The Dixon family -- parents Alauna and Mike, and their sons Greg, Mark and Michael -- have a shared love of golf. In November 2010, it seemed natural for them to purchase the 18-hole professional driving range in Washington Terrace, Horizon Golf Center, and the accompanying restaurant.
One of the first items of business was to change the name of the restaurant to Sarasota's casual dining and to revamp the menu to feature the family's own specialty recipes.
The most unique thing about the dining room is its breathtaking views, capitalized upon with giant windows and patio seating. When the weather gets warm, there are several water features on the grounds, and the Dixons plan to add a wedding gazebo this spring.
Greg Dixon said they are very serious about their food and service. The family has a long history in the restaurant business, and recipes are taken from family favorites and developed in test kitchens.
The food, much like America itself, is a melting pot of flavors hailing from Asia, Mexico, France and other parts of the world. Inside the dining area, there are high-backed booths, contemporary decor, warm colors and a banquet room that seats up to 70.
All of the soups, stocks and sauces are homemade, and the breakfast hash browns are sliced fresh daily from Yukon gold potatoes. On the weekends, the restaurant opens early to serve breakfasts such as the Corn Beef Hash ($8.95) and Chili Verde Southwest Omelet ($9.95). All of the breakfasts come with complimentary homemade sticky pecan rolls, baked fresh all morning.
On Sundays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sarasota serves a Sunday Supper ($14.95), featuring an 8-ounce slab of prime rib, Yorkshire pudding, fresh steamed vegetables, soup or salad, baked potato, and creamy gelato for dessert.
On weekdays from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., some of the most popular menu items are offered in an early-bird special ($9.95). The entrees include soup or salad, potato or bread, and dessert. Diners can choose from top sirloin steak, fish and chips, rustica pasta (baked spaghetti with Italian sausage, meatballs and cheese) or California chicken (baked chicken breast doused in crab meat, avocado and hollandaise sauce).
Casual lunches, including sandwiches and hamburgers, begin at $7.