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Travel Tips




Dine at one of the chic St. Armands Circle Florida restaurants with a Cuban flare
Experience a night of traditional Spanish and Cuban cuisine at Columbia restaurant in St. Armands Circle, in Lido Key, one of the most stunning islands in Sarasota. Although Columbia is a franchise restaurant in large towns throughout southern Florida, each restaurant has its own unique touch. This particular restaurant rests right in the heart of the elegant St. Armands Circle where there are an abundance of chic restaurants, boutiques and galleries. Spend a day at Lido Beach or browsing the shops in the circle and finish the day off right with a night out at Columbia restaurant.

Without a doubt one of the best parts about dining at Columbia is the authentic food. For those who have had the distinct pleasure of visiting or living in Spain or Cuba, the entrees at Columbia will bring you back to those previous experiences. The menu starts with tapas, a Spanish word meaning small amounts of food served, usually with alcohol in bars and restaurants. Tapas are equivalent to the American version of appetizers. Try the Devil Crab Croquettes or the Shrimp Al Ajillo to start your evening off right. Don’t order too many tapas because the main entrees are plentiful with a variety of chicken, seafood, meat or combination options. For a traditional Spanish meal, try the Paella, the nation dish of Spain. Columbia is also open for lunch and serves similar hearty portions throughout the day. If you stop by during a shopping outing, bring your appetite because even the lunch portions are large.

The Lido Key Columbia restaurant offers outdoor patio dining overlooking the beautiful St. Armands Circle or if it is too warm outside, dine indoors among the exotic Mediterranean décor. To help recreate the Spanish experience, it is likely you will find Flamenco dancers or singers entertaining guests throughout the evening hours. If the Flamenco dancers are not available during your visit, stop by the gift shop to get your fill of Spanish and Cuban memorabilia. Take home Cuban cookbooks with recipes right from the restaurant or purchase cigars for a special occasion.

During the weekends and in the evenings, reservations are accepted and suggested at Columbia. Call 941-388-3987. The restaurant remains open from 11-11 Mon-Sat and 12-10 on Sunday.

To find Columbia from Venice, take US-41 north where you will find J. Ringling Blvd and the Ringling Causeway between Sarasota and Roberts Bay. Turn right onto the Causeway and take this across the bridge to St. Armands Circle. Columbia Restaurant is located right in the middle of St. Armands Circle on Lido Key.

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