Here’s how I feel about food: It’s either nasty, alright, tasty, or worth writing a post about.
There’s were few places in Sarasota, Florida worth writing a post about.
This is one of those posts.
I came away from four days in Sarasota, Florida believing that Sarasota has the best parts of a Florida beach town without the break. Meaning Sarasota didn’t have the seedy undercurrent of spring break culture running through it like some of the other Gulf Coast towns I’ve visited. Our first night in town we were taken to a local Italian place on Siesta Key, Cafe Gabbiano. From the outside it looked like a typical strip mall shop turned restaurant in Saraosta, Florida, but the inside was warm and romantic with wood paneled walls and wine bottles tucked into every corner. We were offered a tasting menu, the best of what Cafe Gabbiano had to offer. Plate after beautiful plate of the most magnificent food was presented to us, unfortunately Addie wasn’t feeling well so she didn’t have anything, but the rest of us ate like royalty.
I composed a song about the ravioli, I made yummy noises over the burrata, I felt a little guilty for how much I loved the veal and I’m pretty sure I left my number with Paolo’s bolognese sauce. While I’m not a drinker, I can attest that everyone was a huge fan of the house wine and if the house wine wasn’t your thing? There were over 200 other varieties to choose from including a full bar. We had a vegetarian and someone with a gluten sensitivity in our group and they were accommodated easily and effortlessly which is huge in my book. Even the other kids in our group were happy with everything they were served, the filet was the biggest hit of all. Paolo, the chef, was everything you’d want in a man cooking your food, a great accent, humble nature and skills in the kitchen.
Marc and Peter, host and general manager respectively joined us for dinner and told us about their community involvement, their passion for great service and great food and above all their dedication to their customers. It’s one of those places you only have to go to once to be hooked, and being in a town that relies on tourism for so much of its revenue it’s a place that needs to be talked about and suggested by word of mouth.
While the whole restaurant was lovely, the patio was gorgeous. It was quiet and romantic but also a place where I would be comfortable bringing my kids for an earlier dinner knowing the staff would be able and willing to accommodate them.
Really good food makes traveling even more memorable, and Cafe Gabbiano set a high standard for Italian food no matter where I’m at in my travels.
(Dinner was provided for our group, all opinions are my own including this one: Dessert was tiramisu and cannoli. I don’t like tiramisu or cannoli but I tried them, they certainly weren’t terrible, but not my first choice of dessert ever.)