Yelp Storms Sarasota!

Yelpers in Tampa Bay made a road trip down to Sarasota, and found themselves asking the question, "Who Is Jack Dusty?" Those questions were answered in grand style at The Ritz-Carlton's brand new, gorgeous haven of a restaurant. This event went down before Jack Dusty officially even opened its doors to the public, and who doesn't like to be a part of a grand unveiling? To add to the flare, the Ritz-Carlton provided one generous gift after another leading up to the event. Winnings such as a bed & breakfast prizes, spa treatments, golf packages, and overnight stays were awarded to several Yelpers, as if the free food and drink wasn't enough!


To take a first-hand account of what went down, ask Michelle M. "Wow! Saturday's Elite event was amazing! The night was filled with strong and tasty cocktails, fabulous appetizers, mermaids, and a DJ. The Jack Dusty restaurant was absolutely stunning!  I loved the huge bar and the outdoor patio with fire pit. The staff was so friendly and treated us like royalty! My sister and I were greeted with cocktails and appetizers the moment we walked through the door!" Pat A couldn't agree more with such wonderful sentiment about Jack Dusty, "It is truly a sea of breathtaking beauty; soothing and vibrant, hip, and a melding of colors and flavors. The galley is delectably delicious. No more top hats and wool suits for the Doormen! Beautifully handsome men in their black and white striped 3/4 length cotton t-shirts – perfect!" 


No Elite event is complete without some tasty treats to analyze, and Bethany M provides a rave review. "My husband and I went crazy over the mini-fried green tomatoes with a huge chunk of crab meat on top. The shrimp ceviche was fab, with just the right amount of salty freshness… as was the sashimi tuna with ponzu sauce. The best little desserts ever were the mini chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches! So simple! So good!" Meanwhile Ross M didn't struggle to wash down the delectables with some epic libations. "The drinks are not just drinks, they are crafted cocktails! Nothing was too sweet, everything was delicious. The Purser's Bane is actually made with Pusser's Rum, and I was really looking forward this drink. It surpassed all my expectations. The passion fruit garnish also made for beautiful eye candy. This is my new all-time favorite drink!" 

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The venue can be beautiful, and the drinks can be flowin', but the extra level of TLC is what makes an event go from good, to phenomenal. Chet L insists there was no shortage of tenderness, love, or caring in the air. "As I have said before, when I walk in to a place and drinks are there waiting – you got me.  All of the staff were super attentive, conversational, and excited to be a part of this restaurant's opening." Jaima S adds to vouches for the good vibes all around. "We were given a card for the scavenger hunt which required us to meet six people in the party to find out more about the new restaurant. Imagine our shock when the people we got to meet were the chefs, owners, and GMs.  Imagine our even larger shock when we found they were all super friendly, down to earth, and shared an intense passion and commitment for making this place great."


As with all Elite event hosts, there's a ton of hard work and generosity that goes into each one. What separated this one for me, is the sheer passion that the folks at The Ritz put on display in planning this night out. This dates back to more than three months before the night arrived, while Jack Dusty was merely a large room of hammer, nails, and construction workers. It's now a work of art, and largely on Yelp Tampa Bay's radar. None of that could happen without Liza Kubik, Matt Orr, and many other amazing employees at The Ritz-Carlton in Sarsota. To you all, I bow my head in eternal gratitude.

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Brett N

Yelp Tampa Bay Community Manager