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.

Gulf & Main - - Epicurious -

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 hand-painted 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 every­one 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 try 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

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

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 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 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 sure to please all palates, in­clud­ing ice cream, ge­lato, sor­bet, sher­bet, frozen yo­gurts and Ital­ian cus­tards from the 130+ fla­vor reper­toire, ser ved in gen­er­ous por­tions. Stop in for the sig­na­ture Sani­bel Krunch or Dirty Sand Dol­lar . Geppetto’s Beach Food­ies, 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

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

SANI­BEL Tried and FISH True. HOUSE 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 take-out 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 Pa­prika 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

Cap­tiva

CANTINA Na­cho Madre’s CAP­TIVA Mex­i­can. En­joy lunch and din­ner in colors, the gar­den piñatas, or terra-tiled in­side, where floors bright and adobe-style ser­ape walls sub­tly sug­gest that we’ve gone south of the bor­der. LD 14970 Cap­tiva Drive, Cap­tiva, 239-472-0248, cap­ti­vais­landinn.com OLD CAP­TIVA HOUSE Old Flor­ida/New Amer­i­can. Chef Ja­son Miller’s al­ways chang­ing menu cen­ters on the bounty of the sea­son with plenty of fresh fish. Wines from an eclec­tic list com­ple­ment the pre­sen­ta­tions, and the view from the Sun­set Room takes the breath away . BD 15951 Cap­tiva Drive, Cap­tiva, 239-472-5161 ext. 4, cap­tiva-house.com 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

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