SARASOTA - Sixteen members of the Sarasota-Manatee Originals, a trade organization comprised of more than 50 locally owned, independent restaurants, were honored as winners and finalists in Sarasota Magazines Best of 2014 Editors Pick and Readers Choice awards.
In all, Originals members were recognized as winners or finalists in 18 categories.
Derek's Rustic Coastal Cuisine (Best New Cuisine) and Soma Creek Side (Best New Reason to Love Chef Shiplett) were selected as Editors Picks winners.
Readers Choice winners included: Caragiulo's, Best Italian Restaurant; mi Pueblo, Best Mexican Restaurant; Pacific Rim, Best Sushi Restaurant; Sharky's On The Pier, Best Venice Restaurant; Pier 22 Restaurant, Best Manatee County Restaurant; Ophelia's On The Bay, Best Romantic Restaurant and Best Waterfront Restaurant; and Michael's On East, Best Restaurant for Steak (Non-Chain), Best Restaurant Wine List, and Best Caterer.
Finalists include: Pacific Rim, Best Japanese Restaurant; Café L'Europe, Best French Restaurant; Primo! Ristorante, Best Italian Restaurant; Crows Nest, Best Venice Restaurant; Ortygia, Best Manatee County Restaurant; Pacific Rim, Best Thai Restaurant; Euphemia Haye and Michaels on East, Best Special Occasion Restaurants; Café LEurope and Duvals New World Café, Best Dessert; and The Bijou Café, Best Happy Hour Menu.
Sarasota Magazines discriminating readers and editors selected their favorite restaurants and were thrilled that Sarasota-Manatee Originals member restaurants won the lions share of the awards, says Kate Atkin, SMO's executive director. Our region is filled with connoisseurs who support the art of fine cuisine and dining and they recognize the creativity that emerges from our locally owned restaurants. Our inventive chefs and restaurateurs are true originals in every sense. They help give our region its flavor, both literally and metaphorically. For more information, call 365-2800 or visit dineoriginal.com.