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Nov 4, 2009 09:37 AM

Fort Myers restaurant recommendations

I'm visiting Ft. Myers from NYC the first weekend in December and am looking for recommendations for places to eat in the area. Looking generally for good food and more specifically for a dinner place to celebrate my husband's birthday -- pleasant atmosphere, good wine and delicious food, but not stuffy or pretentious.
It's our first time in the area, and we'll have a car.
We'd appreciate any recommendations you may have.

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  1. i think other hounds will second the recommendation of sasse's. it's an italian place with a real italian-brick wood-burning oven (that my brother-in-law built), cool art and a nice but unpretentious atmosphere. reasonable prices the last time i was there, and good portion size. i had a zuppa de pesce, which is my favorite at any italian place if on the menu. sasse's version was chock full of seafood in a very tasty broth. of course, since you're in sw florida, go for the seafood.

    3 Replies
    1. re: alkapal

      Sweet Melissa's on Sanibel fits the bill, and gets you to a special island for a special birthday. They have a nice butterfly garden in front. They are not on the beach, so get some nearby Sanibel sand between your toes, before or after dining.
      Thistle Lodge is pricier and romantic, right on the Gulf.

      For two offbeat places, I like Brew Babies on Cape Coral, and funky Yabo if you are younger and want live music. Upscale Sandy Butler in S. Ft. Myers is nice, too.
      I've not been to Sasse's-Alkapal has good taste!

      1. re: An Insatiable Appetite

        Thank you both for your recommendations. Are reservations needed for a Friday night?

        1. re: yc93

          yes! the "season" has definitely started. i like the sanibel idea very much. it's perfect weather in december. then after dinner a stroll on the moonlit beach....nothin' finer.

          ps, thanks for the compliment, i.a. i love your reviews of places (and photos). naples has so much more than ol' fort myers. ;-(.

    2. Crave on Mcgregor is a great pick for a breakfast, lunch or dinner. Very small and usually a wait but its well worth it. The owner is the Chef and is always in the kitchen. I had a beautiful dry aged steak this past weekend that was just perfect.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Suzie

        Thank you, will check it out.

        1. re: Suzie

          re: Crave Because it is so plain in its ambiance, I usually think of it as a breakfast/lunch place. I will have to try it in the evening.

          We had dinner at Cibo on Wednesday night. I had spiedini di Gambieroni which was absolutely perfect. It came presented with a delicious buttery lemon sauce, with a very creamy risotto. The shrimp were the 12-15 count size and were wood grilled and perfectly cooked. My husband had the same thing only with scallops.

          Very good hot bread was brought to the table with little dishes of tapenade, a composed butter and balsamic/evoo. I knew the bread had to be from Oltimes. They have been supplying bread to better restaurants here for at least 15 years. It is lightly sour and baked in a peel oven.

          Very nice wine selection. I was thrilled that there were some nice Italian whites instead of the ubiquitous pinot grigio. We drank their Gavi selection and it was excellent to cut through the richness of the Spedini.

          The bar apparently has taken on the crowd from Cin Cin. We sat in the main dining area. My only complaint was the lighting. It was very difficult to read the menus. A tiny votive doesn't do it. Our server was new, but competent enough. We will be back soon.

          12901 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33919

          1. re: LilMsFoodie

            We went to Crave early in the eve (wanted to avoid the trick or treaters) so the sun was still up but all in all it was a nice setting but I totally understand about what you are saying about the ambiance. The one thing I was very surprised at was within 30-45 minutes all the tables were full and everyone seem to know everyone and the servers also knew the guests. We assumed they must have a decent locally following for dinner from the people around the area. I didn't think the place would be so full in the eve because I too think of it for Breakfast and Lunch.

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