Cravings Blog

Savor Sarasota offers fixed-price menus at local restaurants

Sophie’s at Saks Fifth Avenue executive chef Andrew Thompson created the Calamari Salad, a warm salad of sautéed calamari, chorizo, romanesco dressing and confit tomato for the Sophie’s at Saks Fifth Avenue Savor Sarasota dinner menu.
Sophie’s at Saks Fifth Avenue executive chef Andrew Thompson created the Calamari Salad, a warm salad of sautéed calamari, chorizo, romanesco dressing and confit tomato for the Sophie’s at Saks Fifth Avenue Savor Sarasota dinner menu. Provided photo

If 79 restaurants sound like too many to choose from, there’s an app for that.

Savor Sarasota lasts two weeks and kicks off on June 1. This year, Visit Sarasota County worked with Indiana-based destination mobile app company Bluebridge to create a hand-held virtual tour of this year’s spread.

The app, available on iTunes and Google Play, allows users to search for restaurants by cuisine or location, create a list of favorites and browse chef biographies. For more information about the app, visit SavorSarasotaApp.com.

Every year, the fixed-price menu deal helps restaurants boost traffic after tourist season in Florida comes to a close. Last year, tourist taxes collected by the Sarasota County Tax Collector dropped by almost $2 million between March and May.

Savor Sarasota also gives chefs an opportunity to experiment with new menu items and appeal to a different population.

During (tourist) season we bring in a lot of tourists. During the summertime, the locals start to come out again. I think a lot of people are afraid to come to the mall because of traffic. Now with the (diverging) diamond open, we're seeing more locals wanting to come out this way.

Mark Resnick, general manager at Sophie’s at Saks Fifth Avenue

“We wanted to do Savor Sarasota to bring in new customers,” Sophie’s at Saks Fifth Avenue general manager Mark Resnick said. “Those out there in Sarasota who are not necessarily familiar with Saks and Sophie’s and break that barrier that we are out of their price range.”

This year is the first time Sophie’s has participated in the promotion. Eighteeen restaurants are new to Savor Sarasota this year.

“During (tourist) season we bring in a lot of tourists,” Resnick said. “During the summertime, the locals start to come out again. I think a lot of people are afraid to come to the mall because of traffic. Now with the (diverging) diamond open, we’re seeing more locals wanting to come out this way.”

Visit Sarasota County started Savor Sarasota in 2005. The promotion started with 20 to 30 restaurants, according to Visit Sarasota spokeswoman Lynn Hobeck Bates.

Multi-course lunch and dinner at Savor Sarasota restaurants cost $16 and $32, respectively. The fixed price does not include tax and tip.

For more information about Savor Sarasota, download the app or visit savorsarasota.com.

Janelle O’Dea: 941-745-7095, @jayohday

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