Open Easter serving from our regular dinner menu, along with these Easter features:
Baked Virginia Ham and Roast Leg of Lamb “Dali.”
Sunday, April 1, 2018
Very good day for get together at entertaining place
Consistent and unique. The best menu and service.
The food was wonderful! Will definitely go back.
This is a bustling location in the heart of St. Armand's Circle in Sarasota, Florida. I have also eaten at their other locations. This review is for St. Armand's on March 17, 2018.
Table for 6 guests. We had reservations at 7 pm and arrived early. They were able to seat us early, which was great. You do have to pay attention to your name being called, which can be difficult since the reception area gets crowded. There are no beepers to let you know when your table is ready.
This place gets really busy as it has an amazing location. The wait staff really hustles and you rarely wait for anything. On this night, we were rushed to order and eat. Dessert was served while some were still eating their entrée, which provided for an awkward situation.
Our waiter had no personality and always seemed to be looking elsewhere. On other visits, I have had great waiters. But, this was a poor experience. The house salad is amazing and it is mixed tableside, which is normally a great show. But, our waiter set up away from us and had no interest in interacting. He might as well have made it in the kitchen.
I had the salad with shrimp as my meal. The shrimp were not fully shelled. At $31, you'd think they'd get that right. The salad itself was delicious. Others in our group had issues with their chicken in a multi-meat dish. But, the portions were large enough to eat around the chicken.
We're a pretty easy crowd to please. So, it's unusual for us to have a poor experience. But, most of it was the waiter. We'll certainly go back.
I saw some rough reviews about the reservations, etc. I was totally impressed with the food, service, and ambiance. It was loud and you are placed right next to each other, but that is the style of restaurant.
Never a bad experience at the Columbia. It’s always a little loud, but the food is outstanding and it’s just the happiest energy.
Rushed. Server appeared to be hurried.
Always good food for any occasion.
Excellent location in St. Armand's Circle with terrific and authentic tasting Spanish food. Great variety of tapas as well as dinners.
Columbia is always good. Delicious Sangria, Great salad and wonderful entrees. We had a party of 5 and all had a great experience.
We brought two first timers and boy were they impressed! Service was excellent despite the place being full. The sparkling sangria prepared table side was delicious as were all four different entrees (pork, shrimp, beef, and surf and turf. Thanks, Columbia!
Food was well appointed, enjoyed.
Tables too close together, way too loud!
Service left much to be desired.
Came from New Port Richey for “Ladies Night” at St. Armand’s Circle, Columbia was the choice for four of us, 1905 is always a favorite, delicious!
My favorite place to dine in Sarasota! I took two friends who have never been and they loved it!
fantastic food. Service was good, but was very busy when we were there.
very busy all the time. A very large open air seating restaurant. Loud because of he size but
decent cuban food
waited a long time for our change but besides that everything was great. would go back anytime i’m in sarasota
Columbia is a perfect example of industrialized fine dining. The term itself is an oxymoron and is displayed well here. While it is relatively fine dining, it was much too crowded and disconnected. It is very hard to have a comfortable conversation there as they have tried to squeeze as many tables and chairs in as physically possible, making the servers move guests’ chairs out of their way to get where they needed to. They also over book to say the least, we personally had to wait almost a half hour for a table to be ready for our 8pm reservation.
It was a very busy Wednesday night at the Columbia. We had a 7pm reservation, arrived a few minutes early, and were asked to wait. The waiting probably wouldn’t have been such a big deal IF the restaurant had adequate space in which to do it. As it was we were bumped, shoved, and rather rudely treated-mostly by staff. Additionally, the restaurant was late in seating parties with reservations around us. Top it off with a hostess who actually had the nerve to question whether or not I knew my own name when she finally got around to calling it, and we knew it was a bad choice being there. Four of us were seated at a table that should have seated two (absolutely no room for glasses or plates), and our waiter acted as if we were bother. I have been to this restaurant before and thought it would be a great choice for visiting guests from out of town. I was wrong and will not be going back.
We live in Sarasota and during the "season" we try our best to stay clear of beach restaurants such as those around St. Armands (e.g., Columbia), etc. We recently had some friends visit from out of town. They wanted to go to St. Armands and the Columbia Restaurant. So, reluctantly we agreed and made a reservation for 5 people at 7:00 pm. The Columbia was jammed, the entrance blocked with people trying to get in. We finally reached the reservation desk and were told we'd be called. Bottom line, we had a reservation for 7:00 pm, we were served at 8:30. Food was good as we've always experienced at Columbia and servings generous (expect to take a doggy box home),We recommend Columbia, but not during the season.
We were not impressed with our waiter’s wine knowledge – we wanted to order a wine comparable to a sweet Riesling, either Columbia doesn’t have a comparable wine or our waiter couldn’t ID one. We ordered a sangria that was just ok and ended up ordering Coppertail Brewing beers - Free Dive (IPA) and Night Swim Porter – that were excellent.
We had the “1905” Salad with a couple of requested modifications which we thought would be simple since the salad is prepared at our table. Leave out a couple of the ingredients - garlic dressing & Worcestershire sauce – toss as you usually would. As it turned out that request was difficult for our waiter to grasp … in the end we enjoyed the salad, it was excellent.
We also had the Grouper “Jimmy” - A boneless fillet of Gulf of Mexico Red Grouper, seasoned, grilled and topped with lump blue crabmeat, drizzled with lemon butter sauce. Served with “Good Rice” and asparagus. $34. The “Good Rice” and asparagus were ok. The grouper was over cooked and too dry. The lump blue crabmeat was delicious.
Our waiter was inattentive and overwhelmed – other wait staff that we observed did not seem to have his minimalist approach and could be seen smiling and assisting the diners around us. Perhaps it was just our luck of the draw.
Our visits to Columbia in Ybor City and St Augustine have been far better experiences than the Sarasota dine. I will return to Ybor and St Augustine.
Every year we meet some special friends here for a catch up lunch. We both drive about 90 miles to meet in the middle. Worth it!
Our waitress was very down-to-earth and she made some awesome recommendations. The salad she tossed for us was AMAZING! We will definitely recommend this restaurant for an excellent lunch location. YUM!
Great lunch visit !!
We have eaten at this Columbia Restaurant several times previously. It has always been a great experience. Good food. Good service. And a busy, but fun atmosphere. Certainly one of the top spots on St. Armands.
Great atmosphere. Feels like your in Cuba dining. Service is impeccable. Food is authentic. Reasonably priced.
Always a fun place to eat. Service was a little slow because it is always busy there.
Our first time there. We r new to th Sarasota area! It was easy to make a reservation thru open table. My husbands grouper was very dry. I had th chicken w/ breading n cheese- absolutely delicious! Tried th white sangria- great, I even bought th mix n a pitcher! Also th 1985( not sure if that’s right) sooo good.
We have been coming to Columbia's since 1998! We put many pictures of our Sangria & 1905 salad on Facebook. All of our friends & family who come visit us... Always want to go to Columbia's! It's the 1st place we have dinner when we arrive in Longboat key & it's the last dinner we have before we go back to New Jersey!
Excellent service, food, and value!
Excellent food, service! Love this place! We go quite often
Great, but a little crowded and hectic
We ate dinner.
We love coming here when visiting the area. The atmosphere is great as is the food. Get the cava sangria its fabulous! The food never disappoints!
Kudos to the Colombia for making my mother feel very special on her 88th birthday!! Food, settings and service were wonderful!
I had made reservations ahead and was glad I did. Lots of people waiting for a table.
It was very noisy and hard to hear my table mates but with an open air concept and so many people waiting I don't know how that could change.
We overall enjoyed our experience.
Consistently outstanding food and drink. All of the staff is super. Our waiter Damien made our evening very special. He was attentive and extremely friendly without being intrusive. He and Joaquin are the reasons we come back to the Comumbia. We are made to feel special.
The Columbia never fails to deliver. We had reservations (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) so we were seated promptly. Our waiter (Ben) was highly attentive and knowledgeable about the menu. The 1905 salad was superb and each of our four entrees was delicious.
Columbia offers outstanding cuisine and service. This is a very popular restaurant and you should make an advance reservation if possible.
This restaurant never disappoints -- great food options. We love the sangria and tapas, but the meals look wonderful too. Our favorite dessert is the churros with dipping sauces --- delicious with a cafe con leche.