For toes-in-the-sand dining, the Sand Bar Restaurant wins out. Everything tastes better if you’re sitting at a table on the beach, with waves gently splashing nearby. No reservations are accepted, but you’ll dine on such delightful entrées as freshly caught grouper and top sirloin, starting at $14. Contact information: 100 Spring Avenue; www.sandbar-restaurant.com or (941) 778-0444.The Waterfront Restaurant.
Ask to sit near the porch, and you’ll have a grand view of the bay. If the white chocolate-raspberry cheesecake shows up on the menu on your visit, give in. Contact information: 111 South Bay Blvd.; www.thewaterfrontrestaurant.net
or (941) 778-1515.