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About Me

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I have started this blog, Southwest Florida Forks, as I want to share my dining and food experiences with you both textually and pictorially.
I love food and photography and it is my hope that through my dining/food/traveling combined with photos I can bring to you an accurate log of my experiences.
A fork can be an eating implement used to pick things up, as well as being a point where something disperses, perfect for a blog.
You can choose to use these postings as a guide, and if not, perhaps just see life through my lens.



Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dinner at Maria D'anna Cafe


southwest florida food and restaurant reviews


is a restaurant in Naples, FL that serves Polish-inspired cuisine. They have outdoor seating

southwest florida food and restaurant reviews

in addition to, of course, seating inside the restaurant.

southwest florida forks

southwest florida forks

Although these latter two pictures do not give the dining area justice it is intimate, very well put together and in a word, pleasant.

After being seated my dining companion (DC) and I were served an Amuse-Bouche. This consisted of a homemade pork sausage (Spam to the nth power),

southwest florida food and restaurant reviews
 in-house made Rye Bread


and of course, butter.


This was followed by a gift from the owners. I usually do not take anything from a restaurant I review.  The owners were so nice, it would have been an insult not to. A sample of their Pate

southwest florida food and restaurant reviews

was brought to the table and it was great, reminiscent of the Polish Pasztet.

I ordered an appetizer and it was really good.

southwest florida food and restaurant reviews

Greens were topped with Medjool Dates stuffed with Gorgonzola cheese and wrapped in bacon. Finished with a Soya  Vinaigrette reduction. Excellent!

My dining companion (DC) ordered stuffed cabbage rolls.

southwest florida food and frestaurant reviews

Cabbage leaves were stuffed with a pork/rice mixture, served atop stewed Yellow Split Peas with a garlic/herb-infused fresh tomato sauce and vegetables.

I ordered the Breaded Pork Cutlet.

southwest florida food and restaurant reviews

This came with a shredded picked beat relish and was really good. I decided to have a lighter version of this dish. I asked for more vegetables and no potatoes, no problem.

They also have a nice selection of cookies and cakes.


There were Madeline, Butter and Pecan cookies that evening. What was really interesting were the cookies on the middle lower plate. They were filled with a ground Poppy Seed/Maple Syrup mixture and topped with a bit of Buttercream. Tres Eastern European and tres delicious. The owner was nice enough to give DC 5-6 cookies to take home. Very nice of her. Zabaglione, Flourless Chocolate Cake and Creme Brulee are also available.

The owners had just returned from France and had brought back some French chocolate. A very nice finishing touch with the check.



This was a very good dining experience. The food was excellent, made with love. The owners also give very personalized service and are as nice as anyone could possible be. I would go back without a second thought.

Widzenia Do Następnego Razu! It's a wrap for another post on Forks.


Maria D'anna Café
300 Tamiami Trail N.
Naples, FL 34102
(239)263-6892

Maria D'Anna Cafe on Urbanspoon




Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Dinner at The Pewter Mug 41


southwest florida food and restaurant reviews


is a restaurant in North Naples, FL. Whenever I have come here, the parking lot is always full, a very good sign.

southwest florida food and restaurant reviews


It opened in 1970, Closed in 2009 and Reopened about a year later. What I really like about this place is it's so retro, changed little since it opened in 1970. You can see this when you enter the restaurant

southwest florida food and restaurant reviews

 go into the dining area

southwest florida fod and restaurant reviews
and peruse their Menu. This is food from the 1970's, a real trip back in time.

Their salad bar is great, can be ordered separately and is a meal in itself.

southwest florida food and restaurant reviews

 There are 3 different kinds of greens,

southwest florida food and restaurant reviews

20 different salad toppings,


2 different cheeses,


 6 different dressings,


breads,




If that's not enough, they also have soup.

southwest florida food and restaurant reviews

Continuing on our gastronomic journey back in time, dining companion (DC) and I split a 12 ounce portion of Prime Rib.

southwest florida food and restaurant reviews

This beautifully glistening, well-seasoned slab of beef was served with a baked potato topped with butter and Sour Cream, Prepared and Creamy Horseradish sauce and Au Jus. I don't know how, but somehow I managed 2 helpings from the salad bar and 1/2 of the entree. We asked for a Gurney, unfortunately they were all in use.

As all of the entrees come with the salad bar, if you split one and order the salad bar separately, dining here can be a very good value. You will not leave hungry.

I really enjoyed coming back to The Pewter Mug again, and would come back without hesitation.


That's that for another post on Forks.

The Pewter Mug 41
12300 Tamiami Tr. N.
Naples, FL 34110
(239)596-6844

Pewter Mug Steak House on Urbanspoon

Friday, July 18, 2014

Happy Hour at Bistro 41

Bistro 41 is a restaurant in Fort Myers, FL. It is located in the Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers.

Happy hour is at their bar

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA FOOD AND RESTAURANT REVIEWS

or in their outdoor area every day from 4-6 P.M.
 
southwest florida food and restaurant revies

southwest florida food and restaurant reviews

It includes half off any item from the Appetizer menu with the exception of their seafood or cheese plate. This also includes their selection of wines by the glass and  Well Drinks.

A very nice piece of bread and a dipping sauce of olive oil, Italian seasoning, Balsamic Vinegar and red pepper was brought to the table.
 
southwest florida food and restaurant reviews
 
Their calamari appetizer was then ordered. Lightly-fried calamari was served mixed with stir-fried Bok Choy, served in a crispy Wonton bowl and topped with a sweet and mild Sriracha Sauce. It was really good.

southwest florida food and resturant reviews

The Tuna starter was also ordered.  It came coated with black pepper/Sesame Seeds and lightly seared, served atop Seaweed Salad/Udon Noodles and finished with a Wasabi Aioli topping. Way great!
 
southwest florida food and restaurant revieres

The meal was finished up with an order of Mussels. These were served with a Sherry/butter sauce seasoned with Shitake Mushrooms, Scallions and Sambal for heat. The mussels were a bit anemic but the best part of this dish is mopping up the sauce with some bread. Crostini topped with garlic and Parmigiano-Reggiano accompany the mussels just for that purpose. Our server was more than happy to bring more crostini to the table when asked.
 

The food here is excellent, the servers timely and knowledgeable. I would come back here again without hesitation.
 
That's that for another post on forks.

Bistro 41
13499 S. Cleveland Ave. #143
Fort Myers, FL 33907
(239)466-4141

Bistro 41 on Urbanspoon


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Happy Hour At Da Ru Ma


southwest florida food and restaurant reviews

are restaurants in Southwest Florida serving primarily Japanese Cuisine. They have locations in Sarasota, Naples and Fort Myers, FL. It was da-ru-ma (sorry, couldn't resist) that they had a very good happy hour there. My dining companion (DC) for that day and I met at the Fort Myers location to see if the rumor was true.

As you walk into the restaurant,

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you can sit at the sushi bar,

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in a more traditional dining room,

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or in the Teppanyaki area in either a group

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or more intimate setting.

southwest florida food and restaurant reviews

The happy hour menu is available in all of these dining areas.

There is a good selection of starter-sized plates, 

southwest florida food and restaurant reviews

in addition to reduced prices on selected beverages (only at the bar).

southwest florida food and restaurant reviews

DC and I were starvin', so we tried a number of items from the happy hour menu.

The first thing ordered was a Krab meat asparagus roll.

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The krab was mixed with a bit of Mayonnaise prior to making the roll. It was very good.

Tempura Cod bites were next.

southwest florida food and restaurant reviews

Balls of Cod were battered, fried and served with a pickled vegetable garnish and a sauce that tasted like mayonnaise mixed with Sriracha sauce. The sauce was not my favorite but the fish bites were not bad.

The next thing that was ordered was the spicy Calamari steak.

southwest florida food and restaurant reviews

The calamari was Sauteed, topped with a soy-chili sauce and served with a soy/ginger sauce. It was very good.

A spicy tuna roll was the next order, and was tuna that was mixed with a bit of Sriracha sauce. Pretty good.

southwest florida food and restaurant reviews

Gyoza were ordered next. One can order then fried, which would turn them into Pot Stickers.

southwest florida food and restaurant reviews
These were topped with Seaweed Salad, Edamame and served with a traditional soy/vinegar sauce. Really good.

Being very full at this point, against better judgement, one more item was ordered. The Escargot Jalapeno Nippon, or Japanese Jalapeno Escargot,


was escargot in a mayonnaise/Masago/Jalapeno sauce, topped with miniature toasts to "mop-up" the sauce. Delicious.

DC and I had more than enough to eat, all for $15.00 each. All of the food ordered was good, especially for the price. I can tell you that da-ru-ma about happy hour being good here is true.  These items are available all night long,  from 5-10P.M. Although for most of these items, the restaurant is a bit mayonnaise-happy, I would come back here without hesitation.

That's that for another review on Forks.



DaRuMa
13499 S. Cleveland Ave.
Fort Myers, FL 33907
(239)344-0037

DaRuMa on Urbanspoon