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.
The team at Global Massage and Therapy Center wards off signs of aging with customized med-spa services offered seven days a week. Technicians employ ultrasonic cavitation to smooth lumps and bumps plaguing the lower half of the body, and exfoliating microdermabrasion treatments smooth away fine lines and age spots that spell out the client’s true birth year. Achy bodies can find relief with a customized hot-stone massage or an aromatherapy massage that employs a choice of four different blends of herbs, flowers, and fruit-infused oils. The center also provides professional makeup services for weddings, sweet 16s, and quinceañeras.
Repurposed wooden furniture and hung coffee bean bags lend Sweet Magnolias Coffeehouse & Marketplace an appropriately trendy and creative ambiance. The café offers a simple menu to pair with its choice coffee bar creations; blue cheese wedge salads, bagels with cream cheese, or sweet belgian waffles made with coconut sugar, fresh berries, and raw, local honey. Swing by on Saturday evenings to indulge in their weekly chocolate buffet.
The secret behind Carmine Street NY Pizza & Mussels’ New York–style slices is the restaurant’s stone-brick oven, which sears dough until it attains the style’s signature crispy, thin-crusted crunch. However, Chef Anthony knows that a great pizza relies on more than its base, so he tops dough with gourmet ingredients such as chicken marsala, meatballs, and fresh baby spinach.
Like a graphic novel about pearls, the restaurant also features a few oceanic alter egos. Mussels, shrimp, and calamari are delivered to the kitchen daily, allowing chefs to toss them with wine, herbs, and pasta, or quickly fry them for fresh appetizers. Calzones, paninis, and entrees of chicken piccata are among the menu's classic Italian meals. Diners may pair meals with wines and cocktails procured at the full liquor bar, or take in the soothing streams of live music while feasting indoors or on the patio.