Arrived on time. Waited a bit at the Enterprise counter, got our car, a Toyota Camry. I kind of liked it, Bette found it hard to back up – bad visibility. It had a little storage area in the front with AUX jacks for the MP3 player. Zippy. Nice. Uneventful drive down from Tampa. Took a little side trip to North Fort Myers to see old family friends, Dorothy and Ron, who winter on a golf course and move to Wisconsin in the summer. Not a bad deal. Nice to see them.
Karin and Sam rented a Mitsubishi convertible. The back seats were impossible to sit in, especially with my hip. It was fun in the front seat, though. We ended up driving when all four of us had to go anywhere.
First night dining was at the resurrected Twilight Cafe. We had visited the previous incarnation twice before, and were sad to see it missing last year. They took over the old Riviera restaurant digs on West Gulf and reopened, with the same wonderful marinated grilled broccoli. We met the chef, Chef Robert Parks, who seated us and confirmed, yes, this is the same Twilight Cafe, and yes, they had the broccoli…
Based on a NPR story, Wine critics Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher from the Wall Street Journal said to never buy wine by the glass, cuz you don’t know how old it is. So Sam and I split bottles this trip. For this night, we did a McWilliam Shiraz. And we had the Combo and Mozzarella appetizers.
Karin had the Build your own Pasta, with the Sausage and Bolognese options. She complained that the pasta was not cooked enough and the dish was very wet. Sam had the paella (Shrimp, scallops, grouper and mussels tossed
with saffron rice, peppers and chicken stock), and seemed to enjoy it, even though it was different than the classic Spanish paella. I had a wonderful New York Strip, done rare (topped with crumbled bleu cheese and crispy fried onions with roasted garlic and red pepper mashed potatoes – not South Beach!). Bette had the blackened grouper and loved it.
We left happy (except for Karin, perhaps) and I welcomed Chef Parks, standing behind the bar/counter back to Sanibel. Nice to see a good place come back.
2761 West Gulf Drive, Sanibel Island, FL