By Hannah Wallace
Shore Diner, 465 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, (941) 296-0301. A spacious, airy second-floor spot on the bustling northeast quadrant of St. Armands Circle, Shore’s beachy-modern vibe shines through contemporary, wooden tables and chairs, a slick bar and a retractable roof that lets diners savor Sarasota’s most temperate and sunshiny days.
Shopping bag-wielding vacationers sipping wine between stores; up-and-coming businesspeople eager to show Sarasota style to out-of-town clients.
Spacious seating and professional service mean even casual lunches can be in and out in under an hour, although the laid-back norm is to linger over cocktails and smoked fish mousse.
Vibrant salads, sandwiches, seafood and drinks (specialty cocktails are the first things listed on the lunch menu). The roasted beet salad ($10) boasts local grapefruit, goat cheese and tomato with pistachio sherry vinaigrette, while other salads feature blue lump crab cake and avocado ($14) or chopped chicken ($12). Sandwiches range from the Shore burger, with bacon jam and smoked English cheddar ($13), to blackened shrimp tacos ($12) to the Lobster LGBT, with bacon, tomato and guacamole aioli. Don’t miss the truffle fries, and wash it all down with a “Ruby Red”—grapefruit, Finlandia vodka, Campari and sugar ($9). Warning: You might not go back to work.