Get To Know Someone New at Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar's Thanksgiving Feast

Hunting & Gathering

BY JOHN WITTE SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING TUESDAY NOV 19, 2019

One can imagine the first Thanksgiving, Abenaki and Wampanoag filling in the largely empty seats of the Plymouth colony's sparsely adorned main hall. There were nearly twice as many Native Americans as there were survivors from group of religious refugees and communards that had followed William Bradford to the other side of the planet; so one can assume the three groups actually mixed to a certain extent. Over the years, Thanksgiving has developed into an event that's geared more for friends and family than for unexpected connections, but the holiday remains imbued with that same sense of community and unconditional warmth. And, when one is sharing one of the great biergarten-style picnic tables at Phillippi Creek Oyster Hall, passing napkins to old friends on your right, salt and extra butter to new acquaintances on your left, it's possible to feel some connection to how that first European-American harvest festival must have been.

Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar has been in Sarasota for half a century, and the grandeur of its riverfront location might understandably distract its visitors from the grandeur of the building itself—solid wood from roots to canopy, and unexpectedly large, it feels like an old Florida fish camp zoned for mixed use as an ancient great hall. For years, they've established themselves as a comfy location for Thanksgiving revelers that would prefer to skip the kitchen, and their Thanksgiving menu reflects years of improvement. The croissant and andouille stuffing is a highlight, as is the cranberry sauce. The turkey is as juicy and fresh as you could want, and the sweet potatoes might just change your life.

The original Thanksgiving, of course, was a celebration of the land and its bounty, and so it's appropriate that Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar also maintains its usual selection of classic seafood offerings through the Thanksgiving holiday. If you decide to skip the turkey and indulge in a heaping plate of Florida stone crab, linguini and clams, or a pound and a half of steamed lobster, you won't regret the decision. The seafood far surpasses even Sarasota's stringent standards, so you may find yourself asking for a second ramekin of melted butter before the meal is through.

Give yourself a break this Thanksgiving, and get to know you neighbors. Save the dishes for the staff at Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar.

Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar will be open on Thanksgiving Day serving the full menu and Thanksgiving-inspired favorites.

Photo provided by Sammi Battista

Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar

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