shrimpcargotsLast night we went to Eat Here in Sarasota for dinner.

The owner, Sean Murphy, knows a thing or two about restaurants. His other posher restaurant, Beach Bistro, has held the top Zagat ratings for decades and in 2005 they were asked to create a dinner in Beard House, New York for the James Beard foundation.

But as a savvy restaurateur, Sean recognised the change in demand and has established Eat Here which he describes as a bistro rather than a restaurant. All I know is that this is great value, tasty food served with aplomb and hits the mark at this time of economic downturn.

We can all learn a lesson here. The tone of voice on the menu is fun and approachable, the pricing is spot on and most of all the food is consistently good. All of this is epitomised by the Shrimpcargots – an evolution of the Lobstercargots served at Beach Bistro, which is $23 compared to the sister version which is $9. But the shrimp (or prawn, as it is known to you and me) is much the better option for my tastes. Buttery, garlicky perfectly cooked prawns on a bed of greens with a little smoked bacon create the perfect mouthful steeped in glistening goodness that is asking to be mopped up with the soft bread served on the side. The twist on the snail equivalent is clever not only on name, but also in service.

A great idea from a clever man who we can all learn from.