Fire and Smoke in The Lounge at Element

Good Bite

When The Lounge at Element opened earlier this year, the space hoped to find a concept and identity that would stick. It shares back-of-house infrastructure with Element, where executive chef Nils Tarantik has amassed quite a following and, just as important, assembled quite a staff. And so, The Lounge provided an opportunity for him and his team of chefs to flex their culinary creativity and offer diners a tasting room of sorts where the outfit can try out its crazy new ideas. 

“I get bored really quickly with our menu,” jokes Tarantik, “that’s why most of the Element menu on any given night is specials.” Recently, The Lounge played host to Culinary Culture, a pop-up series of menus that featured specials celebrating the broad cultural make-up of Tarantik’s kitchen staff. But Tarantik certainly has some room to play around with new ideas too. 

One such crazy new idea is the bacon kebab. Featuring skewered pork belly and peppadew peppers, the Happy Hour bite packs an enormous amount of punch. That punch comes courtesy of two things. The first is smoke. Each skewer exudes as much crackling haze as a 12-hour smoked brisket pulled from a barrel smoker. The second is heat, which comes courtesy of the peppadew peppers and the black pepper that flecks the brown sugar glaze on each kebab. The result is an amount of heat and smoke that, were it not contained on such a bite-sized plating, might warrant a call to 9-1-1.  

And in the spirit of newness, The Lounge announces an all-new food and beverage menu on November 1st. So get your fire and smoke kebab while you can. 

Happy Hour runs Thursday through Saturday from 4-6 p.m.

The Lounge at Element, 1409 Main St., Sarasota, 941-724-8585.

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