The start of restaurant week in Lee County (Taste Delicious Lee) was on 10/10/2013 at The Twisted Vine Bistro in Fort Myers. They have a very nice space. Although the restaurant has been around for five years, the present owners have had owned it for about two.
The opener was held outside in their garden area. There were a number of restaurants and chefs that provided nibbles for the event.
Chef Kristina (Chef Kristina), the Chef Curator for Restaurant Week was there. She prepared herbed goat cheese on summer squash slices with pickled haricot vert (Haricot Vert) and smoked mullet. The produce was from Rabbit Run Farm (Rabbit Run Farm) and the smoked mullet from Andy's Island Seafood seafood in Matlacha (Andy's Island Seafood).
Also at her table were samples of Wicked Dolphin rum (Wicked Dolphin Rum) a craft distillery out of Cape Coral, FL (Cape Coral, FL).
The Melting Pot (The Melting Pot), a chain of 165 restaurants in 35 states
had a nice display of strawberries dipped in chocolate.
while Key Lime Bistro (Key Lime Bistro) had some very nice pieces of, you guessed it, key lime (Key Lime) pie.
Now to shift gears a bit. In Lee County, FL (Lee County, FL) there is a "bed tax" (Bed Tax) of 5% on dwellings occupied 6 months or less. This pays for promoting Lee County as a tourism destination and beach maintenance. It also funds Lee County's sponsorship of professional baseball spring training teams (Spring Training Lee County).
The Tourist Development Council (Tourist Development Council) (TDC) are in a way the trustees of the bed tax dollars and make recommendations to the Lee County Commissioners (Lee County Commissioners) as to how it should be spent. The Visitors and Convention Bureau (Visitors and Convention Bureau) (VCB) are really the tourism marketing arm of Lee County and concern themselves with encouraging and maintaining tourism in the area. Both the TDC and the VCB are not suprisingly very much involved with Restaurant Week.
A number of individuals spoke at this event that have interests in restaurant week.
Tamara Pigott, Executive Director of the VCB, addressed the audience among other matters on the importance of the food and restaurant industry on tourism.
Councilman Larry Kiker, chair of the TDC
and Forrest Banks, TDC member,
both addressed the audience on agriculture/tourism partnerships.
Steve Hollister, one of the owners of Twisted Vine Bistro gave his thoughts on the event.
while Yvonne Hill, director of the Roots Heritage Urban Food Hub (Roots Heritage Urban Food Hub) gave her thoughts on healthy affordable produce for the community.
After all this I was hungry. My dining companion (DC) and I decided to lunch at Twisted Vine Bistro.
A nice piece of bread was brought to the table with an olive oil/balsamic vinegar (Balsamic Vinegar) dipping sauce.
DC had a grilled shrimp salad with strawberries, blackberries, shaved Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano) with a honey mustard dressing. The shrimp were delicious.
I had a Cobb Salad (Cobb Salad) that had beef tenderloin (Beef Tenderloin) in it. Most excellent and hats off to the chef at Twisted Vine Bistro.
Well that's that, another review on forks.
All in all good food and good fun.
The Twisted Vine Bistro
2214 Bay St.
Fort Myers, FL 33901