The food lovers movement is active and well in Fort Myers, and the many high-quality restaurants in the area are proof of that fact. While there are lots of tried and true, long-standing ideas here, there are always new and unusual spots rising to tickle your taste buds. For a touch of romance and a magnificent sunset, it’s worth the winding drive within Sanibel Island to the Mad Hatter. This tiny, beachside restaurant has a magnificent menu with service and appearance to write home about. Expect Southern welcome and beauty at the well-established Veranda in downtown Fort Myers. This is a long-standing, unique occasion, let’s linger over a cocktail sort of place. Keep in mind that hours usually change during summer with many locally-owned places closing on Monday’s for a much-needed rest after ‘season.’
Get to know about best food spots in Fort Myers
Regulars refer to the restaurant as ‘Gloria’s,’ following chef/owner Gloria Jordan. She is enthusiastic about food, music, wine, and life in general; this love is evident in her establishment. She is viewed more often on the floor these days, than in a mess, working the place in sassy high heels and elegant dresses. Gloria is Cuban but has vast experience and training, demonstrating the many flavors and foods she can bring together. This is the only authentic tapas bar in Fort Myers, serving tasty bites like plums stuffed with Gorgonzola, covered in Proscuitto then baked. And tender pork strips tossed in a Mojo Isleno gravy. The Roast Suckling Pig is quite a surprise.
This unusual Sanibel restaurant is where food lovers go while on the island. Award-winning Chef Melissa Talmadge sources regional ingredients year-round, for a yearly menu that tends toward small plates. Her works are innovative and consistently delightful. Sweet Melissa’s staffers are absolute professionals, and can easily recommend the most excellent wine pairings for your meal. Many evenings a week, you can find a local guitarist performing relaxing dinner music. There’s a little patio that’s nice for al fresco dining when the climate allows and a comfortable, full-service bar. You’ll definitely want to acquire a reservation for dining in the Winter and Spring visitor seasons.
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Don’t assume chicken parm at this Italian restaurant; Chef Marco Corricelli doesn’t serve the more traditional, or Americanized Italian recipes. His food is inspired from many different areas in Italy, and his handmade pasta cooked just right. The meatballs are filled with ricotta, and they are perfect. The specials go quick each night, so get your order in speedily if you see something that peaks your curiosity. The food here is all good, flavorful, and served with flare. Try the grilled octopus, served atop marinated chic peas and kale. The Brussels sprouts are pure and tasty, cooked with speck. The wine list essentially consists of Italian selections from more modest producers. Chef keeps an eye on the eatery from the open kitchen and nearly always makes time to welcome diners with a friendly “ciao.”