The color blue permeates Maguro’s modern dining room, emanating from the glowing turquoise panels affixed to the sides of the tables and counters, the sky-colored accent lights on the liquor-stocked shelves, and the indigo overhead lights illuminating sleek wooden tabletops and hibachi grills. Here, cooks sizzle up Japanese entrees of meats and fresh fish attractively garnished with sauces and flower-cut veggies. Sushi chefs, meanwhile, coil up a slew of authentic rolls.
The sear savants at Martin Fierro Steak House grill meats and seafood over an open wood fire to forge a menu influenced by traditional Argentinean and Uruguayan cooking methods. Starters of grilled provolone cheese ($8.99) and chorizo sausage ($7.99) woo taste buds with their flame-kissed flavors and original sonnets about char marks. Churrasco skirt steak ($15.99) and filet mignon ($22.99) surrender juicy forkfuls of turf, and grilled cedar-plank salmon ($18.99) gifts plates with flaky morsels of surf. Amid the dining room's brown-and-ocher décor, musicians occasionally play South American melodies to accompany the rhythmic pulse of knives slicing through meat and spoons sighing from boredom.
Cloyde's Steak and Lobster House's staff sets diners' appetites sailing with an upscale surf 'n' turf dinner menu. Crafted from Midwest corn-fed beef, the premium steaks at Cloyde's trample hunger pangs with a herd of tender, dry-aged cuts of certified Prime beef. The 12-ounce Angus roasted prime rib of beef ($25) provides plenty of marbling for teeth to sculpt into meaty masterpieces, and the 14-ounce Angus center-cut new york strip steak ($29) sends a beefy slice of the Big Apple to hungry mouths. A display of live Maine lobsters (market price, up to 5 lbs.) dance in a chorus line, and other sea-faring dishes include the Scottish salmon ($26), which arrives fashionably roasted via cedar plank. All seafood is ordered fresh in the morning for afternoon delivery, ensuring maximum taste and minimum jetlag. The menu also includes tempting desserts and wines to accompany lonely entrees. Cloyde's is open nightly from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
“Fisherman Charley,” a wooden fisherman statue in a yellow rain slicker and hat, stands guard in front of Charley’s Boathouse Grill, where chefs have prepared steaks and seafood for more than four decades. The kitchen wet-ages Angus beef for four to six weeks before hand-cutting each steak, which is measured by ounces and seared to taste. Seafood such as locally caught grouper also fills the menu alongside snow crabs, teriyaki chicken breasts, and house-baked breads.
For special events, patrons sup on some of the most popular menu items inside a converted boathouse. Up to 70 people can also gather at the “hideaway,” which has back-bay views of Estero Bay, making it perfect for actually seeing the harbor seals you dressed in tuxedos.
Chip's Sanibel Steakhouse quells the longings of beef buffs and seafood savants with its menu of appetite whetters and hunger-pang decimators. Begin the gustatory proceedings with a round of appetizers, including Oysters Rockefeller ($8/four) and beef carpaccio with microgreens, parmesan cheese, capers, and an oregano vinaigrette ($12). The elegant eatery’s hit parade of classic cuts—including filet mignon ($33 for 7 oz.), rib eye ($24 for 12 oz.), New York strip ($32 for 12 oz.), Porterhouse ($36 for 22 oz.), and a 14-ounce Kobe steak when available ($45)—are aged in house and flash-seared at 1700 degrees to prevent rogue juices from escaping. Dress up steaks with creamy Maytag blue cheese butter ($2), piquant red-wine demi-glaze ($1), or a decadent monocle and top hat combo.
Inspired by Brazilian gaucho—or cowboy—style of cooking meats, the owners and chefs of Brazaviva Churrascaria opened their restaurant and devoted its menu of endless dishes to the Old-World grilling method. As the restaurant describes it, the wayfaring gauchos roamed the expansive grasslands of Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul, skewering their meat dinners and roasting them over a fiery pit, before carving off thin slices to be shared around the fire.
Holding true to that tradition, the eatery's expert carvers bring skewers of fire-roasted beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and sausage tableside to pile plates high. Guests eat as much as they like, using a card that is green on one side and red on the other to indicate to the friendly staff carvers to keep the feast flowing, or to take a moment's savoring pause. Whatever belly room is left over after all cards go red calls for filling up with one of the eatery's unique desserts that swirl South American flavors such as passion fruit and papaya into rich smoothies and mousses. A collection of fine wines selected specially to compliment the charred flavors of the meats is available to complete the experience.
Beneath the colorful toques on their heads, hibachi chefs flip and sauté meat and vegetables on their tabletop grills, smiling as they conjure the occasional bursts of flame during lively cooking routines. That’s just one scene at SooWoo Japanese Steakhouse—across the restaurant, sushi chefs slice ribbons of fish and vegetables and roll them into California and spicy tuna rolls. Basketball fans can celebrate the city’s 2012 NBA championship with the specialty Miami Heat roll, which includes slices of shrimp tempura, crab, and cream cheese. SooWoo also whips up Korean dishes, such as bulgogi and pork belly.