3 New Southwest Florida Restaurants to Try in 2016

July 11, 2016

Restaurants_SWF.jpgThe Southwest Florida area has long been known for its diverse and creative culinary cuisine, and several restaurants have recently opened, showcasing their talents to hungry diners. Whether you're planning a date, an evening out with friends, or a relaxed meal with someone special, consider trying one of these Fort Myers area newcomers.

1. Harold's
15250 S Tamiami Trail, Fort Myers
10 miles from Springs at Estero

This small, intimate restaurant serves upscale American cuisine with a European twist. All ingredients are very carefully sourced, with most coming from South Florida farms such as Rosy Tomorrows Heritage Farms. Chef Harold’s menu changes often, but past selections have included sensations such as the Blue Colossal Crab, served with mango slaw and almond chili pesto, and the Jackman Ranch Tenderloin, served with a crab gratin and tempura asparagus.

The wine list at Harold's includes several by-the-glass selections and an array of vintages from France, the US, Italy and Spain. This restaurant's elegant yet cozy atmosphere makes it a great choice for date night. Reservations are highly recommended.

2. The Standard
1520 Broadway, Fort Myers
9 miles from Springs at Six Mile Cypress

The relaxed, modern atmosphere and bold, flavorful food at The Standard have quickly earned it a strong following. Featuring amazing, handcrafted cocktails created by Dawn Barbour along with an extensive wine and beer selection, The Standard is a great place to enjoy a casual, yet delectable meal with friends. On the lunch and dinner menus, you'll find a selection of salads, sandwiches and pizzas, along with more filling entrees like the Boneless Beef Short Ribs, served in a red curry broth, and Jayne's Maple Fried Chicken, served with bacon braised collard greens.

The Standard is also open for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. The brunch menu features both savory and sweet concoctions, including a selection of omelettes, sandwiches, and classics like oatmeal, home fries and eggs.

3. 1500 South
1500 Fifth Ave S, Naples
25 miles from Springs at Estero

Even though Naples is home to many excellent restaurants, 1500 South has made a name for itself in the few short months it’s been open. Overlooking Naples Bay, the restaurant was created under the direction of celebrity chef Art Smith, the recipient of several James Beard Awards. The cuisine is based on Southern American food with accents inspired by classic Italian cooking.

On the menu at 1500 South, you'll find selections like the Chicken and Dumplings, which features roasted chicken in gravy along with ricotta cheese dumplings and roasted root veggies. Signature cocktails, like The Vessel 1500, made with bacon-infused bourbon and maple foam, also offer a surprising combinations of flavors. Dining at 1500 South is a true culinary experience and offers a relaxing break from your daily routine.

Have you dined at these or any other new Southwest Florida restaurants recently? Share your experiences in the comments below.

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