Pretty in Pink

6 Great Watermelon Dishes for the Dog Days of Summer

It's hot out there. Cool down with one of these watermelon offerings from local restaurants.

By Marsha Fottler July 29, 2016 Published in the August 2016 issue of Sarasota Magazine

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Libby's Cafe + Bar's watermelon bourbon smash.

At the CinéBistro bar and lounge, the watermelon mojito blends Bacardi Grand Melon, Watermelon Pucker, muddled mint leaves and simple syrup for a summer refresher that’s poured over ice and served in a tall, slim pilsner glass. Garnished with a watermelon wedge, it is as pretty as it is delicious. $10.50. 3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Westfield Southgate, (941) 361-2456.

At The Table Creekside, chef Pedro Flores’ Savor Sarasota menu features watermelon Greek salad for a first course. Chunks of watermelon are mingled with mushroom confit, crispy black olives and Greek goat cheese and then sprinkled with a mint-mojito vinaigrette and garnished with a clump of micro greens. The kicker is those roasted-toasted black olives. $29 for three courses; the Savor Sarasota menu is still going at The Table. 5365 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 921-9465.

Selva in downtown Sarasota is famous for its seafood ceviche Peruvian style. The watermelon ceviche is called tuna tradito nikkei and combines fresh sushi-grade tuna marinated with ginger, soy sauce and cubes of watermelon. The taste is sophisticated, bright, clean and utterly delicious. $14. 1345 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 362-4427.

At Apollonia Grill, the Geek watermelon salad starts with pieces of watermelon mixed with field greens and slivers of red onion and then topped with crumbles of feta cheese and a tart and tangy balsamic vinaigrette. The balance between sweet and sour is ideal. 8235 Cooper Creek Blvd., University Town Center, Sarasota, (941) 359-4816.      

Beverage director Adam Stoneking at Libby’s Cafe & Bar has created the watermelon bourbon smash (pictured above), a guaranteed refresher and relaxer. This original cocktail combines watermelon purée, bourbon, lime, mint leaves and simple syrup. The fragrant liquid is double strained and poured into a rocks glass with one large ice cube. $8. 1917 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota, (941) 487-7300.

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