This Week in Sarasota

Clásico Café + Bar has all the ingredients for a good party: live music, food, a great bar and a chic space that makes it easy to mingle. It’s an ideal venue to meet new friends and bump into familiar faces, not to mention a comfortable walk in heels from the public garage or street parking, with plenty of seating options inside and out.

I loved our improvised specialty drinks, concocted on the spot by Chris, which quickly became popular among an admiring crowd. They were too good not to share! The dance floor was hot as we were entertained with sultry Latin tunes by Nic & Ari. An attentive staff kept up their pace and smiles as things got busy. Overall, Clásico is it for get-togethers and celebrations!

Yelp Reviews

Nick Z.
Clearwater, FL

I was walking around Sarasota with my GF, when we randomly selected this place.
We thought “what the heck” let’s give it a try. The inside decor was cool. They had only been open a few weeks and we checked the Yelp reviews as there was only 3 at the time.

I ordered this Steak Sandwich with a friend Egg and my GF got a 3 taco plate.
Holy crap, they were both AMAZING. Seriously, I rarely give a place 5 Stars. I can’t remember the last time I wanted to eat both our meals. Even the veggies on the side were awesome. It was a flavor explosion.

My GF’s tacos were 3 different tacos (fish/pork/beef). We could not even decide which one we liked best because each time we took a bite we were like “oh this one, oh wait, this one”.

We wanted to get desert, but had a Half Marathon the next day, so skipped it. We want to go back ASAP and eat there again!

Beth S.
Tampa, FL

My boyfriend and I stumbled upon this place last weekend while we were staying overnight in Sarasota. We thought the menu looked interesting and decided to give it a try.

We read the three reviews on here and pointed out the one about the taco’s to the man who seated us. He let us know that they were changing the menu and that he had just taken over the restaurant. He seemed a little scattered at that point and not very thankful that we told him about the review, but it was probably because they were just setting up for dinner.

The restaurant is very cool inside. It’s got a few high top tables and a really cool bar. The bar looks like an old library with an actual ladder to climb up to get liquor bottles down. The place is tiled and just really have a cool ambiance.

The server’s assistant arrived promptly to get us waters and our server appeared shortly after to take our order. I ordered the aforementioned tacos – a fish, pork, and beef. My boyfriend ordered a steak sandwich with a fried egg and veggies as his side.

Our food arrived and we were in heaven. It’s probably one of the best meals I’ve had in a while. Each taco was better than the first and I couldn’t quite decide which one I liked the best. All three had great flavor and the corn tortillas were perfect and didn’t fall apart. My boyfriend’s sandwich was awesome and the added garlic aioli sauce gave it a great extra flavor. His veggies were roasted perfectly and not over cooked or mushy.

We really wanted to get dessert but were running a race the next day so we had to get the check and be on our way. As we were paying the gentleman who seated us came back and asked how everything was and told us thanks for letting him know about the yelp review. He redeemed himself and we let him know we’d be back and to please keep both of those items on the new menu. He said they are opening for breakfast soon so we’ll definitely have to check that out.

Graciany M.
Sarasota, FL

Fabulous place! Great food, very friendly staff, excellent drinks, well-rounded crowd. I’m only in town for a month and a half, and this place has been, by far, my most frequented locale. Highly recommended 🙂

Tina N.
St. Petersburg, FL

My new favorite bar in SRQ! Have only tried it once and can’t wait to go back. I had a delicious gin cumber mint drink. Didn’t get a chance to try any food yet. Loved the awesome 80’s music they were playing. Was there on a Friday night, and there was a pretty good crowd, with a mix of all different types of people.

Read more reviews on Yelp!

Urban Spoon

Conrad D.
Tampa Bay, FL

interesting and fairly diverse menu, including some interesting “mixology type” cocktail options. all of our food was delicious and well executed. (get the fingerling potato side, if you get the chance — some of the best i’ve ever had.) if the weather is nice, the outdoor seating offers great people watching. my only ding would be on the service. our server seemed new to the industry — nice enough guy but was slow and really had no idea what he was doing. we weren’t in any hurry so we weren’t bothered about it.

Read more reviews on Urban Spoon!

Sarasota Patch

The greatest chicken wing in America will make an appearance in Sarasota before being devoured by hungry diners and moviegoers.

Director Matt Reynolds’ film The Great Chicken Wing Hunt, will be screened at the Sarasota Film Festival at 1:15 p.m. Monday and 9:15 p.m. Tuesday at the Regal Cinemas Hollywood 20, where his quest for the best Buffalo wings leads him to abandon his job in Europe and return to America for the ride of his life.

“We went to 72 places and tried 260-something kinds of wings in 60 days, so it was quite a marathon of wing eating,” Reynolds told Patch.

Reynolds, a native of New York’s Finger Lakes region, decided to quit his job in Europe and take a Slovak film crew and his Czech girlfriend Lucie Mayerova to go for a ride for the best Buffalo wing, a quintessential American party food that’s been around since 1964.

Reynolds, who worked as an international journalist, travels more than 2,500 miles, largely around New York, with a few stops in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Vermont, Quebec and Ontario, and ending in the home of wings—Buffalo.

“I think for people who like wings there’s a lot to learn about wings,” he said. “We make the case in the movie that it was the first uniquely American food to be spread all over the world.”

Reynolds will also host two free after parties following the screenings of his film.

The first up is at Clasico Cafe and Bar, on the corner of Main Street and Palm Avenue, from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Free wings, including what Reynolds considers the world’s greatest, will be offered, as well as free vodka cocktails sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Reynolds said.

A second party will be held from 5 to 10 p.m., Wednesday at White Buffalo Saloon, 5377 McIntosh Road, with dancing, free Tito’s cocktails and wings.

Sarasota Today

Screen Shot 2013-07-12 at 9.57.05 AMIt’s 12:30pm on a beautiful Thursday afternoon and that dreaded question appears in my mind, “Where am I going to have lunch?” I need somewhere not too crowded, quiet enough so I can hear my own thoughts and that’s not going to take up too much of my time. Driving down Main Street headed towards Palm Avenue I see a parking spot across from Clasico Cafe & Bar. I park my car and head across the street.

As I walk inside I feel the cool refreshing air-conditioning hit me, the white and black speckled tile floor helps to keep the place cool. Red bar stools and high top tables are tempting me to sit at them, but the music is a bit much for me, being that I plan on working while eating. The hostess immediately greets me with a smile. I decide to sit outside under the red umbrella where there is a breeze flowing to keep me cool.

photo-1As I get settled at my table I order a ‘Florida Cocktail’ – water with lemon. The lunch menu is perfect, giving me a handful of choices from fresh salads to sandwiches. Not 100% sure of my order yet, Marybeth, my server comes over and I ask her what she suggests. Giving me her honest opinion, I decide to ask her if I could order the Reuben with turkey instead of corn beef and pastrami, she said no problem. This sandwich otherwise known as Rachel is one of my favorites. I also order a side of potato salad, even though my sandwich comes with french fries. I love potato salad, but not a big fan of mayo, I am pretty particular on what I can handle. Marybeth tells me it’s spicy, but okay.

While my order is in, I take in the atmosphere around me before diving into my work. It’s the summer, so it’s quieter than usual. This is one of the best corners in Sarasota to people watch, the streets busy with cars and sidewalk has a good flow of people. If you lived in the area for a while, there is a good possibility you will run into someone you know, as I did. My friend from South Africa I haven’t seen in a while just finished getting his haircut and stopped by my table to say hello. Normally I would invite him to sit and talk, but I am on a deadline. Just after he leaves Marybeth comes out with my lunch.

photo-4Toasted marble rye bread with oven roasted turkey, sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese topped with thousand island dressing; visually my Rachel looks scrumptious. I take a bite, the bread precisely toasted and not overly stuffed allowing me to take lady size bites. This sandwich perfectly prepared. The chef nailed this and I’m not easily impressed.

My french fries are sprinkled with a touch of sea salt and have the ideal balance of potato and crunch, just like a french fry should. This Table for One is as happy as can be. I love when my food comes out the way I expect it to. The potato salad didn’t agree with me, and even though I told Marybeth I would be happy to wrap it up and bring to a friend, she insisted on taking it off my check. She couldn’t have been more pleasant.

Only being able to finish half my sandwich, I wrap the other half up and offered to a friend when I returned to my office. I think portion sizes are way too big here in America. I would prefer my meals served on a side plate, but having self-control and discipline is a skill we can always keep sharp. I learned to eat until I am content and not just for flavor back when I was younger.

Clasico Cafe & Bar reminds me of a classic diner in New York, but with a sophisticated feel. With complimentary wi-fi and plenty of space inside or outdoors, it’s a great place to come if you are a Table for One whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner. The atmosphere is ideal, the food is American and it’s a hot spot for locals.