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Poolside at Zota Beach Resort

There are times like now, when the seasonal crowds have dissipated, that driving over the Ringling Bridge and through St. Armands Circle and Longboat Key becomes a joy again. A leisurely 24-hour getaway at Zota Beach Resort recently reminded me of that. This is the time of year when we locals regain our turf—and as summer approaches, I begin to plot weekend adventures and spots for an elegant breakfast, a sexy new cocktail or, perhaps, the ultimate grouper sandwich.

So this is my new monthly plan: drive up Longboat, try some yoga on the beach or take stroll before settling in for a delicious breakfast—all of which I did during my stay at Zota. Here's a peek at the menu.

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Greek flatbread

The Greek flatbread is a creative dish offering fried eggs, wilted arugula, avocado, heirloom tomatoes, scallions and feta cheese. I never thought of eating flatbread at breakfast, but I will certainly try to recreate this the future.

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French toast

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"Sunrise salad"

Along with the standard griddle offerings there are waffles, a nice brioche French toast and  a selection of eggs Benedicts. A "sunrise salad" is a healthy breakfast bowl packed with flavor—two poached eggs served over warm baby spinach, bright with seasoning, tri-colored quinoa, applewood smoked bacon, toasted almonds for texture and a red pepper vinaigrette. Get a Bloody Mary while you're at it.

You can rent one of the hotel's pool cabanas for the day, too; I recommend doing so, then ordering a fruit platter for your afternoon snack as you relax and remind yourself just how lucky we are to live and dine here. 

Zota Beach Resort | 4711 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, (941) 383-2451

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