Food & Wine - October 2011

By John Bancroft Photography by Chad Spencer October 1, 2011


A truly happy hour at Patrick’s

Patrick’s, long a happy hour and burger standout at the prow of the Kress Building downtown, made a good move when it scooted up the street to 1481 Main. The new digs are fresh and inviting, clean and contemporary without trying too hard. And both happy hour and burgers are as good as ever, if not better.

Let’s begin, as Colette and I did on a recent visit, with happy hour, a treat that runs from 4 to 7 p.m. every day of the week. The first nice surprise is that the specialty martini cocktails go for $5 each. The cosmos we slurped happily while deciding on starters were first-rate as well as a bargain.

Also going for $5 each: a lovely selection of tasty and generously portioned appetizers. We chose first the sesame-encrusted seared ahi tuna, which came with pickled ginger, wasabi and cole slaw. The fish was gorgeous, warmed to the perfect temp by a quick visit to the frying pan and crusted to a toothsome crunch.

Next came that old bar standby Buffalo wings, which at Patrick’s are a superior munchie. These had just the right spice heat, not scalding but definitely palate tingling, and came with the usual suspects: blue cheese dressing and celery and carrot sticks. Just right.

Over wines by the glass from a compact but well-chosen list we surveyed the regular menu. Burgers, both traditional and made with fish or fowl or even vegetarian, loom large here but are by no means the whole show. I had to have one, of course, and went for the roundabout burger ($8), a juicy, medium-rare ground-beef patty beautifully topped with roasted red peppers, thick slices of Portobello mushroom and melted mozzarella.

Colette was tempted by a Bronx Bomber burger ($7.50), which dressed the meat in barbecue sauce, Swiss cheese and grilled onions. But she opted for chicken piccata ($13), which proved to be a fine choice, even if it wasn’t quite the standout my burger was. It featured a chicken breast pounded medium thin and sautéed, as it should be, with mushrooms, capers (a few more capers would not have gone amiss), lemon juice and white wine. Main dishes come with two choices from a list of sides. Colette chose the yummy garlic mashed potatoes and the equally delicious veggie of the day, which that evening was fresh green beans. Both were as good as the entrée they accompanied, always a good thing.

A shared oversized crème brûlée ($6) finished the meal and sent us out for window shopping on Main Street happy and well fed.


Patrick’s 1481

1481 Main St., Sarasota

Phone: (941) 955-1481

Hours: 11 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday, until 11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, plus breakfast at sidewalk tables from 8:30-11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday

Cards: all major

Handicapped accessible: yes

Parking: on street

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