For me, and I’m sure many others, traveling is a great opportunity to experience new places– and to enjoy great food in those places! One of my favorite things to do when I travel is try restaurants that are not chains (duh) to experience places that I absolutely couldn’t at home!
I have experienced the Sarasota area and St. Armand’s Circle many times in the past, but haven’t had a chance to enjoy a meal in the cluster of shops, restaurants, and dessert options! This time, instead of heading to a family favorite, The Salty Dog (a great find for water-side fish, burgers, & fries) we decided to experience some of the fine dining offered in St. Armand’s Circle.
Cafe L’Europe was a fantastic find! One of the many restaurants located around the monumental circle, this was one of the best, and most beautiful, places we have enjoyed on our trip thus far.
The inside of the restaurant was beautiful, but as true Minnesotans, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to dine outdoors in January. The atmosphere was lovely. Your dining experience begins with warm (and INSANELY DELICIOUS) baguettes, delivered straight from the oven in a bread basket. I should note, the bread was SO good, we all were dying for more. My Grandma asked the server for more, and they happily brought out a second roll for each of us. Friendly tip if you’re as excited about carbs as we are.😊
Since I am staying/dining with my Grandma and her husband, I try not to use my phone at the table, so I only have a quick snapshot of my lovely meal. Their’s were both equally as beautiful, just not shared in this post.
I will highlight my meal, since that is the one that I can explain best! Overall, I thought the quality of everything on the plate was superb. However, I definitely wouldn’t recommend this dish to anyone who hasn’t enjoyed sushi a million times, as it is raw tuna with sesame seeds around the outside, a wakame salad (seaweed), rice noodles, and wasabi aioli/soy sauce. I will also note that I had the lunch size, and it was more than enough.
The tuna was incredible, and I took a bit of avocado from my Grandma’s salad to enjoy on top of it to create a DIY sushi roll. 😊 I really enjoyed the rice noodles, as they were prepared with red pepper and cilantro– one of my favorite combinations. The wakame salad was a toss up from the beginning– I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy the taste/texture, but was pleasantly surprised. It had a strange crunch that, at the same time, as soft and squishy. Kind of different, and like I said, probably not the best intro for anyone who is iffy about anything in the “sushi” family. My only complaint with this dish was that I am not a wasabi fan, so I didn’t enjoy the wasabi aioli. If I did enjoy the taste of wasabi, I’m sure I would have loved it (because who doesn’t enjoy a good aioli??!)
Overall, everything at this restaurant was incredible. Definitely a place I will keep on my list next time we are in the area!