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 overlooking the colorful outdoor side garden, starting with panko encrusted shrimp, crisply seared pork belly or skillet roasted mussels. I also recommend the veal chop, pan roasted pink shrimp with sweet corn grits cake, sautéed snapper piccata, or the savory braised short ribs.
The front veranda is perfect for people watching!
Right now, a coupon gets you a buy one, get one free for a second entrée of equal or lesser price-call for details. Finish with Emily’s warm chocolate cake, panna cotta, or French Opera cake for dessert, and you’re ready to stroll along Third Street South’s colorful shops. 1300 3rd St. South, # 101, Naples, 262-5500, ridgwaybarandgrill.com
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