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“Birthday for two, and Sarasota Savor too”

Duval's Fresh. Local. Seafood.
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Ranked #9 of 1,050 Restaurants in Sarasota
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $30
Cuisines: American, Seafood, International, Bar, Wine Bar
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Central and Main
Description: A local eatery with a passion for stunning seafood, creative cocktails, fine wine, and service with style. Duval's uses the freshest product the market has to offer, sourcing the finest ingredients from local fisherman and farmers. Duval's offers free patron shuttle service, food delivery, and $5 Happy Hour 7 days a week.
Reviewed July 18, 2014

This was my first time at Duval's, and I was there celebrating two birthdays, plus it was July 4th Weekend. Not snowbird season, but early summer is time for the annual and much loved "Sarasota Savor", a time of price-fixe special lunches and dinners at some upscale restaurants, but with special 3-course prices. Some make it (1) soup-salad-appetizer (2) Main Course (3) Dessert while others offer (1)Appetizer-soup (2) Small entree (3) Main Entree (no dessert).
Duval's Sarasota Savor menu is of the first variety, and offers various pairings of wine, additionally. It may be the case that they extend the Savor menu after it's officially over, but if not here are some of the dishes they serve, though usually at a higher price. Note that our dinner for two (with a bubbly wine bottle, (Veuve du Vernay Brut) came to $94 + tip, so... it's not inexpensive. But you do "get what you pay for", and the food is well conceptualized and prepared.

The restaurant itself is opposite an old Kress store (bit of Americana) in downtown Sarasota, and has an airy modern feel, as might be right for the "New World" motif. It is spacious and with wood chairs and fabric over sections of tables near the wall, it seems charmingly 'old world' ish too. Nice ambience. Josh ("operating partner") was both attentive and enthusiastic, sharing bits of interest about the food, and also some photography featured in a book which was on hand (and very interesting), and he came back several times to see how we were doing. Really into his game, it's no surprise to see on their card all sorts of online tools to reserve for dinner, nor am I surprised to see Josh reading and responding to reviews. He is clearly "hands on". Meanwhile we had a bubbly and competent waitress to go with our bubbly drinks (Dylan) and great meal.

Our first course choices included (1) Prince Edward Island Mussels sauteed in a lemon, garlic, and white wine butter sauce, and (2) Lobster & Sweet Corn Casserole - "succulent morsels of Maine lobster, sweet corn, roasted shallots, corn bread crumble and grilled costini". A third choice was "wonderful wedge salad". Delicious.

Second course for us was (1) Blackened Gulf Fish with Pineapple Salsa with rice pilaf and veggies; and (2) Blackened shrimp over grits infused with andouille sausage, cheddar cheese, and caremelized onions (my pick, and delicious - plus, not too common up north). Other choices included a 1/2 roasted chicken with creole butter, smashed potatoes and carrot puree, or Bavette Steak with Chimmichurri.

For dessert (course #3) was a choice of Chocolate Peanut Butter Delight (which whether for our birthdays or our country's, came with an American flag on top) or a tasty Key Lime Pie bar with chantilly cream.

We had a great meal and great time, and some out-of-the-usual dishes, too. Atmosphere and staff/management were lovely, no complaints. Not cheap, but a great meal for a special occasion.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank drmikenyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DuvalsNewWorldCafe, General Manager at Duval's Fresh. Local. Seafood., responded to this reviewResponded July 30, 2014

Thank you for your kind review! Glad you were able to participate in our Savor Sarasota event and that you had an enjoyable dining experience. The combination of great food, décor and great service can truly lead to an excellent experience and we are glad you enjoyed everything. Thank you for taking your valuable time to leave a review; you made some fantastic choices with the Prinice Edward Mussels, wedge salad, and blackened shrimp. Looking forward to serving you again in the future.-- Josh

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Reviews (1,228)
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1,017 - 1,021 of 1,228 reviews

Reviewed July 15, 2014 via mobile

Our waitress was the best! She was very kind and helped us create a great brunch. Their food was good but the waitress made the experience so enjoyable.

Thank Emily K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DuvalsNewWorldCafe, Owner at Duval's Fresh. Local. Seafood., responded to this reviewResponded July 30, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write a review! So glad you enjoyed your dining experience. The waitstaff at Duval's goes out of their way to ensure our diners get outstanding, friendly service. Hope to see you again real soon. --Josh

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Reviewed July 9, 2014

Our first visit-This meal was wonderful-we had nice choices of three courses. Brandon our waiter was outstanding with strong recommendations including substitutions of chowder and bread pudding . Our entrees of steak and shrimp were cooked perfect and nicely presented. All for $29 each but we will be back regardless of this special.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank r n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DuvalsNewWorldCafe, Owner at Duval's Fresh. Local. Seafood., responded to this reviewResponded July 14, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write your review! We’re thrilled you decided to give Duval’s a try and are pleased you had a wonderful dining experience. I'll also be sure to pass your kind words on to Brandon who works hard to make sure our diners have an excellent dining experience. We are looking forward to serving you again soon! --Josh Halbrucker, owner.

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Reviewed July 8, 2014 via mobile

We had a most relaxing off-season lunch here, with grouper as good as it gets! Misha, our server, had excellent advice and was helpful with every special request, etc.

Seeing the operating kitchen on a flat TV is really a cool idea. We could see our very own grouper fillets going on the grill, without the noise and clatter of a display-kitchen restaurant.

Thank Ron N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DuvalsNewWorldCafe, Owner at Duval's Fresh. Local. Seafood., responded to this reviewResponded July 14, 2014

Fish is our specialty! Thank you for your review and thank you for choosing Duval’s for your lunch – our grouper is very popular as we use the freshest ingredients! I will be sure to pass along your review to Misha, he works very hard to meet or exceed his guests' expectations and will be happy to hear about your experience! -- Josh Halbrucker, owner.

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Reviewed July 3, 2014

We have been to Duval's many times before, and will continue to go back. They are reliable for a variety of fish, some locally caught, and have added meat and poultry choices to keep everyone happy. Conveniently located near the Opera House and theaters, the staff can be relied upon to make sure you'll make it to your performance in time. I've never had an unpleasant meal there.

Thank Cando
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DuvalsNewWorldCafe, Owner at Duval's Fresh. Local. Seafood., responded to this reviewResponded July 14, 2014

Thank you for your kind review. Duval’s strives to create a pleasant dining experience for all of our diners, and it is our pleasure to keep opera patrons on time for the show! Hope to see you again soon.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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