April 1, 2015

Hot Dish

Inside the Gulfshore's Dining Scene


Bratta’s Piano Bar plays us a tune, Ridgway Bar & Grill’s BOGO rocks

Bratta’s Piano Bar & Ristorante in Fort Myers is my kind of spot for reasonably priced dining and wonderful evenings of great jazz, acoustic guitar and more. Date night or any night, this musical treasure hosts top local talents.  Proprietor Michael Bratta upgraded what was formerly Bennigan’s, then Biddle’s Piano Bar on US 41, bringing in new creations and classic Italian dishes.   Come by for daily happy hour, and savor good-sized portions of great dishes like macadamia nut grouper, petit filet Napoleon, chicken Vesuvio, baked ziti and seafood Wellington.  12984 South Cleveland Avenue, Fort Myers, 204-2020, brattasristorante.com     Naples’ Ridgway Bar & Grill has long been a popular dining destination. I like dining in the white wicker chairs...

Posted at 04:52 PM | Permalink


Osetra has champagne wish and caviar dreams, plus wine tasting at Whole Foods and Morgan House

Upscale Caviar and Champagne bistro/bar to open on Naples’ Fifth Avenue   Osetra, opening later this month, is Fifth Avenue South’s new star. Caterer/chef Anthony Chinaglia, who previously owned the creative Mister Five Restaurant on Airport-Pulling Road, and partner/mixologist Milos Simovic bring bling, excitement and fine champagne to liven up the avenue till 2 a.m. These talented young guys have crafted an elegantly refreshing white, black and silver bistro experience to delight the senses.   Sample the finest Petrossian caviars and top Champagnes while musicians play nearby. The oyster bar’s bivalves are drawn from around the world, and the sushi comes direct from Japan. Look for Chef Chinaglia’s elegant light cuisine, from English toast points with black...

Posted at 11:28 PM | Permalink


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.   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.   Leave room for the dessert specials, which have included a lavender crème brûlée, wine poached pears, profiteroles and fruit creations. Come casual...

Posted at 09:47 PM | Permalink


Summertime specials at Capital Grille, Inca's Kitchen and Roy's

A Generous Pour Awaits You at Capital Grille   Capital Grille has crafted a special summer list of nine world-class wines that you can try with dinner for only $25. Paired with superb service in the Capital Grille’s luxurious, private club-like setting, it’s a fabulous deal. Savor a generous pour of a $180-a-bottle Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon 2003, the exclusive Spanish red Tarima Hills Monastrell and still have seven other wines to enjoy! Proprietor Peter Lopez has put together a fun and education experience as you sample top quality red wines with your Kona dry-aged sirloin. Compare the way cedar-planked salmon plays with a white and a red. It’s fun to compare and contrast the wines as you try them with appetizer, entrée and dessert.  Start with the...

Posted at 10:29 PM | Permalink


Argentina marries Peru at El Gaucho Inca, savor the Middle East at Fabulous Pita and enjoy great wine pairings

Fort Myers: Argentina Meets Peru (with some Italy, too)  When Argentinean chef/owner Mariano Maldonado married Peruvian Rocio Navarrete, they paired the cuisines of their homelands, plus Italian, to create El Gaucho Inca. It's a homey spot with friendly knowledgeable staff at the former home of Artistic Deli in a strip shopping center a little more than a mile west of I-75 on Colonial Boulevard The Peruvian tamal ($5) is triple the size of Mexican tamales, with unique spicing—it’s enough for a meal for lighter eaters. Grilled skewered shrimp with chimichurri sauce are another great appetizer. Conchitas a la Parmesana ($12) are a savory appetizer—six scallops on the half shell luxuriate in a rich, oven-broiled Parmesan-cream sauce. Fish lovers go for the pescado...

Posted at 11:42 PM | Permalink

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