We're thrilled that C'est La Vie on University Parkway has opened so we can get our croissant fix no matter where we are--and we're particularly partial to the apricot croissants, which are flaky, sweet and topped with the perfect amount of powdered sugar. Pair with one of C'est La Vie's signature cappuccinos--and we won't judge you if you grab an extra pastry for the car ride home.
In July, we established that the Brie and caramelized onion burger ($10.50) at Shakespeare's English Pub was still excellent, but we felt honor-bound to follow up on that judgment months later. Guess what? It's still amazing: a thick, juicy patty with a crispy exterior and an herb-scented bun. We're doing our part to ensure burger quality across the land. You're welcome.
Don't feel like baking this holiday season? Argentinian Pastry in the Forest Lakes Shopping Center on Webber Street has you covered. Our rec: the addictive dulce de leche alfajores, which are comprised of buttery, slightly soft shortbread cookies sandwiched with a layer of creamy dulce de leche and topped with a dusting of powdered sugar. A box of six is $5.95; we won't judge if you eat all of them yourself. (P.S.: lots of other flavors available, too.)
Good bread, good olive, good salt—sometimes that's all you need for a world-class snack. To really make it sing, pick up a bottle of 274th olive oil ($29.99) at Casa Italia, south Sarasota's outstanding Italian specialty store. The olives that go into the bottle are harvested in the southern Sicilian region of Scicli on the 274th day of the year (hence the name) and are cold-pressed within six hours of being picked, a process that results in a fruity, grassy, young oil clouded with the natural sediment that lets you know you're drizzling something fresh and incredible. Soaked into a bite of Casa Italia's excellent baguettes ($2.49) and topped with a tiny crunch of sea salt, it is life-affirming stuff indeed.
We've found the ultimate sushi roll for crab and lobster fans: Tsunami Sushi's King Lobster Roll ($20). This has it all: tempura King crab, avocado, cucumber, baked lobster, kani, spicy mayo, eel sauce, tempura flakes and masago. It's like a flavor explosion in your mouth.