Mediterraneo, in the heart of Sarasota's downtown shopping area, is an extremely popular spot - they will try to accommodate walk-ins but there are no guarantees and a reservation is recommended. The menu is primarily Italian, casual food served in a surprisingly formal setting. The staff was nice but a bit overworked when I was there, and the food was good but not dazzling. Stewed calamari was rubbery and not particularly flavorful, and the much touted pizzas from a wood fired oven were good but not great. A seafood pasta special was very good - fresh-tasting linguine with plenty of clams, mussels and shrimp. I was with a group of six others and while many dishes were good there wasn't a rave at our table. We had to keep calling servers to fill the water glasses, and had to ask twice for bread to be replenished. The staff were nice enough but this felt very much like a small town restaurant aiming for a big city presence. The modern decor, which I understand is fairly new, was cold and the effort by the staff to quickly turn our table on a Friday evening was annoying. In short, Mediterraneo was expensive and a bit disappointing.
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