Making the most of a business trip: SW Florida
My full time job is for an association and involves at least two trips a year, usually to resorts and usually they are work-filled with little downtime. Our Spring Seminar allows for the most downtime but really only for dining out and maybe one afternoon at the pool. Now, growing up in Florida, I did not spend a lot of time in Southwest Florida, so I was kind of excited to visit this sleepier, quieter area of my homestate. We were in Bonita Springs (nearest major airport is Fort Myers, RSW) and staying at the Hyatt Coconut Point Resort, and most of the hotel was occupied by our group/conference since we had about 600 attendees plus their families or spouses.
I really loved this hotel. We left the property twice for meals but they have several restaurants and I dined at Tarpon Springs, Corkscrew (the pool bar), Tanglewood, and the coffee shop, Cool Beans. The hotel had really delicious salads and seafood. The drinks are great too. I was not disappointed with any of my meals at all.
Since it is difficult to find a good resataurant recommendation for this area, I thought I’d recommend the two my group dined at.
Wyld’s Cafe: 10 of us dined here, it is described as new American and it has wine and beer but no liquor. It has plenty of choices for the two mentioned though! The menu had pretty every traditional protein one can imagine (steaks, chicken, pork, lamb, duck) and every fish and shellfish one can hope for in Florida. We shared some escargot and the ahi tuna nachos as appetizers for the entire table and I ordered the peppered tuna as an entree. The sweet potato mash that came with the tuna was AMAZING. And quite honestly, I don’t like mashed sweet potatoes. I was ordering it because the tuna sounded good and I am supposed to be eating very healthy and clean right now. I was pleasantly surprised. It reminded me of ordering my beet salad in Prague and being happy that it delicious when I really wasn’t sure what I was going to get.
A Table Apart: 4 of us dined here at the bar, we didn’t make a reservation. It was crowded so I recommend a reservation! We shared an order of calamari together and I ordered the salmon two ways entree. It was salmon with salmon ceviche on top. SO GOOD and so fresh. We shared a bottle of red wine called Wrath and then I had a glass of chardonnay afterwards. Two of my group ordered dessert and they got the chocolate cake and the cinnamon bread pudding. I normally don’t like bread pudding but I had a bite and it reminded me of a sticky bun. I highly recommend this place for the service and the food.
Both of these restaurants are right next to one another so if one is full, you can try the other. They both were places I’d go back to for good food. As a large group of youngish adults, we were younger than almost everyone in both restaurants by at least 25 years. However, bothwere nice and relaxing places to dine. They hit the spot.