Jack Dusty design adds new dimension to dining in Sarasota



The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota has radically re-imagined the way guests at an upscale hotel want to eat and the way that diners in town select a restaurant.

The European formality of the former Vernona dining room with its white-cloth attitude, gracious Old World amenities and heavy wine menu has disappeared, yielding to an ambience that expresses a coastal contemporary vibe — young, chic, casual and tropical. It's happening all over the nation as modern diners crave a relaxed elegance in restaurants. Simplicity trumps splendor; organic displaces ornate.

Jack Dusty is all about space, light, beach glass and sophisticated breezy furniture. A nautical theme runs through everything, but it's fairly subtle and definitely amusing, prime examples being the bubble chandeliers in the semi-private dining room, the white "wave wall," the judicious use of shells, coral, maps and the television over the bar that showcase snippets of movies that honor the sea.

The name Jack Dusty references a sailor aboard a big ship who is responsible for acquiring and organizing provisions for the crew. A Jack is a sailor and dust refers to flour that would that would sometimes get on him, making this dusty dude stand out among his mates.

There's every reason to frequent the Ritz's Jack Dusty for the seafood menu, but when you go, bring a camera and notebook, because there are about 100 great design examples — both great and small — to inspire any homeowner wanting to create a bit of a coastal contemporary at home.

The outdoor spaces at Jack Dusty merge with the inside ones, and you truly have the feeling you're at a world-class resort in a resort city — this one!



Marsha Fottler

Marsha Fottler has been a newspaper and magazine lifestyle, food and design writer since 1968 first in Boston and in Florida since 1970. She contributes to regional and national publications and she is co-publisher and editor of a monthly online magazine that celebrates the pleasures of the table called Flavors & More. (941) 371-8593.
Last modified: January 24, 2013
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