Attention Southwest Florida foodies and beyond. Fifteen Punta Gorda restaurants have come together to serve innovative entrees during Punta Gorda Palate Pleasures Nov. 1 – 12, 2017. Now in its second year, this restaurant week promises “wow” in both flavor, presentation and value.
I attended the kickoff event last week at the Charlotte County Community Foundation where participating Punta Gorda restaurants brought out samples of what will be on their Punta Gorda Palate Pleasures menu and my, oh my. Is it delicious! Unfortunately, I did not taste everything but all in attendance raved about the selection and diners will be thrilled with the selection this year.
First, I am OVER THE MOON knowing I can find Buffalo-style pizza in Punta Gorda at Angela’s Café Italiano. The owners are originally from Buffalo and understand a true pizza needs to have those small, round, thick pepperonis. Plus, they serve wings, made with Frank’s Hot Sauce, and they understand what beef on weck is! In addition to Buffalo favorites, this Punta Gorda restaurant serves a delicious Italian-inspired menu.
Second, restaurant weeks are a win-win for communities, restaurants and diners. Traditionally, they are held during the off-season and encourage diners to savor new flavors while being easy on the budget. This means, restaurants are busier and bringing in more revenue than they typically would, which means the restaurant workers – servers, bussers, kitchen staff – are working more, being paid more and injecting that money back into the economy. After seeing how hard the staff here work, I pretty much expect the same level of hospitality and high quality food everywhere I go now! I mentioned this to a friend of mine who works in the restaurant industry. As much as she loves it there, she did notice that there are areas that can be improved, like the services when the restaurant becomes very busy the best reservation systems for restaurants will be needed. With this being said, she mentioned this to her manager who found a solution for this problem, by looking into a site like https://restaurantpossystems.com/clover-pos-reviews/, where he noticed that the use of technology would definitely benefit the company. Even I know the food industry is competitive. So it is imperative for anyone and everyone to find ways that will help their business stand out from the rest.
For diners, restaurant weeks are an opportunity to try a restaurant they may have not considered before and try new entrees at favorite eateries while saving. Typically, participating dining establishments offer more bang for the buck and this year’s Punta Gorda restaurant week will deliver the same. Plus, “season” is around the corner, the time when restaurant wait times go from none to 10 minutes to 20 and up to an hour wait.
Coordinated by the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce, Punta Gorda restaurants participating in Palate Pleasures have been asked to get creative and innovative with their offerings rather than a prix fix menu at a set price across the board.
Dishes I sampled were:
Crab cake from Dockside Grill at the Four Points by Sheraton Punta Gorda Harborside, prepared by Chef Joel Sardinha. (Delish! Don’t think there were are any fillers in the crab cake.)
Ahi Tuna Salad from The Captain’s Table.
Sushi and seaweed salad prepared by Chef Sun with Laishley Crab House.
Ceviche from JD’s Bistro & Grille (which will be offering a three-course, prix fixe dinner menu for $25. This restaurant is one of Charlotte County’s hidden gems!).
Veal Stuffed Portabella from 88 Keys Florida at the Wyvern Hotel, prepared by Chef Josh Booze.
Eggplant Rollatini, from La Fiorentina Steakhouse Italiana. (Sous Chef April asked if I liked eggplant before serving me this yummy sample. Of course I do! Who doesn’t like eggplant?)
And of course…
Buffalo wings and pizza from Angela’s Café Italiano.
For a complete list of Punta Gorda restaurants participating in Palate Pleasures Restaurant Week, visit the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce website.
What: Punta Gorda Palate Pleasures Restaurant Week
When: Nov. 1 – 12, 2017
Who: 15 Punta Gorda Restaurants
Bon appetit! If you’re looking for places to dine out a little closer to home, check out greateats.com to see if you can get your hands on a local restaurant coupon.