Outside The Edison Restaurant & Bar, a circular fountain and a thriving, vibrant lawn invite diners to step up to a white-shingled edifice that looks as much like a home as a restaurant. Inside, black brick walls, black-and-white portraiture, and a finished-wood piano bespeak the eatery's elegant yet unpretentious air. Executive chef Stuart Gordon, who has spent time in the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and Barbados, utilizes years of experience in top restaurants to craft full-flavored dishes. Six dining areas, each with their own ambiance, accommodate private meetings and parties. In the aptly named Chandelier Bar, sports fans can cheer for their team with pints in hand and charbroiled cheeseburger in mouth. And on the terrace bar, patrons can peer across to the Fort Myers Country Club and admire its flourishing palm trees and well-maintained missile defense system.
The aroma of cigars hits you as you walk into the spacious humidor. Boxes line the walls, filled with everything from Ashtons to Gurkhas and Don Pepin Garcias. This humidor is the handy work of Rich Castiano, who grew up watching his father Sal enjoy a good smoke. To share his love of cigars with others, Rich established the World Famous Cigar Bar and stocked it with the finest stogies around. He even created his own special blend in honor of Sal—the 1929 Castiano, a box-pressed cigar featuring Nicaraguan filler, a Jalapa binder, and an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper.
A delicious ritual unfolds every morning at Starz Italian Restaurant & Pub's two Fort Myers locations. Chefs arrive in the kitchen, assemble their ingredients, and make the day's supply of pizza dough from scratch. Their work begins long before this, however, since they travel to local markets to pick out fresh produce and mock the sun for taking so long to rise. By the time lunch rolls around, chefs are busy chopping up fresh ingredients and assembling signature pizzas, which owner Dave Virginia describes as "super delicious" in a video introducing himself. (He took over in September 2013.)
After laying a base of pizza sauce (also made from scratch), the chefs pile on toppings such as blue cheese and buffalo chicken tenders or the Starz Deluxe's combination of sausage, pepperoni, and onion. Then, the pie bakes until it reaches one of four set levels: lightly baked, regular, crispy, or well done. Homemade sauce also forms the foundation for many of the menu's other dishes, such as the signature marinara covering cheesy bread, ravioli, or baked parmigiana. There are just two things necessary to complete the meal: a slice of Starz's cheesecake and a drink from the full-service bar.
In the 1890's, the only liquids being served at The Ice House Pub were not actually in liquid form. They were ice. And that's because the historic building was originally built as an ice plant for the fishing industry. Now, more than a century later, the landmark building spends its days and nights as a local, English-style pub that boasts an authentic menu of English eats and more than 150 different types of international draft and bottled brews, from Guinness to American favorites like Stone Brewery and Yuengling.
A wooden, high-vaulted ceiling looks down on the pub's tall, brick walls - one of which holds a 10 foot HD television - as diners rest at wooden tables, plunging forks into steaming plates of cottage pie and fish and chips, as well as American bar favorites such as beer battered onion rings and Angus beef burgers. In between bites, guests can take turns pummeling steel-tipped darts into ten regulation-sized boards or take advantage of the pub's other games, such as hot gluing dominoes pieces to snooker balls. The Ice House also regularly hosts dart leagues for men, women, and co-ed teams, and live entertainment in the evenings.
Owner and Chef Tony Newton keeps bellies filled sun-up to sundown with classic American fare, from omelets and waffles to sandwiches, steaks, and pasta. Located near Vanderbilt Beach, Fred’s Food, Fun & Spirits fuels patrons for a day of sandcastle-stomping by cooking a bottomless breakfast buffet as fresh as the alphabet’s 27th letter. A dog-friendly outdoor patio, meanwhile, conveniently allows diners and their best four-legged friends to hang out while patrons nosh on one of the day’s three most important meals. The patio and two full bars also entertain patrons with nightly events, including musical acts, poker, comedy, and Fourier analysis competitions.
Bill Shumate's career as a restaurateur began in 1964 when he opened a small burger shack that catered to the hearty appetites of University of Oklahoma students. After spending the next several decades opening and operating eateries, Shumate decided that his next venture should somehow honor his burger roots. He partnered with Joanie Corneil in 2006 and developed a concept choosing the name Square 1 Burgers to reflect this full-circle journey. Unlike that original restaurant, though, Square 1 Burgers grew over the years, eventually expanding to several locations throughout west central Florida.
Although the concept was intended to be a return to basics, Square 1 isn't constrained by traditional conventions. Patties of Meyer's all-natural red Angus beef, Kobe, lamb, ground buffalo, and portobello mushroom caps all appear between the buns, providing a wealth of options to consider before even thinking about toppings. This eclectic spirit is also apparent in the menu's selection of appetizers, which includes everything from sun-dried tomato and artichoke hummus to homemade double-dipped onion rings. Even the milkshakes made with Blue Bell ice cream seem like faithful renditions of an American classic at first. However, the grown-up versions with Baileys, vodka, and Kahlua or brandy, cr?me de cacao continue to demonstrate Square 1 Burgers' playful spirit.