Dining Outside the Home: Coconut Jack’s Waterfront Grille in Bonita Springs, Florida! Have you ever eaten in a tiki hut along the waterfront? The open air seating is a sought-after request for a stunning tropical view. It feels like being on a river in the tropics the way the trees embrace the shoreline like an island oasis. There’s no doubt atmosphere affects our perception of being carefree and downright sexy. At Coconut Jack’s the local seafood is fresh, the cocktails are thirst-quenching, and the experience is memorable. Oftentimes, the chef features a daily special that will leave you smiling all the way home. If seafood is your go-to choice, there’s plenty to choose from and more to look forward to on a return trip back.
Dining Outside the Home: Island Gypsy Cafe & Marina Bar in Naples, Florida! Take a side turn off the main drag and you’ll find yourself on a winding road to the magical Isles of Capri, a charming waterfront community as sought after as a coveted treasure map. The Island Gypsy Cafe is recognizable by its weathered bar, salvaged from the stern of an original sea vessel destroyed by a hurricane years ago. Once upon a time the Island Gypsy was a 65-foot fishing boat. Absorb the history of yesteryear among the ambiance of present day. The outdoor Café serves a delightful array of fresh seafood, including coconut shrimp, citrus crusted tuna sashimi, and macadamia nut mahi-mahi. Anyone who has a taste for onion rings will want to add a basket of hand cut batter-fried onion rings to share. The cocktails are as tropical as the desserts are famous. Find your path for hidden riches. And don’t forget to pack your appetite.
Dining Outside the Home: Three60 Market in Naples, Florida! Ever wonder how a business chooses its name? Word is, Three60 Market is the talk-of-the-town for “offering world class wine for sale by only marking up each bottle $3.60”. Their website confirms it. As if that isn’t enough of a reason to drop by, imagine this. As you pull into the parking lot, you are greeted by swaying palm fronds bordering a charming plantation-style cafe with a backdrop of Haldeman Creek. Freshly prepared meals can be enjoyed under shaded umbrellas on the open-air decks. Because who doesn’t love waterside dining? Might I suggest a pecan sticky bun to accompany your morning cuppa joe? The buttery cinnamon and brown sugar sweetness is perfect with the nutty crunch. Dress is casual in this cozy pet-friendly environment. Before you head out, better pick up some wine and cheese for later on. Island getaways are hard to find.
Dining Outside the Home: La Tavola Restaurant and Bar on Marco Island, Florida! Have you ever stopped by a place and been so intrigued by the sleek lounge that you never made it to the restaurant? One peek at the wall of blue lights showcasing liquor offerings and spotless barware practically guarantees a remarkable cocktail. Choose your spirit and the bartender will create the libation. A short menu of tasty foods encourages patrons to linger awhile until live music fills the room with entertainment. This is how to keep the party pumping. Before you know it, another cocktail is ordered and the evening stretches out a little bit longer.
Dining Outside the Home: Sand Bar on Marco Island, Florida! Talk to any local about an island favorite off the beaten path, and you’re sure to hear about the Sand Bar. The drinks are cold, the bar bites are amazing, the music is lively, and the cheers come in waves. With walls of big screen televisions, there’s bound to be something interesting to pique the conversation, should the need arise. From startups to salads, sandwiches, flatbreads, or platters, the favorites keep coming. Happy Hour often means standing room only, but that’s part of the allure for stopping by. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner offer specials that are worth checking out, too. Being open every day all year long kinda proves this local joint is spot on. Better check it out.
Dining Outside the Home: Joey’s Pizza & Pasta House on Marco Island, Florida! My husband always says, “It’s more fun to eat at a bar than drink in a restaurant.” At Joey’s you can do both… or choose to eat and drink outdoors in their welcoming patio area. No matter where you settle in, the mood is contagious. Everyone seems to be having a good time. The drinks are cold and thirst-quenching, the food is definitely spot on. That’s probably due to the fact that Italian pasta dinners, specialty pizzas, and sweet desserts are made from family recipes. Pace yourself by sharing appetizers. Pizza is the main attraction offered in the New York style of thin-crust, which can be folded in half to eat, or the popular Sicilian thick-crust version covered in olive oil. Either way, go overboard. Leftovers can be taken home and eaten later when the cravings return.
Dining Outside the Home: Snook Inn on Marco Island, Florida! Eating at a landmark location adds captivating charm and pleasant nostalgia to waterside dining. Years ago, this place was a secluded island retreat famous for its fresh seafood from the Gulf of Mexico. People flocked here “to get away from it all”. Originally, it was dubbed the “Snook Hole” simply because right off the dock, fisherman caught the common snook fish in abundance. An aggressive fish, the snook, gave quite a fight to the average sportsman. Yet it was the incredible white flesh that won people over. Over time, the Snook Hole evolved into an Old Florida beach bar. Mention the name to anyone around, and their eyes light up with fond memories of a popular gathering spot for cold cocktails, enjoyable food, and live music. Grab a seat at the Chickee Bar or bask in the sunshine from the upper deck as you wile away the day. This is a place for casual outdoor fun coupled with a great menu. The Fish ‘n Chips was a no-brainer, complemented by a trip to the Salad Bar. Is it any wonder it has become the talk-of-the-town for locals as well as tourists?
Dining Outside the Home: Dolphin Tiki Bar & Grill on Marco Island, Florida! People are drawn to lobstah like fish to water. That’s a good thing because the word is out that Dolphin Tiki Bar & Grill has fresh lobster tails flown in weekly. Perhaps that is why you can get a twin lobster tail dinner, complete with garden potatoes, grilled corn, and drawn butter, while dining outdoors. Go early for Happy Hour to grab a seat at the Tiki Bar, located dockside with a waterfront view. Pelicans paddle by, boats bob atop the Marco River, the drinks quench thirsty patrons, and the conversation remains light. Don’t blink, else you may have to pinch yourself to keep paradise living a reality that everyone seeks.
Dining Outside the Home: The Speak Easy of Marco Island, Florida! Is it any wonder this Chicago-style gin joint reflecting Prohibition of the 1930’s is located in a corner nook along the waterfront? Pssst. Follow the signs, Dollface, and lower your voice. Seating is available inside along the L-shaped bar, in a shadowy breezeway, or a few steps away on the exterior deck. Crafted cocktails are available by the glass or by the bucket. Make a mental note of the Speakeasy Sunset, Speakeasy Punch, and the Marco Wave. Then whisper into the server’s ear for one of those concoctions. Straight-shooters come pretty easy, too: Jim, Jack, and Johnnie. These guys know their options. In case you get hungry, there are plenty of appetizers for sharing, roaring sandwiches, specialty pizzas, and seafood platters. If you can’t find something to eat, it’s your own fault.