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“Great steak and lobster, Sarasota's best secret”
Review of Waterfront

Waterfront
Ranked #249 of 1,079 Restaurants in Sarasota
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Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Local cuisine
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Reviewed March 18, 2009

You will not really see much water at night, but the food is so great you will not care! My family has been there several times, and it is consistently fabulous. This is not a chain, and it seems like the owner or his wife are always there. The steaks are second to none, and the lobster tail (cooked on a huge charcoal-type grill) are spectacular. Also, we loved the Greek cheese appetizer (saginaki) and Greek salad. We chuckle as we drive past the Ruth Chris and Outback on the way to the Waterfront -- we know we'll get a better dinner and MUCH better value.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank LJaneM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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133 - 137 of 143 reviews

Reviewed March 13, 2009

What used to be my favorite local restaurant is now a sham. The quality of the food and service has gone down quickly. My pepper steak was so small and tough the last 2 times that we went there. My wife favorite fried shrimp were so overcooked that it was hard to tell if they were shrimp. But our most importantly, the service is very poor. Simply getting a drink is start your meal is difficult ( not even a crowded night ). When my wife dared to say her shrimp were overcooked (she ate 1of them) ,the waitress replied " What are you crying for, I'll take your drink off the bill " Not her ineated shrimp, mind you, but a drink !

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank JHDawg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2009

Very casual atmosphere, very friendly and efficient service. The place does not look good from the road, but all of the tables have a quaint view of 20+ boat slips.

Prices are reasonable. A half carafe of wine was 9 dollars, escargot was 6 and it was very good. Ceasar salad (extra 2 bucks) was good.

The speciality is meat on the grill. The grill is open to the tables, and the smell is wonderful. My wife's grilled shrimp was very tasty. My sesame tuna was fine, but I wouldn't order it again.

We would go back for burgers or steaks. We would both get escargot again. Just not so much for seafood. Which is odd for a place called Waterfront that is indeed on the water.

Thank CasualTravelingGeek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2008

I'm always looking for good local restaurants and, based on what I'd read here, expected to find one at the Waterfront. Sadly, that was not to happen.

The layout of the building is a bit unusual. Had another reviewer not described it, I'd have thought I was in the wrong place. You enter through the bar, which is long and narrow, and some distance later find the restaurant. The restaurant area is long and narrow as well, with mirrors on one wall, and windows on the other that afford a water view. A couple of larger rooms are found toward the end of the building, along with a small dining area outside that wasn't being used on this cool evening.

The decor is almost Spartan, and reminded me of an American Legion hall, with plain wood paneled walls, and white tablecloths covered with glass. Clean as a whistle, but just a little tacky.

Our waitress was prompt, efficient, and attentive, although perhaps too much so, as we felt a bit rushed at times. I had a martini, and my companion a glass of wine, both of which were fine. The menu offers everything from a $9 hamburger to twin one pound lobster tails for $65, so there's something for all tastes and most wallets.

We shared an appetizer of escargot, which was prepared in the traditional manner, in butter sauce, and was quite good. The problems came with the entrees. My companion ordered duck, which she does often, and knows much more about its preparation than I do. She said it was 'just OK', and I'll leave it at that.

My 16 oz. New York strip ($24), however, was another matter entirely. It was prepared medium rare, as ordered, and that's the highest compliment I can pay. It was tough as nails, contained much more fat and gristle than normal, and was served luke warm. I understand that the center of a medium rare steak will be warm, or even cool, but the exterior should be hot when served. This one wasn't, and I expect it'd been sitting under the lights for a while. The enduring memory of my meal will be my plate skidding across the glass tabletop while I tried cutting my steak. Simply put, it was a lousy cut of meat. We have a few quality steakhouses in town, but this certainly isn't one of them. It's not even close to Outback, I'm sorry to say.

When we declined dessert or coffee, we had our check in seconds, and we almost had to elbow our way through the crowd at the bar to find the exit. They were doing a brisk trade this particular evening, and I wish them well, but it's not for me.

3  Thank mrbaseball77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2008

I NEVER write reviews like this, but this place deserves one. It is far and away the best steakhouse in Sarasota. PERIOD!!!! This should make myself loud and clear about how i feel about this place. Worth every penny.

1  Thank SRQWillie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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