Best New Restaurants Countdown: Blaze Bistro
Behind this strip-mall storefront is a culinary world of whimsy.
Here's one last scrumptious Lee County runner-up before the county's winner:
2612 Santa Barbara Blvd., Cape Coral; 800-2517, blazebistro.com
A convivial neighborhood bistro first and foremost, this strip-mall storefront is exactly the kind of place where waiters know the regulars by name, and it’s worth a trek to Cape Coral for a taste of chef-owner Todd Sheffield’s whimsy. The menu reads like a trip around the world—East Indian bang bang chicken, pan-seared Caribbean jerk prawns, langostino fettuccini and misoyaki butterfish. His sourcing is idiosyncratic (flying in fish from Hawaii yet using Seminole-raised grass-fed cattle), and the plating recalls the ’90s in an unironic way (edible orchids and criss-crossed raw bean sprouts). But he definitely gets an A for effort, and most importantly, we can’t remember amore perfectly cooked piece of meat than the walloping cut we devoured there. And it’s quite possible this is the only restaurant in Southwest Florida where venison, meatloaf and ahi tuna can end up in your belly, and that’s something worth writing about.