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REAL La Dolce Vita – The Rosemary

The Rosemary

REAL La Dolce Vita

The Rosemary

An American Bistro With A Sophisticated International Flair

By Sandra Halliday

Photography by James Corwin Johnson

Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme…. You see a restaurant that is named after one of the most aromatic herbs in the world of culinary arts. You enter its enchanted portals and the perfume of garlic, butter, parley, sage, rosemary, and thyme hits your sensory faculties. You intuitively know that dinner is going to be unforgettable. And memorable it was, thanks to the wizardry of Chef Scott Harrison who prepared some of the most requested signature dishes for us at The Rosemary.

Dinner started with a happy trio of appetizers. Tuna Tartar, a tower of ceviche-style yellowfin tuna mixed with crisp seasonal vegetables and herbs such as cilantro and parsley, and topped with sliced avocado. Served with a sweet Italian balsamic vinegar glaze over flatbread and garnished with edible flowers, this colorful palette of Impressionistic art was a feast for our eyes. This sushi lover loved it. Named after a city just south of Austin, Texas, the San Marcos Tostada consisted of Tex-Mex style house-smoked pulled pork, that’s lovingly slow cooked on the smoker for at least 16 hours, and served on corn tortillas with refried beans, pico de gallo, and avocado. The barbeque and habanero sauces that accompanied this appetizer were all freshly made in house. Feta cheese brought this humble comfort food up several notches. The Gulf Shrimp and Cold-Water Lobster Cargot baked in Chardonnay, garlic, and Italian parsley butter was served in traditional escargot bakeware. Garnished with charred lemon and served with some crusty bread, the intoxicating aroma and flavors had us thinking we were dining al fresco under Parisian skies. Hands down, it was everyone’s favorite appetizer.

Chef Scott continued to impress us when we were presented with three of his most requested entrées. Here we felt the chef’s love affair with French cuisine. The Center-Cut Beef Tenderloin topped with Béarnaise sauce and a truffle essence demi-glace was a match made in heaven. Béarnaise sauce is one of the mother sauces of French cuisine; and Chef Scott’s rendition was an alchemic combination of wine, egg yolks, butter, and vinegar flavored with tarragon and shallots, with a bite of black pepper. His creation of the red protein dish was expertly prepared, and gave the word “tender” in tenderloin a brand new meaning. The pan-roasted miso glazed Kanazawa Grouper fillet was finished with a tangy chili-lime gastrique. Miso, a fermented soy paste used in Japanese cuisine, enhanced the fish with a heady umami flavor that was truly magical. Elegantly served on top of creamy risotto, all of us at the table nodded in unanimous agreement that it was the best risotto we’ve ever tasted. A threesome of Sea Scallops atop a bed of shrimp risotto and finished with a garlic key-lime beurre blanc paid homage to Floribbean cuisine. The addition of key lime in the sauce immediately conjured up tropical images of our beautiful South West Florida beaches–a stroke of pure genius.

Sweet endings arrived with the announcement of apple pie, tiramisu, and key lime pie. Mama mia! The tiramisu was one of the best desserts we’ve ever been treated to. It was playfully flavorful with an intense aroma of fresh ground coffee. Seriously, who needs cappuccino after this?

The recommended wines paired perfectly with our dinner selection. Russian River Valley’s “Raeburn” a Sonoma County Chardonnay with its fresh layers of green apple and pear heightened our enjoyment of the dishes featuring the “fruits” from the sea. Broadside’s Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon with its lingering taste of ripe strawberry, red cherry, and a touch of oak took our appreciation of the beef tenderloin to a whole new different level.

Owner George Armstrong makes it his sacred responsibility to greet his diners at the table and to ask if everyone is enjoying their experience at the restaurant. Shayna, our server, was delightfully attentive and answered all our questions with great enthusiasm. Chef Scott took us on a whirlwind culinary tour with his perfectly executed sauces, and his ingenious blend of herbs, spices, and fresh ingredients from regional farms. Rosemary is for remembrance so the saying goes. We had an unforgettable dinner at this quaint eatery in one of the prettiest historical districts in Sarasota. Something tells us that we will be going back soon to relive every delectable moment so to keep our happy memories alive for a very long time.

Don’t forget to let them know Kim & Sandra sent you!

The Rosemary
411 North Orange Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236
(941) 955.7600
www.TheRosemarySarasota.com

Breakfast & Lunch
8:00AM – 2:30PM
Dinner
5:00PM – 9:00PM

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