Selva's Santa Maria Goes Downscale, Delivers

I talked to Chef/Owner Darwin Santa Maria of downtown Sarasota's Selva Grill this weekend to get the skinny on his new endeavor.

Santa Maria will be taking over the former home of California Bistro Grill on Ringling and replacing the bland sandwiches and soups with casual Peruvian fare like rotisserie meats and, well, different sandwiches. "It'll be fast food, but high quality," he said. There will be scooter delivery, a "spicy bar" and more downscale versions of the upscale modern Peruvian-inspired cuisine Santa Maria has made popular at Selva.

"I think Peruvian is going to be the next Mexican," Santa Maria told me, when I asked him why he thought there was a seemingly disproportionate number of Peruvian joints in town. "There are actually a lot of Peruvian restaurants everywhere."

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