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Uva Rara Restaurant of Sarasota Review

Review - 1=Excellent - 2=Very Good - 3=Good 4=Fair 5=Poor

For details on Uva Rara of Sarasota, click here.

Anonymous party of 3 had dinner at Uva Rara in Sarasota and rated the Salmon special of the day. Red snapper off the menu and my 7 year old grandson had a special dish cooked for him of plain noodles and plain chicken with parmesan cheese excellent because, "The food was the best we have had in Sarasota since moving here last year." and writes on February 7, 2007, "Last evening we had a wonderful experience of dining at the Uva Rara. We had been recommended to go there.
We did not have a reservation but were able to be seated right away. The place reminded us of a typical European restaurant so did the service. It is a great place to go if you like a leisurely dining experience. The Salmon that I had was beautifully cooked and presented in a unique dish. My daughter had the Red Snapper off the menu. She was very impressed with it. My grandson who is a very fussy eater had plain grilled chicken and plain pasta noodles with parmesan cheese. What a joy to find a great place to dine in Sarasota. We will be back."
Service Rating: 2
Ambience Rating: 2
Wine List Rating: 3
Cleanliness Rating: 1
Kid Friendly Rating: 2
Value Rating: 2
Overall Experience: 2

An anonymous writer rated the food excellent and writes on 02/14/04: "I have eaten at Uva Rara at least 4 times in my visits to Sarasota and the food seems to get more exciting every time. Although reservations are a must, they are very accommodating for last minute drop-ins, crowd permitting. The wine list is eclectic enough to indulge most palates, but the food and its presentation is far and above most restaurants in Sarasota. From linguine with shrimp to ossa buco and a trout that was sublime, Uva Rara pleases every palate that it touches. My wife, who has eaten at the best restaurants such as Lutece, can't be convinced to go anywhere else in Sarasota. From my experience with other Sarasota restaurants, I have to agree."

An anonymous writer who has eaten at Uva Rara 15 times says the food was excellent because, "authentic, expertly prepared - fabulous!" and writes on 1/28/2004: "An absolute jewel in Sarasota. Pablo and Oscar provide imaginative, expertly prepared food in a warm friendly atmosphere. The best food on the west coast of Florida - hands down. Wait staff is professional and knowledgeable about the food and wine. We entertain there frequently and it is always an exceptional experience."

An anonymous writer from Sarasota writes on 4/19/2003  "Even though the food was good, it was overpriced for salad and pasta, I don't care if it was homemade. However, the overall experience was spoiled by the absolute disinterest of the waiter. While he took care of our needs and requests, we did not feel welcome."

Gary Swisher writes on 8/7/2001: "A friend of mine and his wife had called to meet us at this new restaurant that had came highly recommended from the concierge at the Longboat Key Club. We had a nice bottle of Italian wine. Since my friends had been to Italy, they were able to ask for specific variations of the meals on the menu and the owner was more than happy to accommodate the requests. I had Gnocchi in Alfredo sauce that I absolutely loved. My friends also raved over the authenticity of the food and its preparation. Our food, service and the atmosphere at the restaurant were wonderful. I have vowed to become a regular and will recommend Uva Rara to all of my friends."

C A Peck of Sarasota writes on 11/7/2000: "Having a mother, born and raised in Northern Italy, I often venture with trepidation to supposedly "Italian" restaurants. More often than not, I am disappointed when confronted with food that has been "Americanized" beyond recognition or is defeated by poor ingredients and heavy-handed preparation.
Recently, my wife and I noted a sign that indicated a new Italian restaurant would be opening in Burns Court, across from the movie theatres. One day, while walking, we encountered the restaurateurs getting the site ready and learned that they were two young men from Torino in Northern Italy, and what really caught our attention was that one man's mother was to be the chef. That made it worth a visit, for sure.
Soon after opening, we visited Uva Rara for dinner. We were not disappointed.
The restaurant itself is quite small and intimate and includes indoor seating and well as a nice patio out back that is most enjoyable. The tables are rather small, but handsomely and simply decorated with white table clothes, linen napkins and crystal wine glasses.
The menu is a simple rendition of various Northern Italian specialties, including both pastas, meats and fishes. Each night there are also specials, depending on the fresh ingredients available and the preferences of the chef. Quite worthy of note is the fact that all --even side dishes and complements-- are prepared to order. Nothing has been made in advance. This makes the food incredibly fresh and almost homemade in its effect.
We both started dinner with mixed salads, which were exceedingly fresh and blended with a wonderful, flavorful light olive-oil-based dressing. My wife ordered one of the specials of the evening, a combination of made-on-site rigatoni and fresh salmon in a delicate light cream sauce. This was delicious both in quality of the pasta and the delicately mingled flavors. 
I had a regular menu item, the veal pizzaiola. In my estimation this was one of the best renditions of this dish I have ever tasted. The veal was thin and tender and was immersed in a wonderful sauce, consisting of fresh tomatoes, grated cheeses and spices. There was a perfect balance in the flavors, and the sauce gently complimented the veal, not smothering it in strong flavors or heavy texture. In a word, it was exquisite.
We accompanied our dinners with house Chianti, which was quite serviceable and had a bottle of mineral water. The wine list is limited, at present, and mostly Italian. it could benefit from some expansion and diversity.
Following dinner, my wife and I shared a freshly-made zabaglione over raspberries. This, too, was excellent. Espresso completed our meal.
Commenting on the service, I would say that it is very friendly and personal and unhurried and casual, as we have enjoyed in Northern Italy itself. This may be a bit slower than some patrons expect. The evening and food at Uva Rara are to be lingered over, not rushed.
In summary, a dinner at Uva Rara is comfortable in its surroundings and delivered without fanfare, but it is the food that is the centerpiece of the experience, and a wonderful focus it does make. This Italian food is both genuine in style and wonderful to the taste.
We hope that Uva Rara prospers and becomes a fixture on the local dining scene. Without doubt, it deserves success."



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