EPICURIOUS

A Guide to Din­ing in SW Florida

Gulf & Main - - Departments -

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

IL TE­SORO RIS­TORANTE

Pasta with Per­son­al­ity. Chef A.J. Black cre­ates an Ital­ian fam­ily feast at­mos­phere. Ev­ery­body’s laugh­ing, eat­ing pasta and sip­ping wine. Not only does Black in­ject spirit and heart, he heaps on the fla­vor start­ing with the an­tipasto. All the finest fla­vors of Italy come to­gether. Penne put­tanesca with capers; riga­toni with eg­g­plant, fresh ri­cotta and cherry tomato sauce; and short ribs with gnoc­chi

are hard to pass up. The seafood spe­cials are equally in­trigu­ing. Try the cloud-like tiramisu. D 751 Tar­pon Bay Road, Sani­bel, 239-395-4022, il­teroso.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, 239-472-5353; 1036 Peri­win­kle Way, Sani­bel, 239-472-6939; 12951 McGre­gor Blvd., Fort My­ers, 239-476-9000; and wa­ter­front at 16501B 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 try the Light­house Lo­cal Grouper Plat­ter for din­ner, as you view pic­tures of the is­land’s his­toric light­house that line the walls. Cal­la­head seat­ing is avail­able. BLD 362 Peri­win­kle Way, Sani­bel, 239-472-0303, light­house­cafe.com

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