The Vernona restaurant inside the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, a popular spot for well-heeled travelers, local executives and the occasional out-of-town celebrity, has served its last meal.
But foodies can have hope: A new restaurant, a modernly designed waterfront fish house, what the hotel calls casually elegant, will take its place early next year. The restaurant is scheduled to undergo an extensive renovation, according to a release. It will re-open, under a name not yet determined, with a new vision, decor and menu.
Vernona opened in conjunction with the hotel in late 2001. It closed Sept. 23. “While a final farewell to Vernona will undoubtedly be a bittersweet one,” hotel General Manager Brad Jencks says in the release, “the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota looks forward to the newest chapter in its evolving culinary story.”
The revamped restaurant, moreover, is one of the first big moves Jencks will oversee since being named general manager late last year. In a March interview with the Business Review, Jencks said one of his goals was to make the hotel and its connected resort properties more accessible.
“We want to do things that are relevant to today's customer,” Jencks said. “We want to be friendly. We don't want to be intimidating.” See Business Review, March 24.)
During the three-month renovation of Vernona, the hotel will turn its Ca d'Zan Lounge into CdZ, an American-style steakhouse. It will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.