Growing up in Cyprus, Mode Yildirim gained experience in the restaurant industry working in mom-and-pop shops to big restaurants, in the fronts and backs of houses. With each stop, working on cruise liners to owning his own restaurant, he learned something different.
“The key is figuring out the right way to put all the things you learned together,” Yildirim said.
He thinks he’s found the right mix with his new restaurant, Modo’s Grille, an open-kitchen concept serving a variety of foods at Miromar Outlets regional outdoor mall in Estero. The restaurant opened Jan. 8.
Yildirim began his culinary career in 1987 aboard Royal Caribbean cruise liners. He also worked in the kitchen at The Vinoy Renaissance in St. Petersburg and owned La Pizza Mia from 2011 to 2014 in Largo before selling the business. Modo’s Grille is the restauranteur’s first Southwest Florida location.
Modo’s menu items include hot sandwiches – burgers, grilled chicken and cheesesteaks – plus, cold sandwiches like the meaty Italian with ham, salami, pepperoni, lettuce, tomato, onion, Provolone cheese and Italian dressing atop a hoagie. Salads, such as a creamy Caesar salad with grilled chicken, also are available with beer and wine options. A kid’s menu is available with chicken fingers, grilled cheese and mac n’ cheese.
“I just wanted to have a wide variety of selections, something where customers can choose from a multitude of foods,” Yildirim said. “We are on our third day and we already have a good customer base. People are able to choose something they like.”
Modo’s Grille is located in Suite 193 near WINK Playland and the rock climbing walls on the northeast corner of Miromar Outlets, located at exit 123 off Interstate 75. That space previously has hosted restaurants such as Tasteria European Bistro and Bon Appetit French Bistro. The new restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.