October 20, 2014

Hot Dish: Oct. 15, 2008

Inside the Gulfshore’s dining scene.
 

Better than Ice Cream

Yummy CCG
, Bonita’s elegant coffee shop, serves a variety of gelatos, healthy crepes, and homemade pastries. (CCG stands for coffee, crepes and gelato, of course.) Alex and Mario Stranavsky teamed up with the Community Blood Center’s recent Blood Drive and Block Party, donating a free gelato or Nutella star crepe to blood donors.


Alex Stranavsky prepares a crepe at Yummy CCG.

“Latte artist” Alex serves a deliciously picture-perfect cappuccino. I had a light lunch: a warm chicken, cheese ’n salad crepe for $5.50, and hot espresso rimmed with lemon peel and topped with three beans—ask Alex the meaning! I finished with a warm homemade apple strudel ($3).


A crepe and espresso at Yummy CCG.

Try a gelato scoop ($2.75); it’s creamier and more flavorful than ice cream! My favorites were the banana caramel praline, roasted pistachio, and coconut rum. Yummy CCG, 25261 Chamber of Commerce Drive (next to Regal Cinemas), Bonita Springs, (239) 777-3359.
 

Planning for a Tasty Menu

Let’s Eat!
lets parents and kids quickly assemble nutritious meals in minutes from freshly prepared ingredients. In two hours, prepare a month’s supply of different dinners for a family of four to six, ready to eat or freeze. Best part: It’s tasty, and just $3.50 to $4 per person! 

 
Vanessa Canover prepares Southwestern chicken with daughter Madison at Let's Eat!

I enjoyed the nicely spiced cheese ravioli with roasted red pepper sauce and the tasty sweet and sour meatballs when Let’s Eat! partnered with Physician’s Regional’s Cath Lab to hold a wine tasting and meal assembly to benefit The American Heart Association. Let’s Eat!, in The Collection at Vanderbilt, 2335 Vanderbilt Beach Road; (239) 596-4111.

 
Name Change
 
CJ’s on the Bay is the new name for Marco Island’s Bayview Restaurant at The Esplanade. Owners Curt and Jacquie Koon recently revamped the menu with Chef Laura Owen’s creative touches. Specialties included a Mahi Mahi filet, flamed with rum and finished with sweet butter and plantains ($21), and a vegetable crusted tuna, seared rare, with roasted red pepper aioli ($20). Check out the Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. CJ’s on the Bay, 740 N. Collier Blvd. Marco Island, (239) 389-4511.
 

A Personal Invitation
 
Come out and meet me in person! I’ll be a panelist at the Naples Press Club’s forum on Blogging for Storytellers and Journalists at the Norris Center on the south side of Cambier Park at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23. Admission is $5. It’s followed by Happy Hour with free appetizers at Vergina on 5th Ave. South.
 
Feel free to post your comments on Yummy CCG, Let’s Eat!, CJ’s on the Bay— or meeting me—below.