We celebrated my birthday with a delicious lunch on the veranda (magnificent view of a marina and the Sarasota Bay) at the Ritz-Carlton. Although the lunch menu is not extensive, everything was delicious! We started with a salad of tomatoes and burrata (a divine mozzarella cheese with a decadent soft cheese filling), and followed it with a dish of pasta Amatriciana (a fresh tomato-based sauce with pancetta, onions and basil). While we were hesitant to order these two typical Italian dishes at a non-Italian venue, the dishes far exceeded our expectations. The service was excellent, and we plan to make this a regular choice for lunch. Only two very minor suggestions for the management at the Ritz. The pasta for the Amatriciana was listed on the menu as bucatini, yet the actual pasta that was served was linguini. The dish was nonetheless fabulous, and it would not have changed our decision, but we felt that it would have been more appropriate to have been advised of this minor change prior to being served. The only other slight disappointment was that although the staff was well aware that we were celebrating a birthday, we were not offered even a minor complimentary service to acknowledge the occasion. Again, these are relatively minor points (and I would not dissuade anyone from dining here because of them) but found them somewhat lacking in the typical "putin'' on the Ritz" style.
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