THE ATMOSPHERE AT SERVANDOS, purveyor of REVOLUTIONARY Pan American cuisine, fairly thrums with creative energy. Live music fills the front bar area on most nights and guests in the main dining room share plates of hot and cold tapas, all the while watching enthralled as various artists create paintings on the main stage. In the center of it all, the focal point is a large open kitchen and wide counter lined with coveted front row seating.

The show in the kitchen is less frenetic than the music and less meditative than the live painting; this show is about the complex shorthand that exists between a chef and his team. Chef Joe DiMaggio, Jr. exudes a zen-like air of ineffable charisma and easy charm. He wordlessly holds out a hand as if he is a surgeon asking for a scalpel and a sous-chef knows exactly the instrument he requires. Chef Joe leans forward and smiles as he describes the dish proffered for a guest seated at the Chef’s Table; it’s a hot tapas plate: Grandma’s Eggplant with fresh mint and San Marzano tomatoes. This dish represents Chef Joe’s culinary philosophy as clearly as the next dish—a flatbread pizza layered with coconut curry, kofta lamb, mint oil, cardamom yogurt and feta cheese.

Chef Joe travelled to and lived in many different countries and today is proficient in the cuisine of at least 35 of them. He honors his Italian roots with the simplicity of the eggplant, demonstrating a refined restraint that highlights the fresh ingredients and follows it up with a dish that delivers an intense interpretation of Moroccan, Indian, Greek and Thai flavors that speaks to the palate on a visceral level. This, then, is the ‘revolutionary’ aspect of Servandos: the chef refuses to be contained by a genre. This is a music venue/artists’ loft/fine dining/street food joint. There is truly something for everyone—something joyful and delicious and interesting. Chef Joe wouldn’t have it any other way.

Servandos, 1525 4th St., Sarasota, 941-954-7400.