Comings and Goings of Suncoast restaurants

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Coming Soon…

Another Culver’s in South Sarasota is coming across from the Outback Steakhouse. Looks like the Mid-West burger and custard chain is having some success in University Park and in Port Charlotte with this newest building.

Now Open…

Painter’s Palate by Indian Rocks Beach is now open. Formerly Bella Nona, this new place is self-described as “Asian fusion,” but hanger steak with mashed potatoes and roasted chicken just doesn’t sound Asian. We were very disappointed the first visit. Curry pizza is the buzz, but doesn’t work well with tomato sauce and cheese. Perhaps they should have considered hoisin and scallions. Maybe they can try the tuna pizza over at Kumo and get some ideas.

Also new is Queen of Sheba—authentic Ethiopian cuisine. I do not like spicy food, so I’ll have to send one of my co-workers to check this place out on the north trail.

New restaurant on Fruitville where a nondescript Peruvian restaurant stood. Stay tuned as we see the signs go up and the theme evolve of the new business.

Now Re-Opened…

A new club for not just the young, Ivory Lounge now offers Happy Hour daily at 5pm. Sit on the lush outdoor couches or inside at a sleek bar or VIP tables even before the dance crowd arrives. Bravo to Ambrish Piare for making 5-points a pleasurable spot for dining and entertaining in Sarasota style.


Yume Sushi has moved over to their new location where once housed Jalea and Sangria (I miss Jalea and hope a smaller version will reopen soon). Yume has dressed up the place and offers a full- bar, fusion sushi and full entrees. Well done Yume!

Now open for limited lunch hours, Taste of Asia is open for lunch Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. This is a great choice for fans of fresh authentic Thai, Vietnamese and Laotian cuisine.


The British Open Pub moves to a larger new location in just a few short months. Outdoor and doggy dining are on the way along with the addition of a private party room. They are still open at their current location and plan to have a closing party(s) for the old location and opening party(s) at the new location on Jacaranda by the roundabout.

Why didn’t I try this before…?

La Primavera on North Washington Blvd. Where once stood Bianca’s, La Primavera is more like the authentic markets you find in Miami. Expanded menus, smoothie bar and a great meat section make this a definite place to try.


Ilia’s in Nokomis has closed. We loved their delicious pork gyros and moussaka. Best ever rice pudding with rose water and home-made yogurt, it will be missed. However, Ilia could never rebound after all the construction on 41 S. kept people away. A viewer told me the owners moved back to Greece.

Culinary Director

As the Culinary Director for ABC 7, I whip up cooking segments on ABC 7 News at Noon, along with recipes, cooking tips, reviews and great food finds on MySuncoast Dining at