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Seriously seductive …

Here’s an exerpt from an article I wrote for Sarasota Downtown & Beyond … about Maison Blanche … a restaurant on Longboat Key. You can read the full piece in the January issue of that magazine, on newstands now. If you go, make sure you take your A+ game. This is no place for sophomores in the arena of seduction.
Sarasota is the kind of town where you can almost always predict the cuisine of a restaurant by its décor. Think thick, heavy wood and dim lights for any steakhouse. Red and white checkers for anything Italian, and art on the wall representing the country of choice for everything in between.

So it comes as a surprise to find a restaurant in the area where – other than the name, Maison Blanche – there’s not a cuisine clue in sight. There are no evocative photographs of the Arc de Triomphe, no lovers snapped nuzzling on the rainy streets of Paris, to busy up the walls. No miniature Eiffel Towers cluttering the white French linen tablecloths. Just a singular floral arrangement in the middle of the circular room, and one small candle in the middle of each table.

Maison Blanche – which means white house in French – is almost startlingly devoid of color. It is somewhat starkly that rarity of rarities – a restaurant that focuses on food and guests rather than eye candy.

Which is not to say that Maison Blanche doesn’t offer up an eyeful of glamour and more than a soupçon of seduction – it’s just that its all rendered in that maddeningly unique (and inimitable by Americans) French Je ne sais quoi. With a muted color scheme of gun-metal gray and white, floor to ceiling heavy curtains, and sleek, black leather chairs, Maison Blanche is, quite frankly, possibly, le plus chic restaurant in all of Sarasota.

It’s minimalism at the maximum. Very French and very simple.

Maison Blanche is a seriously seductive restaurant. Just sitting in one of the black leather chairs lends one an air of intellectual and sensual gravitas not so easily engendered in your average Sarasota restaurant. If you take a date here – or even your spouse – be prepared to ratchet up your conversational skills and elevate your flirting from standard banter to sophisticated repartee.

This is no place for sophomores.

Posted on January 9th, 2009Comments RSS Feed

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