Finesse, with a Southern Accent
Point 57 Kitchen & Cocktails, 3522 Del Prado Blvd. S., Cape Coral, (239) 471-7785, point-57.com
WHY WE LOVE IT: This is by far the most exciting new restaurant in Lee County in the past year. It features a near perfect mix of a top-shelf bar (we counted 34 types of gin alone), beautiful coastal-chic décor, a sense of Southern hospitality and unique dishes that will make you stop after a bite or two, and say, “Wow, that’s good.” The man behind it is chef-owner Matt Arnold. He worked in renowned kitchens across the country, including two from grande dame Lidia Bastianich.
IDEAL MEAL: There’s no way to go wrong, but make sure you come here when you’re not in a rush. Courses with such attention to detail take time to prepare, and the waitstaff’s aim isn’t to turn tables. So order some of the Cape’s best craft cocktails, relax and go with the flow. The pulled pork spring rolls are a can’t-miss start: filling, easy to share and enveloped by the crispiest paper-thin wrapper imaginable. Make sure to dunk them in the salty, vinegary dip and have a bite of the tangy mustard-dressed slaw. Most of what is served here has roots in the Deep South, but there’s a finesse that crosses regional borders, like the popular pork shank entrée with blue cheese grits and chutney and scallops in an apple cider reduction with charred onion and a sprinkle of Marcona almonds. P.S., all desserts, including a banana cream pie and double-chocolate blondie with salted pecans and bourbon-laced caramel sauce, are made in house.
VIBE: Welcome to the new Cape, a full-fledged food destination, with this place leading the movement. Sophisticated but comfortable, Point 57’s porch, bar and dining room are communal gathering spots from lunch on.