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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dinner at Fancy's Southern Cafe

is a restaurant located in Fort Myers, FL. The name seems to be at odds with the outer appearance of the restaurant, but as my grandmother would say to me "You Can't Judge a Book By It's Cover". Fancy's serves Southern Inspired Cuisine, which is a mishmosh of Southeastern American Indian and African among others cuisines.

As you enter Fancy's there is a very warm and inviting bar area,

and as you continue on, a comparable dining area.

Fancy's has an open air kitchen

which my Dining Companion (DC) and I sat across from. Unwittingly, this allowed me to photograph a few of the restaurant's dishes other than that what DC and I ordered.

They have many great looking dishes on their Dinner Menu and here were a few of them. All but two of the entree orders come with a choice of two Sides, either a starch or vegetable.

crab cakes topped with fried green tomatoes, corn relish and Petal Sauce,

a deconstructed Chicken Pot Pie,

meatloaf topped with onions and a ketchup sauce and served with black eyed peas and Collard Greens,

a Rib Eye Steak topped with onions, mushrooms and garlic butter and served with green beans (Southern Style), mashed potatoes and gravy

and that Southern Triple Bypass dining classic, Chicken and Waffles, topped with fried sweet potato ribbons.

DC and I tried a few of the things on the menu.

The first was the pork Spare Rib starter and was about half a Rack of ribs, perfect for a taste.

The ribs were very well cooked, the meat falling off the bone. This dish was served with a traditional Barbecue and "honey hot" sauce. The latter sauce was really interesting  It is made from diluted honey, corn starch and the only hot sauce a self-respecting Southerner would have, Crystal. Both DC and I agreed these were pretty good.

I ordered the catfish.

The catfish (breaded with corn meal and fried) was topped with corn relish and Remoulade sauce with a bit of Arugula on the side. I picked collards and spicy Cole Slaw, the slaw probably made spicy with a bit of Crystal hot sauce.

DC had Pot Roast.

The flavor was very "beefy" and delicious, and came with carrots and potatoes. DC ordered some very Savory Cheese Grits and a bit of Sweet Potato Souffle as sides. I do not have much of a sweet tooth but nonetheless, I thought the potatoes were not bad.

The food DC and I sampled at Fancy's was very good, and I will be back to try some of the items I saw being served from their kitchen. I was told they have a lady's night Tuesdays, with 1/2 price starters and an extended happy hour discount on beverages. If you are a fan of Southern Cuisine and dine here, I'm sure y'all will enjoy it as much as DC and I did.

Another good meal and another post on Forks.

Fancy's Southern Cafe
 8890 Salrose Lane
Fort Myers, FL 33912

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Happy Hour at Island View Restaurant

It is named Island View as you can get great views of Estero Island, where the restaurant is located as well as an island to the west, Sanibel Island.

The Lani Kai Resort has had the reputation of being frozen in time sometime around when Annette Funicello started the Beach Party scene in the early 1960's, and probably deservedly so. In the past couple of years they have done an interior remodel, Island View Restaurant being part of this.

Happy hour is held in the restaurant

and bar area

from 3-6 P.M. daily.

You will get some of the best, if not the best publicly available views in Fort Myers Beach either from the bar

or from the restaurant.

The restaurant has an Italian-themed Menu, in part because of their wood-fired pizza oven

though the menu offers quite a number of choices. DC (dining companion) and I tried a number of happy hour items. These consist of CevicheWonton fish tacos, and all of their pizzas, flat breads and Calzones.

The first thing that we sampled was the shrimp ceviche.

It was not bad, and for those of you who are carbohydrate-averse was served with cucumber chips. I thought this was a very nice presentation.

We then moved onto the pizza and flat breads.

The Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese pizza was next.

It was very flavorful and quite good.

Spinach, Ricotta and bacon flat bread followed.

The ingredients are self-explanatory, and this was excellent.

The eggplant Rotolo was next.

This dish was really good, and had rolled breaded eggplant stuffed with ricotta and topped with Marinara sauce. I thought this was delicious but don't know if it was due to this being almost non existent on my culinary radar. I found out it can be ordered non breaded which I will try next time to make this dish a bit less caloric.

DC and I finished up with the wonton fish tacos.

It looked good, but was Swai served in fried wonton cups topped with mango salsa. I realize cost constraints come into this, but this was the wrong fish to use with this type of dish. It tasted ok, but the swai was still warm, and each bite was like eating Jello. It would have been much better with a more solid type of fish like Mahi-Mahi but that is just my preference.

DC and I were really out to see the sunset, and after eating so much, decided to go for a stroll on Fort Myers Beach to walk a bit of this overindulgence off.

The really cool thing about Island View Restaurant is that if you go out onto the roof top from the restaurant

you can get beautiful panoramic views of Estero Island and the sunsets from the west from Sanibel Island.

Would I go back? YES!!! Great views and good food. This happy hour and sunset view is one of the best kept secrets in the area and I urge readers to check it out! It's a wrap for another post on Forks.

Island View Restaurant
1400 Estero Blvd.
Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Lunch at Three60 Market

is a restaurant on Bayshore Drive in East Naples, FL. They have been open about 3 and 1/2 years. Three60 Market is part of a trend to turn a very undesirable area of Naples into a much more desirable one. This includes the efforts of The Naples Botanical Garden, a place I Blogged about last year. Three60 has more plans about this, but more later.

They have a very nice outdoor dining area

and if you are so inclined, you can go up one of the canals from the Gulf Of Mexico and moor your boat.

The indoor space is also very nice, has a lot of windows, and is very sunny and pleasant.

The restaurant is divided into stations, all of them having great looking food or drink.

Should you wish to dine in there are a number of sandwich options

and sandwich specials

that all seemed to come with their in-house prepared potato chips.

There are also plenty of prepared salads

and desserts.

Additionally, there is a beverage station

that has coffees

and other beverages.

There are also prepared foods for you to bring home

and menus highlighting your choices.

If this wasn't enough, they have a substantial wine selection

priced at cost plus $3.60 a bottle. Sweet!

My dining companion (DC) and I decided to dine in and try a bit of their food. I ordered the Mediterranean shredded chicken salad.

Served on greens, this was shredded chicken mixed with red and yellow green pepper, onion, BasilCapers and olive oil. Good, but somewhat salty for my palate. 

DC won on the "order war". A trio of sliders came DC's way.

The dish was 3 small sandwiches, with a side of grilled vegetables and greens seasoned with Balsamic Vinaigrette. The Sandwiches were a variant of their turkey, Italian hoagie and Cuban (roasted pork) sandwiches served on Parmesan Ciabatta bread. Very delicious! This was also one of the most beautifully-plated lunches I have seen in the area.

I chatted with the owner about her restaurant and her vision for the future. They will soon be developing the property across the canal

to accommodate a variety of different themed food stands. The more the merrier for the area.

I also asked her why Market360? Was it that you go in the front door and out the front door, or that you had to circumnavigate the different stations in the restaurant or that the food was really good, so you would eventually need to do a "360" to go back and dine? She said none of the above, it was just an arbitrary name. Well for me, it was very much the latter reason and I will definitely be doing a "360" to eat there again.

It's a wrap for another post on Forks.

Three60 Market
2891 Bayview Dr.
Naples, FL 34112