Food + Dining Top Story


New Season Hot List 2015-16: Dining

Update (December 2015): The original article below has been edited to reflect changes to what was originally published in the magazine. All businesses in the “Still to Come: Fall” category have either opened or are opening in a matter of days. Saltwater Blues was removed from below after the owners announced its unexpected closing. Harold’s Returns What’s old is new again—or in this case better than ever. Fourteen years ago, Harold’s on Bay, with crazy-delicious creations like blue crab- banana spring rolls, became an “it” spot in Fort Myers. But when the city bulldozed streets in 2008 to make the River District, chef Harold Balink moved his magic to the Bell Tower Shops, becoming a partner at Cru. It was a role he wore well, garnering attention and praise and developing a cult following. So it was no small surprise this summer when he sold his share to reinvent a classic.  Harold’s is back. The restaurant opened in early October right after Balink and a team of four other local chefs returned from cooking at New York’s James Beard House. Combining Balink’s trademark penchant for the unusual and his strong relationship with Rosy Tomorrows Heritage Farm, his new Harold’s is bound to make a big splash this season. “We’ll be the first sit-down, farm-to-table restaurant in Fort Myers. In the dirt yesterday, tomorrow on your plate,” he says. An early draft of the menu shows Ro
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