Derek’s puts a sophisticated spin on rustic coastal cuisine.
By Hannah Wallace
THE PLACE Derek’s Rustic, Coastal, Cuisine, 5516 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, (941) 794-1100, dereks-bradenton.com. Chef Derek Barnes’ newest project since leaving Sarasota’s Rosemary District, this west Bradenton restaurant celebrates the Gulf of Mexico from here to New Orleans, in “elevated rustic” style. Totally remodeled inside and out; you’d never know this welcoming space used to be
THE PEOPLE College kids out with their parents; groups of older ladies who lunch; young businessmen talking seriously over fried green tomatoes. In short: all types.
TIME FACTOR Crackerjack wait staff can get you in and out efficiently, although this isn’t really the kind of meal you’d want to hurry through.
THE FOOD Good luck making a decision. The thoughtfully composed menu spans small plates like BBQ shrimp ($10) and fried green tomatoes with delightfully sweet tomato preserves ($8), to salads and sandwiches like po’ boys (from $10) and fish tacos with peanut slaw and house-made smoked garlic hot sauce ($12), to heartier fare like the braised short rib flatbread ($13) or the New Orleans-style muffaletta sandwich ($12).