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.