FT MYERS RECS FOR NEXT WEEK
I will be in the Ft Myers area March 6 -13. I am looking for Chow recommendations. Always looking for the following things...
1. Dim Sum - don't know if this part of FL even HAS good dim sum (w/ or w/o carts)?
2. Ethnic restos - Latino in particular (Mexican or Cuban)
3. One splurge resto of any type. Need to repay my hosts for their hospitality for staying with them for a week!
4. Any good Italian?
5. Is this the season for farmer's markets in this area?
6. Any food carts in this area?
We will have a week and we are open to travel. Also looking for local/regional dishes.
Any help would be appreciated.,
1. Dim Sum: not in Fort Myers but in North Naples there is Charlie Chang's
2. Mexican: covered extensively here in the past month. go south, Bonita Springs has some good Mexican: I just reviewed one last week. Check my posts.
3. splurge in Fort Myers for me would be at Cibo, although it is not outrageous.
4. Angelina's is outstanding. It is near Coconut Point in Bonita/Estero area. It also is a splurge place and beautiful.
5. Farmers markets abound. I like the one at Lakes Park, run by the same group that does the Sanibel market. Good breads, cheeses, some wicked salsas in addition to veggies and fruits. The park itself is a wonderful place and a great rookery as well.
6. not that I know of.
I just bought a home in sanibel. i live in Baltimore but visit as often as I can i am a foodie. I love the market in Sanibel. Where is Lakes Park?
What advise do you have on asian and other international markets.
Alos great eats cheep. We like to dine ccasual and love local flare.
Lakes Park is on gladiolus near US 41. It is a large park built years ago but recently refurbished. I volunteer there and am co-ordinating the Community Garden. The Community Garden is just the first step in creating a Botanic Garden in Fort Myers, which is a goal of mine. Bring a picnic, rent a canoe or crazy water vehicle and look at all the birds. Easier to spot than at Ding Darling....
You can buy food there, but it is now Chow-worthy at all. <G> LilMsFoodie
MsFoodie gave you some good tips. Although we have farmers markets don't expect vegetables and produce like you would get up north. The sandy soil and hydroponics used for growing don't produce great items. Citrus and tropical are best(mango,papaya,etc.). The only tomatoes I buy are the the ugly ripes available in Publix. Don't be fooled by the vine ripened offered at the markets.
I love Angelina's-they have some of the most authentic Italian food around, especially their pastas(bucatini amitriciana is to die for and as good as I've gotten in Italy). Sassi's, in Ft. Myers has been mentioned as a good Italian restaurant but I haven't been. It's more moderately priced. They have a wood burning oven. Another splurge would be Tarpon Bay in the Hyatt Coconut Point, not far from Angelinas. They specialize in seafood. There are other great restaurants but I'm saving you a drive to Naples. On Immokkalee Rd. is a pretty good Cuban place called Fernandez the Bull.
LMFoodie and RevrendAndy covered your questions well for the Fort Myers area. Angelina's has 1/2 price wines (under $150 list) on Sunday, and also a big sunday brunch.
Since you are willing to travel, perhaps 40 minutes or so (you didn't say where you are staying) lets you go to one or two of Naples' unique spots.
I'd highly recommend Inca's Kitchen in Naples for superb Peruvian cuisine, If you've not had it, this is the best way to have it, as I've travelled a bit in S. America. It's quite unlike Mexican, and there's some must-have dishes at:
IM Tapas has tops in Spanish cuisine.
Charlie Chiang's has good Dim Sum. Until a Dim Sum restaurant meal seats about 100 folks, the carts aren't used, as food will go to waste. Their dim sum is steamed/cooked to order, so it's actually fresher than some dim sum spots.
Stone crabs can be had at many seafood spots, as they are boiled on the crabbers boats.
No food carts around. Gotta go to South America or Asia for the best ones!
I buy heirloom tomatoes at the farmer's market and they are very good. I grew up with tomatoes grown in the deep, black glacial soil of western New York. I've never had tomatoes taste as good since whether from New Jersey, Long Island or Illinois.
I'm interested that you mention Tarpon Bay. Isn't that the more casual restaurant at Coconut Point, or have they changed it? I always liked its venue, but the food there was dreck years ago when they opened and I haven't heard of it since. I'm glad they are lifting their restaurants there. LMF
The Hyatt calls Tarpon Bay their casual restaurant but the prices aren't that much different from Tanglewood. I ate there last night and crispy snapper was $41, while herbal goat cheese encrusted snapper was $35. That is a splurge no matter how you are dressed.
LMF, I would love to find those tomatoes. At the farmers market at the Promenade in Bonita Springs, the tomatoes, which they claim were vine ripened and just picked, are not very good. Maybe they were somewhat ripened, but not fully ripened. At Mike's u-pick it's the same story. We spend summer in Lake Tahoe and the tomatoes we get from Sacramento Valley at our farmer's markets are incredible. When I was still in Chicago the tomatoes were probably similar to your NY ones. What's your secret?
John, my splurge restaurant in downtown Naples is Campiello. They serve upscale Italian and have a wood burning oven turning out excellent pizzas. We love their slow roasted suckling pig or if you're in the mood for seafood a pan roasted grouper with baby artichokes. I haven't been to Inca Kitchen but Insatiable Appetite has great taste in food and I would go there in a heartbeat. Check out his blog. It will be helpful. IM Tapas is a treasure serving some of the best tapas I've ever had.
If you are in dowtown Naples for lunch, try Tommy Bahamas cafe. Nice outdoor patio and good food. While waiting for your food you can buy some clothes and make it a splurge lunch. Campiello's, across the street, also is open for lunch with outdoor seating.
For Dim Sum I would recommend EL Chinese on 41 & Daniels (Outback plaza) over Charlie Chiangs. I've been to both places and I like EL Chinese way better than Charlie Chiangs. The restaurant is not as big, they don't do carts, but the food is good.
Like An Insatiable Appetite said, Inka's Kitchen is worth it!!!