Family-owned and operated for over 100 years, Columbia has earned acclaim for its old-world charm and award-winning Spanish/Cuban cuisine and wine ... More
Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota
Family-owned and operated for over 100 years, Columbia has earned acclaim for its old-world charm and award-winning Spanish/Cuban cuisine and wine list. Join us for century-old family recipes like Paella "a la Valenciana," Filet Mignon "Columbia," and fresh seafood specialties. Don't miss Columbia's Original "1905" Salad(R), prepared tableside with our delicious, freshly-made dressing, a 100-year-old family recipe of fresh garlic, oregano, wine vinegar and Spanish extra virgin olive oil. Be sure to sample a fine Spanish wine like Torres, Montecillo or Campillo. Relax outdoors on our patio, or inside our Mediterranean-style dining rooms filled with hand-painted tiles and family heirlooms. We are a sister to the Columbia in Tampa's Ybor City, founded in 1905. Children's menu available. Open 365-days a year, including all holidays.
Two stars is being kind to the Columbia. We had several problems with this restaurant. The first is that St. Armand's Circle sometimes has a sewage problem and was a strong odor near all the sewer drains when we visited. This isn't Columbia's fault, but the Columbia did choose to leave all their sliding doors open so the diners got to smell it. The food was terrible. Ordered talapia for around $20 and received a bland half piece of fish that couldn't have been more than 3 ounces. The plantains that came with it were pretty good though. Our server was so slow that we were left with empty glasses (cokes) for the first half hour of our visit. So we ordered a pitcher of Sangria so that we could just have something to drink a that wouldn't be consumed as quickly since our server wasn't likely to return again. The sangria was absolutely terrific. Back to the service... the only reason I didn't order the paella is because I didn't want to wait 30 mins for it as noted on the menu. This was a blunder on my part since it turned out that we had to wait more than 30 mins for our food anyway. In that time, our server came by only once which is when we ordered the sangria. In most restaurants where the service is rather slow, having a pleasant server goes a long way to ease the frustration of the diners. Unfortunately, our server was as unpleasant as one can be. I give the Columbia two stars just because the sangria was so good. But this is an overpriced, overrated restaurant with underwhelming food, service and ambiance. I will never, ever return.