Monday, February 23, 2015

Fab Finds: Foodies in Mind

Eggs Diablo with wasabi, crab and shrimp
The strengthening economy has so many great benefits, one being the opening of new restaurants in Southwest Florida. One rule of thumb I have with new places is a "free pass" at the beginning, while working out the kinks.

I have so many place to talk about but lets keep it simple here and start with two that I've been to several times and have had nothing but good experiences.

Cork Soakers in Cape Coral is on the ever evolving strip of 47th Terrace and it is managed by two well known restauranteurs in the area; Jeff Gately and Ralph Centalonza (two of the former owners of The Joint at Cape Harbour.)

The menu is highlighted by low end comfort foods with a high end twist. Take for example the signature deviled eggs with wasabi. Every day they include a little something different, from bacon to a crab salad topping and smelt roe. They are addicting to say the least.

The cheddar and bacon biscuits are another signature item then there are cheeky things like a fried bologna sandwich or a classic grilled cheese with tomato soup.

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

I had a spectacular pork belly risotto, creamy and delicious and the tacos of the day are always a treat. Most of the dining here is alfresco, with an atmosphere that is casual and inviting.

Taco of the day: pulled pork

For those who love a hearty Italian meal, check out the new Osteria Celli in Fort Myers. Located in an obscure corner of a Publix Shopping Center on the corner of Summerlin and Winkler. This is where you'll find Chef Marco Corricelli.

grilled octopus
After working at a few notable Southwest Florida restaurants, the chef from Milano, Italy finally has his own spot.

He makes his pasta from scratch and it is cooked beautifully.  I've had it with lamb and in the heartwarming, Italian favorite; pasta fagioli.

Perhaps one of the nicest surprises to me is what chef does with octopus. On the right, you will see it grilled, over kale and garbanzo beans. The meat is tender, with a perfect char and made me feel like I was eating healtfully. The calamari is NOT breads and comes over julienned vegetables, again, cooked with great care.

The bruschetta came loaded with fresh tomatoes and basil, the bread had a nice crunch on the crust and soft in the middle. The brussels sprouts are the bomb; simply grilled with salt, pepper and speck.

Brussel sprouts with speck

For dessert, try the Tiramisu served in a large bar glass.... it is just the right ending.

Both of these restaurants can get a bit loud, something Chef Marco says he will work on....after season.

Enjoy these new additions to the culinary scene in Fort Myers and Cape Coral.

There's more to come! Cheers!


Cork Soakers Deck & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon



Saturday, February 21, 2015

SOBE Food and Wine Festival Almost Over

video

One more day left for the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. The event on one of the world's most famous beaches is a MUST for lovers of food, wine, spirits and a good time!

Let the games begin, the SOBEWFF Grand Entrance
Amstel Light Girls keeping us hydrated
Yes, Hard Rock set up a lounge on the the beach
FreshDiet; great concept and great food
Having coffee with Giorgio from Illy

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentine Weekend Wine

With the opening of Fifty Shades of Grey movie on Valentines weekend, it set the stage for all kinds  of celebrations, parties and get togethers that will no doubt continue for weeks to come.

I can't think of a more perfect wine combo for upcoming viewing parties than these two: Fifty Shades of Grey and Casillero del Diablo Devil's Collection.

Both wines come in at under $20 so they won't break the bank for your parties.

Casillero del Diablo, means the Cellar of the Devil.....naughty. It is an award winning blend of carmenere, cabernet sauvignon and syrah from Chile, (from the well established Concha y Toro brand) with flavors of plum, cherry and chocolate, easy drinking on its own or with salty appetizers (insert joke here.)

Fifty Shades is obviously targeted to fans of the book and the movie, an obvious choice for pre or post movie parties. A blend of petite sirah and syrah, its both fruity and spicy, good for pizza and burgers for certain.

Enjoy the party. Cheers!