Hot Dish

Hot Dish: July 8, 2009

BY July 8, 2009
Inside the Gulfshore’s Dining Scene.
Beat the Heat with Great Meal Deals
Many restaurants are feeling the pinch of the typical slower summer mixed with a tight economy. Owners are reluctant to share figures, but the general buzz is this past season was down 15 to 25 percent. What’s bad news for them is good news for diners in search of a great deal, as many restaurants are offering big discounts on food and drink to lure new customers, maintain regulars and keep servers’ tips up.

I could fill this column for months just listing specials such as Naples Originals’ 30 percent discounts at more than 35 locally owned restaurants ( And check out some of the other great deals I found along the Gulfshore:
—Naples’ Miramare, with one of the most stunning views in Southwest Florida, starts off with a three-course meal for $18 from 5 to 6 p.m. daily, with soup or salad, various pasta dishes, salmon and chicken, and dessert. 
Brio Tuscan Grille’s three-course meal for $17 includes tangy citrus chicken or beef medallions marsala, offered Sunday through Thursday.
Sea Salt’s$25 three-course dinner includes soup or salad plus choice of penne pasta with vodka cream sauce and smoked salmon, or Korobuta pork short ribs, with gelato or sorbet for dessert.
Campiello’s $25 special meal offers six entrees, including chicken, salmon and pork shoulder.
—Bonita Springs’A Table Apart’sprix fixe trio is $25 from 5 to 6:30 p.m., or get a free bottle of house wine Monday to Thursday when purchasing two regular-priced entrées. 
Angelina’s three-course creations are $27.50, with all appetizers and antipasti half off in the bar and lounge.
Flemings has “5 for 6 till 7”, with five cocktails, five wines by the glass, and five appetizers, each $6 only at the bar, till 7 p.m. The appetizers include crab cakes, seared ahi tuna, barbecue shrimp, tenderloin carpaccio, and my favorite, sweet chile calamari.
C Grape has wine, beer, a hot buffet and live music from 6 to 8 p.m. on the last Friday of the month—and they fill up fast!
—Fort Myers’ H2 Tapas and Wine Bar offers several wines priced at $6 a glass, and all the menu prices are summer discounted.
Haskell’s, The Wine Merchant, VIVI, M Waterfront and UNO Chicago Grill are just a few of dozens of places offering Happy Hour specials. Call your favorite spot for details—some have free appetizers, others two for one.
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