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Friday, July 29, 2016

Lunch at Shangri-La Springs

is a historic property in Bonita Springs, FL.

The initial building on the property was built in 1921 as a small hotel to accommodate potential buyers for a local real estate development. The property changed hands many times over the years, expanding and it's mineral springs becoming a health-related focus for osteopathic and homeopathic owners. The present owners acquired the property in 1998. Their focus was preservationist, but also to expand the holistic and naturalistic vision of some of the former owners of Shangri-La. This is done partially through visual and performance arts. In addition various Classes featuring modalities such as yoga, dance and meditation complement the artistic endeavors here. 
The culinary arts at Shangri-La Springs fit very well into the vision for this property, but more on that later.

As you enter the main building,

you continue onto a very aesthetically pleasing lounge area with beautiful wooden floors restored from the original structure and a very relaxing, homey feel.

If you go through the building to it's exterior, there is a very nice courtyard,

and if you continue on there is a short, but scenic path through the property,

and a magnificent Mysore Fig tree, one of the few in Southwest Florida.

The culinary arts also play a very big roll here. Chef Pyro Rodriguez was recently brought on board to feature foods that are both farm and boat to table that are non-GMO and organic. To this end, he uses local vendors such as Inyoni Farms, Circle C Farms and Southern Alaska Seafood from Colorado.

As you walk to the rear of the main building at Shangri-La Springs, there is a beautiful dining area

that is at present open for lunch from 11:30 to 2:30 Monday-Friday. 

I came here a couple of times to sample some of the items off their menu.

The first thing ordered was the beets.

Beets, goat cheese mousse, beet chips and red and golden beet purees made up this starter. It was very good, but I wish there was more of it!

The salmon entree followed.

Coho salmon was served atop a bed of red and white quinoa, with lemongrass and fennel foam. Very good.

On my first visit, they were sold out of pork so I ordered the chicken dish.

This was also very good. Sous-vide cooked chicken breast was served atop a bed of couscous and topped with Sauce Vert

On my second visit I tried the pork.

Braised pork was served with a purple potato/polenta mixture, topped with lemongrass and fennel foam and served with mole sauce. This was delicious and my favorite entree of the three.

The kitchen also grows produce on site to complement it's farm to table vision.

As these pictures were taken in mid summer, there is not a lot growing here. It's a different story in the fall and winter, and the property is expanding this endeavor to perhaps supply most of the produce needs of the restaurant.

The food at Shangri-La is very good, served in a pleasant atmosphere on one of the most historic properties in Southwest Florida. As the gardens and the patronage of the property expand in the winter months, I cannot wait to see what good things culinarily come from Shangri-La.

That's that for another post on Forks.

Shangri-La Springs
27750 Old 41 Rd., Bonita Springs, FL 34135

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