Wine Dine and Play: Jack Dusty

Jack Dusty

Fresh Sourced Coastal Cuisine
Sarasota, Florida USA
Cuisine Style: Seafood
Average Price: $$$
Overall Rating: 4/5
Dined in July 2016
By Sean Overpeck (CFE)
**A full article and index glossary of restaurants, wines, recipes and travel for 
Wine Dine and Play are in the pages section above, or by following these links:

Jack Dusty - Coastal Cuisine, Crafted Cocktails Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Executive Chef:
John Ford

Chef de Cuisine:
Jay Norris

Jack Dusty restaurant is located in a very vibrant and growing area of Sarasota with lots of money from businesses and tourism helping the city to continue to grow, especially along the beaches, where resorts spring up left and right. One of these resorts overlooking the Sarasota Bay, next to the causeway, leading to Lido Key and St. Armand’s Circle is the Ritz Carlton Hotel where Jack Dusty restaurant is located. My wife, her Father, and I all met for what would be a wonderful, and memorable dinner as my Father-in-law would, unfortunately, pass away one week later, and this was the last time that we saw him.

Jack Dusty is one of Sarasota’s most buzzed-about waterfront seafood restaurant, lounge, and marketplaces that serves fresh, local fish from the Gulf with a creative twist. They place a high emphasis on craft microbrews, a variety of rums, and spirits for their specialty cocktails. Contemporary is a way I would describe the restaurant, with a combination of wood paneled millwork and regular plywood or OSB sheeting white walls. The floor was hardwood, and the bar top was marble, possibly Italian, but it could have been from somewhere closer. A rustic stone style raw bar complements the main bar area with a wine library section towards the back of the restaurant where large parties are reserved or are used for overflow seating. Attached to the white painted ceiling and hanging down by a foot or more was fishing net, painted from what I recall was a lighter gold color. The opposite side of the dining room had floor to ceiling windows facing the Bay. 

Nautically themed, this waterside hotel and restaurant opens up from the dining room to a large patio section where smoking is allowed, with a combination of tables, or couches with thick cushions, under a mostly shaded area with fans. Portions of the patio seating are also in direct sunlight with no roof coverings, and stair cases on either side leading down to the hotel pool area which also has some fountains, and a waterway inlet from the Bay. I believe I also saw a marina, but not sure if that is part of the Ritz Carlton or a separate property.

As part of the main hotel restaurant, Jack Dusty handles room service, plus all three meals, focusing on the before mentioned coastal cuisine and crafted cocktails, innovated by their lead bartender Candice Marie. The menus have interesting nautical terms and how they came about as well as pictures separating each section. As far as the nautical terms for example, on the dinner menu, they have the words “clean slate” and “taken aback” two terms that I’m sure we have all heard before. Clean slate represents the helmsman of a ship writing details on a slate and at the end of his shift, it would be wiped clean. Taken aback refers to a backward wind direction hitting the sails. A little trivia and useless information is fun from time to time.

    • Raw Bar
    • For Starters
    • Locally Harvested Salads
    • Soups
    • By Land
    • By Sea
    • Sweets
    • Breakfast menu
    • Lunch menu
    • Lounge Menu
    • Bar Snacks

We started on the patio with a few cocktails from their lounge menu but avoided “getting three sheets to the wind” another nautical term broken down into two parts by a three-masted ship, having the sheets of the three lower courses lose resulting in the ship meandering aimlessly downwind. Also, a sailor who has drunk strong spirits beyond his capacity. So the second part still stands true to this day. From the cocktail list, there were selections such as “Cut and Run” with Tito’s vodka-based out of Austin, Texas, lemon, and Aperol. The “Jack Appl’d" with Zubrowka bison grass vodka, lairds applejack, clove, and lemon. Bourbon selections like the “smoking jacket” with Angles Envy bourbon, burnt sugar syrup, angostura bitters, and for a “Wow” factor, it was served in a smoked glass. Each named cocktail has a nautical term behind the origins, and moving on to the rum diaries with a twist on an Ernst Hemingway favorite, the “Young Man & the Sea” with Papas Pilar 3-year, lemon, smoked salt, egg whites, and Angostura. There were several more selections including bar classics like Manhattan, Paloma, and Pisco Sour. For Beers Sarasota was represented with locals from JDub’s and Big Top Trapeze Monk. Other Florida beers included the Jai Alai from Cigar City Brewing out of Tampa and an amber lager from the Florida Beer Company out of Cape Canaveral.  The wine list consists of a range starting at $8.00 to $25.00 per glass and bottles at $44 to higher end mainstream bottles like their Barolo at $160.00.

Young Man & the Sea

With over a decade of experience in international kitchens, Sous Chef Jay Norris uses the global experience to create a menu that incorporates the freshest local ingredients to craft dishes that combine a harmony of unique flavors in each bite. He began his career in a fish market, and as a result, excels in all things seafood. He sharpened his culinary skills in kitchens from Hawaii at the four-star Casa Donaldo to Australia at the Opal Cove Resort. Also, he held the Chef de Partie position at The Spencer on Byron Hotel in New Zealand and was the Sous Chef at the Swedish Embassy in Buenos Aires.  Most recently, he ran the food and beverage program at the Wind Creek Casino & Hotel in Almore, Alabama prior to joining the Jack Dusty crew. 

We moved into the dining room, being sat closer to the wine library, at a table next to the massive windows looking out into a fully covered portion of the patio seating, with a small semi-unobstructed view. There were several palm trees, but what we did see was relaxing and enjoyable to view. Fitting the coastal theme, the table settings were plates and glasses similar in color to algae green with cutlery having fins attached to the end, all resting on a paper table-mat with the Jack Dusty logo.  

A cornbread served in a small tin can resting on a wood cutting board was presented first as we looked over the menu. The logo was also embroidered into the board, and the cornbread was served with some whipped butter. The menu was on a single sheet of paper, attached to a clipboard. For wine, my wife ordered a glass of Rosé from the Domain Joseph Mellot, Loire Valley, which according to the winemaker the nose develops floral (rose and peony) notes at first, and then raspberry scents followed by a full taste with a freshness at the end, giving it a lasting quality. This wine is pleasant because of its freshness and delicate aromas. I ordered the 2013 Argentine Malbec from Finca Decero Winery, Remolinos. The Vineyard,  according to the Finca site was named after its tiny whirlwinds, started from a patch of bare land where only wild shrubs grew. At 3,500 feet (1,050 meters) it is located in the highest area of Agrelo, in the region of Mendoza. The planning of the vineyard was meticulous and based on the conviction that all decisions had to be sensitive to the natural attributes of this beautiful if desolate, terrain. It has intense violet aromatics and bright freshness and acidity which has come to define Decero Malbec according to the tasting notes with an elegant tannin complexity similar to 2012 reflect beautifully integrated oak tannins following 14 months in French oak.

To begin, my Father-in-law and I both ordered from the raw bar menu, with his selection being the peel and eat shrimp served over seaweed, with a cocktail sauce, and charred lemon. There were ten shrimp to the order, to which we all shared. I am a fan of oysters and from the menu, you have the option to order one each, a half-dozen which I decided on, or a dozen. The selections that day were Fanny Bay from British Columbia, Gulf Coast from the local Apalachicola region, and Copps Island from Connecticut. The dish was served with cocktail sauce and mignonette.

Peel and eat shrimp

Other items on the “raw bar” and “for starters” sections include a seafood platter for two or four with six assorted items from clams, shrimp, ceviche, tuna, and salad. There is a sashimi combo of king salmon and big eye tuna, fried calamari served with a harissa aioli, blistered shishitos with Anna Maria Island near Bradenton, Florida with their dried mullet roe bottarga caviar. Battered local okra with sweet mango dip and crab with fried green tomatoes topped with a creole remoulade and pico de gallo finish off the list.

Clam chowder with bacon and potato plus a harvest minestrone with spring vegetables closed out the soup list excluding any specials, however, they have five salads from the local harvest. Now being local is wonderful, because I love it when restaurants help out business owners in their home state, or even better their city or county, versus ordering their food from large vendors that deliver hormone or GMO infused crap to your door. But just because there ordering local doesn’t always mean that it is organic, so you might have some menus out there where they advertise local, but you still get GMO laced products. With Jack Dusty, I could not get a confirmation either way during the interview with the chef. 

From their salad menu, they had kale with roasted butternut squash topped with a bacon-balsamic vinaigrette - they had me at bacon! Also a watermelon and tomato salad with fennel pollen and Meyer lemon oil, your typical caesar and house salads using products from Suncoast Farmers, and to round out the list, the Homestead Farms Hydro romaine salad with heirloom tomato, green goddess dressing, and brussel sprouts. 

The ‘by the sea’ entree menu has selections from a whole fried snapper served over market fresh vegetables topped with Puerto Rican pique sauce, and a Sarasota cioppino combination of Gulf fish and shrimp, middle-neck clams, and bay scallops in a tomato broth. Up and down the East Coast they had grilled Maine lobster (MP) Charleston style shrimp and grits using stone ground grits from Anson Mills with Louisiana andouille sausage. Moving on, they had a local “Jacks Catch” (MP), tuna, and my father-in-law's selection of a Gulf grouper hoppin’ John, which was deep fried and made with local brown rice, black-eyed peas, and braised Swiss chard.

Gulf grouper hoppin’ John

My wife ordered a glass of Pinot Noir from Bouchard Aîné et Fils, Burgundy, to go with her entree from the “by land” section of the menu, which included five selections to choose from. Her wine had creamy scents of black fruits and hazelnuts, with animal notes followed by an elegant, concentrated and sustained, with well-rounded tannins. A fresh, spicy, animal finish according to the winemakers' notes. On the menu section she ordered from, you could have four carnivore items of your choice or one vegetarian selection which was an organic Red Inca Quinoa cake with a carrot-cumin puree and local market vegetable. For the meat lovers there was a skirt steak also known as the Romanian tenderloin located under the short plate section of the cow, served with chimichurri, blistered grape tomatoes, and arugula “rocket” lettuce. This and their beef tenderloin selections on the menu were provided by the 1855 Angus beef company. The tenderloin is served with red beet mash, mushrooms, fennel, a beet salad, and horseradish jus. Rounding off the list was an organic chicken breast and my wife's selection of the beef short rib BLT. This short rib sat on a bed of Anson Mills grits with cheddar cheese, blistered grape tomatoes, and arugula, all topped with a cornmeal fried green tomato. My wife thought the meat lacked flavor and wasn’t very impressed with the dish. I do remember taking a bite, but honestly, do not remember to offer my opinion on the dish.

Beef short rib BLT

I enjoyed the special entree of the day, which sounded too good to pass up. It was simply titled as the JD special, a surf and turf combination of the 1855 tenderloin, to which I ordered medium-rare, served with two Gulf scallops, one andouille sausage, and local arugula lettuce, mixed with blistered grape tomatoes, char-grilled asparagus, and zucchini sticks. The plate was garnished with a burnt lemon and topped with a balsamic reduction. The tenderloin and scallops were nice. It's not my favorite cut compared to the ribeye, but the combo of all three items was awesome, and the sausage was just fantastic. With the entree, I enjoyed a glass of Chianti from Casa di Monte, “Le Capitozze” Classico, with its strong earthy flavors matching the meats of my dish perfectly. The ruby colored wine with hints of violet on the nose, and a warm taste, elegant, and slightly tannic finish according to the winemaker made it a great choice. I really do enjoy a good Sangiovese from time to time. But not with liver!

JD special

The menu is delivered to the table rolled up on a single sheet of paper and stuffed into a glass jar, with a map of the gulf islands on one side, and the selection of sweets on the other. Their selection included sweet corn fritters with local honey and sweet corn ice cream, a German chocolate brownie with caramel praline ice cream, a strawberry key lime shortcake made with butter cream, custard, and vanilla bean ice cream. Then you had the doughnut holes deeply fried and served with caramel and chocolate hazelnut sauce. Next came the assortment of ice creams or sorbets, and a peanut butter banana bread pudding with toasted meringue and hot fudge. All of them sounded wonderful and in the end, we ended up choosing the dessert special of the day, which was an open crusted dutch style apple pie served with a side of vanilla bean ice cream. The pie dough was wonderful and crisp, and the apples sweet and fresh. I ordered a single malt scotch from Dalwhinnie to accompany the dessert.  

Open crusted dutch style apple pie

Please see these guidelines for Tipping in Restaurants and on following proper etiquette, customs, cultures, and avoiding assumptions when you dine out.

Wine regulatory’s for the tastings in this article:

European Union: 

Other Noteworthy Seafood Articles and Restaurants:
400 Beach Seafood and Taphouse Relaxed coastal cuisine in St. Petersburg, Florida
Alioto’s Restaurant Historic restaurant serving Sicilian-infused seafood in San Francisco, California
Cobalt upscale locally sourced seafood eatery with ocean views in Vero Beach, Florida 
Capt’n Jacks Waterfront Grille Waterside bar, w/laid-back tropical atmosphere, Tarpon Springs, Florida
Hank’s Seafood A classy southern seafood eatery house in Charleston, South Carolina
Jekyll Island Seafood Company, New American Seafood Restaurant, Atlanta Airport, Atlanta, Georgia
Moshulu New American dining on a restored ship in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar Laid-back Cape Cod-style seafood restaurant in Austin, Texas
Red Snapper Kiwi “fush n’ chups” takeaway restaurant in Sumner, New Zealand
Sea-Guini Chic restaurant with seafood & Italian-inspired cuisine in Clearwater Beach, Florida
Sea Salt Fine-dining & innovative seafood with a raw bar in St. Petersburg, Florida
South Beach Bar and Grille Beach tavern with seafood in Madeira Beach, Florida
Spinners Rooftop Revoling Bistro Buzzy seafood spot & 360-degree views in St. Pete Beach, Florida 
Squid Lips Eclectic and casual style seafood dishes in Melbourne, Florida 
The Island Grille & Raw Bar Relaxed waterfront seafood restaurant with a raw bar in Tierra Verde, Florida 
Two Oceans Restaurant Seafood and sushi with panorama views in Cape Point, South Africa

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary

Other Sarasota restaurants and articles on Wine Dine and Play:

Authentic and traditional Peruvian Cuisine
Sarasota, Florida, USA
Steakhouse restaurant on inlet offering Gulf views
Sarasota, Florida, USA
Ybor City & Sarasota Traditional Spanish & Cuban chain since 1905
Sarasota, Florida, USA

A Few Florida Favorites:

Seminole, Florida USA
Thai and Japanese fare including sushi
Vibrant Southern cuisine & BBQ 
St Augustine, Florida USA
Lively Bar and Grill 
At the Hollander Hotel
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary by country

Final notes, review basics, observations and more pictures:

Most reviews are subjective, depending on the writer; but they should also be responsible, and respectfully written, upholding the truth, and accurately conveying the experience to the best of the writer's knowledge, even if it includes metaphors the restaurant may not like to read about. My ratings are by the stars I award (from 0 to 5). The rating is calculated on a point accumulation of six separate factors based on individual experience. They include wine and other beverage selections, plate presentation, customer service, restaurant or café ambiance, food quality, and wow factor. To see more details of this rating list, read this article:

Overall from this experience and the score factors outlined in the ‘about page’ section, based on my individual experience and rating, I give Jack Dusty’s a 4 out of 5 stars, meaning that they not only exceeded my expectations and were far above the average dining experience of most restaurants, but they were just outstanding.
Scores are detailed in the factor chart below:

Formula Factor Conclusions and Overall Ratings
Max Points Possible:
Total Points Awarded:
Total Points deducted:
Food quality
Plate presentation
Customer service
Alcohol and other beverages
Total regular points awarded
Total percentage Before Bonus


“Wow” factor BONUS
Total bonus percentage


Total percentage with a bonus for the final star rating


Stars Awarded (see chart below)
             0 - 5

**A full break down and explanation of the observations and point disbursement is available in the linked article above. To receive a detailed copy of your score, feel free to contact me at any time and I will provide it to you.**


Overall Star Rating:
4 of 5 Stars: 
90% Rating with a 3 point “wow” bonus
An Outstanding Dining Experience
Wine rating:
7 of 10
Old World selections: 
France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria

New World selections: 
Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, California, Oregon, Washington State
Corkage fee’s:
No outside bottles are allowed into the restaurant
Restaurant style:
Casual dining to Conservative dining
Cuisine style:
American, Seafood
Allergen or dietary accommodations: 
Local, Organic, Pescatarian, Sustainable, Vegan and Vegetarian Options
Not Required
Accepted, but not guaranteed
Dress code:
Casual attire
It’s Florida everybody wears flip-flops!
Child policy:

The Restaurants reviewed on this site may have a kids menu or cater to them; however, for full enjoyment of food and wine, it is recommended that kids not to be in attendance, unless they have been trained in proper etiquette. 
If not then:
Hire a Babysitter! 
Place for foodies, Modern, Business parties, Hotspot, Great bar, Great outdoor dining, Good for special occasions, Scenic views, and a Neighborhood Gem.
Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
Valet, or Street meeter parking
The restaurants reviewed on this site may have Wi-Fi, but do not require you to go online, because the excitement of the food and wine alone will keep you too entertained instead of checking your social media and emails.
Noise level:
Low to Medium
Nonsmoking restaurant, WARNING a smoking patio
Patio or terrace:

Food Prices 
(excludes, alcohol, taxes & 20% gratuity’s)

$£€¥ -                Under 50.00 (inexpensive)
$£€¥ x 2 -          51.00- 99.00 (moderate)
$£€¥ x 3 -          Over 100.00 (pricey)
$£€¥ x 4 -          Over 200.00 (expensive)
$£€¥ x 5 -          Over 400.00 (very expensive)

**Currencies reflect the world’s major travelers, restaurant, or wine connoisseur’s**

United States Dollar (USD)
Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
Canadian Dollar (CAN)
Chinese Yuan (CNY)  
European Union (EUR)

 Alcohol prices:

$82 USD

Jack Dusty:

1111 Ritz-Carlton Dr.
Sarasota, Florida 

Contact Information: 
Restaurant website:
Maître d or host:
+1 941 309-2266
Online reservations
Email Contact:
Serving hours:
Eastern Standard Time
(GMT, Zulu, or UTC - 5:00)
7:00 am - 10:00 pm
7:00 am - 11:00 pm
Social Media 
Facebook link                

The worlds best restaurants is a subjective list of who is writing it and changes on a regular basis. The Wine Dine and Play best experiences are based on my highest rated stared restaurants, meaning that the visit was an outstanding or extraordinary experience. From cafés, chains, mom + pops, hole in the walls, to fine dining including a few Michelin spots. Visit the Top 100 page to see the entire list.

A few to tease you with…

Eclectic and Innovative New Zealand cuisine
Christchurch, New Zealand
A classy southern seafood eatery house
Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Waterfront upscale new American cuisine
Sanibel Island, Florida, USA

Other Pictures:

Sarasota Bay

Patio dining

Dining room

Dining room and bar

Raw bar

Table set-up

Cornbread starter

Cornbread starter


Dessert menu presentation

I dedicate this review to my Father-in-law who sadly passed away a week after dining with us at Jack Dusty's

Who is John Galt?


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