Dining out news and deals for Sarasota and Manatee counties

Steve Phelps, of the award-winning Indigenous restaurant in downtown Sarasota's Towles Court, is planning to open a “fish sandwich shop” dubbed Pigfish in the Rosemary District this winter. At Indigenous, Phelps focuses on sustainable seafood, based on peak ingredient availability working closely with local fisherman, artisans and farmers. His mission is “good sourcing and respect for the planet.”

“We’re excited about the new sandwich shop, which will be a neighborhood/community-friendly design,” said Phelps, who will oversee the fresh menu selections. “It will be a lunch place with minimal seating and carry out services.”

The new casual eatery, located at 600 Central Ave., will offer sustainable fish sandwiches with some bacon and pork belly options. There also will be beer and wine.

More information on Pigfish will be available at a later date. For more information on Indigenous, at 239 S. Links Ave., Sarasota, call 941-706-4740 or visit indigenoussarasota.com

Whitney’s opening

The 1950s gas station located on north Longboat Key near Whitney Plaza is currently being retrofitted into a casual beach eatery featuring grab and go items, opening this fall. It will be called Whitney’s.

“We are keeping the existing structure but doing extensive remodeling,” said Whitney’s partner James Brearley. “It will be a classic beach bodega.”

Located at Gulf of Mexico Drive and Broadway Street, Whitney’s will have seating for 42 customers in the 2400-square-foot space with counter service. The new restaurant will be open for breakfast plus an all-day menu for lunch and dinner with sandwiches, bowls, salads and a few convenience items like sunscreen. Beer and wines will be available.

Among partners in the venture, in addition to Brearley, are David Benstock, proprietor and chef at Il Ritorno in St. Petersburg and Jose Chichande, who will be in charge of operations. Bob Rokop is the architect.

“This is a passion project with a very talented and dedicated team,” added Brearley. “It is exciting to be part of breathing life into the old mid-century gas station and creating a casual community gathering spot for the north end of Longboat Key.” 

Sunnyside Cafe now open for dinner

Sunnyside Cafe, the popular breakfast and lunch spot on North Tamiami Trail, recently expanded to dinner hours 5-10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Entrees include a New York strip, pork chop Milanese and grilled chicken breast, along with seafood dishes such as grilled Chilean salmon filet and linguine shrimp scampi. It also offers five burgers, including Greek lamb and Mangalica pig, as well as a variety of sandwiches.

The restaurant is also known for its vegan and vegetarian-friendly dishes, and it has several non-meat options on its dinner menu as well. In addition to a grilled vegetable platter and vegan chili, Sunnyside also serves a vegan chickpea burger, roasted red beet flatbread and veggie panini with mozzarella.

Sunnyside Cafe is at 4900 N. Tamiami Trail. For more information, call 941-359-9500 or visit sunnysidecafesrq.com.

Bijou Cafe lunch deal

Earlier this year, Bijou Cafe introduced a "3 for 33" dinner menu in appreciation of 33 years in business.

Now, the venerable downtown dining spot at 1287 First St. is offering a day bargain, too, with the "2 for 22" lunch menu.

Choose a starter or dessert and pair it with an entree such as chicken piri-piri, steak frites or tartine of the day all for $22.

For more information, call 941-366-8111 or visit bijoucafe.net.

BurgerFi now serving chicken tenders

BurgerFi, the fast casual chain focused on all-natural hamburgers that has a Sarasota location at 257 N. Cattlemen Road, has announced the launch of Fi’ed Chicken Tenders, following the success their Fi’ed Chicken Sandwich.

The all-natural, free-range chicken breast tenders are served with a choice of dipping sauce including Fi Sauce, Bacon Jalapeño Ranch, Honey Mustard BBQ, Memphis Sweet BBQ or Garlic Aioli. The tenders are a permanent addition to BurgerFi menu.

Fi’ed Chicken Tenders joins the lineup of other chicken offerings at BurgerFi that also includes a grilled chicken sandwich.

For more information, call 941-800-1800 or visit burgerfi.com.

Applebee's burgers, endless fries deal

Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill + Bar’s Quesadilla Burger is now available for $7.99 and served with endless fries. It's part burger, part quesadilla creation, loaded with pepper jack cheese, Mexi-ranch sauce, Applewood-smoked bacon, house-made pico de gallo and shredded lettuce. The same $.7.99 deal can also be enjoyed with Applebee’s Brunch Burger (topped with a fried egg and crispy hash browns) or the Whisky Bacon Burger (featuring Fireball Whisky-infused steak sauce).

For more information, visit applebees.com

Niman Ranch Next Generation Scholarship Dinner

Paul Mattison, executive chef and proprietor of Mattison’s restaurants and catering, will host a 6-course Benziger Family Winery Dinner to benefit the Niman Ranch Next Generation Scholarship program. The dinner will be at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 28 at Mattison’s Forty-One, 7275 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. The cost is $125 with proceeds from the evening benefiting the Niman Ranch Next Generation Scholarship Foundation.

Special guest, hog farmer and past scholarship recipient Aaron Williams will be attending to share his story and explain the importance of the program.

The scholarship is designed to raise awareness around the loss of traditional farming and ranching practices, and to ultimately offer agriculture opportunities and funding for students pursuing their education in farming related fields so they are able to return to their family farms with a viable way of supporting themselves and sustaining their farms and families.

Mattison became a board member for the scholarship selection committee out of his passion to help small farms survive and thrive.

There is a tradition at the Mattison’s Niman Ranch Wine Dinners with Benziger vintner, Chris Benziger. Edrington, the spirits company that provides Mattison’s with Perdida Tequila, will be providing this year’s welcome drink. But beyond that fun way to start a wine dinner, Edrington Account Executive, Erin Yesser, has also set up a Go Fund Me to benefit the Niman Ranch Next Generation Scholarship Fund. Edrington offers a program that provides donations to its employee’s choice of charitable causes. Edrington is double matching, dollar for dollar, all donations made to the Go Fund Me account.

For reservations to the Aug. 28 dinner, call 941-921-3400 or visit mattisons.com. 

 

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