Coby Leach, managing partner at Connors Steak & Seafood, remembers the first time he started to work for J. Michael Connor in Knoxville, Tennessee, over 20 years ago. Mike, an accomplished restaurateur, had gone out on his own and started The Chop House and Connors Steak & Seafood after working for other successful restaurant groups.
“Working with the Connor Concepts family has been an outstanding experience from the get-go,” Coby recalls. “Their approach seems so simple: treating guests with sincere kindness and serving large portions of high-quality food at a great price point. We often say we are ‘guest-obsessed,’ and it’s true in every way.”
Coby, who moved to Sarasota in 2017 to become the managing partner at Connors Steak & Seafood, has been humbled by the outpouring of support from the community. “Our goal was to become the top-rated steak and seafood restaurant in the area, and thanks to our loyal guests we’ve accomplished that in just a few short years,” he explains. “We are eternally grateful to all who have dined with us over the past few years.”
As to what makes Connors Steak & Seafood unique, Coby attributes much of their success to the 10 foundational beliefs that guide their decision making, like teamwork, consistency, integrity, and the environment. Of course, a huge emphasis is placed on the quality of food they serve. “We purchase choice and prime beef from the area’s top purveyors,” Coby says, “and we are continually working to expand and enhance our offerings.”
The Connors Steak & Seafood menu focuses on mesquite-grilled beef, chops, and seafood specialties, as well as dinner salads, pastas, and sandwiches. From freshly shucked oysters and a colossal seafood tower they call the “Isle of Shellfish” to burgers or their unique take on chicken piccata, there’s a little something for everyone on the menu.
Other hallmarks of the restaurant are homemade ice cream, which they churn daily in the restaurant, a robust wine list, signature craft cocktails using premium spirits, and a dessert menu featuring strawberry shortcake and bananas Foster, to name a few. “We often have guests who come in just for our desserts,” Coby adds with a smile.
The Connors Steak & Seafood lunch menu is also hugely popular and available every day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with items priced in $12–$14 categories. The lunch menu features many of the dinner menu’s items at a lower price point, and the popularity of this menu has created wait times at lunch that rival those on a weekend at dinnertime. Coby encourages anyone interested in dining at Connors Steak & Seafood to make a reservation on their website, or simply to call the restaurant during regular business hours. They also offer online ordering from their website: Guests can pick up their order curbside or have it delivered if they prefer to enjoy their meal at home.
If you decide to dine in, Connors Steak & Seafood is an “upscale casual” restaurant. There is no dress code of any sort, and they welcome vacationers in flip-flops just as often as business executives in suit and tie. Coby invites you to “Come as you are—there’s a table for everyone at Connors Steak & Seafood. We will serve you to the best of our abilities and stand by our service and our food 100%!”