Sarasota is host to a variety of Italian restaurants which can be confusing when trying to find the real McCoy that is one that serves authentic Italian food (not American Italian), has a simpatico staff, and allows you to eat your meal Italian style - that is eating at a leisurely pace without feeling rushed. The Usual Place meets all of these requirements and more. The food is outstanding - be it a "special of the day" or from their menu. The owner's wife and or Hernando will greet you at the door and make you feel very welcome. If you are lucky you'll even get to meet Matilda who makes you realize this is a terrific family affair. The Happy Hour menu is one of the best in Sarasota allowing patrons to eat a terrific meal along with a glass of wine for a price everyone can afford. We've eaten there several times and last night went with a group of 12 - we all ordered different dishes and each one was fabulous. In all of our visits to this restaurant - we have yet to have a bad dish and learned why when we happened to see Chef Guiseppe throw out some food. It was then that we learned "if he isn't satisfied, he won't allow the dish to be served." The owners come from Rome and if you want to converse with Guiseppe you'll have to speak Italian but all of the others have a knowledge of English. Is it any wonder that when someone asks us where we like to go out to eat we often reply at "The Usual Place."
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