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Is the anything GOOD in Fort Myers!!??

  • Suzie Sep 11, 2006 03:42 PM

I have just about given up. Cru is good but I have had some poor service from time to time and the food is also hit or miss. I like Harolds on the Bay. The Veranda is so dated its sad. The food tastes like nothing different then I would find at any basic hotel restaurant. The menu and the place its self needs a whole renovation. There is a seafood place in the Bell Tower Mall (the name escapes me right now) which I find to be just awful. I go for the oysters and fried artichokes and thats about it. I do like the sushi at Origami but service seems a little crazy when they are busy. I like Blue Pepper but its nothing I would go out of my way for. I know I am all over the board with this but I am just looking for some ideas.

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  1. I should also add, so it doesn't sound like too crazy of a rant, we pretty much like just about everything but Thai, Indian, or cuisines where bell peppers are often used. I am allergic to them.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Suzie

      Suzie - try Anthony's Trattoria
      just south of Bonita Bch Rd , on Hwy 41 - in Bonita Springs of course.
      - Steve

    2. There has gotta be something out there I am missing in Fort Myers. Anyone????

      2 Replies
      1. re: Suzie

        Try the Blue Coyote, a private dinner and social club. I think they let you try it once to make sure you like it before joining. It's off College Pkwy. in the Calusa Yacht and Racket Club. The gate will open when you pull right up to it. The restaurant is on the right at the end of the road. Tell Mitch you heard about it from Garth and you should enjoy it. Short but good menu and nice wine selection.

        1. re: gfrancis

          Are you a member gfrancis? Can you tell me more about it? Average age of the members? We were just talking about joining a few things to promote our business but I have never heard of this place.

      2. Technically not in Fort Myers, but just to the south is Chops City Grill in Bonita Springs. I've been there about three times and every meal has been excellent (especially the pork porterhouse). Good attention to detail.

        The only downside is some of the underdressed diners (alas, the bane of dining in a tourist area).

        1. THANKS! I knew there had to be someone out there! I don't mind going outside of Fort Myers to check out a recommendation. I will try it out in the near future.

          1. Have you tried Sunshine Cafe off McGregor and Mille Sapporo(sp?) in the Publix plaza on Summerlin in Ft Myers?

            Someone posted about a fabulous italian/pizza place on McGregor a few months ago...and good Mexican near the Bell Tower. You might want to do a quick search on here to find them. Their names escape me right now.

            I don't live in the area (my parents do) so I'm not up to date on what else is out there. We did have a great meal at Cru but the service was just OK and there was a little too much attitude in the place. The food WAS outstanding though.

            Good luck!

            6 Replies
            1. re: mish

              I will put Sunshine Cafe and Mille Sapporrro on the list! Thanks. The Italian Place is called Buon Appitio (sp) and I was one of the ones who recommend it. It really is good.

              1. re: Suzie

                I have Buon Appetito on my list to try next time we're in town. Sounds great.

                If you go, please report back on the two I suggested. I haven't been in a while but my parents and their friends love both of them.

              2. re: mish

                From working at mille sapporo years ago, I would avoid that place. The owner recycles unused bread.

                1. re: bill217718

                  i find this post a little ridiculous. years ago? and you post this now? how do you know what they do now?

                  1. re: alkapal

                    restaurant has been closed for at least two years now...

                    1. re: LilMsFoodie

                      guess they aren't serving any bread!

              3. Don't miss the annual LaBelle Swamp Cabbage Festival (swamp cabbage= hearts of palm). Would maybe look into food in Naples to the south... especially Cuban (in either place).

                1. I enjoy festivals but I am really looking for restaurants in Fort Myers and the surrounding areas. I will keep a look out for the Swamp Cabbage Festival though! Thanks.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Suzie

                    HEADS UP, swamp cabbage lovers! the festival is coming up quickly!
                    http://swampcabbagefestival.org/

                  2. My last trip to Fort Myers the best meal was at Bonefish Grill. Fish was cooked exactly to order, we were treated well, and it was among the less expensive meals I had.

                    I also like Bistro 41 for the meatloaf, though it is criticized as going downhill. In Naples, had good food but bad service at Tommy Bahama's, though they gave a card for a comp to make up, and wonderful contact but ordered poorly at Miss Saigon -- got a special and fried rice but should have gone for pho and grilled pork.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: nosh

                      The pho is awesome at Miss Saigon....I've also had the grilled pork with noodles, highly recommended. I would also suggest the Banh Mi sandwiches...for $3.95 a tremendous and delicious bargain though I wish they would put more cilantro on it. There's a NEW Vietnamese place just opened just south of Wiggins Pass on the east side of the road called "Noodle Saigon" but the prices are much higher than at Miss Saigon and they don't serve Banh Mi from what I've read on their website; haven't been there yet.

                      1. re: Val

                        On a recent trip to Naples, we ate at Noodle Saigon and had an excellent meal. It turned out to be the best meal we had the entire vacation. I've been to a number of Vietnamese restaurants and they seem to either be wonderful or pretty bad. The cold summer rolls (we got the shrimp rolls and the tofu rolls) were very fresh. I had the Gulf shrimp with heads in garlic sauce and it was wonderful. My husband always gets Bun with chicken and his was good and my daughter had a tofu and mixed vegetable dish that she enjoyed.

                        1. re: azogal61

                          Thanks, azogal...will have to try it out...co-worker of mine who also loves the chicken pho at Miss Saigon tried the chicken pho at Noodle Saigon and was totally disappointed with the broth. But, I'm still curious about Noodle Saigon and will check it out for myself.

                          1. re: azogal61

                            I'll second this recommendation of Noodles Saigon. Very good service and food - all the usual Vietnamese favorites (except Banh Mi). The rice noodles salads are very good and big enough for two to share. Excellent summer shrimp rolls.

                      2. Courtside Steakhouse at the Sanibel Harbour Resort is excellent. By far my favorite restaurant in Fort Myers. Stop by Charley's Bar in the lobby for a drink before dinner.

                        McGreggor Cafe is excellent. The nightly specials sell out quick...so get there early!

                        Other Suggestions:
                        Sasse's --(Evans just north of Winkler) is wonderful. Totally cute environment.
                        Decent Mexican food at --Cantina Laredo just north of Bell Tower shops
                        British Open Pub in Bonita has great "comfort" food
                        Chops in Bonita-- 1/2 price entrees before 6 come with a drink

                        1. I noticed Cantina Laredo today as I was driving into The Bell Tower Shops (I dont know why I never noticed it before, lol) and from the outside it looks very nice, almost too nice for Mexican. Whats it like on the inside? Dress code, fancy??

                          1. Cantina Laredo is a Texas-based upscale chain that has two locations in Florida: Ft. Myers and Plantation.

                            We've eaten at the Ft. Myers restaurant a couple times for dinner and liked it for what it is -- Americanized Mexican. My wife ate at the Cantina Laredo in Plantation with a work group for lunch and less impressed than she had been before.

                            A step above other Mexican restaurants such as Iguana Mia in SW Florida, or La Bamba in Broward County.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: floridan

                              La Casita - on McGregor (in the IONA area)
                              purple little house-like, perched in the K-Mart shopping
                              Food was good...might be equal to Iguana - you decide.
                              small inside - family owned and operated....they want you happy

                              1. re: SunnyAndSteve

                                casita beats iguana. imo, more authentic!

                              2. re: floridan

                                For really good mexican Taqueria San Julian can't be beat. They make all their salsa fresh and the food is consistently excellent. We have eaten there 100s of times. They're on S. Cleveland near India Palace. There's also one in Naples and BBeach, but we haven't eaten there. Also one in LaBelle, if you have to drive over to the east coast.

                              3. I recommend "The Prawnbroker" for seafood. It is on the East side of McGregor up around the intersections with College Parkway or Daniels. (I can't remember the exact location because I always come from Sarasota and drive up Palm Beach Boulevard/McGregor; so I don't pay much attention to the intersecting streets. You'd better get an address, though, because it is hidden away and easy to miss.)

                                Not surprisingly, I think the best fish served there comes from local waters, so that it is not frozen, but even the (presumably frozen) northern fish is very good. Still, I would stick with grouper, snapper, mahi, redfish, etc. for maximum flavor.

                                The chefs do not overcook the fish, which is a major criticism I have of other restaurants. The sauces for the fish are particularly good. I am not generally big on restaurant fried fish (anywhere), due to the danger of getting armor-plated breading, but they do not overdo the breading at this restaurant, so it is much better than average. Also, I strongly recommend the fried soft-shelled crab, if it is in season.

                                However, I think well of the grilled fish, the "en croute" fish, the fish steamed in a bag with spices and vegetables, and the baked fish. The menu rotates, so all of these things may not be on the menu when you go.

                                I got the impression from your e-mail that you do not care for places with less than a formal restaurant ambience (Cru, Harold's, etc.). While "The Prawnbroker" is certainly a dressy restaurant, it may not meet your standards. The well-maintained restaurant has been around for a long time (a tribute to its high quality, I believe), is in an old building, has a low ceiling, and generally feels a bit "Old Florida," although it has low lighting, white tablecloths and candles, as I recall. The bar is nothing special and feels a bit barren.

                                In contrast, the wine list is good, and remarkably inexpensive. They have more than the usual low-end wines and sometimes feature wines from small, high-quality California wineries, which do not generally seem to export their wines beyond the West Coast of the United States. The standard pour is six ounces. Keep that in mind when looking at the "wines by the glass" prices. Very impressive--a real deal!

                                Finally, to give you an idea of "where I am coming from" (as we used to say in the 1960s), I have never been to "Cru," (and will try it, based on your recommendation--thanks!) but do like "Harold's." I tend to disagree with you about "The Veranda," which would get a B+ from me, if we were grading the restaurants. Finally, I lived in Ft. Myers for three years before moving to Sarasota and am a highly engaged "foodie."

                                1. Thanks GFR,
                                  I appreciate such a detailed post and will certainly try the Pawnbroker soon. I do not want to give the wrong impression -- I have no problem with "less than formal" and in fact I tend to enjoy those places more. I am just very frustrated with the lack of decent places here.
                                  To give you an idea of "where I am coming from", I am a HUGE foodie. My family owned restaurants since I was a kid and they were all successful. I, on my own not under Daddys wing, ran restaurants for over 20 years. I study culinary and love to cook. I am just frustrated here with the mediocre food and service which seems to plague Fort Myers.

                                  1. On my last trip to Ft. Myers I discovered Vicenzo's which had the best pizza and sub sandwiches I've had in Florida. Their pasta is ok too. It's on South Cleveland about 5 miles south of Daniels, in the same shopping center as a Publix.

                                    There is also a Clam Shack in that center that has decent fried Ipswich clams and lobsters, but has clam chowder that I would expect to find in California, perfectly awful.

                                    Miami Connection on South Cleveland between Colonial and Daniels is a pretty good Jewish deli, especially for that area. I think it's a really good place for breakfast. The only complaint I ever heard about their homemade corned beef hash was that it had too much corned beef and not enough potatoes. That compaint did not come from me; I think it's terrific. I think they're only open for breakfast and lunch.

                                    1. I know this is kind of an old post but if you still read this, I have a bunch of suggestions for you.

                                      CinCin is a Mediterranean restaurant in the same plaza as The Prawnbroker. The Tapas menu is great and the service is usually very good. Nice wine list with more boutique wines from around the world. Cozy yet lively atmosphere most evenings.

                                      Yabo is a fairly new Italian restaurant that I keep hearing rave reviews about. I was given a gift certificate for Yabo by a customer of mine who absolutely loves this place. I can't wait to try it based upon his recommendation alone. He's a big foodie who's worked in the restaurant and wine business for years so I trust his judgement. I work at a local boutique wine shop so I hear all the good restaurant buzz.
                                      Yabo serves traditional Italian fare that is all hand made. The owners are foodies who make Italian food like it has been made for centuries; with fresh ingredients and love. I don't know about their wine list or if they are licensed yet but I'm sure you can bring your own bottle for a corkage fee (call first to be sure it's ok to BYOB).

                                      Harold has just opened another restaurant just across the alley from Harold's On Bay (where Eddie Fishbowls used to be). This is a Tapas and wine bar concept called H2. I haven't been there yet but I hear good things so far. It only opened about a month or so ago.

                                      There's a little hole in the wall Thai restaurant on 41 that I love! It's called Suriya Thai and it's on the southbound side of 41 near the K-mart by Winkler Ave. I've only been there a few times and I've never been when they're busy so I don't know how the service is when they're weeded but we've always had polite, helpful and prompt service. We are exploring Thai food so we try something new every time and everything we've had is delicious. We usually get Thai curry of some sort (because we can't find a good place to get Indian Curry in Ft. Myers. Any suggestions?) and the spices are always perfect and the meat and seafood have never been over cooked. We are always wowed by the size of the portions and the presentation of everything is pretty yet not over the top. Not much of a beer and wine list but they do have a few Thai beers that are pretty yummy if you like a kind of light lemony lager. The Thai beer goes nicely to cut the spice of a hot curry (and of course, they will make your curry as hot or as mild as you like it). They offer carry out and deliver locally but I will say we were slightly disappointed with the size of the portions when we picked up take away one night. The take out portions pale in comparison to the portions you receive at sit down service. The atmosphere is not exciting but reasonably typical for a Thai restaurant. They have a nice sushi bar and a HUGE sushi menu but I've never had the sushi there so I can't vouch for it (we go there when we crave curry ;-). I've seen people eating sushi and it looked nice and fresh and beautifully made.

                                      If you like sushi, Blu Sushi is considered to be the best place in town. Kind of pricey but worth it from everything I hear. We're not big sushi eaters so we haven't been there but everyone says Blu is the best. It's in the same plaza as CinCin and The Prawnbroker (that whole corner is loaded with great restaurants and there are more places packed in there than you probably realize).

                                      Another plaza teaming with good restaurants is The Bridge plaza. It's at the corner of College and McGregor. Cafe Cibo is an excellent Tuscan style restaurant with a terriffic wine list. They serve the most incedible grilled meats and fish served with traditional, yet inventive sauces and sides. The first time I went there, I ordered the veal chop with porccini mushroom sauce and truffled mashed potatoes. It was gorgeous! The chop was almost 3 inches thick and grilled to perfection with the rich sauce and mashed potatoes and just a simple sprig of rosemary as garnish. Beautiful, simple and absolutely delicious! The dining room is small so call for reservations and bring a friend because more people need to know about this place because it is really a great little restaurant. The food isn't cheap but it's not too expensive either and absolutely worth every penny. The servers are wine savvy, pleasant and attentive. You must not miss this restaurant!
                                      Jayne's Victorian Garden is in the same plaza and only open for lunch. They serve mostly vegetarian fare and have a small organic grocery selection that they use to make the loveliest food. My wine shop has hosted 2 ladies dinners there (by special reservation and the owners are friends) and it has be wonderful both times. The sweets and deserts are different but delicious and made from all natural and more hypo allergenic ingredients. Jayne, the proprietor, has many food allergies and created this restaurant to showcase the incredible foods she and her husband have created because of those allergies. So if you have wheat, soy, dairy or other food allergies, Jayne's can create something that you can actually eat without worrying that you forgot your epi-pen. Regardless of your food allergies or lack thereof, the lunch menu at Jayne's is fresh and delicious and you'll never guess that anything is made with alternative ingredients. In fact, those ingredients make typical foods taste a lot better than usual. Jayne's caters frequently and also hosts afternoon tea in and out of the restaurant. A must try restaurant that you can feel good about what you ate afterwords.
                                      The Bridge plaza is also home to the best Philly cheese steak in town at Philly Connection. They make great breakfast too! The owners run it themselves and the service is friendly and quick. A great lunch stop when you just gotta have a good cheese steak. They make other Philly favorites including fried scrapple for breakfast. Sorry, no giant soft pretzels on the menu but they make killer onion rings and have PA Dutch birch beer in a can! A little taste of home for people like me. They deliver locally but only for orders over $20.

                                      As far as Mexican is concerned, I have two favorites in Ft. Myers. The first is La Casita. It's on McGregor; the little purple restaurant in the front of the K-mart plaza on the way to Ft. Myers beach, just before the Gladiolus intersection if headed south on McGregor. Bright, fun atmosphere. Service is usually good and the food is good and authentic. The beans can sometimes be a little too salty and the chimichangas are disappointing but everything else I've had is excellent. The Basil Chicken is delicious and the Wet Burritos are huge and tasty. They only have a beer and wine license with a scant wine list and domestic and Mexican beers, but they make a nice Margarita with wine instead of Tequila. I drink enough wine so their short wine list doesn't bother me. I prefer a Margarita with Mexican food and the way they make it, you'd never know it was made with wine.

                                      My other favorite, even though it's kind of a dive and not in the best area and they have terrible parking, is Jalapenos on 41 near downtown. It's painted bright green but it's still somewhat easy to miss because it's a little hidden by the building next to it. Once again, it's terrible to get in and out of because they only have one narrow row of parking, but the food is super good, super cheap and worth the aggravation of navigating that area of 41. There is a Jalapenos in Edison Mall now and another on College Pkwy but none of them make food as good as the dive on 41. The 41 location is self service with a dining room (they call your number in Spanish first then English if no one responds ;-), the one on College is full service but I've only eaten there once and was disappointed by a rather lackluster and watery taco salad. The 41 location serves the best 50c tacos that are fresh with lots of cilantro and served with lime wedges. My favorite is the shrimp quesadilla and my husband loves the gigantic chimichanga. The beans and rice are just right and the salsa's are traditional. The best part is, most of the meals are under $5. Everyone else can go to Iguana Mia and pay twice as much for food that isn't nearly as good as Jalapenos and that's why I don't mind risking the fenders on my car to eat there instead.

                                      I'm going to end this now but I have more suggestions for great restaurants if you want them. There are lots of great little restaurants in Ft. Myers, you've just gotta know where to find them. I'm glad I stumbled upon this blog and I hope you get a chance to try some of these restaurants. Let me know what you think. Bon apitite!

                                      P.S. Sunshine Cafe is one of my favorites too. Hope you've tried it.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: nikoretro

                                        Niko...I live in Naples and we have a Blu Sushi here...is yours related to ours? Can't help but wonder..Blu Sushi is awesome!!!!! Yes, a bit pricey...we love Sushi-Thai for more affordable fresh sushi AND great cooked Thai foods here in Naples (we have 2 locations now!) but I did not know that Blu Sushi opened a Ft. Myers store also IF it's the same...do you know??? We love going to Blu Sushi for special occasions! Thanks!

                                        1. re: Val

                                          Blu Sushi in Naples is done by the same company who did the one here in Fort Myers.

                                          1. re: Val

                                            Blue Sushi was in Fort Myers first then opened in 3rd st. South. H2 is a great little tapas bar and serves lunch so Harold's is a dinner only place now. I eat at h2 all the time. Menu rotates frequently. Wines are good and will improve as the restaurant get's in the groove.

                                            It is the most attractive place in town at this point, at least in the "River District".

                                            Over the weekend I had a great dinner at Blue Water, the latest offering from the Chops group in the instantly popular Coconut Point. Outstandingly prepared tripletail served with a parmesan corn couscous. We stopped for chocolate bread pudding at Bistro 41 on our way home and the Bell Tower seemed deserted and very sad. Pathetic live music offering. Oh dear.

                                            I agree about Jalapenos being better than Iguana Mia. It is hugely popular with local hispanic families. I still prefer Cantina Laredo for the freshness of its ingredients and much better cocktails.

                                            No one mentions Courtney's here. Nor Tratoria Napoli, stuck in a tiny strip on 41. These are wonderful places with independent spirits. LMF

                                        2. Thanks for much for taking the time and typing this all out! I am printing it as we speak!

                                          1. You also might want to try The Sandy Butler. It is on McGregor on the way to Fort Myers Beach. The restaurant there seems to focus on fresh ingredients and there is also a great market in the same building. They serve both lunch and dinner. Somewhat higher prices than Fresh Market for groceries, but if you are in need of some obscure product, it's the only place to look around here. I love to go there and browse for inspiration.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Mothership

                                              I love that place and go there often to shop!

                                            2. cuban restaurant in a-1 video store toward bokeelia from the pine island road t-intersection with stringfellow.
                                              my review:
                                              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/466933

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                sad to relate the owner, Barbara, died just about 6 weeks ago, and the cuban resto closed.

                                              2. If you like steak, we've found Stonewood Grill & Tavern (corner of College Pkwy and Hwy 41 [also known as Cleveland]) has to-die-for filet mignons. The steak melts in your mouth. (Sides are scrumptious, too - hats off to chef)

                                                1. A big surprise find from my visit last season was Sasse's, and I'm already looking forward to returning this March. This is my post from last March:

                                                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/378890

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: nosh

                                                    I suppose a Chili Dog at Sonics is not what your'e looking for then

                                                  2. Hi Suzie, I'm not sure if you are still reading this blog, but I have felt the same way as you at times and have made it my goal to read reviews and try the hidden gems around here and see if I can find some authentic delicious food worth paying for as opposed to just staying home and making it myself (which I thoroughly enjoy.) The answer is yes! I have found some recent discoveries, and I have to share the place I tried last night!

                                                    It's called La Trattoria Cafe Napoli- it's a small place located North of the College & 41 intersection on U.S. 41 in that orange roofed plaza on the right hand side, close to the big Sun Trust Bank. Do not be turned away by the outer appearance of this place, the inside is much nicer, and the food is just great. The Chef's name is Gloria Cabrales and she's Cuban, but makes amazing italian food with Spanish and cuban inspirations.. The seasonings were just perfect. It's an unpretentious environment with food lovers inside.

                                                    I also love Buon Apettito off of College Parkway with their homemade mozzarella and cavatelli. Great! Both of these places are very reasonable prices.. one would think for the taste they would be more. They also have limited seating so either be prepared to wait or call ahead.

                                                    I know that you said in the local area- but in case you're ever looking for some special French Food, go to Chardonnay Nouveau in Naples. I have personally worked with the Chef and the food there is upscale "homey" (if that makes any sense) French food from the South of France. The Chef is an expert saucier. The Dover Sole is their signature dish, as well as the escargot (done a different style- the best) and their souffles are famous. My recommendation for an app is also the Diver Scallops made with the best sauce that will elevate you and lose you in a dream for a moment. Good luck- let me know what you think.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: PamelaForce

                                                      regarding Trattoria d'Napoli...shhhh. That is my favorite place but I seldom mention it. It is packed enough and will lose much of its specialness if it had to move to a larger space. Her Paella Valencia is spectacular and she usually has excellent reasonable bottles of wine that are specific to her cuisine, not just some Southern Spirits sales rep promotion. I think it is charming and romantic.

                                                      How recently were you to Buon Appetito? The last few times I went (I live very close by) it was poor. It's spark was gone, owing to the mass throngs of seniors plate sharing I would guess. Their second location has closed and they just have the one now. Maybe that would help. I first wrote about it maybe 3 years ago here and I know regret emailing Jean deBoeuf regarding it. His review in the appalling News Mess sent masses of bargain hunters into the place. I'll give it another go, if you think it is good again. Thanks LMF

                                                      Who bought Chardonnay. Is Chardonnay Nouveau in the same location? The old one closed last year and I haven't paid much attention since then. It had not kept up with the times and it was time for it to close.

                                                      New one sounds great. I took cooking classes in the south of France centuries ago and I have loved their food ever since.

                                                      1. re: LilMsFoodie

                                                        Hi, LMF
                                                        Well, I ate at Buon Apetito last about a month ago, and it was on a Thursday evening. It was full (of course since there's only 8 tables) and I had a pasta with shrimp which was very good and big portions.. but my husband had something much better- Veal Sorrentino with eggplant prosciutto and fresh mozzarella, it was delicious. Then we had a limoncello dessert which we've never had before and it was like a dream. I tried to go back the other night with some friends but I guess we got there too late (almost 9) and the kitchen was closing. We really enjoyed ourselves, although i can't compare to how it was before.

                                                        Chardonnay Nouveau is pretty great, they have some Nouveau dishes but still have some of the old classics too. The Chef is so talented. I do know that they changed management though, so I'm not sure how that's affected the kitchen.

                                                        -Pamela

                                                    2. All these posts pretty much mention what's decent in the area. For those of you that don't mind traveling a bit, there's a place up in Punta Gorda called The Perfect Caper run by a husband and wife team. Great place. I've only been there twice but both times we were more than pleasantly surprised. It can be a bit pricey but it's well worth the trip. It only took 45 minutes from Estero during rush hour. Also went to EVOO down in North Naples for the first time. Another pricey place but I though the food was of high quality, well prepared and service was professional. Cru is always first on my list but I'm starting to dislike that "meat market" atmosphere as you get close to the weekend.

                                                      1. Oops. Almost forgot about Farfalle in the strip mall on the corner of 41 and Corkscrew.
                                                        Italian by way of Florida but very fresh and well prepared. Again, not inexpensive, but as I'm realizing, the better restaurants like Chops, and Wylds, and Cru, and The Perfect Caper, etc. are charging around the same $26 to $36 average per entree and $9 to $16 for appetizers. Wines are being priced in the stratosphere in my opinion. All worth it for the occasional splurge.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: rikerspharm

                                                          wow, that is an expensive range for entrees.

                                                        2. I live about 50 miles south of Ft. Myers (Marco Island) and the only reason I ever drive to Ft. Myers is the Farmer's Market Restaurant on Edison.

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: 1stmakearoux

                                                            Really? I've heard of that but didn 't know what to expect. What kinds of things do they offer?

                                                            1. re: PamelaForce

                                                              It's very southern and does a huge breakfast business. Collard greens, okra, fried chicken livers, grits, etc. Very sweet tea. Not my kind of place but good for its type. Always lots of she riff's cars in the lot. Most either hate it or love it. I'm firmly in the middle. <G> LMF

                                                            2. re: 1stmakearoux

                                                              do you know the name or address of the market

                                                              1. re: lynus

                                                                http://farmersmarketrestaurant.com/co...

                                                                It's suffered this past year as road work made it inaccessible many days. Roads are done, sort of, now. It's in a grimy industrial area of Fort Myers.

                                                            3. If you look hard enough and you are willing to be adventurous, then there are some pretty good food options in Fort Myers. I am a native New Yorker and my family just moved down there recently. I thought it was going to be a struggle to find good food, but I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Some places that I have found to be decent:

                                                              Cafe Cibo: Very good Italian food. The owners are from NJ so they know good Italian. They even have pretty good bread (which is rare in Fort Myers)

                                                              Plaka: Greek food in the same shopping center as Cibo. They have another location... Plaka II, but apparently Plaka I is better.

                                                              A Taste of Italy: very good for a quick sandwich or salad, plus they have a great market with a lot of Italian imports

                                                              Mamma Pasta: again, pretty good Italian Food

                                                              McGregor Cafe: better for lunch then for dinner, but i've always had a good meal there. The menu is a bit kooky, but the food is good

                                                              I really dislike Cru. The food is good, but not good enough to warrant their ridiculous prices. Plus, its SUCH a scene. Toro, which is also in Bell Tower is actually pretty good for tapas.

                                                              1. **55 Degrees, Cool Wine & Cheese**

                                                                If you haven't heard of this place it's great! If you are like me and love great wines and cheese this is the place to go. You won't find as exotic a selection anywhere around here. This is for adventurous foodies. Think of it... you get to try wines by the ounce and glass, you can get cheese plates, and tapas- and learn about them from resident cheese gurus and connoisseurs. It's not your typical bar crowd- it's people who love quality wine & cheese and want to hang out and learn more.

                                                                It's in the Gulf Coast Town Center across from Blu Sushi.

                                                                7 Replies
                                                                1. re: PamelaForce

                                                                  I tried it when it first opened and while it was a neat idea we found it really expensive and none of the wines were memorable or ones I would buy a bottle of. The decor was strange too - almost like a old time ice cream shop. Very bright colors. The stools were incomfy too.

                                                                  1. re: PamelaForce

                                                                    I tried 55 a while back, before season arrived and it was not too good, cheese wise, at that time. I'll try again, quickly though as they will have to return to survival mode again. I believe it is a franchise. I still had a little $ left on my card and ended up throwing it away. I didn't think any of the wines were that special. Many were end of lots, etc. (I used to own a wine shop a long time ago in Michigan).

                                                                    Maybe I'll start over.

                                                                    1. re: LilMsFoodie

                                                                      No, it's not a franchise. There are 3 partners and two of them are swiss. I find it hard to believe anyone wouldn't think the cheese selection is outstanding. Caroline (one of the partners) is a cheese guru who can help make any cheese plates for dinner parties, or just pair them with wines. They actually do wholesales to many notable restaurants in the area as well as the U.S. to include French Laundry in California, and locally Bacchus, Cru, The Ritz in Naples, etc. As for the wines, they are all hand selected from smaller production vineyards- which are just as good, sometimes better than the larger production vineyards sold at supermarkets and total wine.

                                                                      Come on people! Let's support these privately owned stores.. I'm so excited to have a wine bar in town, let's explore our tastebuds and try some excellent wine & cheese. :)

                                                                      1. re: PamelaForce

                                                                        I would love to support them but I just found a little pricey (the mark up per ounce is outrageous when you look at the price of the bottle) and the store itself is a bit uncomfortable, very bright.

                                                                        1. re: PamelaForce

                                                                          I'm all for supporting privately owned stores, but my husband and I visited there yesterday because friends of ours had given us some gift cards, we were exited to try something different. I'm guessing it's called 55 not for the temp of the wine but because of the chilly reception we received, you would think with $200 to spend, they would be happy to see us, there was only 4 other people in there, both people that were working there made no effort to assist us, one would think with such little traffic on Saturday afternoon they would be happy to try and capture more business. In a nutshell no, I guarantee that we will not visit again and neither recomend anyone else to go there.

                                                                          1. re: joynguy

                                                                            I tried 55 again and have not changed my original opinion regarding the wines. The cheeses are unusual, but so expensive that they may have a difficult time selling enough to make a go of it. The person trying to discuss wines was not knowledgable. I've taught wine appreciation for many years and know my wine fairly well. I wish them luck. HG

                                                                      2. re: PamelaForce

                                                                        Just discovered 55 degrees a couple of weeks ago on a recommendation from a friend. It was great. My parents and I are cheese and wine lovers and found this place to be awesome. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and they made some great recommendations. Highly recommended.

                                                                      3. My favorite restaurant in Ft. Myers is Sasse's, a surprisingly good Italian restaurant with a woodburning oven in a strip mall on Evans. Excellent food, amazing value, and friendly service. My review from earlier this month is in this link, which references my review when we were turned onto the new ownership last year:

                                                                        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/499588.

                                                                        20 Replies
                                                                        1. re: nosh

                                                                          Fort Myers update

                                                                          I enjoyed very much Cru recently, and it's changed a lot in the past year, with Exec Chef Brian Roland at the helm, er, back of the house. The food quality is still high, presentation beautiful, and prices are down to be competitive with other places (Dwyers, nearby, went belly up recently). Happy hour is a steal with two for one appetizers. Lunch service is hot, with great pricing, too. Gone are the hordes of raucous lawyers and bragging real estate millionaires, ordering a couple $200 bottles of vino, and talking loudly about their "latest killing" in real estate. That died with the real estate boom. Regular folks are there now, and it's a welcoming atmosphere.

                                                                          Harold's on the Bay closed last night, with a private party. The end of an era. Sad. Lot of things happened, to bring it down. Main thing, the city's "beautification" of the river area is killing the area, by blocking streets and access to restaurants with poorly planned sluggish construction, that drones on and on. Why "fix it", if it ain't broke?

                                                                          H2, lil' brother to Harold's, is alive and well, across the alley from Harold's, and the tapas are the best-tasty and pretty!!! It's THE place to go in the river area for great food, great prices, and live music. It is busy from 7 pm, and the waitstaff is abundant and helpful. Long live H2!

                                                                          I've sent some people to 55 Degrees over the past year, and I have tol stop doing so. Caroline's cheeses are great, however it's just not great on wine variety, wine suggestions, or service in general. Discombobulated is the word.

                                                                          Chardonnay Nouveau in Naples has a new Chef, Mark Guilbault, and a new Sous chef. Wonder if this is the chef that Pamelaforce likes in her March 24 reply? Ex chef Claude Chauvin may be running Marie Michel's, if the deal is good, this summer, after Marie Michel is forced out by the landlord.

                                                                          I love Yabo's, great Italian food and live music.

                                                                          1. re: An Insatiable Appetite

                                                                            Here are some that deserve a visit
                                                                            For a special dinner or a high-end lunch:

                                                                            *Mille Sapore (owner-inspired Mediterranean cuisine: Greek, Italian, and Middle Eastern; something like Bha Bha in Naples for it's unique setting and flavors and friendly atmosphere that suits a romantic evening or business dinner)

                                                                            Blue Point Oyster Bar and Seafood Grill (Bell Tower Shops)

                                                                            French Roast Cafe (Vietnamese and French, tres authentic, near Bell Tower Shops and Outback)

                                                                            Bistro 41 (Bell Tower Shops)
                                                                            (also, Traders Store and Cafe on Sanibel)

                                                                            For inexpensive sushi
                                                                            Tim's Magic Wok (also has a Chinese Menu)
                                                                            Asia (also has a Thai menu)
                                                                            The Fresh Market (to eat in their casual seating area or take out. They make it to order too.)

                                                                            For casual lunches and/or dinners:
                                                                            **The European Bakery and Cafe (on Metro); all baked good made there
                                                                            Calistoga (in the Gulf Coast Town Center shops)
                                                                            Sweet Tomatos (US 41)
                                                                            **Jason's Deli on Cypress Lake Drive
                                                                            Cosi in the Miromar Lakes Outlet plaza

                                                                            For the best Key Lime Pie in the region (plus lots of other local treats), go to
                                                                            Sun Harvest Citrus: http://www.sunharvestcitrus.com/

                                                                            1. re: rtotaro

                                                                              Has anyone checked out The Joint, Apollonia, or Crave in Ft Myers area? Thumbs up? Down?

                                                                              What are the best "Ethnic Restaunrants" you've tried?

                                                                              LilMsFoodie, Alkapal, Nosh, your thoughts?

                                                                              1. re: An Insatiable Appetite

                                                                                well, alkapal lives up in arlington virginia, and grew up in and regularly visits fort myers.

                                                                                i usually always visit ristorante fabio in n. ft. myers, on hancock bridge pkwy, just sw of orange grove blvd. i usually order off the daily specials board. when i was down in june, i had a nice dish of rigatoni with fresh italian sausage and cherry peppers. a little hot, but addictive! i think the restaurant has good value for the money. it is a cash only place, though.

                                                                                there's a decent cuban place right at the bridge near the cape coral city hall (in the car repair/industrial area). the cafe con leche was especially lip-smacking. i wasn't ga-ga over the cuban sandwich, but my sister and brother-in-law liked it. i got a seafood dish off the written specials board. it was pretty good. the desserts are in a chilled case, and you can ask which is which. the english language skills are limited in this place, but if you speak a little spanish, or there is someone eating at the counter (lots of local working men from the area, i take it) it is helpful.

                                                                                my brother in law built the wood-fired oven at sasse's years ago. i haven't been since the original owner left, so i can't help there. but i do want to go back.

                                                                                on the chains side, we had some good bbq for a family reunion from rib city there by the bridge in n. ft. myers.

                                                                                i like mel's diner in general, but haven't been super happy the last couple of visits. i like the reuben at the cape outlet.

                                                                                i'm looking for a good pizza!

                                                                                i always try and go to la casita at the beach cutoff. carnitas and a super cold pitcher of dark dos equis beer: yum!

                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                  Hi Fort Myers eaters,
                                                                                  anything new or changed in town? and who can tell me about the swamp cabbage festival? is it fun? crowded? worth a visit?

                                                                                  1. re: sarapeater

                                                                                    swamp cabbage festival: fun, crowded, and **definitely** worth a visit. sui generis experience! http://swampcabbagefestival.org/main.htm
                                                                                    http://swampcabbagefestival.org/park_... -- if they have the armadillo races, go see them!

                                                                                    get the steak and swamp cabbage that is sold from the main cooking area. get some indian fry bread, too. if there are florida history exhibits or "pioneer family" events, go to them also. i've never been to the parade. if you have never been to a rodeo, go. the website is crummy, but a phone call may get you a lot further..... call closer to the festival, when schedules are firmed up a bit.... have a great time, and let us know what you do! and eat, of course!!!

                                                                                    check out this events calendar, too: http://www.clewiston.org/eventsandfes...

                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                      thanks. is the food really unique or is it festival-typical food?

                                                                                      1. re: sarapeater

                                                                                        it is labelle/immokalee food. it is swamp cabbage and steak. and people do sell real indian fry bread. it is unique, yes.

                                                                                  2. re: alkapal

                                                                                    If you're looking for a really good pizza and great grinders try Bellacino's (it's on Colonial between Winkler and Veronica Shoemaker) in the little plaza with the Scuba shop...it is a franchise, BUT their food is really great for the price...they make their own dough and bread which is rare, usually it's frozen at mmost pizza places.

                                                                                    1. re: foodlover2009

                                                                                      thanks, i'll look for it next time i'm there!

                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                        Chef Brooke's Natural Cafe opened recently on Boy Scout, a couple blocks in from US41, across from the Kawasaki place. She was executive chef for 6 years at Ada's, till Ada's went belly up. Chef Brooke continues her great cooking with all sorts of organic produce, and the food tastes great. I've a write up and photos at:

                                                                                        http://aninsatiableappetite.blogspot....

                                                                                        1. re: An Insatiable Appetite

                                                                                          A second Doc Ford's opened just north of Fort Myers Beach, in the old Bridge Restaurant. It's run by the same owners as Doc's Sanibel and the Beached Whale.

                                                                                          While service and food quality is just not up to that at Sanibel's Doc's or the Beached Whale, also owned by the same group, I expect it to get there. It's the newest kid on the block, after Bayfront Bistro which is actually on Fort Myers Beach. This Doc's, now in its second month, may serve hundreds of folks a day. With that crowd, the owners must be ecstatic, however the valiant staff may not be up to that sheer volume. "Eveyone" will be there, checking it out, in it's first 8 months.

                                                                                          My mixed experience, mirroring others' mixed experiences, is at :

                                                                                          http://aninsatiableappetite.blogspot....

                                                                                          Another thread or review on Doc's Fort Myers Beach it is at::
                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/618555

                                                                                          Check it out.

                                                                                          1. re: An Insatiable Appetite

                                                                                            Cin Cin Gastro Pub is very, very good. Highly recommended.

                                                                                            I've a write up at:my http://aninsatiableappetite.blogspot.... look on the left side.

                                                                                            1. re: An Insatiable Appetite

                                                                                              Cin Cin has closed. Another one in Fort Myers bites the dust...

                                                                                              1. re: Mothership

                                                                                                Yes, we all sad to hear of it closing.

                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/638059

                                                                                                1. re: Mothership

                                                                                                  we ate at buon appetito last year when we were down for a week and we thought they did a good job. Very friendly and accommodating. Plan to hit it again when we are down in January.

                                                                                                  The other place that we go out of our way for is a breakfast and lunch place called skillets in a plaza just east of the intersection of 41 and bonita beach road. Good jojoba brand coffee and great service. Wish we had a place that does as nice a job up here in the midwest.

                                                                                                  We like traders on sanibel as they tend to have unusual items on the menu. Have had decent meals at iguana mia. will have to try the other two mexican places that folks mentioned.

                                                                                                  what about the big hickory nook restaurant in bonita springs? that still there? Had a decent meal a couple years ago there and was a nice setting overlooking the marina.

                                                                                                  and while the food won't win any awards, it's hard to beat Parrot Key Caribbean Grill for drinks and appetizers and a great view of the water. We end up there at least twice while down for a week or 10 days.

                                                                                                  1. re: prison cook

                                                                                                    On the Sushi front, Blu Sushi is good, but I like Origami better. A good also ran recomendation is Mr' Mee's over by Sam's. I still think Origami is best.

                                                                                                    1. re: Rusyoak

                                                                                                      I think Origami is best by far. Blu Sushi is too much into the "scene" and I find the place too noisy.

                                                                                                      1. re: Suzie

                                                                                                        does the Origami owner still play the piano? We haven't been in a while but it is my favorite as well. I like Mr. Mee's as well,

                                                                                              2. re: An Insatiable Appetite

                                                                                                I second the recommendation for Doc Fords! Their Panko-crusted fish sandwich is excellent. I live on Sanibel so I usually go to that one, but I like the one on Fort Myers beach better because of the view.

                                                                                                I think someone mentioned Pincher's crab shack, it's pretty good. I liked their peel and eat shrimp because they weren't served in a messy sauce; they just gave some butter and old bay for dipping.

                                                                                                If you want pizza, Starz (on McGregor and John Morris) is really good. They use really fresh ingredients and are always busy! I like their stromboli the best.

                                                                                                I'm still lamenting the loss of Shells :-(

                                                                              2. BTW the folks who own Island Cow, my favorite Sanibel joint, just bought Dwyers and have returned it to it's friendly pub vibe. The food is identical to what they have at Island Cow, which is to say pretty good. Try the duck quesadilla or any of the specialty salads. It is now called Icabod's, yeah odd spelling, but there is a reason it is spelled odd.

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Rusyoak

                                                                                  Icabod's is THE place to go in Ft Myers for draft beer selections. Best I've found in Lee/Collier cntys. Great Pub atmosphere & the food is good and the portions are more than generous. Good value for the area. Food selections rival Cheesecake Factory (without the high prices).

                                                                                  1. re: Rusyoak

                                                                                    Icky's has been open for about 6 months now and has found a profitable niche in the dismal Fort Myers market. I just wish they would concentrate their menu a little and focus on the quality of a few things. They were to open the Tan Turtle over near Health Park but that seems to be on hold.

                                                                                    1. re: LilMsFoodie

                                                                                      That Tan Turtle sign has been up for a while now. I didn't like Icabods but I wasn't going there for the beer.

                                                                                    2. re: Rusyoak

                                                                                      For some reason my previous employer liked throwing work parties there. The food was really awful. It seemed to me that those that enjoyed it prefer quantity over quality. I am one to give things a few tries before I completely right it off. I thought that my first two experiences were colored by the fact it was buffet style. I went back a third time with friends and ordered off the menu and found that my initial reaction was right--the food is not good. I will not be back.

                                                                                    3. Just to let everyone know, Harold has left H2. Apparently there are new investors with a different vision for the place. He's looking for a new venture and I hope he comes up with something great. I liked H2, but really miss Harolds older restaurant that closed a while ago.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: Mothership

                                                                                        I think a Harold's (not H2) would be great in the Cru or D'Amico space at Bell Tower. I believe the mall would give him a great lease as D''Amico's has been empty for two years now and Cru is on lifesupport.

                                                                                      2. i'm not sure food selections to rival Cheesecake factory is something to shoot for (its all fried feel good food). but if you want to try an extremely large draft beer selection i suggest The Pub in the new Mercato center--( a town center place with a cinema with a bar/rest, a Blue Martini, Italian bistro, Asian steak place,etc)--the pub must have 50 or more beers on tap and another 50 in bottles. a lot of twenty-somethings and students hang out there.

                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Zeits

                                                                                          where is this in fort myers?

                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                            Mercato is in North Naples. Mixed use development that is getting restaurants/bars but little else so far. Whole Foods is there. Selling expensive condos above restaurants/bars is a hard sell, even more so in this market. Coconut Point is busy but the condos are still empty even with severe discounting.

                                                                                            1. re: LilMsFoodie

                                                                                              well it also has the most comfortable movie theater with full service bar and restaurant. the tickets are a bit more but that's what Mercato is all about--Sur La Table is there too and a nice change from Williams and Sonoma (a competition never hurt).

                                                                                          2. re: Zeits

                                                                                            Went to 2 different pinchers and found them to be overpriced and not very good. Would have gotten better food at Red Lobster.

                                                                                            1. re: Otkat3

                                                                                              i don't know which two pincher's you went to, but you can't get better *shrimp* at red lobster. no way, josé. and pincher's shrimp is reasonable for REAL gulf shrimp in a decent size. one pound of fried shrimp plus the two sides is a lot of shrimp for @ $26. easily enough for two to eat well.

                                                                                              the only caveat is…the "fancy" preps are too salty. i never get the steamed, because i am a fried shrimp fanatic.

                                                                                          3. Pincher's Crab Shack in N. Ft. Myers has superb fried shrimp. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/678307

                                                                                            1. Icabod's is now closed due to a rental dispute. And just where are we supposed to go for a "pub" atmosphere that ISNT in a strip mall or a chain?????

                                                                                              Come-on people! PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm DYING HERE!!!!!

                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Deeds131

                                                                                                Icabods is moving the whole operation to Fort Myers Beach somewhere but it will have a different name.

                                                                                                1. re: Suzie

                                                                                                  That was an extravagantly built, very expensive building Icky's was in. A good part of the building materials were imported from Ireland. The man that built it was extremely wealthy, living in one of the most extravagant homes in Lee County. House would have been more appropriate in Port Royal in Naples.

                                                                                                  I think the place will be great for Fort Myers Beach. I am encouraged by things there for the first time in 12 years.

                                                                                                  1. re: LilMsFoodie

                                                                                                    Ya know thats funny you say that about the materials brought in from Ireland. I'm originally from NJ, and an expensive "Irish Pub" was built in Monclaire and the owner made a big fuss about how everything inside the place was from a pub in Ireland. The funny thing was...I've been to Ireland and did many a pub-hopping....it didnt look like a single Pub I'd ever been to. Nervous Nelly's is a great new addition to Ft. Myers Beach....while the SOB is a great little bar down there, there are just so many things you can drown in liquid Hickory Smoke (although their new conch fritters are VERY good...when they have them) I live off of McGregor though, it'd be nice to have something a little closer. I did just discover the Twisted Vine in downtown Fort Myers, a little pricey for just a casual night out, but their wine selection is excellent and I havent had a meal I didnt absolutely LOVE AND SAVOR...and the cheese selection...oh...my...god!!!

                                                                                                  2. re: Suzie

                                                                                                    The new restaurant is Nervous Nellie's Crazy Waterfront Eatery in the Snug Harbor location. Nice building and location away from tacky Times Square and next to the newly opened hotel. The owner owns many Sanibel restaurants and is a good promoter. He should do well without the high overhead of the Dwyer building.

                                                                                                2. I like Ron Daos for pizza/ It's a large sports bar. They always have a special pizza of the day and I always go with at least one special pie. It's south on McGregor on the right, just before it turns into San Carlos Blvd. on the way to FM Beach.

                                                                                                  1. I moved away from Fort Myers about 13 years ago. The only places that I remember from that time that were mentioned in this thread were the Prawnbroker and Plaka I & II (also the chain salad lunch place Sweet Tomatoes).

                                                                                                    So if longevity is what you are looking for, there it is.

                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                    Plaka Restaurant
                                                                                                    769 Dodecanese Blvd, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: probert

                                                                                                      We're heading to Ft. Myers for son's graduation from FGCU next month--grad school is over and we get a raise!!!
                                                                                                      Need recommendations for casual seafood dinner for Saturday and something nicer for Sunday.
                                                                                                      Thanks!
                                                                                                      PJ

                                                                                                    2. yes this is an ancient post but in case any new comers are reading the area boards her is my list of favorites:
                                                                                                      La Motta's (Italian)
                                                                                                      Chile Ranchero (Mexican)
                                                                                                      Sweet Tomatoes
                                                                                                      Calistoga
                                                                                                      Crave
                                                                                                      Hickory BBQ

                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                      Chile Ranchero
                                                                                                      11751 S Cleveland Ave Ste 18, Fort Myers, FL 33907

                                                                                                      1. As I mentioned in a reply to another person's post, the Twisted Vine is a relatively new restaurant in downtown Fort Myers near Spirit of Bacchus. Its a little loud inside (although I think they did a great job with the decor) but the real sweet spot is around the corner in this little brick patio they have secluded by gates and foliage decorated with twinkle lights. They've had a great mix of bands the few times I've been there (the best I've found in a while) and I havent had a meal I didnt ABSOLUTELY LOVE! For the setting and quality of their food, the prices are extremely reasonable, about $15 a plate, but the food is just so well done. And the wine list is very impressive, even my brother who is a sommelier from California was impressed. AND, they have a VERY impressive (and oh so delicious) cheese selection....I cant say enough about the place. Love it!

                                                                                                        1. I know this is an old post, but Wylds Cafe is delicious! The scallop appetizer with pancetta and maple is amazing. It's only open in season, I think October-April. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but I really love that place. Everything on their menu is delicious and they always have great specials.

                                                                                                          -----
                                                                                                          Wylds Cafe
                                                                                                          4271 Bonita Beach Rd, Bonita Springs, FL 34134

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: AllisonInFL

                                                                                                            AllisoninFl,

                                                                                                            This is a thread of comments on Fort Myers restaurants, Not Bonita Springs spots.

                                                                                                            Wyld's is in Bonita Springs, and is probably 30-40 minutes from the above mentioned Ft Myers spots.

                                                                                                            Wylds' is now closed for the summer. Since you mention a Bonita Springs spot, go check out nearby A Table Apart for really delicious food, just a block closer to the Gulf from Wylds, on the same side of the street.

                                                                                                            Further down Bonita Beach Road is Coconut Jack's. I like its food and ambiance.

                                                                                                            Try checking out some places in Fort Myers, then let us know your findings. I like the summer time best for dining-easy to get in places, and often discounts can be had.

                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                            A Table Apart
                                                                                                            4295 Bonita Beach Rd, Bonita Springs, FL 34134

                                                                                                            1. re: An Insatiable Appetite

                                                                                                              Oops you're right my fault. I've tried A Table Apart too and love it.

                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                              A Table Apart
                                                                                                              4295 Bonita Beach Rd, Bonita Springs, FL 34134

                                                                                                          2. Incredible! This place serves a wonderful wood fired pizza with the freshest toppings around. Mushrooms sliced to order, San Marzano tomato and imported "oo" caputo flour make the pizzas pop with flavor. It is as close to an authentic Neapolitan pizza you can get this side of Italy. The kitchen serves fresh made specialties like home made lasagna, stuffed shells, and rollatini. Everything is prepared in house so the flavor is great. They feature a micro brew beer selection as well as a nice wine selection. The owners are both charming and available to talk to in the dining room daily. I STRONGLY advise trying the fresh made daily cheese cakes. Enjoy!!!

                                                                                                             
                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: divco69

                                                                                                              usually protocol is to name the restaurant.

                                                                                                              1. re: Zeits

                                                                                                                It's called Ciao. You'll find it on SE 47th Terrace, in Cape Coral, near Coronado Parkway. I ate there a few weeks ago, and found it to be pretty good. The pizza is quite tasty. And I found the calamari to be delicious (anyone who gives me both rings and tentacles gets bonus points). I personally haven't tried any of the other fare.

                                                                                                                1. re: bagofwater

                                                                                                                  I wasn't too impressed with the pizza at Ciao. The toppings were fresh, however, I'm not a fan of their crust. Their pizza crust is way too bubbly and thick. I felt like I was eating a Boboli pizza dough.

                                                                                                              2. re: divco69

                                                                                                                Are there any other places that you might recommend? You seem to plugging this one on all the boards. Is it really that good?

                                                                                                                1. re: Bumstead

                                                                                                                  I can only make out part of the sign in the photo: "something something trattoria"??? We def need more information!

                                                                                                                  1. re: Val

                                                                                                                    ciao is the name -- on cape coral pkwy near coronado -- i saw the name on my thread re pizza…..from same poster…..

                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                      Thanks a'pal!!! ^_^

                                                                                                                      1. re: Val

                                                                                                                        now i sound like a satyajit ray character! LOL <oops, no…that was "apu"!>

                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                          We went to Ciao twice to eat in and took out Pizza once. The pizza was Ok but not great; hard to get great pizza around here but the small ones at The Joint are pretty good. After two tries at eating in I have to say I am not at all impressed. I find the food to be way over priced for what it is. The second time, I sent back a basically raw serving of chicken breast with lemon sauce. That sent me off food for the rest of the evening; and off of this restaurant for the duration.

                                                                                                              3. One of my favorite restaurants in the world is in Fort Myers---the restaurant at the Farmers' Market. Address is 2736 Edison Avenue. This is genuine, honest-to-God, pure culture Southern food, the opposite of elegant and very homestyle. I checked just now and they have a website with menu. Sample dinner: Baked ham or fried chicken with candied yams, collard greens, okra & tomatoes, and cornbread, $10.95.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                  The URL is http://www.farmersmarketrestaurant.com/

                                                                                                                2. Not much as I can determine. Bonefish Grill is always excellent and consistent. We tried the
                                                                                                                  Twisted Vine in downtown Fort Myers and thought it was very good, although a big pricey.

                                                                                                                  1. very nice and helpful thread. I will be visiting Ft Meyers soon and am hoping to get some updated info for the area.
                                                                                                                    Also if you can suggest some great places to go for happy hour food specials. Thanks,

                                                                                                                    1. I am from Ft. Myers, but now live in the NYC Metro area. Going out to dinner when I come down to visit my family has historically been a not-so-great experience, but things are getting better, imo. I think these places are all decent options:

                                                                                                                      Cibo (cibofortmyers.com)
                                                                                                                      Yabo (yaborestaurant.com)
                                                                                                                      Buon Appetito Cafe (www.buonappetitocafe.com
                                                                                                                      )Saigon Paris Bistro (saigonparisbistro.com)

                                                                                                                      1. This thread's pretty old now, but my favorite places in Fort Myers are Starz Pizza and Doc Ford's. I loved Shells, but it closed a few years ago.

                                                                                                                        1. The restaurants in the Fort Myers area are very so so or bad in general. There is, however, this Italian joint on Cape Coral Parkway that is excellent. Papa Joes!

                                                                                                                          1. People seem to be looking in the wrong places. Of course you are not going to find good food at the mall, or "lifestyle center" or whatever it's called down here.

                                                                                                                            3 recommendations (in no particular order) for good food created by people, not corporations:

                                                                                                                            1. Carmencitas - fresh, authentic Mexican. The real thing. On the east side of 41 just north of crystal drive.

                                                                                                                            2. LA BEST. Jamaica and soul food. Great jerk chicken; surprisingly good meatloaf. Located in the old greyhound bus station on 41 just south of downtown

                                                                                                                            3. Martha's Cuban Cafe. Fresh cuban. Everything is good. Don't be put off by its location; it's very clean. Located inside the valero gas station on 41 by alico road.

                                                                                                                            1. We had our 1st visit to Cru this season and they are as good as ever. We love to sit at the food bar and watch the chefs work their magic. Chef Harold was very friendly. The truffled short rib app was as succulent and tasty as could be. Crispy sweetbreads were perfectly fried. Kale Caesar is a clever name for a good salad with an interesting twist on the new superfood. I'll be stealing that idea for our next dinner party. Double bone in Elk Chop was pricey, however it's a generous portion and plenty of food for a split. It was delicious. We had no room for dessert but their banana cream pie and key lime pie looked pretty awesome.