Food for Thought: Harvest & Wisdom

Shangri-La Springs, 27750 Old 41 Road, Bonita Springs, (239) 949-0749, shangrilasprings.com/harvestandwisdom

Why We Love It: The aura of mystique and good health settles in as you step foot onto the legendary Shangri-La Springs property, and carries through to every bite of the kitchen’s uber garden-to-table cuisine. Each dish looks and tastes like a sculpted work of intense art with flavors so fresh, novel, and restorative that you immediately self-declare you are going to eat this way for the rest of your life.

 

Ideal Meal: Currently open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch only (but that could change by the time season arrives), Harvest & Wisdom carries a succinct seasonal menu. It lists a craftily curated selection of small plates designed to optimize what it grows in its organic garden and sources from Circle C Farm and other local purveyors. Feed your body and soul starting with the crispy, mandolin-sliced sweet potato chips dipped in crème fraiche that is sprinkled with trout roe. The salads change with garden offerings; summer’s multi-hued heirloom tomatoes with paper-thin slices of radish and bits of cucamelon cucumbers dressed in a citrus vinaigrette with dollops of feta cheese will hopefully become a regular. So much more than its “grilled cheese” name implies, this sandwich incorporates Muenster and Gloucester cheeses with a peel of tomato leather (made from pulp left over from juicing) and fresh cress. Save room for the vegan-raw key lime pie that effectively tricks the palate with avocado, cashews, and magic.

 

Vibe: Perfect for a business lunch that sends you back to work revived rather than bogged down, its uplifting and naturally lighted 44- seat dining room and 42-seat alfresco patio lend views of the property’s majestic, old-growth landscaping. The restaurant’s modern veneer meshes seamlessly with its circa-1920 digs. Staff—often the chefs themselves—describe the dishes like poetry and see capably to your every need.