"With seafood delivered daily, combined with aged meats, local fruits and vegetables, lots of imagination, creativity, new and exciting recipes, and last but not least - lots of love for food and people has made Fresh Catch Bistro what it is today!" - Alfredo Russo
FORT MYERS BEST SUNSET RESTAURANTS? JLB HAS A TOP 5 FOR THAT
Jean Le Boeuf | News Press | June 30, 2015
Sunset restaurants are a dime a dozen here, great ones are not. Here are five picks from our food critic.
Sunsets. They are what differentiate us from Fort Lauderdale. Let’s enjoy them to the utmost.
•Fresh Catch Bistro: From briny oysters topped with perfect cubes of tuna, to caught-that-morning grouper grilled in a lemon-butter sauce, Fresh Catch lives up to its name. It could add stunning Gulf-front views and not-inflated prices to that name, too. (3040 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach; 463-2600; freshcatchbistro.com)
•Lazy Flamingo: I’m talking about the tiny Lazy Flamingo on the northernmost edge of Sanibel. You have to hang out in the parking lot, or head across the street to catch the sunset. Just be sure to come back for conch chowder, smoked fish, and peel-and-eat shrimp that are equally iconic. (6520 Pine Ave., Sanibel; 472-5353; lazyflamingo.com)
•Mad Hatter: You’ll want to make reservations well in advance for one of the coveted window-front tables. Though the black-truffle sea scallops, phyllo-crusted jumbo shrimp and foie gras with honey-glazed Asian pears are also reservation-worthy. (6467 Sanibel Captiva Road., Sanibel; 472-0033; madhatterrestaurant.com)
•Pinchers Crab Shack: The downtown Fort Myers location features sweeping views of the Caloosahatchee from almost every seat. Watching the sun sink behind Cape Coral is almost as therapeutic as cracking into Pinchers’ locally caught blue crabs. (2360 W. First St., Fort Myers; 245-7049; pinchersusa.com)
•The Turtle Club: This is one of those rare places where you can eat well, drink well and squish your bare toes in the sugary sand of Vanderbilt Beach. The seafood’s local and the views are awe-inspiring. That’s my kind of club. (Vanderbilt Beach Resort, 9225 Gulf Shore Dr., Naples; 592-6557; windwardhospitality.com/naples)
THE TOP SEAFOOD RESTAURANTS IN FORT MYERS
Jen Karetnick | Virgin Atlantic | June 26, 2015
When vacationing in an ocean-side spot like Fort Myers, which is blessed with pure white-sand beaches and waters that turn from turquoise to aquamarine, opportunities to dine on the fruits of the sea abound. Why not amplify the experience of sampling the local seafood with a view of the abundant sunshine glinting on the water, or the moon laying down a path towards the horizon? Here’s our pick of the best waterfront seafood restaurants in Fort Myers.
The Terrace at Fresh Catch Bistro overlooks the pristine Fort Myers Beach © Fresh Catch BistroFRESH CATCH BISTRO LOUNGE
AND RAW BAR
When reading the address of Fresh Catch Bistro, note that “Fort Myers Beach” should be taken literally. This contemporary, white-tablecloth establishment truly does overlook the sand and surf, and on mild, sunny days, there’s no better way to enjoy an order of oyster sashimi (a half-dozen on the half shell topped with diced tuna, chives, cucumber, citrus soy sauce, wasabi aioli and tobiko) or Caribbean jerk mahi-mahi with tropical fruit salsa. When the season is too hot, the cool dining room beckons with “Chef’s Favourites” such as “Grouper Caprese,” fresh Florida black grouper with basil, tomatoes and mozzarella, drizzled with a balsamic glaze and served over risotto.
3040 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach, 1-239-463-2600
*To read the article in its entirety, click here.
FRESH CATCH BISTRO, FORT MYERS
Jean Le Boeuf | News Press | May 10, 2012
The oysters sashimi are a recommended appetizer at the new Fresh Catch Bistro on Fort Myers Beach. / Special to news-press.comWhy it’s so tough finding a good, somewhat reasonably priced restaurant with a view of the Gulf of Mexico is one of this area’s greatest mysteries. Up there with the skunk ape and what causes the elusive green flash.
As you near the shoreline menu prices soar as flavor and creativity wane. If I had a dollar for every mealy, fish-and-rice-pilaf dinner I’ve had on area beaches I’d be much closer to retirement.
Fresh Catch Bistro isn’t perfect, but it is on the shimmery waters of the Gulf and, if only comparatively, the Fort Myers Beach newcomer is doing a decent job in the kitchen.
Fresh Catch opened in March in the former Anthony’s On The Gulf space atop Junkanoo. The once peach and green dining room is now accented in blue, the high ceilings and picture windows left intact with the same small patio for those wishing to dine al fresco.
The formerly Italian menu is now awash in seafood – from raw-bar options to oysters Rockefeller, clam chowder and grouper crusted in spiced pecans and cranberries. There are the requisite steaks, the grilled chicken dish for the health-conscious, and sandwiches and salads that accommodate those on a budget.
Food here isn’t cheap, exactly – most entrees range from $17 to $30 – but with such gorgeous sunset views, it’s tough to complain.
Those views make up for a lot, in fact. Like a giant grouper sandwich that was oddly fishy and long overcooked one night. Or a Caesar salad made with wilting iceberg, rubbery shavings of Parmesan and a creamy-yet-flavorless dressing.
It was an outlandishly bad setup for what turned out to be some good meals.
Things will turn around with an order of the oysters sashimi, icy, raw, half-shell oysters topped with cubes of pink tuna, a pinch of chives and tobiko, the crunchy roe adding a subtly salty bite. A citrus-soy sauce brings earthy brightness to the party, marrying everything for one luscious mouthful.
There is prime rib, an old-school dish served at Fresh Catch in its old-schoolest of forms; thickly, simply cut and medium-rare pink, the fat slab of meat accompanied by a cup of au jus, mashed potatoes and steamed asparagus. You could pair it with a plump Maine lobster tail, served just as simply: broiled with drawn butter.
And there is yellowfin tuna, a thick, sushi-grade steak of it, crusted in sesame seeds and seared just slightly. A Thai-chili sauce brings spice, with hints of wasabi and sweet teriyaki. The rice beneath is boring and a little dry, the snow peas, though, fresh and al dente.
Those oysters aside, this isn’t groundbreaking work.
Desserts consist of chocolate cake and crème brulee (pardon me as I stifle a yawn). There is an OK wine list and a better cocktail menu where the drinks are at least stiff if not abundantly creative (no fresh-fruit purees or herb-infused liqueurs to be found here).
Service on my visits was just fine; efficient and friendly, our dishes and refills well-timed. As the sun set over the water our waiter was kind enough to pull the shades for us, sparing us any blinding glare while still allowing a gorgeous view of that mesmerizing evening ritual even we locals love seeing.
As the sun dipped from sight I looked for the green flash, but didn’t see it. Some things, I guess, will remain elusive.
3040 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931 | 239.463.2600