Hot Dish

Vacation for an Evening

A retreat to Tarpon Lodge Restaurant is a dose of the unexpected, especially during a Global Wine Dinner.

BY January 12, 2018


A trip to Pine Island itself, just 20 minutes from parts of Cape Coral but a world away, is an escape.

Diners delight in sophisticated fare, such as the centerpiece lamb chops for the Massaya dinner. That night, they will be coated in ground pistachio and drizzled with pesto, then plated with a spice- and herb-infused basmati rice pilaf and olive oil- and dill-glazed carrots. 

From passing through the funky, brightly hued fishing village Matlacha to driving by mango grove after mango grove, there’s a frozen-in-time quality that’s hard to get anywhere these days. For food lovers, the experience is worth the trek even more, for a trip to old-time fishing retreat Tarpon Lodge, whose restaurant has cultivated a reputation for so much more than coconut shrimp.

In fact, the eatery goes as far as to host a Global Wine Series each year, with a roster of dinners that give a perfect reason for a visit. Take the Massaya dinner on Jan. 19 that is $75 per person: Co-owner Sami Ghosn will be on-hand to take guests through the four-course dinner’s pairings that will be served alongside, among others, a pistachio-encrusted lamb with basmati rice and glazed carrots with dill. The evening will also include a taste of Massaya’s Arak, an anise-based spirit popular in Levantine countries. Ghosn built the vineyard with his brother Ramzi on their family’s estate in the Beqaa Valley after Lebanon’s civil war. Of that endeavor, he said in a statement, “A glass of wine from Lebanon is more than an alcoholic beverage; it is a message of civilization, tolerance and identity.”


To plan a visit:

Tarpon Lodge Restaurant

Global Wine Series 

13771 Waterfront Drive, Bokeelia

(239) 383-3999


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