Word of Mouth Sarasota downtown is still going strong as the great place for breakfast that it’s always been. But check out their dinner options as well – there’s something here for everyone!
711 South Osprey Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236
Cuisine: Breakfast, Brunch, American
Price Rating: Entrees $10-$15
Review Date: July 19 and July 22, 2012
This review is part of a series of restaurant reviews that follows The Watering Mouth’s restaurant review guidelines.
Background Info on the Review
I have heard so many great things about Word of Mouth over the years that I’ve lived in Sarasota that you would think I’d have tried it out sooner. But this restaurant review was the first time I’ve been, and I’m glad I went. I decided to split this review into two parts so that I could highlight two aspects of the offerings at Word of Mouth on Osprey in downtown Sarasota. Because most people know that they serve breakfast and brunch/lunch here, but I think that many really have no idea that you can get dinner here as well! So I focused my food review on the dinner offerings, while my anonymous reviewers spent their energy experiencing the breakfast. Keep in mind, that for my dinner reviews, I am served smaller portions than you would normally receive during your visit.
Cheri’s Food Review
I love the outdoor dining area of this restaurant; it’s spacious and looks so nice and relaxing with a fountain and nice iron tables and chairs. There is actually a great deal of tables here, and if you’re coming down for vacation from a really cold climate, I am sure that this large offering of outdoor seating is a welcome respite from the flurries and blizzards of the North. Though you probably won’t catch many of us locals sweating it out out there, you’re welcome to it!
Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Salad ($5.99). Fresh mozzarella atop sliced tomatoes, drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette and garden fresh basil, plus a little spinach as well, I think! The mozzarella was fresh and light and created a really delightful little salad – with the fresh basil and juicy tomato, it made for a great starter.
**** Catch of the Day, Corvina ($13.99). The Corvina fish was my absolute favorite meal of the night. I’m told this is a wild-caught South American fish. Served with a lemon dill sauce, the fish was cooked absolutely perfectly. Tender, still juicy, it had a beautiful brown crust on the top which gave it just the perfect texture. The light dusting of capers sprinkled on top (just the amount I like) served as a perfect accompaniment over top of the fish and didn’t overpower it at all. I would order this meal again in a heartbeat.
Chicken Parmesan (12.99). The breaded chicken was very tender and juicy with some gooey cheese on top – the kind that stretches out when you lift your fork! The sauce was chunky and had some really nice spices in it to bring out a nice, complex flavor. The noodles were a bit overcooked for my taste, but overall, the meal was very tasty.
Braised Short Ribs ($14.99). This happened to be one of the specials for the evening – it was good comfort food. I’m not sure how often they feature this, but the short ribs are literally falling apart and covered in a rich, salty sauce. The pasta was a bit overdone for my taste again, but is covered in a creamy, cheesy chive sauce that does its part to make up for it. A little birdie told me there was some havarti in there, yum!
Sesame Tofu ($9.99). This was a grilled, marinated slice of tofu (normally served over rice pilaf) with sautéed vegetables and toasted sesame seeds. I will not claim to be a tofu expert but I have to say that this dish was very satisfying. The tofu was very soft and had a delicate flavoring. All of vegetables worked perfectly together and were not overdone at all; they were still very crispy and pleasant. The ginger asian stir-fry sauce first gave off a smoky flavor that melted into the delicate soy sauce sweet flavoring; I rather liked it and thought it complimented the delicate vegetable and tofu flavoring.
Peanut Butter Blast. This just looks like it’s done right. I saw it for the first time and immediately got excited, my hands started sweating, my heart started beating faster – it just looked so beautiful on the plate. And I was right, it was really good, and not overpowering at all. I did however, wish the peanut butter flavor was played up a little bit more, but even so, it was really satisfying and not too sickeningly sweet. There was a nice, crunchy, sugary caramel sauce and chocolate sauce on the plate that was fun to try to scoop up with my fork.
New York Cheesecake. Oh my gosh. Now I’m not going to say I’m a cheesecake expert but let’s just say I learned a little bit about cheesecake when I lived in New York City for 3 years. And this is the exact kind of cheesecake that I love. It’s not a ricotta cheesecake. It’s the dense and completely creamy, soft, thick amazing kind of cheesecake. Fresh berries on the side make you feel like you’re almost having a bit of healthiness. And the lime sauce is a really nice touch, which gives it another fresh kick (and I’m sure also single-handedly cancels out all the calories in the cheesecake). I may or may not have saved this as a substitute for my lunch the next day. You can’t prove anything.
Cloaked Restaurant Review
This is the part where I have an anonymous review done to critique the entire restaurant experience in a undercover way so that you can get a good idea of what it’s like for the typical restaurant-goer like yourself! It keeps us all honest!! Here’s what they said:
Word of Mouth is one of those Sarasota legends that has slowly expanded to become a fixture. The downtown location where we went is sophisticated, and sees people looking for a healthier breakfast or just a coffee at the counter, with many regulars coming to and from the gym or bicycling. This location fits right in on the corner section of a building and has a modern decor, with dark wood floors, sleek countertops and a spacious ceiling. On nicer days, their outdoor seating is a huge plus.
We started with a simple Blueberry muffin, which form prior experience is not only tasty, but is best when served grilled and slightly dark. Their muffins and biscuits have never disappointed, and are obviously made fresh instead of recycled from days earlier. For our meals, I settled into the Corned Beef Hash, which is served with tomato slices, toast, and eggs to order. My scrambled hard eggs are always done the way I want, but the Corned Beef Hash really stands out. It’s not Hormel’s canned variety (which I will accept in the comfort of my own home, but not when I’m out). It’s not processed meat and chopped potato bits. It’s fresh, it’s real corned beef, it’s actually diced potatoes, and it’s mixed and tossed with onion, green and red pepper, giving it a sweet kick that is always missing in other breakfast spots. My sidekick ordered the Lox Omelette, which is also served with toast and a side of potatoes. The omelette was great, with generous amounts of salmon and capers throughout the omelette, and when supplemented with a bit of cream cheese (not included), it becomes an excellent take on a traditional breakfast dish. The potato side really stood out, with diced chunks of skin-on red potato well done and tossed with garlic, onion and a light oil, then smothered in cheese (salsa was offered but turned down). There are plenty of standards on the menu, with healthy alternatives and gluten-free dishes highlighted in case you’re in the mood to avoid the guilty-pleasure stuff. A nice touch from our super-friendly waitress was a complimentary refill on my apple juice, which I drink on ice. Normally it’s not free for seconds, but she offered a second one on the house without being prompted as a show of fairness to getting half a glass of ice and half of an actual serving of juice. Our normal waiter, who we have had the last four or five times we’ve been there, was absent today, but is just as personable.
Word of Mouth, at this location, has been trying for several years to branch out into dinner offerings, but the breakfast is what spread the word in the first place, and it’s still going strong. Health nuts and diner-divers alike will find items of interest on the menu, served not only with style and flavor not found elsewhere, but also in a setting that’s at once modern and comfortable.
Cloaked Review Ratings
|Food Quality & Menu|
Go to my Flickr account to check out my Word of Mouth, Sarasota, FL, Restaurant Review images set to see the full set of pics.