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Monday, February 23, 2015

Dinner at El Gaucho Inca

El Gaucho Inca  (The Inca Cowboy)


is a restaurant in Fort Myers, FL serving mostly Peruvian with a bit of Argentine and Italian cuisine as well. They have been open about 4 years.

As you walk in the restaurant, they have their Wine decoratively displayed,


which is mostly of Spanish and Central American origin.

Their indoor dining area is a mixture of booths


and/or tables.


I prefer a booth, which is where my dining companion (DC) and I tried some of the things on the Menu.

Some toasts were brought to the table, served with Huacatay sauce, a creamy and spicy Peruvian condiment. Loved the sauce!



Peru is noted for it's Ceviche. This was the first thing that was ordered, and DC and I decided to sample the fish and shrimp ceviche.


Thinly-sliced red onions, Cancha, Hominy and sweet potato slices swimming in lime juice accompanied this dish. Really delicious!

The arugula marina salad was next, which was of a bit of an Italian slant.


A generous portion of sauteed shrimp, arugula, tomatoes, onions, garlic and a Balsamic Reduction were in the salad, and it was really good.

Grilled squid in Anticuchos sauce was next.


This was the restaurant's version of Peruvian Anticuchos, or skewered barbecued meats with a savory pepper sauce. It was quite good, served with potatoes topped with Huancaina sauce, a traditional Peruvian dish in itself.


DC and I finished up with something warm. I am a big fan of Morcilla, and a side of that was next.


Many people will not eat this, and I was glad DC would. These were moist and flavorful unlike some I have had and were not bad.

The food here is really good. I would come back without hesitation. The Lunch offerings also looked great and seemed like a good value. Hopefully soon if not for Logistics.

Later that night was a beautiful Crescent Moon,


nice to sit back and watch as a Digestif to a very good meal.

It's a wrap for another post on Forks.

El Gaucho Inca
4383 Colonial Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33966
(239)275-7504

El Gaucho Inca on Urbanspoon


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy Hour At Angelina's Ristorante



is an Italian-themed restaurant located in Bonita Springs, FL.

They have a lovely indoor dining area


accentuated by their 30 foot "wine tower" where they store their wine.

I went there for happy hour which runs from 4-6 P.M. daily in the bar.


They have a really good selection of food and cocktails on their happy hour menu



which are 50% off. For you Oenophiles out there, all bottles of wine under $175.00 from their extensive Wine Selection are also 50% off during happy hour.

My dining companion (DC) and I sampled a number of items from the menu. DC wanted to try the mussels, so that was the first thing that was ordered.


These were served with a citrus (orange)/basil seafood stock. This was one of the better mussel dishes I have had in recent memory.

This was followed by breaded and fried Calamari and Grouper.


These were served with batter-coated and fried pickled vegetables, Marinara sauce and spicy Aioli. The sauces were a bit heavy for my taste but this dish was better with a bit of squeezed lemon.

Carpaccio was next.


This was also really, really good. The Ubriaco cheese really complemented this dish and was a nice departure from the usual.

DC and I finished up with one of the Pizette, Butternut Squash, bacon, Bel Paese cheese, Arugula and Sage.


This was a great flavor combination and was delicious.

I have been to many happy hours in the area and this is one of the better ones. I was told most of the seating for happy hour, especially in the winter months, is taken by 4:30 P.M. I now see why. Would I go back again? Most definitely!

That's that for another post on forks.


Angelina's Ristorante
24041 S. Tamiami Tr.
Bonita Springs, FL 34134
(239)390-3187

Angelina's Ristorante on Urbanspoon

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Dinner At Whole Foods



is a grocery company that carries many varieties of Organic Food. At present, they have over 400 stores in the U.S., U.K. and Canada. The Naples, FL location opened in 2008. It is located in The Mercato, a mixed-use commercial/residential development.

In 2011, Whole Foods started opening Wine/Craft Beer bars in a number of it's locations. The Naples, FL location is one of them.

Who 10 years ago would think anyone would be sitting in a grocery store having a glass of wine or beer?

The concept has seemed to catch on really well.


They have a very diverse wine selection


served from an Enomatic wine system


in addition to bottled and draft craft beers, which change frequently. Here was the beer selection that day.


They also serve food at the bar.


My dining companion (DC) and I decided to check out some of the food offerings.

I love seafood, and they were serving a seasonal offering of shrimp and Stone Crab.


This was delicious and plenty for two people! A pound each of shrimp and medium stone crab claws were served with Shrimp Cocktail Sauce and a Mustard/Mayo dip. For what was charged for this I thought it reasonably priced based on the market price for shrimp and stone crab. Our server told us about 35-40 of these plates were ordered by patrons each week.

DC and I also ordered an artisan cheese plate.


Salemville Amish Blue, Robusto Gouda and Brie cheeses were served with Fig jam, Marcona Almonds and rosemary crackers. Not bad!

Other diners ordered hamburgers


and personal pizzas that looked pretty good.

If you want something different from the menu offerings you can purchase other items from the store and have them with your favorite beverage from the bar.

Pizza, wings and sandwiches,


soup


or a salad of your choosing.


Additional cold specialty salads


and hot items with an international slant




are also available to purchase and eat at the bar.

If you really like to pair different wines and beers with food, this is the place for you!

On the whole the food at Whole Foods was good, and I would go there again to dine.

It's a wrap for another post on forks.

Whole Foods
9101 Strada Place
Naples, FL 34108
(239)552-5100


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Italian Brunch At Barbatella

Barbatella is an Italian-themed restaurant on Third Street South in Naples, FL. I love the name of this restaurant. It Means a shoot or cutting of a vine in Italian. It is a sister restaurant to it's mother ship just down the street, Sea Salt, which I consider one of the best restaurants in town.

They have a variety of seating options for brunch. One can dine inside by the bar,


or outside in their lovely courtyard in either a covered,


or open air seating area.


The brunch is held in their indoor dining area and is self service.


The offerings change weekly. On this day there were 30 items on the buffet menu. One could choose from a cheese table, pizzas, cold or hot buffet items and desserts. They also give you a choice of either a glass of Prosecco or a Mimosa with the brunch.

Margherita in addition to Diavola pizza were offered for starters


or if not in the mood, perhaps a slice or two of Focaccia bread.


 The cheese table was well appointed,


with Parmigiano, Gorgonzola, Manchego, Pecorino and Robiola cheeses. These were very well paired with Lavash bread and toppings such as walnuts and golden raisins.

For the cold buffet items meats such as Speck, Mortadella and Soppressata were served in addition to grilled vegetables, Mozzarella Caprese,




Seaweed, pasta, roasted chicken and Caesar salads.

Lox and shrimp


completed the cold buffet items that day.

For the hot dishes there were 5 different choices. Meatballs,


roasted chicken,


Rigatoni with tomato and Ricotta cheese,


in addition to salmon with white wine, Capers and lemon and Eggs Benedict.

If somehow you have room for dessert, there was quite a variety to choose from.


Torte Bella Nonne, or "lovely grandmother" lemon-creme cake, Rum Baba, Tiramisu, Creme Brulee (one of the best I have had) and  Cannoli.

This is a very nice brunch. The setting, especially the courtyard is quite lovely and the food offerings range from not bad to very good. Considering the location, and the buffet-style dining, it is one of the best bargains in town for $27.95 per person. Barbatella's brunch is served Sundays from 11:30 AM-2:30 PM.

It's a wrap for another post on Forks.

Barbatella
1290 Third Street South
Naples, FL 34102
(239)263-1955

Barbatella on Urbanspoon