What’s new … beyond the bridges

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By Jane Bartnett

Have you heard about The Point? It’s a wonderful waterfront restaurant and lounge on Little Sarasota Bay in Osprey that opened its doors in October. If you’re coming from Siesta Key, head south on Tamiami Trail and at Bayview Drive drive a short distance toward the water and be prepared for a pleasant surprise.

Fans of Evie’s Spanish Point Tiki Bar, the open-air waterfront eatery that was a well-kept secret among locals, will know this location. The Point sits only steps away from Evie’s, which is still a fun place to gather in an ultra casual setting to enjoy live music, basic fare, and large tables for group gatherings. But, if you’re in the mood for a slightly more upscale lunch, dinner or cocktail time, The Point awaits.

The Point in Osprey offers great views of Little Sarasota Bay. (photo by Jane Bartnett)

Designed with a welcoming coastal vibe, the three-story pale-blue restaurant that faces the water and is trimmed in white with a tin roof.  It could easily be mistaken for a large luxurious home. On the first floor, a wide open seating area complete with outdoor couches, chairs and a fire pit faces the water and grassy lawn that slopes down to the dock. It’s a great place to meet friends for a drink and watch the sunset.

Upstairs on the second floor, accessible by elevator or stairs, panoramic windows offer diners beautiful elevated views of the bay. They surround a large dining room and bar area that is filled with light-colored tables and chairs. There’s plenty of outdoor dining that also features water views.

On the third floor you’ll find one of the best places around to catch a beautiful sunset and enjoy a relaxing drink and some live entertainment.

Open for lunch, dinner and cocktails, The Point also offers a kids menu for both lunch and dinner, making it a great family place. There’s mac-n-cheese, hamburgers, pizza and more. Adult diners will enjoy the mix of Florida and New England dishes that include Bangin’ Shrimp, The Point’s North Atlantic lobster roll, a surf and turf tower, filet mignon, southern style shrimp and grits, and grilled grouper. The varied menu has something for every taste.

The Point also offers its guests a delicious selection of original cocktails as well as a full wine menu.  Beer lovers will discover an interesting collection of local and Florida draft beers, plus time-honored favorites.

Most people tend to drive to The Point, but if you’re a sailor just pull up to the dock and stay awhile before heading out again.

The Point is located at 131 Bayview Drive and is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Its kitchen closes nightly at 9 p.m. The daily happy hour runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reservations can only be made online through its Facebook page. Call (941) 786-3890 or go to eviesonline.com.

Another tasty new find on the dining scene is Island House Taqueria at 2773 Bee Ridge Rd. Previously occupied by Tacos-to-Go, this new spot is brought to you by the folks who own Island House Tap & Grill on Siesta Key. This is the place to find great tacos and really good authentic Mexican food. For its grand opening, stop in on May 5 and join in the celebration of the Cinco de Mayo Mexican holiday, honoring Mexico’s victory at the Battle of Puebla over the French in 1862. Visit Island House Taqueria on Facebook.

On a hot day or balmy evening, nothing beats a delicious ice cream cone eaten on a deck overlooking the water. Sound good? Well, Lickity Splits Ice Cream, the new little spot open at 1502 Stickney Point Rd. on the mainland side of the South Bridge, is for you. Its creamy and delicious hyper-local Florida ice cream, created in Lakewood Ranch, is made with a small-batch process that sets it apart. Drop in and choose one, two or even three of the 85 flavors. Check out its Facebook page and see pictures of the delectable ice cream cones in a rainbow of colors.

Kayla Cary serves up a tasty treat at Lickity Splits. (photo by John Morton)

Lickity Splits is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sundays.

Rounding out our new list of dining discoveries is 5-0 Donuts’ new location at the Shops at Siesta Row,  3800 S. Tamiami Trail. It’s the third store in Sarasota and the largest — the two other locations are 7119 S. Tamiami Tr. and 2241 Ringling Blvd.

Magically delicious and beautifully crafted donuts are made here each day for those lucky enough to snatch them up before they’re all sold out. Proof that the early bird gets the donut, the store’s hours are limited to 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Finally, before heading out to these special places, make sure that you look and feel your best. Don’t you deserve some pampering? Plan a visit to the recently opened Noire Nail Bar in the Landings Shopping Center at 4850 South Tamiami Tr. and treat yourself to a relaxing and refreshing spa-like experience. Enjoy specialized manicures and pedicures, plus beauty treatments ranging from eyelash extensions to facials and waxing.

Special services for children under the age of 10 are also offered. Book your appointment online at noirethenailbarsarasota.com/book or call (941) 706-0860. It is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.

John Morton
Author: John Morton

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