With kitchen credentials that include Boston’s Four Seasons Hotel and Le Bec-Fin in Philadelphia, executive chef Brian Martin presides over Evoo Bistro’s culinary marriage of rustic Italian and modern American fare. Brian and his team craft seasonal lunch, dinner, and catering menus that highlight pastas, simply prepared meats and seafood, and sandwiches built on homemade breads. The refined, yet hearty entrees pair with wines by the glass or cups of the bistro's signature coffee, which is blended with sweet liquors. These flavorful creations arrive at white-clothed tables arranged amidst dim track lighting, pendant lamps, and domesticated glowworms that hover from the lofted ceilings.
In more than two decades in the catering business, Jon Phillips has prepared plates for all manner of diners, from entertainers to corporate executives. After graduating from culinary school in Oxford, England, in the 1980s, he handled catering for high-profile corporations on both sides of the pond. His international experience with American and British clients filled him with the drive to create his own catering company, CaterMasters, that could take advantage of the full scope of his experience. Today, Phillips personally services and oversees many of his company's events, displaying a dedication to his craft as deep and filled with marinated shrimp shish kebabs as the Atlantic itself.
Patinella's speedily concocts poultry-bedecked dishes influenced by Brazilian, Italian, Greek, and Mexican culinary traditions. Diners ease into fowl felicity with the menu's soups ($2.99 for a cup) and freshly made salads ($6.49–$8.99), before setting spoons loose on the signature chicken-and-rice bowls. The United Nations–like coterie of international eats includes the Brazilian bowl, a piquant marvel of black beans, onion, tomato, garlic rice, and freshly grilled chicken ($7.39–$10.39), and the Greek gyro bowl, which contains beef, lamb, garlic rice, and veggies unified beneath a creamy corona of tzatziki ($7.39–$10.39). Patinella's selection of fresh pita-wrapped gyros includes the classic interpretation ($6.79), as well as barbecue ($6.79) and chicken-caesar ($7.19) variations. Floor-to-ceiling windows drench the multihued dining area in sunshine while guarding it from the tears of hungry clouds.
J.C. Cruises welcomes fete-ready sailors aboard a 600-person paddlewheeler for a three-hour cruise of the Caloosahatchee River enlivened by music, dancing, and a cash bar. Two climate-controlled enclosed decks encourage partygoers to mingle without fear of being caught in sudden anvil showers, and an open deck facilitates manatee spotting and cigarette breaks. Sips and snacks from a cash bar (not included with this Groupon) fuel the night of wave-top revelry as guests embrace the holiday spirit by hobnobbing with new friends or bear-hugging the Ghost of Christmas Past.
Gwendolyn's Cafe and Catering Company cooks hearty weekday breakfasts and lunches from scratch, offering American comfort standards. At lunch, pair a half sandwich with a cup of soup, a cup of soup with a small salad, or a half sandwich with a salad ($5.95), choosing from options such as fruit-studded curried chicken salad, tomato-dill bisque, and a classic Chef salad. The chicken potpie’s fresh-baked flaky crust ($8.95) embraces chicken chunks and veggie bits with a rich cream sauce as warmly as a toddler embracing an imaginary dinosaur best friend.
According to the Southwest Florida Barometer, Carmelo LaMotta was only 7 years old when his parents opened LaMotta’s. More than 30 years later, he’s taken over the reins and serves as both the restaurant’s owner and chef. LaMotta’s has gone through many changes over the years, but it has always remained dedicated to authentic Italian cuisine made with fresh, local ingredients. To that end, the LaMotta family makes all the soups, dough, and sauces fresh every day, staying true to the recipes they brought over when they emigrated from Sicily. The resulting menu includes myriad pasta dishes, thin-crust New York–style pizzas, and a thoughtful font choice.