Eat This Now

First Bite: Summer House Siesta Key

This new restaurant's star is shining bright.

By Judi Gallagher June 22, 2018

Siesta Key Summer House Steak and Seafood

The Siesta Key dining scene has a new player—and it sure is performing well. Welcome, Siesta Key Summer House Steak and Seafood.

Summer House emerged after the former Blu Smoke restaurant building was torn down. It's a beautiful new structure, with tropical landscaping and a relaxed, Key West-style vibe, designed by Kurt Lucas, that says, "Welcome—we are fresh, new and all about finding a balance between chill restaurant and happening place to be seen."

The restaurant keeps its visual promise thanks to outstanding service and Chef Evan Gastman's upscale yet unpretentious menu. The entire staff—from hosts to managers to owners—make you feel like you're at a friend's beach house. 

Cheese and charcuterie board

Pro tip: start with the charcuterie and cheese board ($22). It's a chef's selection of cured meats, bruleed Camembert and other artisan cheeses, warm olives and truffle honey. Have it with a glass of Caymus cabernet sauvignon. I could have eaten just that and been perfectly happy, but the Waygu beef tartare ($24) called to me, with its organic egg yolk, bourbon mustard, elephant garlic chips and roasted bone marrow on grilled batard (bread that's similar to a baguette). A salt-roasted beet salad with baby kale, arugula, goat cheese, blueberry vinaigrette and pistachio praline ($14) was a winner, as well.

This is a steakhouse, after all, and the entree steaks are aged 40 days to maximize their flavor and tenderness. I had a perfectly grilled bone-in ribeye ($58); if you're dining with a fellow carnivore, get the porterhouse for two ($94). It gets a six-hour bath in the sous vide, then is grilled to a perfect medium rare.

Diver scallops atop lobster risotto.

Seafood options are equally seductive—like diver scallops atop lobster risotto with cauliflower, white balsamic caviar and crispy prosciutto ($36). Those white balsamic caviar pearls, coupled with the tender scallop, burst with flavor.  

Perfect roast chicken

One dish I didn't expect: the perfectly executed half roast chicken ($29). It was as moist and delicious as any famous Parisian roast chicken, set atop a savory mushroom bread pudding with a rich pan gravy. It's perfect.

Sides are a la carte and delicious—like the cast-iron vegetable bouquet ($12), hand-cut Waygu beef-fat-fried French fries ($8) and shaved Brussels sprouts with bacon and bourbon ($11). Divine. 

Yes, the Summer House is a steak and seafood destination—but it's also one of Siesta Key’s, and Sarasota's, best dining options.

Siesta Key Summer House Steak and Seafood | 149 Avenida Messina, Siesta Key | (941) 260-CORK

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