Dining, drinking out info and deals for Sarasota and Manatee counties

The trendy Maple Street Biscuit Company is coming to the UTC area in early October. Comfort food with a modern twist will be offered in the former Daily Eats spot in Shoppes at University Center.

Maple Street originated in Jacksonville in 2012 with founders Scott Moore and Gus Evans, whose philosophy of comfort high quality foods with gracious service in community-oriented settings have mushroomed the business into over 30 “community stores” in Florida and others across the South.

The friendly eatery will seat 125 diners inside and out in a modern industrial setting. “We will have some separate tables but also large wood tables for groups or to promote community dining for locals and neighbors to meet,” said Evans. “We are looking forward to being in Sarasota and being part of the community. That’s what we do.”

There are all manner of fillings and toppings for the house-made flaky rounds, with favorite including the "squawking goat" with fried chicken breast, goat cheese and pepper jelly and the "five & dime" with fried chicken, bacon, fried egg, cheese and sausage gravy. Variations include a BLT and a French toast biscuit, and a few takes on the diner staple of biscuits and gravy (including a vegetarian version), plus a cinnamon pecan for dessert. Among other options are waffles with bacon and asiago, sausage and gravy and fried chicken or a bowl of grits with cream cheese, bacon, egg and cheddar. For the diet-conscious there are create-your-own salads and bowls of oatmeal with toppings.

Children will have their own menu, plus a favorite dessert of waffles with chocolate chips, strawberries and whipped cream. Beverages include bottomless locally roasted coffees, espresso coffee drinks and fresh squeezed juices, with plans for mimosas.

The fun “community store,” located at 8491 Cooper Creek Boulevard, will be open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturdays until 3 p.m. Find online ordering and other information at maplestreetbiscuits.com.

Oscura Cafe & Bar

Downtown Bradenton will soon have a new place for people to eat, drink and listen to live music in a chic setting.

The owners of Oscura Cafe & Bar, which is at 540 13th St. W., just south of Manatee Avenue, expect to be open by the end of the month. A recent visit revealed a bright and airy decor in the former space of the Foster Drugs & Surgical Supplies.

"The theme of our menu is bringing local coffee, food, and beer to Bradenton," says Keith Nasewicz, who co-owns the cafe with Ben Greene. "Ben and I have both spent a lot of time traveling around the country and world (and) our favorite thing to do while traveling is try the food and drinks of the cultures.

"We’ve tried to incorporate some of our favorite elements into this cafe and bar. Our menu is focused primarily on coffee during the day but we will also have plenty of food options available as well."

The cafe will serve sandwiches including a banh mi, a Cuban and one made with hummus, cucumber, lettuce and pickled vegetables. The menu also features a soup of the day, salads and a daily variety of baked goods.

"In regards to events we’re planning on having some great opening events in the first few weeks of opening," Nasewicz says. "A Saturday morning brunch with mimosas will be on the schedule as well as plenty of live music in the evenings."

For more information, visit oscuracafe.com.

BoneYard BBQ

The brand new BoneYard BBQ in Bradenton is the dream come true of owner Todd Keller, who has been involved in his and his family’s restaurants throughout Florida for years. The large restaurant is housed in a new building at East State Road 70 and 66th Street.

According to General Manager Jacob Simmons, BoneYard seats 130 diners inside and out with table-side service in a “modern” old-barn setting. The country theme is carried out in reclaimed wood covering walls and assorted accents like old signs and antique tchotchkes.

“Our barbecue is smoked over oak for many hours with sauces (choice of original, spicy or sweet) and sides made from scratch,” said Simmons, who added that brisket and pulled pork are favorites along with sides like mac and cheese, collard greens and buttered corn. Other selections include ribs, chicken and catfish.

For dessert, there’s bread pudding plus the requisite key lime pie. Beer and wine are available and catering and take-out services are provided.

BoneYard BBQ, located at 6581 East State Road 70, is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; until 10 p.m. on weekends and may be reached at 941-254-4252.

Grand Cru Wine Bar

Downtown Sarasota has a new high-end drinking destination. Grand Cru Wine Bar, a self-serve bar featuring fine wines from around the world and craft beers, opened Aug. 8.

Located at 1528 Main Street, Grand Cru features 24 self-serve taps installed by iPourIt, offering patrons the experience of pouring their own beer and wine, while also offering the traditional by-the-glass and by-the-bottle options.

Co-Owner Brian Darby said he had the desire to open a bar in the Sarasota area, but needed a concept to differentiate the business. He partnered with his father-in-law and current COO, Manuel Llanes. With his 38 years in the wine industry, Darby said he knew Manuel would have a significant role in a bar’s success.

“We are dedicated to providing the highest quality boutique wines that customers won’t find in any retail stores, while offering it in a beautiful and inviting atmosphere that is also completely untraditional with the iPourIt system,” Darby said in a statement.

For more information call 941-500-2781 or visit gcwinebar.com. 

Five-O Donut Co

As previously reported, one of the area’s top doughnut shops will soon have a second location.

Five-O Donut Co, at 2241 Ringling Blvd. on the eastern edge of downtown Sarasota, has been building a substantial fanbase with its cake, yeast and croissant doughnuts and the mouthwatering photos regularly posted to social media since opening last May.

Last fall, Five-O started selling its doughnuts at four local farmers markets, including the downtown Sarasota one, and now owner Christine Nordstrom, an acclaimed pastry chef, has announced a second store. The new Five-O will open in September just south of Stickney Point Road at 7119 S. Tamiami Trail in the Buccaneer Plaza.

“I chose to open a second location locally first because of customer requests for a more south location and high demand for our doughnuts,” Nordstrom said in a statement. “Being a locally, family owned business we can listen and be responsive to our customers comments and requests. We want to do our best to ‘decorate and serve’ for our community of doughnut lovers.”

The new location will be open daily, offering the same vast selection of doughnuts as the Ringling location. Nordstrom expects to have several locations open within the next three years, expanding north into the Tampa Bay market and south into the Charlotte County area as well as east into Orlando.

“The sky is really the limit,” Nordstrom said. “As long as people love us and support us we will build and create more Five-O’s.”

Five-O hand cuts and creates about 30 different kinds of doughnuts daily in-house, ranging from basic yeast-raised glazed to fancy, filled pockets and decorated flaky layered croissant doughnuts. Open daily, the police-themed shop located by the Sarasota Police Department offers five different kinds of dough bases, including a gluten-free friendly option as well as doughnut cakes, custom decorated doughnuts and clever weekend specials.


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