Someone once said “Soul food is a passport to the past. It is much more about heritage than it is about hominy.” The Lazy Ballerina Bistro is a transport to those southern dinners your mother lovingly prepared for you. West Bradenton’s newest eating establishment will capture your palate with its eclectic menu.

Becky Kern-Garbus and Rae Ellen Hayo had a vision for a special restaurant that was beautifully decorated and sported an exceptional menu. They purchased the building at 2715 Manatee Avenue West in 2020 and began work on creating a special southern restaurant.

The floors are beautiful southern yellow pine and the walls are an old-fashioned beadboard. The 3 sided bar is welcoming for anyone who wishes to eat or drink from their selection of wines and beer.

The Bistro opened this past February and has been receiving rave reviews. The starter section of the menu includes pimento cheese fritters, hoe-cakes, and crab cakes. Their deviled eggs bring back memories of dinner on the church grounds where the ladies of the congregation would compete to see who had the best deviled eggs. It always confused me to be  eating “deviled eggs” at a Baptist church picnic. I guess a little sin is good for the stomach.

The Lazy Ballerina features a nice selection of salads; Harvest, Caesar, Spinach and Wedge.

The shared plates are where you really appreciate the kitchen. The southern veggie plate includes collards, black eyed peas, fried okra and pot-likker. This dish will warm your insides and have you humming Dixie if that is still allowed. 

The open-faced meatloaf is served on a butter-milk biscuit with mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans. WOW.

You will need help to finish the fish and shrimp with chips dish. This is definitely not the place to start your diet. 

The flank steak flatbread is grilled flank steak with caramelized onions, mozzarella cheese and topped with fresh arugula and crumbled blue cheese. 

The Bistro also has a great selection of sandwiches and their side dish options include hoppin’ John, collards, black- eyed peas. If you don’t enjoy these dishes you probably have spent too much time north of the Mason-Dixon line. 

The Lazy Ballerina Bistro is a special place with a staff that makes you feel at home. There is a saying that “in the South, first we eat, then we do everything else.” Before you do everything else, treat your southern tummy to a special evening at the Lazy Ballerina.

Bob Spencer
Manatee Herald

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