Whether you want ham or lamb dishes, or something less traditional like chicken and waffles or huevos rancheros, there are many outstanding options for Easter Sunday across Sarasota and Manatee counties.
Presented in alphabetical order, here’s our annual list of great locally owned and operated restaurants serving brunch, lunch or dinner on Easter Sunday in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch and Venice. Each provides open-air seating, with many offering takeout specials.
1287 First St., Sarasota, 941-366-8111; bijoucafe.net
A downtown Sarasota fine-dining destination open since 1986 in the theater district, Bijou Cafe has unveiled a special Easter menu, in addition to its regular dinner menu, to be served 12-8 p.m. Soups and appetizers include New England-style clam chowder, shrimp and crab bisque, French onion soup gratinee and Gulf shrimp cocktail with traditional sauce or Cajun remoulade.
For entrees, there’s pan-seared Florida red snapper with fresh fig gremolata, baby spring potatoes and snow peas; prime veal chop Milanese lightly breaded, sautéed and served with arugula, tomato and parmigiano cheese; and blueberry and pineapple-glazed baked Virginia ham with sweet potato and yukon gold mash and haricots verts. For dessert, guests can enjoy the Trilogy of Flans: chocolate, strawberry and vanilla.
Famous restaurants:10 most famous Sarasota restaurants everyone should visit
431 St. Armands Circle, Sarasota; 941-388-4415; cafeleurope.net
The St. Armands Circle fine dining staple will be open Easter Sunday, featuring an a la carte menu noon-4 p.m. (regular lunch menu not available.) Entrees will include roasted leg of lamb, with various soups, salads, sandwiches and omelets also available. Easter dinner specials will be served 5-8:30 p.m., with 14-ounce USDA prime rib cut ($44) or roasted leg of lamb with mint sauce ($38), each served with chef’s potato and vegetable.
1435 Main St., Sarasota; 941-312-4001; duvalsfreshlocalseafood.com
Downtown Sarasota restaurant Duval’s Fresh. Local. Seafood., which specializes in its namesake cuisine, will offer a $44.95 four-course prix fixe Easter menu. Entree choices include brown sugar mustard salmon, braised lamb shank or pineapple-glazed Applewood ham, with the option to choose seafood en papillote or sweet potato-encrusted fresh catch for an additional fee.
The other course choices are carrot bisque or gazpacho as an appetizer, a roasted beet or peaches and pears salad, and carrot cake or Peanut Butter Eggstravaganza (an egg-shaped chocolate and peanut butter flourless cake, topped with peanuts and chocolate drizzle.) The menu will also be available for pickup or delivery on Easter Sunday only.
Fins at Sharky’s
1600 Harbor Drive S., Venice; 941-999-3467; finsatsharkys.com
The restaurant overlooking Venice Fishing Pier and the beach will be open Easter Sunday, taking reservations as well as offering takeout and curbside pickup, with an Easter dinner menu available all day featuring specials like double chop lamb rack with potato dauphinoise, French green beans, shallot butter and mint-infused demi-glace ($34.) Fins’ next-door sister restaurant, the more casual beach spot Sharky’s on the Pier, will also be open Easter Sunday and offering specials.
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 a holiday brunch from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and a holiday dinner from 11 a.m.-10 p.m., with an Easter prime rib dinner to-go option.
Prepared by Greg Campbell, who is the executive chef and director of operations, the $180 family meal includes whole prime rib, au jus and horseradish sauce, roasted potatoes, green beans, large house salad, dinner rolls, chocolate cream pie and bottle of cabernet. There’s also a $35 individual meal option with prime rib, au jus and horseradish sauce, roasted potatoes, green beans, house salad and dinner roll.
Order online by 3 p.m. April 3 and pick up from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Easter Sunday.
Harry’s Continental Kitchens
5600 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key; 941-383-0777; harryskitchen.com
The Longboat Key dining landmark will be open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Easter Sunday, with a 11 a.m.-3 p.m. lunch special menu featuring roast leg of lamb, Boulangère potatoes and fresh vegetables ($26) or baked ham with rum raisin sauce, scalloped potatoes and fresh vegetables ($25.)
Harry’s deli will also offer Easter dinners for takeout: leg of lamb with mint jelly and Boulangère potatoes ($21.99 per person), or baked ham with rum raisin sauce and scalloped potatoes ($20.99 per person.) Both meals also include green beans amandine and buttermilk biscuits, rolls or French bread. Order by March 31, and pick up meals 11 a.m.-7 p.m. April 3.
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 fans. There’s also the Mattison’s location on South Tamiami Trail. All three locations will be open Easter Sunday, serving special menus featuring all-natural, sustainably sourced seafood and antibiotic and hormone-free beef, lamb and chicken. There will also be a bottomless mimosa option and house-made desserts. Curbside pickup and takeout options are available, too.
Michael’s on East
1212 S. East Ave., Sarasota; 941-366-0007; bestfood.com
One of Sarasota’s most famous restaurants, best known for its aged steaks and world-class wine collection, Michael’s on East will be open Easter Sunday from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. The special brunch menu includes chicken and waffles, Jamil’s Huevos Rancheros, Phil’s Lox & Bagels or a slow-roasted Virginia ham. Reservations only.
Michael’s on East will also offer an Easter meal pickup special, with entree choice of honey and pineapple-glazed boneless Virginia ham, lamb shank osso buco and pan-seared salmon, with side dishes and dessert included ($49.95 per person.) Pickup is 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Easter Sunday, with an April 2 deadline for orders.
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 brunch from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and a holiday dinner from 11 a.m.-10 p.m., with an Easter prime rib dinner to-go option. And like its newer sister restaurant Grove, it will also be offering an enticing takeout option.
Executive chef Campbell has prepared a $180 family meal that includes whole prime rib, au jus and horseradish sauce, roasted potatoes, green beans, large house salad, dinner rolls, chocolate cream pie and bottle of cabernet. There’s also a $35 individual prime rib meal option with single-serving portions of the above – minus the pie and wine.
Rosemary & Thyme
511 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota; 941-955-7600; therosemarysarasota.com
The restaurant in Sarasota’s Rosemary District, featuring plentiful patio seating with partitions, will offer both an Easter brunch and dinner menu. Brunch runs from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., with signature breakfasts including an Easter breakfast casserole of eggs, cheese, sausage and bread, as well as sandwiches, soups and salads. Dinner runs from 4:30-9 p.m. with entrees including New Zealand lamb chops, along with appetizers and desserts.
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.