Louiesmodern rq0wes

The Place: Louies Modern, 1289 Palm Ave., Sarasota, (941) 552-9688, louiesmodern.com. From the Seidensticker family, who also brought us Southside Village’s Libby’s Café + Bar, this new downtown Sarasota hotspot boasts a chic but welcoming vibe, with—as promised—modern décor that includes sleek upholstered chairs, high ceilings (with quality acoustics) and rich wood highlights.

The People: Immediately after opening, Louies—right under the Palm Avenue parking garage—became a popular meet-up point for downtown power players sealing a deal and the social set planning the next fund raiser or celebrating someone’s 60th birthday.

Time Factor: Servers are seasoned pros, so don’t expect to be kept waiting. Still, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t budget time to savor the experience.

The Food: Expect the sort of bold, comforting creativity you’ve tasted at Libby’s, but also with an urban style all its own. Choose from sandwiches like the “Club” chicken salad (with Canadian duck bacon, $12) or short-rib sliders ($12), and dishes like wild mushroom pierogie ($10) or crab cake soufflé ($16), as well as a selection of flatbreads (from $10), salads and starters. Speaking of, don’t miss the burrata starter ($14), a simultaneously refreshing and decadent take on a Caprese salad, with local tomatoes, fresh basil and the creamy namesake cheese, served atop a brick of pink sea salt.

-Hannah Wallace

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