10 best restaurants for a fabulous Easter brunch in Sarasota and Bradenton

Craving an amazing Easter brunch? Check out what these restaurants in Sarasota and Bradenton are serving! 

In case you needed a friendly reminder about the specialness of our Sarasota area, we were just featured in The New York Times' popular "36 Hours" travel series. The Times recommended six restaurants, with one of them appearing on today's list of the best local places for Easter brunch.

Yes, we're still in peak tourist season, with Easter occurring on March 31 this year, leaving little time for planning. Here's hoping this list helps you find a fabulous destination for Easter brunch, with restaurants ranging from fine dining to Old Florida waterfront favorites. Just keep in mind that space is filling up fast and reservations should be made ASAP.

The Capital Grille 

180 University Town Center Drive, Sarasota; 941-256-3647; thecapitalgrille.com

The Capital Grille's Easter brunch specials include this eight-ounce center cut filet mignon with white cheddar hash browns.

Offering the best high-end dining you will find inside The Mall at University Town Center, and probably anywhere else in the greater UTC district, The Capital Grille will be serving its Easter brunch specials from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with favorites like the lobster frittata with butter poached lobster tails, 14-ounce bone-in dry aged N.Y. strip and eggs, and eight-ounce center cut filet mignon with white cheddar hash browns. New to brunch this year is crab cake benedict with truffle hollandaise.

Columbia Restaurant

411 St. Armands Circle, Sarasota; 941-388-3987; columbiarestaurant.com

Columbia Restaurant, at 411 St. Armands Circle in Sarasota, photographed Dec. 2, 2023.

Sarasota's oldest full-service restaurant, recently named Florida's best Cuban sandwich by Southern Living magazine, will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., offering Easter specials in addition to its classic Spanish and Cuban dishes. These include leg of lamb marinated in red wine, garlic, lemon, and oregano, roasted in a rich gravy, as well as hand-carved ham topped with an orange sauce. For a true brunch experience, make sure to pair your meal with a pitcher of Sangria de Cava. This white sangria is lovingly prepared tableside, boasting plenty of citrus flavor that surpasses any mimosa you've ever tasted.

Duval’s Fresh. Local. Seafood. 

1435 Main St., Sarasota; 941-312-4001; duvalsfreshlocalseafood.com

Duval's Fresh. Local. Seafood., which specializes in its namesake cuisine, is at 1435 Main St. in Sarasota.

The downtown Sarasota restaurant best known for its fresh seafood dishes is offering an Easter menu from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The entrée selections on the menu include a choice of citrus-infused pork chop, chilled salmon salad, and grilled octopus. The chef-curated Easter menu will be available à la carte all day for lunch and dinner in conjunction with the regular menus. In addition, Duval’s offers the Easter menu for takeout and free delivery (if you live within their delivery zone).

Made

1990 Main St., Sarasota; 941-953-2900; maderestaurant.com

Double Dipped Fried Chicken is a favorite at Made in downtown Sarasota.

One of the best restaurants in downtown Sarasota, Made features chef Mark Woodruff's inspired take on upscale American comfort food including the items on their famed brunch menu served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The menu is massive, with personal favorites such as the Double Dipped Fried Chicken, Pork on Pork on Pork Benedict, and the Brunch Burger consisting of a top-shelf beef blend, "billionaire" bacon, aged cheddar, "peppermilk" sausage gravy, butter lettuce, fresh tomato, onion and fried egg on a Hawaiian-style brioche roll. Made also serves some of the best cocktails in town, including a bloody Mary featuring chef's garlic-rosemary-honey-pepper infused vodka as well as the recently unveiled "Yoder." It's an espresso martini with a twist and serious kick, featuring 100-proof James E. Pepper 1776 Bourbon, coffee liquor, local "house-Made" cold brew, and brown sugar simple syrup.

Mattison’s 

Multiple locations: mattisons.com

Chef Paul Mattison’s three namesake restaurants in Sarasota-Manatee will all be open on Easter.

All three of chef and owner Paul Mattison's namesake restaurants will be open Easter, with Mattison’s Forty-One's at 7275 S. Tamiami Trail serving its popular Easter buffet from 10 a.m. to 4 pm. It will feature multiple stations for everything from breakfast classics to seafood dishes, with a carving station for prime rib and ham as well as a multitude of dessert and pastry options. Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille in Bradenton and Mattison’s City Grille in downtown Sarasota — which both offer covered, open-air dining rooms (and bars) equipped with fans and heaters — will feature a la carte brunch and dinner.

Michael's on East

1212 S. East Ave., Sarasota; 941-366-0007; bestfood.com

Fine-dining restaurant Michael's on East, located in the Midtown Plaza just south of downtown Sarasota, offers indoor seating with a 1940s supper club atmosphere, as well as outdoor tables in the atrium under a canopy of twinkling lights

One of my picks in February for the best romantic restaurants in Sarasota, Michael's on East, is a fine-dining Sarasota icon that has been open since 1987. It also earned a spot this earlier year on OpenTable’s Top 100 Romantic Restaurants in America 2024 list. Michael's will be serving Easter brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., priced at $89.95 for adults and $49.95 for children ages 3-10. The extravagant feast will feature equally impressive cold and hot buffet stations as well as an omelet, pancake, and waffle station, a carving station offering prime rib and honey- and pineapple-glazed ham, and a dessert bar you won't want to skip, along with an ice cream sundae and bananas foster bar.

Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar  

5353 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; 941-925-4444; creekseafood.com 

Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar is a landmark Sarasota seafood restaurant overlooking the creek of the same name.

Open since 1978 and recently featured in The New York Times, Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar offers guests a fun, Old Florida waterfront experience, which might just include spotting an actual alligator while enjoying bites of fried gator. The menu features seafood such as stone crabs, oysters, steamer pots, and their seafood boats for two, along with an Easter special of king crab scampi fettuccine. The restaurant, which offers outdoor patios and large waterfront dining rooms, is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., including Easter.

Pier 22 and Grove

1200 First Ave. W., Bradenton; 941-748-8087; pier22.com

Pier 22 is in downtown Bradenton on the Manatee River.

10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch; 941-893-4321; grovelwr.com

One of the oldest restaurants in Bradenton, located right on the Manatee River, downtown icon Pier 22 will serve an Easter brunch buffet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. that is completely booked, followed by Easter dinner from 4 to 10 p.m. that includes favorite entrees such as the wasabi tuna, blackened ribeye, and prime dinner. Pier 22's sister restaurant, Grove in Lakewood Ranch, is also offering an Easter brunch buffet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the dining room and ballroom, and there was still availability when I checked online March 20. Grove's holiday dinner menu will then be available 4-10 pm. in the dining room.

The Ritz-Carlton

1111 Ritz Carlton Drive, Sarasota; ritzcarlton.com

Offering covered outdoor and indoor waterfront seating on the first floor overlooking a channel of water that flows into Sarasota Bay, Jack Dusty manages to be effortlessly trendy with a friendly Florida feel thanks to its nautical-themed setting and stylish bar.

For those craving an elegant Easter dining experience, check out The Ritz-Carlton's ballroom brunch, being served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guests are invited to wear their Sunday best and enjoy live entertainment, along with "a variety of elevated culinary stations, a larger-than-life dessert display, and a buffet for the small bunnies." For reservations, call 941-309-2401. The Ritz-Carlton will also be serving a breakfast buffet from 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in its Jack Dusty waterfront restaurant, followed by an à la carte menu available from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. For reservations at Jack Dusty, call 941-309-2266.

State Street Eating House + Cocktails

1533 State St., Sarasota; 941-951-1533; statestreetsrq.com

State Street Skillet is on the brunch menu at State Street Eating House + Cocktails in downtown Sarasota.

Offering indoor seating with two bar areas as well as sidewalk tables on, yes, State Street, in downtown Sarasota, this New American dining and (craft cocktail) drinking destination serves brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. While the menu is full of highlights, the State Street Skillet remains a must-try for all carnivores. The restaurant also serves a commendable croissant egg sandwich (go with the sausage over bacon for this one) along with a standout burger and the equally tasty Naked Brunch Burger. The restaurant has announced its "culinary team has been hard at work, infusing the spirit of Easter into every dish" — and be sure to order one of their award-winning cocktails such as the White Linen made with gin, St-Germain, cucumber and lemon.

🔎Article provided by: Wade Tatangelo of Hearldl-Tribune : https://www.heraldtribune.com/story/entertainment/dining/2024/03/21/best-restaurants-for-easter-brunch-sarasota-bradenton/73040117007/

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