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“Best.Wednesday.Dinner.Ever.”
Review of Derek's - CLOSED

Derek's
Price range: US$0 - US$25
Cuisines: American, Fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Romantic, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Description: Chef/owner Derek Barnes focus is on rustic, coastal cuisine with an emphasis on fresh seafood while offering guest a dining experience that is fresh, new, fun and casual while drawing from a rich blend of culinary styles and traditions. The menu changes often, insuring guests an exciting change on their many visits. A semifinalist for the prestigious James Beard Best Chef South award, Derek worked with Emeril Lagasse in the kitchen of Emeril's in New Orleans before opening his own restaurant on the SunCoast. Derek's talent for creating unique, pleasurable dishes has earned him Florida Trend's Golden Spoon award, the "Most Innovative Chef" title in the Best of SRQ Magazine, "Best New Cuisine" Sarasota Magazine, "Best New Restaurant" Bradenton Herald and inclusion in Best Chefs America Guide and the exclusive Zagat Guide, America's Top Restaurants listing. The venue is appropriate for the power lunch crowd, casual luncheons, those special evenings, business dinners, private parties and fit for families of all ages. Derek's also offers a private media room for pharmaceutical parties, business luncheons, business dinners, small sporting events, birthday parties, anniversaries or for that intimate gathering.
Reviewed 14 May 2014

Happened into Derek's on a random Wednesday night with my husband and our close friends. We were casual and felt a bit underdressed for the occasion, but the hostess was friendly and sat us immediately without even a second glance.

We each ordered a beer and a small plate appetizer (Fried Green Tomatoes) for the table. One friend also ordered the special soup (with chicken gizzards, collards etc.) We tried/shared everything and were so pleased we actually got a second soup to share.

For dinner, our group ordered Skirt Steak, Crawfish Pasta, Pulled Pork Flatbread and a Blackened Tripletail, with sides of brussel sprouts and garlic fries. Shared and enjoyed by all. Finished the meal with cappuccinos and several desserts (Bread Pudding Beignets, S'mores and a Peach Panna Cotta).

This meal was incredible! Can't say one negative thing! The server, Laura, was extremely friendly and helpful with the menu and Derek himself came out at the end of the meal to answer an art question for us and stayed to chat about the food. :)

Found the entire experience to be positive and delicious! Two thumbs up - THANKS - we will be back!

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Thank Rachel B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (220)
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116 - 120 of 220 reviews

Reviewed 7 May 2014

After having my first lunch at Derek's with a friend, I said I couldn't wait to try dinner. We arrived early for lunch and they were so nice to let us in and check out the place. Very nice atmosphere, very rustic with big round booths to sit a large party and a small room for private parties. I had the white gazpacho , kale salad with grilled salmon and the bread pudding. My friend had the fish tacos with fabulous garlic fries. We were so happy with the restaurant, we talked about it the rest of the day. Gotta try it out.

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Thank Tammy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2014 via mobile

I enjoyed my crab cake but it was small for $13 and not as good a value as those at O'Bricks downtown,or Lazy Lobster on Longboat Key. In both of those locations the crab is also delicious.

Additionally, I find it gouging to charge $8 to $9 for house wine when you can buy the whole bottle for that or little more.

My kale salad was delicious and the Florida Cracker beer, brewed in Tampa, was quite good even though I generally don't care for canned beers.

My dining partner found her Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo very tasty. As for her small plate, she enjoyed the New Orleans Buffalo Shrimp, but said that "for three shrimp, it was underwhelming and WAY overpriced!"

We are fortunate in that we don't have to be concerned about price; however, we do care about value and in that calculus, Dereck's came out as pretentious in pricing and undervalued.

1  Thank Foodtree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2014

Derek has moved his restaurant out to the 'burbs and changed the menu a bit but he continues to serve great food in a hospitable environment. The new location among the chain stores is forgotten once you enter the restaurant, which has lots of comfy banquette seating and is decorated in rustic earth tones that don't scream "Florida". Unfortunately, this location lacks the entertainment value provided by the chef's table situated in front of the open kitchen. The service is just as solicitous as at the previous location, though, and the wine list provides equally good values. The menu retains some old favorites, but there seems to be a new focus on New Orleans style dishes. We shared a couple of salads and especially enjoyed the seafood muddle -- a light stew containing several different types of seafood served over dirty rice. The desserts, as always, were just the right size and absolutely delicious. Derek's will continue to be a favorite destination -- now with better parking!

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Thank WnnaBTrvlWrtr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2014

It was my turn to select a restaurant. I wanted a local restaurant that was casual and different. I found Derek's and selected it. I was told that this would be my last choice as my selections before did not compute! Derek's lived up to the selection. All six of us loved the meal and service. The waitress was patient as we clobbered her with questions and she responded perfectly. The selections were very interesting and the entrees for the day added difficulty for us to pick one entree. Everyone loved their meals and we shared between the group. The corn chowder was excellent.

I can now get to make another selection of restaurant. Can I pick Derek's again?

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Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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