This very popular restaurant offers guests an eclectic fusion of Argentinian and Peruvian dishes with a hint of Italian recipes for good measure. Chef/owner Mario Maldonado brought the flavors from his native Argentina and combined them with the ancestry in his home, which was Italian. He met his wife who is from Peru and they opened this restaurant in 2011. Since then, the couple has been entertaining diners wary of the same options night after night in other establishments. With choices like traditional ceviche, Italian carpaccio, chicharron (fried pork skin), calamari and other South American delights, nobody leaves disappointed. Don't forget to grab a bottle of their homemade Chimichurri sauce on the way out!
One of the top dining destinations in Southwest Florida, Angelina's Ristorante has garnered rave reviews since it opened in Bonita Springs. Most patrons dress to impress, as there's a dress code in place for the main dining room. However, the well-lit lounge exudes a slightly more casual vibe without the suit-and-tie. Inside the kitchen, the chefs present a well-crafted menu that offers a good mix of traditional and contemporary dishes like ravioli, Veal Marsala and Tagliatelle Bolognese. The wine list provides some interesting options and in fact, it has received accolades from Wine Spectator magazine.
Oysters-on-the-half-shell are the items that people covet when coming to the Smokin' Oyster Brewery, also known affectionately as S.O.B. Here, guests feel the island vibe from the decor to the music and since you are in Southwest Florida, the ambiance is quite apropos. One of the most popular choices in addition to the oysters is the 'combo bucket', this behemoth of seafood includes oysters, clams, shrimp and mussels or you can opt for the regal Dungeness, Snow and King crab bucket. There are still a few options on the menu for 'landlubbers' such as the tasty burger or chicken sandwich, both are served with fries. And though these items are not as popular as the seafood, they will not leave anyone disappointed.
In 2004, the owners of the Clam Bake opened this restaurant to present New England-style 'chowdah', clams and Maine lobster rolls to the denizens of Fort Myers. The menu features some amazing sandwiches (rolls in the Northeast); try the clam strip, fried Ipswich, Oyster, Crab Cake, the list goes on-and-on. Additionally, there is plenty for those who seek more landlubbing dishes like burgers, chicken, prime rib, even Delmonico steak.
The Firestone Grille is perennially considered by locals as having the best happy-hour, the best cocktails, the best lounge, the best of everything for all practical purposes. The four-story building is divided into different areas: the restaurant, the martini bar, the loft and the rooftop Skybar. Each one has its own setting and clientele, some are here for drinks, some are here for dinner, but everyone clamors up to the Skybar for spectacular views of the water. On the menu, guests will find American classics like filet mignon, short ribs, crab cakes and much more. For entertainment, the Skybar provides live DJ's almost every night of the week, so get here early if you want to reserve a standing-room only spot.
The name comes after one of the owners named Terri and her love for the popular lounge drink. From there, the obsession with a great Martini extended into developing this establishment here on Crystal Drive. The place has a lounge atmosphere and in addition to superb drinks, the kitchen also serves delectable tapas and oftentimes there is live entertainment. From comedy shows to dinner theater and charity events, Ter-Tini's is a nice addition to the sometimes staid Southwest Florida nightlife scene.
The Farmer's Market Restaurant is allegedly the oldest, continuously running restaurant in Lee County, and if you've never had deep-fried chicken gizzard or liver, than the best place to try one is here. You will find nothing "lite" or "lo-cal" at this casual restaurant, in fact, when the meal starts with homemade cornbread, you know instantly you'll need a nap after you leave. The hearty portions of beef stew, catfish or country-fried steak come with two vegetables, like turnip greens, black-eye peas or mac-and-cheese. Moreover, it's first come, first served (be prepared if you come after church on Sundays).
One of Fort Myers' best little Italian restaurants is Sasse's, located at Evans and Park Windsor Avenues. The kitchen is open, and the restaurant is usually crowded, but the portions are big and the atmosphere is friendly. The meal starts with bread dipped in olive oil (be careful not to fill up too soon!). The Stuffed Veal Scallopini is a favorite. Beer and wine can be ordered to complement the meal. No credit cards are accepted. Reservations are only available for local "regulars," so be prepared to wait.