Our Town: Sarasota News for February 2014

Hot topics, talk and history.

By Megan McDonald January 31, 2014

Hi ourtown smack ehv8vs

Vintage Sarasota

Smack Restaurant From 1932 to 1959, the Smack Restaurant was a Sarasota institution. The brainchild of Walter T. “Mack” McDonald, it was first a hamburger stand on the corner of Maine and Pine streets, then a full-service restaurant at Osprey Avenue and Main Street. During World War II, it even functioned as a drop-off and pick-up point for soldiers commuting between the Sarasota and Venice air bases.

Where the Chefs Dine

Who's a better judge of a restaurant than a chef? Some Sarasota standouts tell us where they like to eat and what they order when they're not on duty.

James “Jimmy” Baselici, Louies Modern, Executive Chef

“Indigenous, Derek’s or Mozaic. I prefer chef-owner establishments. The chefs put their heart into their food and you can taste it. I like to order their most interesting items, to embrace their strengths. Handmade pasta with Cortez bottarga at Derek’s was one of the best things I ever ate.”

Kyle Harrington, Libby’s Cafe + Bar Executive Chef

“Pizza and sandwich places, like Lucia’s Pizza. Great pasta, amazing pizza, and the sandwiches are on point. I also love Yummy House for good Chinese food. For sushi, I like J-Pan. And when it comes to a good steak, Fleming’s.”

Lan Bradeen, chef-owner of Melange

“Matsu, at Vizen, is among the best Japanese chefs in America; [famed sushi chef] Morimoto visited and loved it. His food is imaginative, creative, beautiful, incredibly fresh, and perfectly executed. I order the omikase [tasting menu] because it’s Matsu’s own choice. Reserve ahead, so he has a few days to prepare.”

Caleb Taylor, chef de cuisine at Jack Dusty at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota

“I just moved here a few months ago, but I’ve been able to get out a little bit. I love to go to Drunken Poet—I usually order the tom yum goong, a traditional Thai soup—and I’ve been to State Street Eating House. I like to support the local guys.” —Compiled by Taylor Meredith

Just Sayin'

"My ill-advised actions, in a few moments of sophomoric, hand-rubbing glee, have cost me." --Former Republican Party of Sarasota County chairman Bob Waechter, pleading guilty to impersonating a political rival.

For more Vintage Sarasota photographs, click here. >>

This article appears in the February 2014 issue of Sarasota Magazine. Like what you read? Click here to subscribe. >>