After spending 33 years saving lives in the firefighting service, Firehouse Sports Grill proprietor Joe Wise collected beloved recipes from stations throughout the country to regale diners with firefighter feasts of burgers and sandwiches, pizzas, and pastas. A bar area decked out in polished aluminum tread plate evokes the raw power of a speeding fire engine, and crimson walls laden with ancient fire axes and keepsake pictures of old emergency crews hark back to a simpler time before fire poles were replaced with teleportation devices. Multiple flat-screen TVs broadcast sporting events as guests sip frosty drafts and potent cocktails and chow down on hand-cut fries, tangy salads, and tender barbecue ribs.
Brothers John and Paul Browning, along with their father Robert, are the three fishermen behind their titular seafood eatery. After the success of their first location in Fort Myers, the trio opened another restaurant on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River in North Fort Myers, where they continue to serve up a medley of freshly caught fish, shrimp, oysters, and crab. At each laid-back eatery, they strive to make diners feel at home, broiling, steaming, or frying meals to individuals' specifications as they regale them with pictures of their childhood pet goldfish.
Christened with a four-star write-up from noted restaurant critic Jean Le Boeuf, Agora's hearty Mediterranean and Greek cuisine charms customers' palates with rustic, enticing flavors in an effervescent waterfront atmosphere. Amidst murals depicting legendary locales from Greek and Roman history, including the Acropolis, the Colosseum, and the Department of Horse Drawn Vehicles, feasters warm up with appetizers such as spanakopita, phyllo dough snuggling fresh sautéed spinach with feta cheese and herbs ($7.99). Gentlemen and ladies who lunch may munch on a gyro sandwich filled with hand-carved meat ($7.99) or the horiatiki salad, a traditional Greek concoction of tomatoes, olives, and pepperoncinis ($10.99).
Accessible by boat or car, Al's Tiki Bar and Grill immerses guests in an island-tinged culinary experience marked by waterfront views, fresh grilled fare, and live music peppered throughout the week. Using Pavlov's theory of appetizers, chefs cause taste buds to salivate with house-cut, beer-battered onion rings ($4.95) or Al's Beach bread, piled with herbs, melted blue cheese, and tomato on a toasted baguette. For entrees, diners can savor the marinade from the jamaican jerk chicken ($10.95) or juggle between the surf 'n' turf's new york strip steak, 1 pound of snow-crab legs, vegetables, and jasmine-rice pilaf ($24.95). The kitchen also silences stomach grumbles with sandwiches, burgers, and kebabs, such as the bamboo-skewered hawaiian pork-tenderloin kebab with bell peppers ($10.95). In between bites, guests can tune their ear trumpets to live jams during weekly performances.
Tovos Grill draws its name from an acronym of the five joint owners, infusing the restaurant's American comfort food, sizzling grill fare, New York–style deli sandwiches, and pizza with quintuple bonds of friendship. Chefs load the dinner menu with carnivorous delights, including certified Angus cuts of prime rib ($17.99/14 oz., $15.99/10 oz.), slow-roasted and seared to successfully romance taste buds. Traditional homestyle dishes, such as meat loaf ladled with mushroom gravy ($11.99), settle comfortably into bellies and promptly hand up a framed cross-stitch. From the lunch menu, toweringly stacked deli meats straddle bridges of bread, as in the Times Square Triple Decker, which marries turkey to a classic BLT ($7.79). Pizzas roast in a wood-fired oven, including the Grande Pollo ($11.99/10", $14.99/14"), loaded with chicken, arugula, feta, onion, and olive toppings laid out in championship-winning chinese-checkers patterns.
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.
Chef Dan Virola of Twisted Vine Bistro combines proteins from the air, earth, and water with fire to create delectable dishes that are complemented by an extensive list of domestic and international wines. The spiced rack of lamb with herb-roasted fingerling potatoes and a wild mushroom ragout over cranberry chutney tempts forks to twirl with delight ($35), as lost wild salmon find themselves in a hoisin brown-sugar glaze with wasabi-whipped potatoes and a pineapple-lemongrass butter froth ($25). Stuffed breasts of chicken distract diners with dollops of sage and chicken mousseline, glazed carrots, garlic whipped potatoes, mushroom jus, and repartee ($18). An asparagus-cream soup with crispy, ground chorizo floods palates by the spoonful ($5) and a watermelon salad featuring mixed greens with strawberry-maple vinaigrette, local watermelon, and goat cheese perks up taste buds and bored salad forks alike ($8). An extensive list of domestic and international wines ($6+/glass, $18+/bottle) offers more enjoyable sips than a candle full of melted wax.