SWEL Din­ing Guide

TOTI Me­dia, Inc. does its best to en­sure that in­for­ma­tion in this guide is up to date. How­ever, we still en­cour­age our read­ers to call ahead for de­tailed in­for­ma­tion and/or reser­va­tions be­fore vis­it­ing these lo­cal es­tab­lish­ments.

Bonita & Estero Magazine - - EPICURIOUS -

KEY B Break­fast L Lunch D Din­ner SB Sun­day Brunch Ban­quet Fa­cil­i­ties En­ter­tain­ment Cock­tails Beer and Wine Vege­tar­ian

Sani­bel

BLUE GI­RAFFE Ca­sual Ex­cel­lence. Af­ter a re­lax­ing day on the beach or brows­ing Sani­bel’s nu­mer­ous shops, it’s time to treat your­self to some de­li­cious, is­land-in­spired food. Sit at hand­painted ta­bles in­side, or en­joy the gar­den at­mos­phere of Peri­win­kle Place and sam­ple the Cuban Sand­wich for lunch—it’s an is­land fa­vorite! There’s some­thing for ever yone on the din­ner menu, in­clud­ing Sig­na­ture Gi­raffe Cake Din­ner, fea­tur­ing pan-seared crab cakes topped with mango salsa, chipo­tle cream and sweet chili glaze. The break­fast menu of­fers a tempting va­ri­ety of omelets and pancakes. Or you can tr y the Fish­er­man’s Bene­dict: two English muffins topped with poached eggs, salmon, spinach and grilled toma­toes, with Key lime hol­landaise sauce. Come see why the lo­cals love the Blue Gi­raffe! BLD

2075 Peri­win­kle Way, Sani­bel, blue­gi­raffe­sani­bel.com

DOC FORD’S SANI­BEL RUM BAR & GRILLE Novel Cui­sine. Lo­cal restau­rant folk joined with South­west Flor­ida nov­el­ist Randy Wayne White to de­velop a restau­rant based on a fic­tional char­ac­ter, and it’s a best-seller! The menu of­fers sand­wiches, sal­ads and en­trées. Don’t skip the mo­jito. LD

2500 Is­land Inn Road, Sani­bel, 239-472-8311, doc­fordssani­bel.com

THE DUNES Not a Mem­ber? Not a Prob­lem! The menu is clas­sic with an in­spired twist. Try the sig­na­ture lump crab bisque; the Eastern, West­ern or South­ern burger; crisp em­panadas with pulled beef or the seared cow­boy steak. LD

949 Sand Cas­tle Road, Sani­bel, 239-472-3355, dunes­golf­sani­bel.com

THE IS­LAND COW Bovine Bounty. With a mas­sive menu that fea­tures ev­ery­thing from omelets to fish to pasta, this is no beef joint, de­spite the cow ref­er­ences. The fish din­ners are a good choice, un­less it’s break­fast, when you might con­sider the Loaded Seafood Omelet. Check out the new full bar, of­fer­ing tropical cock­tails and sig­na­ture drinks, in­clud­ing the home­made White Mango San­gria! BLD

2163 Peri­win­kle Way, Sani­bel, 239-472-0606, sani­belis­land­cow.com

IS­LAND PIZZA A Slice of Par­adise. A tasty tra­di­tion on the is­land for more than 20 years. Pizza just the way you want it, and be sure to tr y the fa­mous “Crusty Curl Crust.” Pasta, cal­zone and salad are also pop­u­lar. You might try cala­mari or br­uschetta for an ap­pe­tizer, and don’t miss the daily happy hour. LD

1619 Peri­win­kle Way, Sani­bel, 239-472-1581, is­land­pizza.net

LAZY FLAMINGO Cold Beer, Raw Bar. Come try the plumpest raw oys­ters, steam­ing hot-spiced peel-and-eat shrimp, fresh grouper and in­cen­diar y Dead Par­rot Wings. The reg­u­lar hot Buf­falo wings are your best bet. LD

Four lo­ca­tions: 6520-C Pine Ave., Sani­bel, 239472-5353; 1036 Peri­win­kle Way, Sani­bel, 239-4726939; 12951 McGregor Blvd., Fort My­ers, 239476-9000; and wa­ter­front at 16501-B Stringfel­low Road, Bo­keelia, 239-283-5959, lazyflamingo.com

“Let's face it, a nice creamy choco­late cake does a lot for a lot of peo­ple; it does for me.” —Au­drey Hep­burn

LIGHT­HOUSE CAFÉ The World’s Best Break­fast. Res­i­dents and vis­i­tors have been en­joy­ing this Sani­bel clas­sic for six decades, and it’s easy to see why. Start your day with an Ocean Frittata: sea­soned shrimp, scal­lops and crab­meat, sautéed with broc­coli and fresh mush­rooms and topped with an ar­ti­choke heart and creamy Al­fredo sauce. Or tr y the Light­house Lo­cal Grouper Plat­ter for din­ner , as you view pic­tures of the is­land’s his­toric light­house that line the walls. Call-ahead seat­ing is avail­able. BLD

362 Peri­win­kle Way, Sani­bel, 239-472-0303, light­house­cafe.com

MATZALUNA Well-Smoked Ital­ian. The Five Cheese with Gor­gonzola, ri­cotta, spinach and ar­ti­choke hearts is just one of the pop­u­lar wood-fired piz­zas. Fresh pas­tas, chicken, seafood and veal round out the menu. D

1200 Peri­win­kle Way, Sani­bel, 239-472-1998, matzaluna.net

THE NORMANDIE SEA­SIDE CAFÉ AT WEST WIND In­dulge Your­self. Banan­aberry French Toast or an Ital­ian Omelet for break­fast? The café of­fers those and much more, in­clud­ing a Flor­ida fruit bowl or Veggie Omelet, served with Colom­bian

“Good food is very of­ten, even most of­ten, sim­ple food.” —An­thony Bour­dain

cof­fee or a choice of ar­ti­san whole-leaf teas. Re­lax in the old-world at­mos­phere as you en­joy an Is­land Curry Chicken Salad or Pressed Cuban Sand­wich for lunch, paired with the per­fect wine from an ex­ten­sive list. BLD

3345 West Gulf Drive, Sani­bel, 239-472-1541, west­windinn.com/normandie-restau­rant-sani­bel

PINOC­CHIO’S ICE CREAM AND GEPPETTO’S BEACH FOOD­IES The In­sti­tu­tion. A Sani­bel tra­di­tion since 1980, Pinoc­chio’s hand­crafts all its frozen con­fec­tions daily right in the Sani­bel store in small batches. This mecca for ice cream food­ies of­fers a va­ri­ety that’s sure to please all palates: ice cream, gelato, sor­bet, sher­bet, frozen yogurt and Ital­ian cus­tard. Choose from 130-plus fla­vors and en­joy gen­er­ous por­tions. Stop in for the sig­na­ture Sani­bel Krunch or Dirty Sand Dol­lar . Geppetto’s Beach F ood­ies, the sis­ter gourmet shop lo­cated next to Pinoc­chio’s, sur­prises with au­then­tic crois­sant bak­ing. 362 Peri­win­kle Way, Sani­bel, 239-472-6566, pinoc­chiosice­cream.com

THE SAND­BAR Wel­com­ing. The Seafood Trio, which in­cludes bronzed grouper, scal­lops and crab cake, is a fa­vorite. Fresh seafood and steaks grilled to per­fec­tion are sure to please all palates. D

2761 West Gulf Drive, Sani­bel, 239-472-0305, sani­bel­sand­bar.com

SANI­BEL FISH HOUSE Tried and T rue. Fresh seafood en­trées on the all-day menu range from sand­wiches and sal­ads to fried bas­kets and house spe­cial­ties, such as seared tuna with rice cakes and sea­weed salad. The salmon can be or­dered broiled, grilled, black­ened or Ja­maican jerked. LD

Three lo­ca­tions: 1523 Peri­win­kle Way, Sani­bel, 239-472-7770; 4685 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs, 239-495-5770; and 320 Old San Car­los Blvd., Fort My­ers Beach, 239-765-6766, the­fish­house­r­estau­rants.com

SANI­BEL GRILL Lo­cal Color. Sani­bel Grill ser ves up typ­i­cal pub fare—juicy burg­ers, seafood bas­kets and spicy Buf­falo wings—and more. You’ll find sea­soned bar­tenders and the of­ten-sought-but-nev­er­found neigh­bor­hood bar feel, which ex­plains the pop­u­lar­ity of this spot. D

703 Tar­pon Bay Road, Sani­bel, 239-472-4453, the­sani­bel­grill.com

THE SANI­BEL SPROUT Fresh Is­land Good­ness. Sani­bel Is­land’s pop­u­lar vegan and vege­tar­ian gourmet take­out restau­rant of­fers a de­light­ful va­ri­ety of meals, smooth­ies and juices pre­pared fresh daily. Chef Nikki Rood uses only 1 00-per­cent or­ganic, gluten-free, non-GMO, farm-fresh in­gre­di­ents in each cre­ation, in­clud­ing the pop­u­lar Smoked P aprika Hummus & Sprouts. An­other best-seller is the Raw Vegan Lasagna. The heart of The Sani­bel Sprout is “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food, ” (quot­ing Hip­pocrates) and this is re­flected in ever y de­lec­ta­ble dish it of­fers. LD

Bai­ley’s Cen­ter, 2463 Peri­win­kle Way, Sani­bel, 239-472-4499

SUN­SET GRILL Floribbean Gourmet. For lunch, try the crab cakes or black­ened chicken Cae­sar wrap. Morn­ing peo­ple might choose eggs “San­tiva” and “Cap­tiva,” which are vari­a­tions of eggs Bene­dict with ei­ther smoked salmon or lump crab cake. BLD

6536 Pine Ave., Sani­bel, 239-472-2333, sun­set­grill­sani­bel.com

SWEET MELISSA’S CAFE Good Thing, Small Pack­ages. Chef Melissa Tal­mage pre­pares en­trées in full and pe­tite por­tions, giv­ing din­ers the op­tion to sam­ple mul­ti­ple dishes, such as Grilled Oc­to­pus or Smoked Mul­let Frit­ter. 1625 Peri­win­kle Way, Sani­bel. 239-472-1956, sweet­melis­sas­cafe.com. LD

1625 Peri­win­kle Way, Sani­bel, 239-472-1956, sweet­melis­sas­cafe.com

THIS­TLE LODGE Vic­to­rian Ren­dezvous. Cre­ative cui­sine such as black grouper, oven-roasted co­quelet and herb-crusted lamb rack or black­ened yel­low­tail snap­per mojo adds to the al­lure of Vic­to­rian trap­pings, as do glorious beach views from al­most any ta­ble. L D SB

Casa Ybel Re­sort, 2255 West Gulf Drive, Sani­bel, 239-472-9200, thistlelodge.com

THE TIM­BERS RESTAU­RANT AND FISH MAR­KET Dine In or Do It Your­self. Fa­vorites in­clude fried cala­mari, seafood plat­ters and crab cakes (all lump). Fresh fish is al­ways on the menu. Be sure to visit the ad­ja­cent fish mar­ket. D

703 Tar­pon Bay Road, Sani­bel, 239-472-2722, tim­ber­sof­sani­bel.com

TRADERS A Shop­ping and Din­ing Ex­pe­ri­ence. Traders is a shop­ping em­po­rium and a restau­rant, with live en­ter­tain­ment on Tues­day and Thurs­day evenings. The menu fea­tures fresh Flor­ida gumbo, pan-seared crab cakes and macadami­aen­crusted grouper. LD

1551 Peri­win­kle Way, Sani­bel, 239-472-7242, trader­ssani­bel.com

T2 New is­land fa­vorite. Opened by the own­ers of Traders. T2 of­fers new de­li­cious dishes, like trendy tacos and sa­vory flat­breads, in ad­di­tion to coastal-in­spired clas­sics. A full bar with mixol­ogy cock­tails such as Sani­bel Sun­set and El­der­flower Bloom, a ro­tat­ing Flor­ida craft and draft beer se­lec­tion, and a wine list to envy all add to the unique and lively Florid­ian dé­cor. Out­door seat­ing, full bar, gift shop, T2 is the per­fect place for lunch, din­ner and any­time in be­tween! LD

2340 Peri­win­kle Way, Sani­bel, 239-558-8919, T2­traders.com

Cap­tiva

CANTINA CAP­TIVA Na­cho Madre’s Mex­i­can. En­joy lunch and din­ner in the gar­den or in­side, where bright ser­ape col­ors, piñatas, terra-tiled floors and adobe-style walls sub­tly sug­gest that we’ve gone south of the bor­der. LD

14970 Cap­tiva Drive, Cap­tiva, 239-472-0248, cap­ti­vais­landinn.com

“Life is un­cer­tain. Eat dessert first.” —Ernes­tine Ulmer

CROW’S NEST BEACH BAR AND GRILLE Great Food, Great Fun! Take a trip to Cap­tiva for a fun new din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence! The menu is filled with your fa­vorite ap­pe­tiz­ers, in­clud­ing flat­breads, chicken wings and the al­wayspop­u­lar baked goat cheese dip. For din­ner you can choose sa­vory en­trées such as Chicken Sal­tim­bocca, pre­pared with fresh sage leaves, lemon ri­cotta and pro­sciutto-wrapped chicken over lin­guine. The Crab Races, tak­ing place on Mon­day and Thurs­day, re­ally keep the room hop­ping! LD

15951 Cap­tiva Drive, Cap­tiva, 239-472-5161, crowsnest-cap­tiva.com

DOC FORD’S CAP­TIVA RUM BAR & GRILLE The Stor y Con­tin­ues. Build­ing on con­tin­ued suc­cess, this pop­u­lar chain based on nov­el­ist Randy Wayne White’s fic­tional char­ac­ter brings its unique menu to the doors of South Seas Is­land Re­sort. Start with Doc’s Beach Bread while you con­sider en­trées such as panko-fried shrimp and dr yrubbed rib­eye. LD

5400 South Seas Plan­ta­tion Road, Cap­tiva, 239-312-4275, doc­ford­scap­tiva.com

“A bal­anced diet is a cookie in each hand.” —Bar­bara John­son

THE GREEN FLASH A Rare Din­ing Trea­sure. Have a seat and en­joy the beau­ti­ful view of the wa­ter as you browse the de­light­fully di­verse menu. The Grouper “Café de Paris” is the house spe­cialty, baked in white wine, lemon and Worces­ter­shire, fin­ished with a but­ter y herb top­ping. Or tr y the Vene­tian Plat­ter, which fea­tures salmon, sword­fish, scal­lops and tiger prawn ser ved with sautéed po­lenta. Sa­vory beef and pork en­trées round out the menu for land­lub­bers, and the dessert menu is pos­i­tively deca­dent! LD

15183 Cap­tiva Drive, Cap­tiva, 239-472-3337, green­flash­cap­tiva.com

KEYLIME BISTRO Changes in Food­i­tude. A white picket fence and cheer y blue canopies give this place an is­land set­ting, while daily out­door live mu­sic pro­vides a Jimmy Buf­fett beat. The eclec­tic menu in­cludes wal­nut-crusted snap­per , sausage and pep­pers, and es­car­gots baked with blue cheese and tomato. BLD

11509 Andy Rosse Lane, Cap­tiva, 239-395-4000, cap­ti­vais­landinn.com

LATTE DA COF­FEE AND ICE CREAM SHOP Once Upon a Time ... Find a wide range of cof­fees, in­clud­ing the ex­tra-strong Red Eye Cof­fee, cap­puc­ci­nos and lat­tes at this cozy spot. Those with a sweet tooth in­dulge in scoops of Quee­nie’s lo­cally made ice cream, milk­shakes and sun­daes. BLD 11508 Andy Rosse Lane, Cap­tiva, 239-472-0234, cap­ti­vais­landinn.com

THE MUCKY DUCK Quack Up. Start at the bar with a fresh pint from a long list of beers brewed “on the other side of the pond.” The menu is a com­bi­na­tion of Flor­ida cui­sine and English pub grub. Visit the great out­door beach­side pa­tio for live mu­sic and sun­set gaz­ing. LD

11546 Andy Rosse Lane, Cap­tiva, 239-4723434, muck­y­duck.com

OLD CAP­TIVA HOUSE Old Flor­ida/New Amer­i­can. Chef Greg Nel­son’s al­ways chang­ing menu cen­ters on the bounty of the sea­son with plenty of fresh fish. Come check out the new sushi menu, which of­fers an ad­ven­tur­ous va­ri­ety of more than 30 choices of sushi rolls, sashimi, spe­cialty rolls and se­lect sakes. Wines from an eclec­tic list com­ple­ment the presentations, and the view from the Sun­set Room takes the breath away. LD

15951 Cap­tiva Drive, Cap­tiva. 239-472-5161 ext. 4, cap­tiva-house.com.

RC OT­TER’S Ot­terly Beach Amer­i­can. The mul­ti­tude of menu choices may be daunt­ing. Steamed clams, fish bas­kets, que­sadil­las or even meat­loaf are sure to sat­isfy your crav­ings. Din­ers en­joy live mu­sic out­side seven days a week dur­ing lunch and din­ner . BLD

11508 Andy Rosse Lane, Cap­tiva, 239-395-1142, cap­ti­vais­landinn.com

SUN­SHINE SEAFOOD CAFÉ AND WINE BAR In­spired Bistro. This charm­ing, small café of­fers a menu with a Euro­pean touch. Din­ers can en­joy the wood-grilled rack of lamb or black­ened salmon, or per­haps a pecan-crusted goat cheese salad. Out­door seat­ing is avail­able. D

14900 Cap­tiva Drive, Cap­tiva, 239-472-6200, cap­ti­vais­landinn.com

Fort My­ers

BLANC Food for the Epi­curean. Start with Bread Jenga, a toasted bread tower with cheese sauce, mod­eled af­ter the pop­u­lar game and al­most as fun! Then choose an en­trée from the ro­bata grill, such as Lamb Lol­lipops with roasted gar­lic and rose­mary re­duc­tion, or the Oc­to­pus S&S, served with sweet ha­banero sauce. Blanc’s menu also in­cludes “Al­most En­trées,” de­signed to be en­joyed and shared by the en­tire ta­ble. Re­lax in the clean, con­tem­po­rary am­bi­ence as you sa­vor the cre­ations of Chris Whitaker and chef Jean Claude Roge, whose tal­ents lift Blanc above its peers. Closed Sun­days. D

13451 McGregor Blvd., Ste. 10, Fort My­ers, 239-887-3139, blan­cen­ter­tain­ment.com

“Your diet is a bank ac­count. Good food choices are good in­vest­ments.” —Bethenny Frankel

BLU SUSHI Cobalt Cool. An in­cred­i­ble va­ri­ety of sushi and out­ra­geous cock­tails high­light the menu, but there are also tasty choices for din­ers who pre­fer steak and chicken. LD

13451 McGregor Blvd., Fort My­ers, 239-4891500; 2262 First St., Fort My­ers, 239-362-2843, blusushi.com

COURT­SIDE STEAK­HOUSE AT SANI­BEL HAR­BOUR RE­SORT Beefed Up. Re­fined with wood, brass, leaded glass and a sub­tle sports theme, this steak­house de­liv­ers some of the tasti­est “butcher’s breed” Black An­gus steaks.

17260 Har­bour Pointe Drive, Fort My­ers, 239466-4000, mar­riott.com

CRAVE Cozy & Con­tem­po­rary. Mod­ern Amer­i­can cui­sine pre­pared when you or­der it. Break­fast, served un­til 4 p.m., is your choice of omelet or vari­a­tion of eggs Bene­dict. Af­ter noon, dishes such as ba­con­wrapped meat­loaf and cedar plank salmon, plus sal­ads and sand­wiches, at­tract hun­gry din­ers. The Sun­day brunch crowd packs the house, so you may have to wait—but it’s so worth it. B L D SB

12901 McGregor Blvd., Fort My­ers, 239-4664663, crave­menu.com

“If mu­sic be the food of love, play on.” —Wil­liam Shake­speare

DARUMA Make a Wish! Din­ner is served in tra­di­tional or tep­pan style, which means the chef comes to your ta­ble and pre­pares your din­ner. Clas­sic Japanese fa­vorites like shrimp tem­pura are of­fered, as well as com­bi­na­tions like lob­ster Nip­pon and filet mignon teriyaki. D

13499 South Cleve­land Ave., Fort My­ers, 239344-0037; 241 Cen­ter Street North, Naples, 239-591-1200; and 5459 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, 941-342-6600, daru­marestau­rant.com

THE FIRE­STONE Four lev­els of fun. Brick and wood pro­vide a warm at­mos­phere, and tires mov­ing along the walls re­mind you why it’s called The Fire­stone. Try the filet mignon or paella in the Grille Room or tapas in the Sky Bar, or dance to live mu­sic in the Mar­tini Bar on Fri­day and Satur­day. D

2224 Bay St., Fort My­ers, 239-334-3473, fire­stonefl.com

FORD’S GARAGE The taste is in the details. The dé­cor takes you back to the 1 920s, when Henr y Ford walked these parts, and the menu in­cludes burg­ers such as the Model “A” and the Low Carb-ure­tor. Fresh Black An­gus beef topped with ever ything from arugula to fried egg will make your mouth wa­ter , and the craft beer menu in­cludes such names as K ona Big Wave and Goose Is­land 3 12. LD

2207 First St., Fort My­ers, 239-332-3673, fords­garagefl.com

THE EDI­SON RESTAU­RANT Fort My­ers Il­lu­mi­nati. This restau­rant hon­ors its leg­endary name­sake ge­nius, Thomas Edi­son, with a dis­play of his­toric pho­tos. The menu is steeped in Amer­i­can culi­nary tra­di­tion, with dishes like the sig­na­ture chicken pot­pie re­ceiv­ing raves from din­ers. LD

3583 McGregor Blvd., Fort My­ers, 239-936-9348, edis­onfl.com

THE PRAWNBROKER Agent Fish. The food here is tried and true. Sal­ads, along with fish, steak and pasta dishes, have been pleas­ing palates since 1982. Soup or salad ac­com­pany all din­ners, just like in the good old days. Early din­ers catch good deals from 4-7 p.m. Cozy booths, fish art and nau­ti­cal details give this restau­rant a sea­far­ing vibe. D

13451-16 McGregor Blvd., Fort My­ers, 239-489-2226, prawn­bro­ker­fort­my­ers.com

UNIVER­SITY GRILL Head of the Class. This place gets the busi­ness crowd at lunch and the beau­ti­ful the­ater­go­ers at din­ner. They come for a pri­vate club at­mos­phere and a happy bal­ance of seafood and steaks. Early din­ers will find good deals from 4-7 p.m. LD

7790 Cy­press Lake Drive, Fort My­ers, 239-437-4377, uni­ver­si­ty­grill.net

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