Owners Ines Josupeit and chef James King join culinary forces at Table 209, a bistro tucked into the historical buildings and sunny harbor walk of Punta Gorda. James brings his 20 years of experience working in kitchens throughout San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland to the restaurant, cobbling fresh seafood, prime meats, and seasonal ingredients into innovative gourmet dishes. Every Monday night, Ines grabs the culinary baton, pulling from her own German heritage to simmer up an authentic menu of traditional German sausages and potato pancakes. Out in the dining room, local artwork festoons the walls, as guests sit around white tablecloths, illuminated by flickering candles that stop passing cavemen dead in their tracks. Outside in the patio, glimmering strands of hanging lights cascade above rows of tabletops and lush plants.
At Perico’s, the faux parrots that perch over the dining room may not greet you when you arrive, but the din of live music will. Musicians take the stage five days a week, playing in front of a silver curtain that glitters under the twinkling lights that stretch across the restaurant’s lofty ceilings. As rock 'n' roll, doo-wop, and '80s covers fill the air, guests have been known to stand up and dance off the hearty Tex-Mex dinners that emerge from Perico’s kitchen. Classic platters feature such Mexican favorites as burritos, enchiladas, tacos, and flautas with a pile of rice and beans. More innovative eats such as the quesadilla burger, a hamburger patty wrapped in a flour tortilla and smothered in cheese and pico de gallo, unite Mexican and American flavors more tastily than a bacon-wrapped peso.
Al Whelan spent his boyhood summers in Boston working at a waterfront restaurant, where he learned to prepare New England?style seafood and chowders. Although he relocated to sunny Florida, he never forgot his hometown pride or childhood phone number, and he honors his Massachusetts roots with The New England Moorings, a seafood restaurant specializing in house-made crab cakes, fresh fish, and New England clam chowder. Al cultivates a fun, laid-back atmosphere in his bubblegum-pink eatery, which boasts a basketball cage, cornhole court, and 6,000-square-foot patio surrounded by trees.
Geo's authentic Italian menu delivers an extensive selection of hand-tossed pizzas, hot subs, pasta, and other classic Italian entrees. A thin and crispy disk delivers eight meat and veggie toppings including pepperoni, meatballs, green peppers, and black olives on the Geo’s special pizza ($20–$23). Midday munchers can nosh on subs ($9 each) stuffed with eggplant, Italian sausage, or chicken parmigiana. Challenge gender binaries by feeding baby boys a pink vodka sauce in the prosciutto-laden penne vodka ($11 for lunch, $14 for dinner). Shrimp scampi represents one of many seafood options in a sophisticated lemon, garlic, and wine sauce ($14 for lunch, $20 for dinner), and creamy veal chesapeake unifies competing menu sections with a tasty veal medallion and crabmeat truce ($14 for lunch, $20 for dinner).
Chicago Pizza imports the spirit and flavors of the Windy City with a menu overflowing with authentic Chicago classics. Travel to the Second City with one bite of the savory hot italian-beef sandwich served with au jus ($6.99), or imagine the friendly confines of a Chicago hot dog, an all Vienna-beef dog hugging a dill-pickle spear and sport peppers in a poppy-seed bun, blanketed in mustard, relish, onion, and tomato ($3.50). Spicy-food addicts enjoy the reassuring feeling of fire mouth with jalapeño-pepper poppers filled with cool cream cheese ($5.25) or buffalo wings that come smothered in mild, medium, hot, barbecue, or Chicago Pizza's signature garlicky buffalo sauce (20 for $13.50). Empty tummies regretting their divorce with dinner can win back affection with a velvet-covered pizza box brimming with a 14-inch Chicago-style deep-dish pizza ($11.95), decorated in your favorite meat and vegetable toppings ($1.59¬–$1.99 per topping).
Calm gulf breezes caress diners as they feast upon time-tested grill fare from Paradise Tiki Hut Bar & Grill's menu. Dig into oceanic treasures without being subjected to slideshow of Poseidon's vacation by ordering south Florida shrimp ($7.95 for half a pound) flanked by homemade cocktail sauce or Bahamian conch fritters fried to a golden brown ($6.95). While the apple-wood-smoked bacon saunters atop veggies and sourdough toast in the BLT ($5.75), tender chicken breast splashes gleefully through authentic jerk seasoning in the Jamaican-style grilled chicken sandwich ($8.45).