road

Da Ru Ma has expertly trained Teppan-style chefs preparing Japanese classics at your table, a sushi lounge and a friendly cocktail lounge.

Editor’s Pick


$$$ Italian 7129 S. Tamiami Trail

Napulè is the latest from Giuseppe Del Sole and Alessandro Di Ferdinando, the former owners of Made in Italy. The restaurant offers a traditional Italian men...