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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Weekend Watering Hole: Fred's, Sarasota, Fla.

As a regular weekend feature, Lyke2Drink will visit some of the world's great watering holes. This week we head to the Gulf Coast of Florida to visit a restaurant where wine is king.

Fred's Restaurant
1917 S. Osprey Ave.
Sarasota, FL 34239
(941) 364-5811

On a recent business trip to Sarasota I was part of a group that had the chance to go to Fred's, part of the city's Southside Village. Fred's is really four places in one. There is the main restaurant, an alfresco set of tables on the sidewalk, a bar area with booths and an adjoining space called the Tasting Room. For a city of its size, Sarasota has a bushel full of quality restaurants. Fred's is among the best.

Fred's menu offered a range of seafood, steaks and chicken. I went with the pan-seared red snapper with herbed chick pea puree and found it to be quite satisfying. Others enjoyed the sea scallops, grilled yellow fin tuna steaks and New York strip steaks.

I was impressed with Fred's massive wine list, which has won the Wine Spectator Award several times. If you are looking for high end wines in this part of Florida you would be hard pressed to find another list with as many $100+ (many well over this mark) wines. I was a little more conservative in ordering wine, but still found three very good wines on the list: a 2003 Grosset “Polish Hill” Riesling, Clare Valley, Australia; a 2004 MacCrostie Chardonnay, Carneros, California; and a 2004 B.R. Cohn Silver Label Cabernet Sauvignon, North Coast, California.

If you have not been excited by a wine list in sometime, it's worth a stop at Fred's.

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