Hot Dish: Nov. 12, 2008
By Ivan Seligman
Inside the Gulfshore’s Dining Scene.
New chefs impress at Mermaid Kitchen
Sanibel’s Mermaid Kitchen's new owners Jenny and Andrew Edgar, from the United Kingdom, have brought in new chefs—Executive Chef Michael Colter and Sous Chef Joe Cox—and their food is great! I flipped over the fresh taste and beautiful presentation of Neptune’s chilled poached seafoods ($16.50), and the tenderness of the herb-crusted 14-ounce Kurobuta pork chop’s roasted shallots, candied walnuts and raspberry glace de veau ($24).
Kurobuta pork chop at Mermaid Kitchen
You have to try their homemade cakes and catering, too. This professional crew’s creative touches rocket Mermaid Kitchen to one of Lee County’s top spots for finer dining in a casual setting. Mermaid Kitchen, 2055 Periwinkle Way, (239) 472-1242.
Twist on take-out brings favorite restaurants home
Tired of waiting in line at your favorite dining spot during season? Naples Express is a new service that delivers fresh, hot restaurant food right to your door! Just order from their growing selection of restaurants’ menus, and—without any extra charge—they deliver your order to your home. Have the same great food from places like Bha! Bha! or Sushi-Thai served in a candlelight atmosphere on your own lanai. Quite a few of my friends have used the service, and they have only positive things to say. Check it out at NaplesExpressMeals.com.
Learn to cook like Dino
Dino’s Italian Restaurant now offers lunch as well as dinner, and cooking lessons start up in December! Chef/Owner Dino Redzik is one of the few Italian chefs who will cook to order many favorite Italian dishes not found on the new menu. (Do be kind—come in early or later, not at 7 p.m., for this special treat). I like the friendly staff and rich seasoning of the cuisine. Whether it’s a simple pasta soup, homemade sausage, or his oh-so-savory rack of lamb with sautéed spinach and goat cheese, his style of Italian cookery has a bold, authentic rustic taste. And whether people go for the simple fare, weekend live entertainment, a tasting dinner with wine or the multicourse Chef’s Table, Dino’s is a Naples favorite. Dino’s, 1575 Pine Ridge Road, Suite 22 in Mission Square, Naples, (239) 594-1900.
rack of lamb at Dino's
Country classics cooking in Fort Myers
The new Country Harvest has taken over Fort Myers’ Mildred’s former location to offer country cooking with all the classics. Combos include ribs and chicken breast, sides of fried okra and fried green tomatoes, and owner Chef Solomon Williams will soon smoke his own pulled pork and ribs. He is such a from-scratch cook that he even makes his own noodles for chicken soup! The fried chicken is marinated in buttermilk—my favorite way. Check it out for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The restaurant opens at 6:30 a.m., serving classics such as biscuits with gravy and omelettes. Country Harvest, in the South Trail Plaza, 3207 Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers, (239) 337-5111.
Do let me know your thoughts on Mermaid’s Kitchen, Naples Express, Country Harvest or Dino’s by posting them below.