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Sep 21, 2009 04:35 AM

FORT MYERS, CAPE CORAL -- Need recommendations for TOP PICKS

I'm looking for the best restaurants in the following cuisines/styles:

ITALIAN - there's some place mentioned a lot, located on College Parkway near Cleveland? I'm a big fan or fresh, stuffed pastas, like ravioli -- esp. with seasonal ingredients. maybe seasonal, like sweet potato gnocchi with brown butter & sage sauce.

MEDITERRANEAN -- isn't there a place around College (or Daniels?) that is Italian and other Med. food, because the owners are not Italian?

MIDDLE EASTERN -- braised lamb, stuffed vine leaves, mezze

PIZZA -- i like all styles, but ingredients must be top quality. wood burning or coal fired oven a plus. "Old Monty's" in Punta Gorda is the very best (pizza and strombolis -- GREAT!), but it is a special trip to get it.

INDIAN - again, quality ingredients very critical.

CHINESE -- not "americanized" gloppy stuff, but somewhat CLOSE to authentic -- Cantonese or Hunan/Szechuan specialties a plus

CUBAN -- I'm a big fan of Rincon Cubano in the Cape. Is there any better?


THAI -- must have FRESH rice noodles so I can get my fix of drunken noodles. good som tum a plus.

GREEK -- all types, from gyros up to more elaborate dishes with seafood, lamb, etc.

SEAFOOD -shrimp, grouper, snapper, smoked fish....

CHEESEMONGER -- retail sales of gourmet cheeses


BEST BBQ -- RIBS and Pulled Pork

FRENCH -- Heck, I'm an optimist! ;-)).

and while I'm asking:
does anyone know where I can buy some fresh green (new, raw) peanuts to make boiled peanuts? or where I can buy some good BOILED PEANUTS?

NOTE: I'm looking ONLY for recommendations in FORT MYERS, N. FT. MYERS, CAPE CORAL, PINE ISLAND, (maybe also Ft. MYERS BEACH). Please give me your top picks. THANKS

(NOT interested in recommendations in Naples, Bonita, etc., where I know the "pickins' are better, but I'm limited.)

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  1. I know Mexican is not on your list but it's the one cuisine I can cast a definite vote for best in class: La Casita

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bumstead

      la casita, the purple shack? with the great carnitas and dark dos equis in a pitcher? plus, great fresh roasted salsa and chips?! i like it!

    2. SEAFOOD: Skip One in Ft. Myers. Not fancy but good.

      A bit off topic again but I've come to realize in the short time I've been here that the best seafood will come from your own kitchen. With that in mind I've taken the liberty to add FISHMONGER.

      I consider one of my real "finds" the Jug Creek Fish Market on Pine Island. It doesn't get any fresher than this. He also has great smoked mullet that he smokes himself in a converted refrigerator.
      It's at the end of Tortuga St. in Bokeelia. I'd say follow the signs but there aren't any.

      10 Replies
      1. re: Bumstead

        bumstead, this jug creek fish market is news to me, but i'll check it out. thanks. i looked at google "look around" and there does not seem to be any commerical spot, but i'm willing to give it a shot for decent smoked mullet.

        my nephew fishes around there, and i want to find a place that offers prepared/restaurant "real" food, so that i can go get good fish when he has not ventured out in his boat. i don't want tourist food.

        also, tell me more about skip one, if you would.

        1. re: alkapal

          believe it or not you were "looking" right at it. 2 buildings at the end of the drive. The one on the right is a small marine store, on the left is the fish "market". No signs or anything.

          Skip One looks like an old fast food type place, It's small and no frills but you're there for fish, not ambiance.. We went last March and it was busy. Service was friendly and quick once we got in. We did have to wait but the food was very good.

        2. re: Bumstead

          Just back from Jug Creek. Stone Crab is $8.00 lb. and, with a bit of bay seasoning, made for a great lunch. I also picked up 4 mullet. When I told him they were for smoking he gave me 4 intended for his smoker that he had just filleted.

          1. re: Bumstead

            hi bumstead, did you see my post about smoked mullet with swamp mustard?

            1. re: alkapal

              I just checked it out. It does sound good, I'll definitely give it a try. Thanks.

              1. re: Bumstead

                Jug Creek Fish Market is closed. Has been for awhile the owner of Jug Creek Marina who says they are not "related". May I suggest Andy's Seafood on the Matlacha road towards Pine Island proper? It is good; going to try the lightly further one in two days and will post. So far in Cape Coral this is the best way to buy fresh fish.

                1. re: jabes

                  I called Jug Creek and was told they have closed the Bokeelia location but have a second location in St James City at the end of Palm Street. Haven't been yet but I'll go soon and report back.

                  1. re: Bumstead

                    and I am now putting Andy's on Hold. Last snapper was more than two days old. will check out the old fish house, old fish shack, what ever it is just further along the road to Pine Island Proper. Jabes, Cape coral

                    1. re: jabes

                      andy's service has changed quite a bit. the shrimp prices have gone up $1/lb. but i still love their crabcakes. but way better than merricks - which just smells bad.

          2. re: Bumstead

            The food wasn't too bad but the place is tiny with the bathroom near the tables in the place, someone went number 2 and stunk the whole place out it was disgusting, and unsanitary. The cook or owner did alot of swearing, i was with my family so it was embarassing to say the least, I will never go there again...unsanitary, unprofessional, uneverything

            16681 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33908


            1 Reply
            1. re: seminole phil

              seminole phil, can you give me a concept about the fresh rice noodles, please? and hold the caps, if you would.

            2. i really dont know much about their noodles other than they are awesome and not glued together

              1. Thai: believe it or not Siam Hut in Cape Coral makes a pretty decent Phad Thai, but the real treat is the green curry.

                Pizza: I like Sal's on Cape Coral Pkwy in the Cape.

                Cuban, stick with Rincon Cubano, you aren't going to get much better outside of Havana