Experience a meal with all your senses—feel the music saturate your palate as you swing to the beat of folk notes, Cuban flare and good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll at these Sarasota restaurants that combine the power of song with the rush of taste.


Band: Hymn for Her 

Dish: Low Country Boil

Chill out in one of the best outdoor spaces in Sarasota while local folk/blues/“desert rock psychedelia” band Hymn for Her croon and strum Old South ballads once described as a cross between Hell’s Angels and the Amish. Partners in music as well as in life, Lucy Tight and Wayne Waxing fit perfectly into the landscape of Owen’s Fish Camp, complete with Tight’s yellow cigar box guitar and grassroots attitude. Watch kiddos whoosh through the air on the backyard tire swing while you split the low country boil, full of tried-and-true Florida charm in the form of crab legs, shrimp, mussels, clams, Andouille sausage, potatoes and corn.  


Band: Ari and the Alibis
Heart of Dixie Burger

Fusion group Ari and the Alibis pack a serious punch, flitting between funk, jazz, samba, blues and rock. The five band members, led by vocal powerhouse Arielleh “Ari” McManus, jam and jive together with clear exuberant abandon. The Blue Rooster gives the funky group the lifted stage it deserves, encouraging listeners to take in the strength of the music while appreciating the same in the food. For a dish equaling McManus’ vibrato, go with the gigantic Heart of Dixie Burger; 100 percent black angus beef with house-cured pork belly, gouda cheese and arugula is served with sorghum bacon jam.


Band: Renesito Avich

Dish: Tapas Trio

On Tuesday nights at Burns Court Café, you’ll want to order light. When Renesito Avich is up front, dancing is a given and staying seated is no longer necessary. Bringing the full flavor of Cuban Tres guitar to Sarasota, Avich’s hip-swinging, clear-voiced style brings rapt diners to their feet despite the intimate space, his exploration of Latin rhythms and styles making for a luxuriant evening. Order finger foods you can snack on while sambaing, such as the Tapas Trio plated on a baguette; go for the duet boursin, roasted eggplant and artichoke tapenade. 


Band: Hot Club SRQ

Dish: The Zoë Sandwich

Close your eyes—suddenly you’re strolling the moonlit cobblestone streets of Paris, wandering amongst the mystical melody of a floating jazz manouche. Open your eyes to marvel at the terrasse at Café in the Park, a slice of Paris in Downtown Sarasota, especially on nights when gypsy jazz group Hot Club SRQ plays. Armed with nimble violins and sweeping guitars, the songs pair nicely with the Zoë sandwich, a creation that will similarly take your psyche across oceans, this time to Brussels. Prosciutto and
goat cheese get sprinkled with young pine nuts and drizzled with local orange blossom honey, served
on a toasted baguette.


Band: Twinkle & Rock Soul Radio

Dish: Cornbread Smokestack

Classic Florida vibes are what you’ll find at Stottlemeyer’s Smokehouse—a local legend for its fried chicken. Sit under the thatched roof and satiate your cravings with a Cornbread Smokestack; mammoth buttery cornbread cakes get slathered in 14-hour smoked beef brisket or slow-cooked pulled pork, topped with creamy remoulade, barbecue sauce and tangy slaw. Just like the sweet and smoky cornbread combo, don’t let lead singer Twinkle’s blonde hair and angelic face fool you—she belts out rock ‘n’ roll tunes with spicy rasp.

Owen’s Fish Camp, 516 Burns Ln., Sarasota, 941-951-6936. The Blue Rooster, 1525 4th St., Sarasota, 941-388-7539. Burns Court Café, 401 South Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, 941-312-6633. Café in the Park, 2010 Adams Ln., Sarasota, 941-361-3032. Stottlemeyer’s Smokehouse, 19 East Rd., Sarasota, 941-312-5969.