July 27, 2014

Find a hidden gem in Blue Windows Bistro, plus Em-On celebrates 15 years and M Waterfront throws down

Blue Windows—Great French Cuisine in South Fort Myers

 

Blue Windows Bistro is one of those special spots you only find out about through a food-savvy friend.

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Mari and Christian Vivet’s warm bistro is a casual delight, known for reasonably priced and wonderful French food and wines. Chef Christian’s menu offers just a dozen entrees, with nightly specials.  The veal sweetbreads and classic escargot are delicious appetizers. Three must-have entrées: The shrimp and scallops vol au vent with abundant tender seafood in puff pastry; the crispy duck with pomegranate sauce; and the veal with Calvados cream sauce.

 

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Leave room for the dessert specials, which have included a lavender crème brûlée, wine poached pears, profiteroles and fruit creations. Come casual or dressy, you’ll enjoy dining at one of Lee County’s top restaurants. Reservations are a must: the 10 tables fill up fast, even in summertime.  15250 S. U.S. 41, Fort Myers. 849-0622, mybluewindows.com

 

 

 

Em-On Thai Café—Deliciously Authentic Thai food in Naples Since 1996

 

How many very good restaurants have been in Naples for 15 years? Even the best places seem to eventually fade away. That’s what makes Em-On Thai Café special.

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Enter Em-On’s Green Tree Plaza location, admire the  beautiful teak log carvings, then dive into the menu for  unusual delicacies like the $7 large stuffed chicken wings, the lightly sauced pad Thai or the $4 classic tom kha gai soup.

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 Savor some signature dishes: The $14 ka-prow’s spicy chili sauce over beef or chicken, is popular, as is the chicken sizzling platter, and the roasted duck in rich cinnamon black sauce. The $30 Summer Special for Two offers spring rolls or wonton soup, a choice of eight entrées, and a good bottle of Coastal Vines wine. Best dessert? It’s the crisp fried bananas with ice cream, accented by a wonderful spiced honey sauce.   2364 Immokalee Road, Naples. 566-1993

 

 

Summer Chef Series at M Waterfront Pairs Top Chefs Creativity

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M Waterfront Grille’s Chef Brian Roland and Sea Salt’s Chef Fabrizio Aielli teamed up at the July 25th Summer Chef Series, crafting a perfectly plated six-course meal for $95, or paired with six wines for $45 more.  The setting is one of the prettiest in Naples. The theme was sablefish, or black cod, which was in its glory in five complementary courses. The dinner was the match of any one-to-two-star Michelin restaurant, with the freshest ingredients, beautiful plating, and attentive staff.  

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Starting with a Chef Brian’s crispy sablefish brandade & sable fish milkshake, then Chef Fabrizio’s the colorful light smoked sablefish-citrus & blue crab salad, the evening’s courses were nicely paced. The risotto was overshadowed by a sea urchin cappuccino that bubbled over like Vesuvius, powered by liquid nitrogen.

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Dessert was a surprise—what looked like a hamburger on a bun was chocolate mousse with raspberry ketchup, soft gelato mustard and biscotti French fries.

The next dinner is August 29th, featuring Campiello’s chefs and Petrossian caviar dishes. Call 263-4421 or go to mwaterfrontgrille.com for reservations.

 

Let’s broaden our choices of great Southwest Florida restaurants together. Post your hints and experiences below or e-mail me at Diningscene@live.com