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Monday, January 2, 2017

Dinner at La Trattoria Cafe Napoli and Salty Sam's Pirate Cruise in Fort Myers

La Tratoria Cafe Napoli

La Trattoria Cafe Napoli (Cafe Napoli; CN) is a restaurant in Fort Myers, FL  serving tapas, pastas, salads, paellas and more. CN has been open for over 10 years. My dining companion and I went for dinner this New Years' Eve before boarding a pirate cruise to watch the fireworks that night, but more on that later (photos at the very end of this text).

The interior of CN is intimate and inviting, perfect for either date night or a night out with friends or family.

We started out with the plantain chips. These were delicious, made all the better with a sprinkling of salt and garlic-flavored oil. Like crispy pig ears, papadum or chicharron, dishes like this make a welcome alternative to traditional potato chips.

Stuffed artichoke hearts followed. This outstanding tapas plate was served with a Cabrales cheese stuffing. Cabrales is a cheese made from a combination of cow, sheep and goat milk, and turned "blue" during it's maturation process. With this tapas, it's sharpness (blue) was tempered with a topping of pesto sauce. Highly recommended.

CN was serving a few specials that night. One of these was a baked brie topped with roasted red peppers, caramelized red onions and a honey lemon sauce. Toasted pita slices seasoned with herbs and pesto sauce were served as vehicles for all this deliciousness.

Paella seemed apropos after all of these tapas plates. We split the paella De la Tierra, an order that came with pork, chicken, chorizo and pancetta. This was a richly flavored dish. Saffron and notes of aromatic vegetables added to the complexity of this entree,which was very good. The three tapas dishes and this order of paella were more than enough to keep my dining companion and I happy. Nevertheless, we had to try a dessert.

We finished with in house made churros with a chocolate dipping sauce. These were very good and both a light and perfect end to our meal made even better by the service and hospitality at CN.

After all this great food, some fireworks were in order. After all, it was New Years' Eve. What better place to watch them than from Salty Sam's pirate cruise out of Fort Myers Beach. Salty Sam's has a 65 foot long, 26 foot wide Spanish galleon replica named Pieces of Eight. Pieces of Eight rides out into the Gulf of Mexico for area tours and sunset cruises. Arrr Matey!

I would guess about 75 of us swashbucklers boarded that evening from Salty Sam's dock at around 1030 PM. As for the crew, they were very entertaining; no scurvy dogs here. There was also plenty of grog and snacks available in the ships' galley for those wanting to get into the spirit of New Years.

After a leisurely cruise into the Gulf, we were treated to the wonderful annual New Years' Eve fireworks display at midnight from the pier at Fort Myers Beach. 

Both La Trattoria Cafe Napoli and Salty Sam's pirate cruise are highly recommended for New Years' Eve or any other time for that matter. 

Happy New Year!

May the wind be at your back and the sea like glass beneath your feet for all of you in 2017!

That's that for another post on Forks.

La Trattoria Cafe Napoli
12377 s. Cleveland Ave.
Fort Myers, FL 33907

Lunch 10-3PM; Dinner 5-10PM; Dinner only Saturdays; Closed Sundays; Kids' menu; All major credit cards accepted.

Salty Sam's Pieces of Eight Pirate Cruise
2500 Main St.
Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931

All ages cruises and adult cruises - for times/dates call or visit the Website. Full bar and snacks; All major credit cards accepted.

Dining area, La Trattoria Cafe Napoli
Fried plantains with garlic oil

Cabrales stuffed artichoke hearts with pesto sauce

Baked Brie with honey/lemon sauce

Paella De La Tierra

Churros with chocolate dipping sauce
Salty Sam's Pieces of Eight pirate ship

Waiting to embark; Salty Sams's pirate cruise

Galley, Salty Sams's pirate cruise

Fireworks, New Years' Eve, Fort Myers Beach, FL

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