Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fab Finds; Desserts, Diners and Dining in style

There is a sweet new addition to the shops and restaurants in downtown Fort Myers. This week Irresistible Confections owner, Justin Shafer, finally opened the doors to his new Broadway Factory.

Besides the beautiful treats on the right, Broadway Factory serves up old favorites like haystacks and chocolate covered pretzels. Next week he will be adding adult beverages to the line up, as chocolate and champagne make for one heck of a happy combo.

There is also a yogurt wall with more than half a dozen self serve flavors. The do it yourself toppings bar has an abundance of sweet and crunchy toppings as well as syrups. You pay by weight. I was trapped inside by a raging thunderstorm, it was delightful torture.

Doing research for a story I'm working on about breakfast spots in the area, I ventured to a new place (at least for me) in Cape Coral called Jill's Joint.

The diner is not easy to find, sitting behind the tall fences of an industrial park. I felt like I was somewhere I wasn't suppose to be, especially for food.  Several blue collared workers sat at the small counter, a salesman with his computer at a small table, a cop in the corner reading the paper and now me, in my high heels and Black House White Market dress.

Everyone was minding their own business until I showed up. I polled the crowd on what to order, announcing it was my first time, as if it wasn't obvious. I was given a styrofoam cup for my coffee that was more suited for a soda, and helped myself at the drink bar. Have I ever mentioned that I hate styrofoam?

With the help of the very nice staff, I decided on the Strangled Eggs Supreme. It's described as a gastronomical adventure on the menu and I'm always up for one of those. A mash of meats, cheeses, veggies and home fries; covered in sausage gravy and topped with two eggs; I could not conquer the breakfast beast but gave it a good try.

Perhaps the best Fab Find for me this week was in Naples; it was two-fold. One of my favorite wine reps invited me to have lunch with her at Mereday's, where we were to taste wines with National Sales Manager Edd Lopez from Whitehall Lane.

When I walked in the door and spotted chef, I had a moment of confusion. I first met Charles Mereday when he was hired as Executive Chef at Southseas Resort on Captiva Island. Now he has his own spot in Naples and it is beautiful.

The Salmon Tartare with olives, capers and shallots was fantastic with the Sauvignon Blanc. The wine was crisp, the acid moderate; it was a bit floral with apricots and lots of stone fruit. It's a great bargain at under $20 a bottle. Loved both.

We continued to taste a brand new blend called Tre Leoni, the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon and the Reserve Cab. Chef Mereday served a perfectly cooked duck course with blackberries and chèvre over a butternut squash puree. I tried it with all three reds and it worked each time. These reds from Whitehall Lane are all fantastic and extremely affordable considering where the grapes come from in Napa.

I love the concept of Mereday's. You get to pick from three to five courses with the option of a wine pairing. Each course offers you several choices and the prices range from a flat $55 to $115. The restaurant is full of natural light, sitting along the marina at Naples Bay Resort. The decor is trendy and the food is spectacular. Mereday's has a great Wednesday wine event too.

Check out these Fab Finds when you get a chance and be sure to share yours also.

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