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“Party of 11 - Private Room was nice”
Review of Cafe L'Europe

Cafe L'Europe
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Ranked #22 of 1,046 Restaurants in Sarasota
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American, European, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Large groups, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Description: Established in 1973 in John Ringling's original real estate office, Cafe L'Europe has become one of Florida's most distinguished restaurants. The original brick walls are enhanced with artwork from our Cafe Collection, distinctive archways, and Spanish terra cotta tile for a warm, relaxing old-world ambiance.Our award-wining cuisine and selection of fine wines from Europe and America strike the perfect balance of tradition and innovation that have stood the test of time and trend. Many of our signature dishes are prepared tableside for the added drama of a truly memorable dining experience.Cafe L'Europe offers indoor and outdoor dining as well as a temperature controlled veranda for the best of both worlds. Our private dining rooms can accommodate parties from 8 to 65 guests and we are open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.Our many accolades include the coveted DiRoNA, Sarasota Magazine's Best Elegant Restaurant, and Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence.
GlobalTraveler
Level 6 Contributor
222 reviews
166 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“Party of 11 - Private Room was nice”
Reviewed October 9, 2012

Hosted a birthday party dinner for a total of 11 people (including 2 children). Made reservations for a Private Room for Saturday night. Private room is actually a closed-off back section of the restaurant which could have been used for several tables (and had 4-5 four-top table set in addition to our large table).

Food was generally excellent. Chateaubriand ($47pp) while seeming expensive, was not the "Steak House a la carte" pricing where side dishes are extra. Steak itself was extremely tender and served with an extensive number of side dishes (potatoes were especially good and unusual). Salmon ($28) was very generous portion and nicely prepared. Desserts ($9 each) were house made and consisted of standard choices (Chocolate Lava, Apple Crisp, etc).

Overall, very traditional dining experience. Waiter was overall pretty good, though the large group did manage to flummox him a couple times (getting the correct done-ness of the Chateaubriand for each person was a bit confusing), but given our size, I think they did a fine job.

4-stars instead of 5 due to slightly dated feel of menu and venue, wait staff was solid but not quite as professional as the ambiance would suggest.

As always when you have special dining requirements (like a large group), recommend making reservations in advance and confirming day-of.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank seaskills
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Betsie C, Owner at Cafe L'Europe, responded to this review, October 12, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to review Café L’Europe. We frequently offer new menu items to compliment the signature dishes that have been a part of Café L’Europe for almost 40 years, but it is the classics like the Chateaubriand and the Dover Sole Meunière that keep our loyal fans coming back time after time. I’m happy that we were able to make this birthday celebration a special one and we look forward to seeing you again very soon. Perhaps you can try one of our tableside flambéed desserts which are far from standard on your next visit.

Sincerely,

Betsie Coolidge and the Café L’Europe Staff
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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728 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Nokomis, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Romantic and Elegant on the Circle”
Reviewed October 8, 2012

Cafe L'Europe has long been the best choice for a romantic dinner or an elegant lunch with friends. The setting on St. Armand's Circle is ideal as the area is busy with families and couples shopping and enjoying a fine vacation day or evening. The service is professional and friendly, and the food has always been high quality with gorgeous presentation. You can sit quietly in the back and enjoy conversation, or you can sit in the window area in the front and people watch. Either will increase the pleasure of your dining time. Menu selections are varied and interesting, and always delicious! Those of us who live in the area feel that we have been on a great vacation after a day on St. Armand's Circle and a meal at Cafe L'Europe.

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Angela R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Betsie C, Owner at Cafe L'Europe, responded to this review, October 12, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to review Café L’Europe and we look forward to seeing you the next time you venture out to St. Armand’s Circle for a little stay-cation.

Sincerely,

Betsie Coolidge and the Café L’Europe Staff
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level 4 Contributor
48 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Turned away at the door!”
Reviewed September 29, 2012

We arrived at 2:45 for lunch after having a difficult time finding a parking space only to be gruffly turned away at the door. Apparently lunch ends at 3:00 so our late arrival was not convenient for the staff. We headed across the street to the Crab & Fin and had a delicious and relaxing lunch there. We had come to Cafe l'Europe for a special anniversary lunch so our treatment was especially disappointing. We had eaten there many times in the past but I don't think we will return any time soon.

  • Visited February 2012
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jujubee4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Betsie C, Owner at Cafe L'Europe, responded to this review, October 12, 2012
I’m sorry that we were unable to accommodate your party this time. You mentioned that you have eaten at Café L’Europe many times before and that you were hoping to enjoy a special anniversary lunch on this occasion so I assume that your previous visits to Café L’Europe offered the level of quality and service that have made us a Sarasota tradition for almost 40 years. I hope this one experience will not keep you away for too long.

Sincerely,

Betsie Coolidge and the Café L’Europe Staff
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bradenton, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“A Classic”
Reviewed September 10, 2012

We went for the summer special, which was an incredible bargain - $59.95 for two for an appetizer, entree and bottle of wine. I was torn between the shrimp and veal; our waiter said the veal piccata was a signature dish, so I went with his recommendation. It was excellent -- the veal was tender, not over sauced and had mushrooms as an added touch. The potato croquette that accompanied it was light and wonderful. The plate presentation was quite lovely -- rounded out by asparagus and carrot puree.. The service was right on target; everyone was attentive, without being overbearing. It's easy to understand why this restaurant has been considered one of Sarasota's finest for so long.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Gloria B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Betsie C, Owner at Cafe L'Europe, responded to this review, September 12, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to review Café L’Europe. Your description of the Veal Picatta certainly brings the dish to life. We hope you’ll join us again very soon and perhaps share another vivid description of one of our other signature dishes.

Sincerely,

Betsie Coolidge and the Café L’Europe Staff
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Awesome”
Reviewed September 9, 2012

One of the best upscale restaurants in Sarasota. Consistantly great food and excellant service! This is a must do when visiting 'The Circle'.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
Thank bailey0420
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Betsie C, Owner at Cafe L'Europe, responded to this review, September 12, 2012
Thank you for the kind words and for taking the time to review Café L’Europe. We hope you will continue to make us a must when visiting “The Circle” and we look forward to seeing you very soon.

Sincerely,

Betsie Coolidge and the Café L’Europe Staff
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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