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  • Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota

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Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota
Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota

Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://columbiarestaurant.com
  • Phone: (941) 388-3987
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch Daily: 11:00am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Spanish, Cuban
  • Executive Chef: Jesus Padilla Jr.
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: We offer off-site catering, please call us for details to make your special event memorable with one of our “Super Paellas.
  • Private Party Facilities: The Columbia Restaurant in Sarasota on St. Armands Circle is the perfect venue for your special event. Our Old-World Mediterranean style dining rooms lend an atmosphere of warmth and elegance to any gathering. For a small group of 28, we offer private dining space.
  • Private Party Contact: Erika Klatyik (941) 388-3987
  • Entertainment: After your meal, stroll along St. Armands Circle, resembling an elegant European market with bright tropical landscaping. It is home to more than 130 shops that pamper guests from all areas of the world. Sarasota is a cultural haven with stunning beaches and superb shops and galleries. Outdoor activities like golf, tennis, deep-sea fishing and boating are also nearby.
  • Special Events & Promotions: Although online reservations may not be available, we are still taking reservations through the restaurant.

Getting there

  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Free parking on the street, or in public parking areas surrounding St. Armands Circle.
A word from Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota
Family-owned and operated for over 100 years, Columbia has earned acclaim for its old-world charm and award-winning Spanish/Cuban cuisine and wine list. Join us for century-old family recipes like Paella "a la Valenciana," Filet Mignon "Columbia," and fresh seafood specialties. Don’t miss Columbia’s Original “1905” Salad®, prepared tableside with our delicious, freshly-made dressing, a 100-year-old family recipe of fresh garlic, oregano, wine vinegar and Spanish extra virgin olive oil. Be sure to sample a fine Spanish wine like Torres, Montecillo or Campillo. Relax outdoors on our patio, or inside our Mediterranean-style dining rooms filled with hand-painted tiles and family heirlooms. We are a sister to the Columbia in Tampa's Ybor City, founded in 1905. Children's menu available. Open 365-days a year, including all holidays.Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Diner Reviews
  • "The food and service were excellent. The settings and ambiance was fantastic as well. We will be back and have recommended it to several friends."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "We are from tampa and expected the same experience at the Sarasota location. Alas, not to be...from. flies in the dining room, sales people from a nearby retailer ( fox.y lady) coming table side to show you their wares, it was not the classy experience I had hoped for. The mojo chicken sandwich was bland, the Cuban soggy, and truly unappetizing. How sad:("
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "All the Columbia restaurants are clean, well decorated, and offer a unique dining experience. I love the cloth table linens, well dressed and attentive wait staff, and the overall atmosphere. The menu is limited, but everything on it is authentic and delicious. It is our favorite restaurant in Sarasota. can't wait to try the one in St Augustine."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "We have been in Sarasota for a year and this was the first time we went to Columbia- but it will not be the last! The menu was great, the food was delicious, and there was something for everyone on the menu. The place was jammed even for the summer and I can see why. I had the black bean soup which was to die for, and the 1910 salad - which is prepared table side and big enough for a large party to share. We want to try so many other things on the menu, we will have to make this one of our go- places to dine."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "Pros: Prompt - We made a reservation and were seated promptly. Tapas - We had the Stuffed Mushrooms and the Pork Ribs. They were excellent. Sangria - We bought a pitcher of the Red and it was delicious. Steaks - My wife had the Filet and my son had the NY Strip. Both were well prepared. Waiter - He was funny, informative and attentive. Cons: Seating - Some of the most uncomfortable seats I've ever spent an hour and a half on. Temperature - The right side of the restaurant was very hot. The left side was nice and cool. Paella - I and my friends ordered the Paella A la Valenciana. It was quite oily, salty and bland. There was little variation in taste from pork to chicken to shrimp. None of us finished and we regretted not ordering steaks."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "Excellent food Even a salad is always a special treat"
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "Like OLD Cuba or as one would imagine Cuba. The food was very good, the waiter did a great job. The Pork Cubano was excellent as were the Cuban bread, fresh butter. The dessert was chocolate cake and too big for one person. I like Tampa the original but this is much closer to where I spend time. Worth the money."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Fair food. Tapas excellent though Cuban and black bean soup missed. Mojitos too sweet/lack seltzer. Bread perfect"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "I made this reservation explaining that this was my Mom's 70th birthday lunch. I expected them to do something (bring out a special dessert or something), but instead, they completely ignored it. My Mom was very disappointed which broke my heart."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "One of my favorite restaurants of all time. I've been to all three and consider myself lucky to live in Sarasota, close to the Columbia!"
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "A visit to this restaurant is always a treat with great food and that special Columbia atmosphere. We love the 1905 salad!"
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "We always make it appoint to dine here when in town due to the quality of service, the great food and the location..... Noise level is a little to high sometimes...."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "Shibhone (spelling? Gaelic not my specialty) did an outstanding job - knowledgeable about the menu and extremely kind - the food was good - a great lunch overall."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "Our reservation was honored and we were seated immediately, even though we were a few minutes early and the restaurant was packed. Service and food was very good."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "Our group of friends has a nice time for lunch at Columbia. The sangria and the warm Cuban bread are wonderful! I would go back to try more of items from their extensive menu : )"
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Upon reading recent reviews online (poor service), I was hesitant to go back to the Columbia. We ventured forth with trepidation, but happy to say pleasantly surprised by the cordial (if hurried) service given to us by Nicoletta. She was very friendly and efficient, with no attitude at all. My only disappointment was with getting "splashed" by her while she was preparing our 1905 salad. She was obviously in a very big hurry and both liquid and lettuce were flying around. The food was good, but not great. I've had better at previous visits. As always the location is good for people watching; mojitos aren't to be missed."
    Dined on 6/9/2014
  • "The food was outstanding! However, I was disappointed with the service and comfort. When I placed this reservation I mentioned it was our 30th wedding anniversary in the additional information. I thought someone may have considered the information and congratulated us, but no one did and I wondered why I added this to our reservation. Our waitress never came back to the table after serving our meal until we were finished (I couldn't even find her when I needed my water filled during the meal!) The bathroom was dirty and trash was overflowing. Even though we were inside with the fans on, it was uncomfortably hot. The food was absolutely wonderful, but I was dissapointed that we chose this restaurant to celebrate a very important event."
    Dined on 6/8/2014
  • "Whenever wvacatiin in the area, we make a point to eat a Columbia. Ate early so noise/crowd wasn't a factor. The Chacho Filet is excellent. The Grouper Jimmy is simple and delicious. The White Chocolate Bread Pudding is one of the best desserts I've ever eaten! Always enjoy our experience here."
    Dined on 6/2/2014
  • "We had a reservation for a birthday lunch celebration with visiting children in town - 4 people. Waited about 10 minutes - given a table just inside the main dining room - not the best table since it was a special time. Waited a while for our waiter - asked if they could fix our wobbly table, but it never was. Our food arrived within a reasonable time - their "known for" salad was excellent - as always - rest of our meal was quite good. Had to ask again for a second drink, but it finally did arrive. Busy when we first arrived, but thinned out as we continued our meal. Will always go back here and will recommend to others - it's a very nice restaurant and the food is always good. Cuban sandwiches are one of the best in town."
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "We had such a great time for this special dinner. We drove to Sarasota for the weekend and Columbia was a highlight of our weekend. Joseph, our waiter, was very good being an experienced restauranteur. The meal, wine, and service was spectacular. "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "Our evening dinner with another couple was superb. Our waiter was friendly, knowledgeable, and prompt. Each of us really enjoyed the entree we picked. Our friends from out of town were impressed with the experience. The menu and food quality were comparable to that in the Columbia's charter restaurant in Ybor City in Tampa, which is always excellent. Overall it was a memorable experience."
    Dined on 5/28/2014
  • "We took my sister in law for a a Birthday lunch. Arrived and seated right away. My brother was looking for an authentic Cuban sandwich and he found it here. Our Sampler plate was awesome too. And they brought a Birthday desert. The service was perfect. We will be back! "
    Dined on 5/28/2014
  • "I was looking forward to The Columbia reservation all weekend... We arrived at 7 sharp and were seated outside, a quite lovely evening for outside dining. It went downhill from there. Server was unfriendly and told us he was from Puerto Rico and wouldn't make his pork "the way they do" there, said he did not recommend the paella, the water tasted like dishwater (we asked it to be replaced), the food was bland and dirty rice very oily. This restaurant is highly over rated, I won't be returning. The hightlight was the patio dining and people watching. Sadly, it's gone downhill ...."
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "Ordered a fish dish, asked if it was spicy (menu did not say spicy), came out with red pepper seeds/flakes and was VERY spicy. Waitress quickly said she'd get a mild version, 20 minutes later (after my family had finished their dinners) brought out a disgusting, uncooked piece of fish drenched in a puddle of butter. Sent it back, asked for a menu to get a salad. Took her 10 minutes to bring a menu then 20 minutes to bring the salad. In the end said," Don't worry, my manager removed the cost of the fish," as if he had done me a favor. Still charged for the salad and everything else, although I ate very late and alone while my family watched. What a HORRIBLE dining experience!"
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "We have eaten at this restaurant and the food is always wonderful. This time our service was really poor which us unusual. Our waiter would disappear. It took forever to get our food and we had to ask for drink refills."
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "As a tourist it's sometime difficult to find a suitable dining experience for an anniversary; Open Table allowed us to make the right choice as we were well-treated with great food and service. A slight mixup regarding the leftovers resulted in an appropriate discount to the final bill."
    Dined on 5/22/2014
  • "We have been to the Columbia Restaurant in Sarasota every trip to the area & it has to be our favourite? Service, atmosphere and most importantly the food outstanding! This time we brought friends who also loved the place."
    Dined on 5/19/2014
  • "Outstanding Restaurant! Service awesome! Food...great presentation! 1905 Salad perfect! Always go when in Florida..worth the drive!!"
    Dined on 5/19/2014
  • "As from Texas picked via yahoo. Seeking on the beach with friends. Shocked to see swarm of people, not on beach. noisy. What saved day was great food and our server was the best."
    Dined on 5/18/2014
  • "Food and service is amazing. Sangria is a must have, and it's prepared table side. "
    Dined on 5/12/2014
  • "I wrote the restaurant the other day and got no response. I heard more dropped trays/broken dishes than in my entire life. It was so extremely noisy. The food was great as usual. I never got my drink order after asking twice I abandoned the idea and after two requests for water finally got that. I was actually embarrassed that I had asked two people new to the area to come with us tho I did tell them it wasn't the usual. I have had by far better experience with drop in than the other night with a reservation."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Went there for mothers day family and I had great meals. They were ultra busy so food did take a while to get to us. The bread was excellent especially with the butter. Family seemed to enjoy the portion sizes and the drinks were great. On the bad side the sodas hardly had flavor and keep in mind to make reservations on special days. Even though I made one I to this day am not sure if open table actually put it in. But OK service great food and alcoholic drinks. Sodas were OK and it was very crowded but again It was mothers day. One last thing for 4 people the table with the plate and the silverware was very crowded. But food was worth it and a return visit on a. Less crowded day."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "We don't hesitate to eat at Columbia's when we are in Sarasota. We met family for Mother's Day dinner and were not disappointed. We have never had a bad meal here. I thought we would be rushed because it was Mother's Day, but not so. We were able to eat at our leisure and talk over coffee and dessert. A day well spent in Sarasota & at Columbia's."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "We had a few appetizer. From Croquetas de Langosta to Empanadas. I tried the Lido Key Pompano, that was really good. My husband had the Salteado, that was yum as well. My brother had the Paella “Campesina”, it wasn't as good as I had it before there. We also had the 1905 salad, that is still a fav. We also had the Gambas “Al Ajillo” Tapas, that was good as well. We had the Godiva Chocolate cake, that was pretty good too. It wasn't very sweet like we thought it would be. So everyone at the table really enjoy that. The outdoor seating is great for people watching as well. As a recommendation, make a reservation at least a week in advance. Also, try to avoid holidays because it's crowded and hard to find parking."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "We have made this place a tradition for Mother's Day, but it is great for any occasion. The food is fantastic and very unique. The design of the restaurant allows for a great deal of out door sitting...without being in the direct sun. Our server was very kind and did a great job, especially given the huge crowd. I have never had a bad meal here. If you like a lot of flavor, which I do, this place is perfect. My wife always gets the salad. It is her favorite. I love everything, and every visit try something new. "
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "While my husband and I were on vacation in the area we made reservations for Mother's Day lunch at Columbia. We were not disappointed. Fodd was wonderful as was the service. This is one of our favorite places to eat while in Sarasota. Try a pitcher of the white Sangria….."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Food is Spanish/Cuban/South American with some notably famous items, like the 1905 salad!! Prepared at tableside, filled with freshly grated Parmesan, salami, and maybe ham? Some green olives, and a fab dressing that is oil based with a kiss of Worchestershire. Filling, and memorable. The hot Cuban bred is superb and the real butter melted on it (if you choose to butter your bread) makes a heavenly combination! "
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "I've had good food there before and their salad was very good.but, the paella was awful. Gummy, tasteless very little seafood and the chicken was so dry and bland, it tasted like it had been boiled to death a week ago. The only think everyone enjoyed was the sangria and the salad. We went there to celebrate Mothers Day .too bad."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "Columbia is known for its fantastic 1905 Salad. We all ordered it, but it missed something... maybe the worchestershire. And this time, the appetizer arrived after the salad. The standard is excellent food, seconds on the salad and always great. Its still a favorite, but I was disappointed this time."
    Dined on 5/8/2014
  • "Taking a break for a St.Armand's Circle lunch is a treat. Columbia, a sidewalk table, cool breezes, just what's needed to restore and return to work. I had the 1905 salad on my mind, and my husband the Sampler platter. Everything tasted great! My only disappointment was the micro- portions. Sizes were greatly reduced from a visit just two months prior. It will not stop our visits, yet we hope there is a more generous portion the next time."
    Dined on 5/7/2014