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Seasonal dishes with a Mediterranean twist take center stage at new restaurant inside John and Mable Ringling Museum

The Ringling Grillroom serves up menu items such as ahi tuna poke and jumbo lump crab cake with arugula, grapefruit and pickled red onion.
Photograph courtesy of Metz Culinary

Fresh, local produce is on the menu at The Ringling Grillroom located inside the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Fla. 

Operated by Metz Culinary Management, the new concept’s Mediterranean-influenced menu was inspired by the trips of John and Mable Ringling, who often traveled throughout Europe in search of acts for the circus John operated with his brothers.

“In addition to the Ringlings' travels and love for the Mediterranean, the inspiration for the menu was based around freshness and seasonality,” Curtis Hawk, executive chef of The Ringling Grillroom, said in a statement. “In addition to purchasing produce from many local farms, we also work closely with local fishermen to deliver the freshest fish and seafood right to our door.”

Menu items include ahi tuna poke and jumbo lump crab cake with arugula, grapefruit and pickled red onion. Guests can also select from a full beverage menu that features hand-crafted cocktails as well as a full wine and beer list. 

Restaurant staff went through detailed hospitality and service training leading up to the restaurant’s opening last month to make sure that they were ready to go on day one. 

“This extensive training on the hospitality aspect of the dining program as well as the menu helped to build excitement and confidence among staff members,” Rick Sell, VP of restaurant operations for Metz Culinary Management, said in a statement. “By the time training was complete, our staff could speak confidently and passionately about our menu and vision. It also helped us to ensure our goal of making every guest feel comfortable and welcome.”

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