If you're a fan of foie gras or chicken liver mousse, try this combination at Servandos restaurant on 4th Street in downtown Sarasota. Light as whipped cream, the rich mousse comes in a glass jar and is capped with a layer of jellied ginger kumquat and served with planks of grilled baguette. First rate, with beautiful balance, and well worth having at $16.
We were ecstatic when we read that Chicken Kitchen will be opening a second location in South Sarasota. The Miami-based chain's University Parkway outpost has become a perfect lazy weeknight go-to. The "bazooka chop-chop" ($7.79-$9.79), a giant bowl of rice, beans, chopped-up grilled chicken, guacamole and whatever toppings you like, is the stuff dreams are made of. Don't forget to fill up on the creamy garlic and cilantro sauce in the back.
The conch fritters at Star Fish Company ($7.50) are well worth making the trip to Cortez (and braving the crowds). The golden brown, fried orbs have plenty of flavor and lots of conch, and they're served with a smooth dipping sauce. Be warned: You'll want a second order, so order two from the get-go--you'll thank me later.
Two words: chocolate souffle. On a recent weeknight, Pomona's version of this classic French dessert was served with a decadent creme anglaise in an oversized white mug, and it was light, airy, deeply chocolaty and not too sweet. We finished the whole thing more quickly than we'd like to admit. Pro tip: If you're intent on ordering one, ask for it halfway through your dinner--it takes 15-20 minutes to prepare.
Blue Rooster serves up an addictive little appetizer called Crazy Cajun Shrimp ($13.50), and we're totally into it. Four huge shrimp are flash-fried in a light batter, then topped with a creamy, honey-infused "moppin' sauce" and served over a bed of crunchy coleslaw. Bonus: At Happy Hour, you can get this dish with two shrimp for $7--and it goes down really well with one of the restaurant's crafted cocktails.