From fine dining to fun places on the water, here’s our annual list of great local restaurants to visit on Mother’s Day, which, if you need a friendly reminder, is May 9. We have options across Sarasota and Manatee counties for brunch, lunch and dinner. Call ahead and please keep in mind that reservations, made as soon as possible, are strongly encouraged. Presented in alphabetical order, here are a dozen restaurants we recommend for Mother’s Day.
In case you missed it:
23 N. Lemon Ave., Sarasota; 941-365-1020; salutesarasota.com
The downtown Sarasota artisan Italian restaurant owned and operated by Chef Laszlo Bevardi gives a “Toast to Mom,” with a complimentary glass of house wine with her meal, 4-10 p.m. Dinner specials include seared diver scallops with a lemon-asparagus-Parmesan risotto; lobster ravioli with grilled shrimp, topped with a brandy blush sauce; and grilled branzino (fresh Mediterranean sea bass) filleted tableside, with the restaurant also offering its full a la carte menu. Along with both indoor and outdoor dining, with live music by Time Trax Band 6-9 p.m., Bevardi’s offers curbside and delivery options. And if you’re visiting Lido Beach during the holiday weekend, stop by Bevardi’s new Lido Island Grill, offering “restaurant-quality beach fare” as well as a full-liquor drink menu.
1001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; 941-330-9881; sarasotaartmuseum.org/bistro
The restaurant at the Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College will host a Mother’s Day brunch all weekend long, with dishes including cedar-roasted salmon tartine with avocado and poached egg; wild mushroom and asparagus quiche with goat cheese and watercress; and lemon pound cake with blackberry jam. The museum will be in the process of preparing for an upcoming exhibition, but art will be available to view on the first level and grounds, according to a museum representative.
The Blue Rooster
1525 Fourth St., Sarasota; 941-388-7539; blueroostersrq.com
The Sarasota music venue and Southern comfort food restaurant will feature two seatings for its popular Sunday Gospel Brunch Buffet featuring live music by Truality, with doors opening at 11 a.m. and music starting at 11:45 a.m. for the first seating, and 1:15 and 1:45 p.m. for the second. The buffet includes breakfast dishes such as scrambled eggs, bacon, ham, biscuits and gravy, waffles, cheesy grits and fruit salad; regular menu items like fried chicken, meatloaf, catfish, mac-and-cheese, fried green tomatoes, collard greens, Brunswick stew and Barnyard Salad; and chocolate chip cake and cream cheese-frosting lemon cake for dessert. The cost is $24.99 adults, $12 ages 6-12 and free under 6.
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431 St. Armands Circle, Sarasota; 941-388-4415; cafeleurope.net
St. Armands Circle’s venerable Continental cuisine destination will be offering a Mother’s Day brunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The extensive menu includes various salads, eggs Benedict, oysters Rockefeller, crab cakes, maple teriyaki salmon, chicken piccata, prime rib carving station, omelet station and numerous desserts like lemon bars, Key lime squares and crème brûlée. The cost is $48.95 for adults and $24.95 for children under 12 (plus tax and gratuity). Buffet stations will be operated by restaurant personnel and guests are required to wear masks when walking to and from the buffet.
10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch; 941-893-4321; grovelwr.com
Located in the heart of downtown Lakewood Ranch, with lots of open-air dining seating as well as large bar area and indoor tables, Grove will be serving its holiday menu from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Prepared by Greg Campbell, who is the executive chef and director of operations at both Grove and sister restaurant Pier 22, entrees include such favorites as the wasabi tuna, shrimp and grits, pork osso buco, chicken fusilli pasta and prime rib. There are also several soup and salad options and a bunch of appetizers including the ahi tuna nachos, jumbo lump crab cake, beef tartare, fried calamari and grouper dip. Key lime pie, crème brûlée, and peanut butter pie are among the eight dessert options. Grove is also offering Mother’s Day dinners to go with a prime rib family meal that serves four ($180 plus tax), a prime rib individual meal ($35 plus tax) and an individual crab-stuffed salmon option ($30 plus tax). Order online by 3 p.m. May 8. Pickup is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mother’s Day.
821 Apricot Ave., Sarasota; 941-445-1938; hamletseatery.com
In the outdoor courtyard of The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime, Hamlet’s Eatery will hold a Mother’s Day edition of its Jazz Brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hot Tonic, an acoustic group whose sound blends classic jazz with vintage Americana/roots music, will perform live from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Menu options will include both traditional and vegan dishes, including build-your-own omelets and tofu scrambles.
Multiple locations: mattisons.com
Chef/owner Paul Mattison has three locations, with the one in downtown Sarasota right off Main Street and the newer location on Bradenton Riverwalk both offering large, open-air dining areas under cover with plenty of high-powered fans. There’s also the Mattison’s South Tamiami Trail location, which is newly renovated with expanded, outdoor bistro-style dining. All three restaurants will be open Mother’s Day, serving special menus featuring all-natural, sustainably sourced seafood and antibiotic and hormone-free beef, lamb and chicken. Curbside pickup and takeout options are available, too.
Phillippi Creek Restaurant & Oyster Bar
5353 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; 941-925-4444; creekseafood.com
If you think Mom would appreciate a waterfront seafood spot with a fun, Old Florida feel and lots of deck seating, check out Phillippi Creek, a laid-back Sarasota landmark dating back over four decades. Open daily for lunch and dinner starting at 11 a.m., menu favorites include the jumbo king crab legs, steamed clams, shrimp cocktails and various seafood salads. There are also children’s meals, plenty of options beyond seafood and a full bar offering cocktails and frozen seasonal drinks. Plus, there’s the Sunday Champagne Cocktail Happy Hour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., which includes that perfect seafood-pairing beverage, the mighty bloody mary.
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1200 First Ave. W., Bradenton; 941-748-8087; pier22dining.com
A downtown Bradenton landmark dating back to 1976 and located right on the Manatee River, Pier 22 will be serving a holiday menu from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. similar to the one being offered by sister restaurant Grove. Popular entrees include the wasabi-encrusted tuna, prime rib, grouper Oscar, chicken chèvre, lobster tails and Tuscan vegetable pasta. There are several soups and salads, including favorites like the baked onion soup and the 1976 salad of iceberg lettuce and parmesan dressing finished with applewood smoked bacon crumbles, chopped egg and parmesan cheese. Appetizer highlights include the ahi tuna nachos, calamari with soy mustard sauce, and the mussels served in a white wine/garlic butter sauce with spinach, blue cheese and bacon. Pier 22 is also offering Mother’s Day dinners to go with a prime rib family meal that serves four ($180 plus tax), a prime rib individual meal ($35 plus tax) and an individual crab-stuffed salmon option ($30 plus tax). Order online by 3 p.m. May 8. Pickup is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mother’s Day.
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The Ringling Grillroom
5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota; 941-360-7390; theringlinggrillroom.com
The restaurant located in The Ringling’s visitors pavilion will offer an 11 a.m.-3 p.m. brunch featuring dishes such as shrimp and grits, Greek quiche, challah French toast, salmon BLT and grilled caprese panini. If you’re looking for a fun way to spend the day with Mom afterwards, The Ringling is home to art and circus museums, John and Mable Ringling’s winter mansion the Ca’ d’Zan, the Historic Asolo Theater and grounds worth a visit on their own. There will also be holiday-related offerings such as an audio tour guiding visitors through works of art related to motherhood, a museum store sale and more.
Rosemary & Thyme
511 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota; 941-955-7600; therosemarysarasota.com
The dining staple in Sarasota’s Rosemary District neighborhood will offer both a brunch and dinner menu. Brunch runs 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and offers breakfast dishes such as Texas smoked brisket huevos rancheros, Bermuda fish cake Benedict and omelets, along with sandwiches, soups and salads. Dinner runs 4:30 to 9 p.m., with entrée options including New Zealand lamb chops, pistachio-dusted salmon, canard a l’orange and grilled portobello mushrooms.
State Street Eating House + Cocktails
1533 State St., Sarasota; 941-951-1533; statestreetsrq.com
A hip spot for creative comfort foods that serves brunch every Saturday and Sunday, State Street will extend its brunch hours for Mother’s Day, opening from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The special menu will include items ranging from a chia and oat parfait and, yes, avocado toast, to bread pudding French toast and lemon ricotta pancakes, to a B.L.T. featuring a fried green tomato and a skillet with New York strip, peppers, onions, mushrooms, crispy potatoes, salsa verde and a sunny side up egg. There will be lots of fine sparkling wine flowing and State Street excels at craft cocktails including classics such as the French 75 (champagne, gin, lemon) and Bramble (blackberries, gin, lemon). Music will be provided by violinist Matt Dendy.
Wade Tatangelo, the Herald-Tribune’s entertainment editor, may be reached by email at [email protected] Email entertainment reporter Jimmy Geurts at [email protected] Support local journalism by subscribing.