Ritz Carlton Sarasota’s new restaurant, Jack Dusty. Who is Jack Dusty, you ask? The restaurant’s name harkens back to nautical lore and was an 18th century short-hand term for the naval store clerk. “Jack” referred to the additional national flags flown at the bow of a ship and later became a general term for sailor (Cracker Jack). “Dusty” comes from “Jack of the Dust” who was once the Purser’s steward working in the bread room, handling the flour. The Jack Dusty, under the “Purser” was responsible for doling out the daily lot of rum, or “grog” to sailors on board ship. In later years, the Jack Dusty was assigned the task of meticulously maintaining the inventory of the ship’s rum and food stores. Today, Jack Dusty is a symbol of camaraderie and community; festively gathering together to enjoy a good meal and drink.
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Jack Dusty was recently re-designed to be a restaurant the locals would love to visit that just happens to be at the Ritz Carlton address. It’s upbeat and trendy atmosphere lends itself well to the various clientele, from local hipsters to hotel guest and families.
First, I was blown away by the restaurant’s Naval Brown Bread. I usually don’t eat bread at restaurants, but the delightful aroma and clever presentation lured me in. Three slices later, I took a photo of the recipe on the cutting board in hopes that I can re-create this at home. For appetizers, our table shared the Crab & Fried Green Tomatoes, Fried Gator Tots, Crab Cakes and Fried Calamari. For dinner, I had the Bigeye Sashimi Tuna and Tomata and Burrata Salad. It was all impeccable, and I was hoping to have room for even more food.