Downtown Hot Spot: Sage

Ever since Ceviché departed in 2013, Sarasotans have wondered what is going to happen to the fabulous space located at 1216 1st Street, in the cool historic Sarasota Times Newspaper building. Finally, a new restaurant has opened its door here, still featuring 4 stories of dining space and the famous rooftop bar. Welcome to the scene, Sage! I had the opportunity to check out this swanky new world-cuisine restaurant recently and highly recommend you check it out.

Sage Restaurant & Rooftop Bar

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The Food.

The seasonal menu changes so often, it’s not even posted on their website. Their mission is to use fresh ingredients, unique flavors, and cooking styles from around the world to give their patrons the best dining experience. Bonus: They happily accommodate any dietary restrictions and many of their dishes are already gluten- and dairy-free. In addition to the exquisite flavors, their food presentation is some kind of work of art!

When I visited, I went straight to the fabulous rooftop bar - one of my favorites hang-outs from years past when Ceviche was there! - and I was certainly not disappointed! The vibe was sophisticated but not fussy and it was pleasantly busy but not so packed that I wanted to leave. The cocktail I had was delicious and my friends and I loved the various types of seating on the roof - bar, high-tops, and lounge areas and, of course, THAT VIEW is a major draw!

The Location.

As I said above, the building itself is a Sarasota historic landmark, formerly housing the Sarasota Times Newspaper. The 1st Street location is on the western edge of downtown, so it is easily walkable from the Bayfront condominiums, offering an alternative to Jack Dusty for dinner and a nightcap, as well as the Palm Avenue area of downtown. Also nearby: the Sarasota Opera and FST — which makes this a perfect pre-show dinner location!

The historic downtown building used to house The Sarasota Times.

The historic downtown building used to house The Sarasota Times.

Prime location right across from the bayfront in downtown.

Prime location right across from the bayfront in downtown.

The view from the rooftop bar overlooks the bright buildings of downtown. And you can even wave at the rooftop bar-goers on top of the Art Ovation Hotel right across the way!

The view from the rooftop bar overlooks the bright buildings of downtown. And you can even wave at the rooftop bar-goers on top of the Art Ovation Hotel right across the way!

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The Experience.

Despite the casual vibe of the rooftop bar, make no mistake, Sage is a fine dining establishment. The waitstaff is friendly, professional, knowledgable, and in uniform. Searching for the perfect place to grab drinks with the girls? The lively atmosphere on the top level is just right — absolutely beautiful décor with great views of the city that you can enjoy from beneath a mod chandelier or next to a roaring fire pit. And to top it off, pop star Pink has been seen there already, during her recent vacation to our area. ;-)

Sage Restaurant & Rooftop Bar | 1216 First Street | Downtown Sarasota | www.sagesrq.com | 941.445.5660