Fort Myers (FL) residents who drive McGregor Blvd on a regular basis have been watching the progress of a new restaurant on the corner of Royal Palm, just across from the Alliance of the Arts. I can report it is finally open and officially sanctioned; by me! I can't wait to write more about the history of this structure, crazy parking, it's owner and chef; but for now lets start with this....
Christof's has the look and feel of an old, Southern home or tea room; surrounded by lots of trees, green landscaping, and a beautiful wrap around porch for seating. A brick paved patio offers even more outdoor seating. With this look I was expecting some form of Southern food and I wasn't disappointed. I was even happier to see the menu had lots of Italian dishes and some French cuisine as well. The fusion works.
I arrived after working late and shared a few appetizers with a friend. We started with a fresh Cesar Salad and homemade dressing. All of the dressings at Christof's are made with Grape Seed Oil. The salad was consumed, it seemed, in seconds. Next we enjoyed Fried Green Tomatoes stacked with Mozzarella, bacon and corn salsa ($6.95). I predict it will be the most popular appetizer on the menu with just the right balance of flavors and textures. Don't share this, get your own.
The Stuffed Portobella Mushroom ($8.50) was as big as my hand; stuffed with fresh vegetables on top of a tomato coulis that I wanted to drink. We ended with a Tuna Carpaccio ($8.50) that was dressed with onions and thinly sliced celery for a fresh, light treat. Right now there are only three red wines by the glass but the bottle selection looks to be more well rounded; more glass selections are available for whites.
I've been to dozens of restaurant openings and have experienced all kinds of problems with service, long waits for food, food that wasn't right or just wasn't good; thankfully this was NOT one of those experiences. Everything came with ease (from my perspective) and was delectable. The servers were attentive, excited and that excitement was passed on to me as a diner. That being said, it's only day three and I missed the dinner rush. If you go in this weekend at prime time and don't have the same experience, be understanding that things are still being worked out and be sure to return for a second chance. I think Christof's on McGregor will quickly become a new Southwest Florida favorite.