Restaurant Week Features Best Eats in Englewood, Florida

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Let's Eat! - Englewood Restaurant Week, Englewood, Florida. (L-R - Leverock's, Ephesus, SandBar Tiki & Grille)

Let’s Eat! – Englewood Restaurant Week, Englewood, Florida. (L-R – Leverock’s, Ephesus, SandBar Tiki & Grille)

Looking for good eats? Englewood, Florida’s restaurant week called Let’s Eat! – Englewood Restaurant Week, serves up a culinary adventure without breaking the bank. Between Sept. 22 – Oct. 6, 2017, diners can taste two-course lunches for $12 and three-course dinners for $23 at participating Englewood restaurants.

Some of the Members of the Local Media and FoodNetwork's Retro Rad Chef Emily Ellyn Who Had a Preview of Let's Eat! - Englewood Restaurant Week, Sept. 5, 2017, Englewood, Florida.

Some of the Members of the Local Media and FoodNetwork’s Retro Rad Chef Emily Ellyn Who Had a Preview of Let’s Eat! – Englewood Restaurant Week, Sept. 5, 2017, Englewood, Florida.Eat

Now in its third year, 22 Englewood-area restaurants are serving up delish dishes and it is a fantastic opportunity to try out a new eatery you’ve always wanted to try or visit one of your faves to see what’s new. Oftentimes, participating eateries use restaurant week to introduce new entrees and flavors.

Prior to the Let’s Eat! Englewood kickoff, I coordinated a tasting tour to three restaurants with a few members of the local media plus Emily Ellyn, the Retro Rad Chef of FoodNetwork fame. In putting the tour together and tasting the delectable dishes prepared by talented chefs, I realized how much diversity in flavors Englewood, Florida offers.

Emily Ellyn with Some of the Chefs, Managers and Owners of Participating Let's Eat! - Englewood Restaurant Week Eateries, Englewood, Florida, Sept. 5, 2017.

Emily Ellyn with Some of the Chefs, Managers and Owners of Participating Let’s Eat! – Englewood Restaurant Week Eateries, Englewood, Florida, Sept. 5, 2017.

The itinerary began at Leverock’s Seafood House in Cape Haze, continued to Ephesus Mediterranean Grill on Gasparilla Road in Port Charlotte, and ended at SandBar Tiki & Grille on Manasota Key, across from Englewood Beach. Can you say yumola?!

Ohmygoodness! We could have spent the entire evening at any one of these restaurants because each served up the equivalent of a three-course meal in the span of about 45 minutes. Let me tell you about the deliciousness you can expect at these Englewood, Florida, restaurants.

Leverock's Seafood House - Hurricane, Caesar Salad and Clam Chowder.

Leverock’s Seafood House – Hurricane, Caesar Salad and Clam Chowder.

Leverock’s Seafood House, Cape Haze
Overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway and a marina, Leverock’s served up items from their popular, value Sunset Menu. And trying to make the best of what was to be a scary situation later in the week (Hurricane Irma), the group began dinner by toasting with sweet hurricane adult beverages.

Leverock’s coastal cuisine feast began with a fresh Caesar salad and their famous New England-style clam chowder which is the recipe of Bertha Leverock, wife of restaurant founder Johnny Leverock who opened his first restaurant in 1948 in Pinellas Park, Fla.

Leverock's Seafood House - New York Strip, Blackened Redfish, Thai-Inspired Shrimp and Seared Scallop.

Leverock’s Seafood House – New York Strip, Blackened Redfish, Thai-Inspired Shrimp and Seared Scallop.

Beautifully presented were samplings of Thai-inspired shrimp with sriracha chili sauce atop creamy parmesan risotto, blackened redfish with pineapple salsa atop rice, a seared scallop with roasted tomato on chive truffle risotto, and New York strip with gorgonzola butter atop garlic mashed potatoes.

My favorite? It’s so hard to pick ONE flavor because they were all unique. The shrimp had a perfectly balanced sweet and heat flavor while the scallop was cooked to perfection. The redfish was nicely seasoned and the New York strip was tender, juicy and flavorful. I really dug the garlic mashed potatoes! And for dessert, a key lime tart.

Leverock’s  Seafood House
7092 Placida Rd.
Cape Haze, Fla.
Tel: (941) 698-6900
www.leverockspalmisland.com

Emily Ellyn Speaks with Burak Çak?r, Co-Owner of Ephesus Mediterranean Grill.

Emily Ellyn Speaks with Burak Çakir, Co-Owner of Ephesus Mediterranean Grill.

Ephesus Mediterranean Grill, Port Charlotte
This was my first visit to Ephesus (and won’t be my last) even though people have been trying to get me there since they opened more than three years ago. They serve authentic Turkish cuisine and are one example of a Let’s Eat! – Englewood Restaurant Week success story. They participated in the first restaurant week in 2015 and because new patrons were introduced to them, it became more popular and outgrew its space. They moved to bigger space allowing them to serve more diners which in turn, employs more people and supports the local economy.

Ephesus’s Mediterranean cuisine is unlike anything else in Englewood or Charlotte County, for that matter and during this special tasting, they went all out with a magnificent buffet where I could have feasted from all night. The bountiful spread burst with mouthwatering entrees including dolma (grape leave rolls), Fattoush (a bread salad using fried pieces of pita with mixed greens and other vegetables), and chicken sis kababs. I’m embarrassed with how much I piled on my plate because there had to be at least a dozen different dishes.

Deliciousness at Ephesus Mediterranean Grill.

Deliciousness at Ephesus Mediterranean Grill.

For dessert, I savored their popular pistachio baklava. Pure, sweet bliss for the mouth. If you have not been, go and taste for yourself!

Ephesus Mediterranean Grill
8300 Wiltshire Drive, Suite
Port Charlotte, Fla.
Tel: (941) 681-2343
www.ephesusmedgrill.com

Smoked Barbecue Goodness at SandBar Tiki & Grille

Smoked Barbecue Goodness at SandBar Tiki & Grille

SandBar Tiki & Grille, Englewood
Prior to sitting down to this feast, the group and I took a walk to Englewood Beach to see what we could of the sunset. While I looked for fossilized shark teeth, the savory scent of a barbecue tickled my nose. And, it’s exactly what the SandBar Tiki & Grille wants – beachgoers to smell barbecue and come in for lunch or dinner.

My belly was full of deliciousness from the two other restaurants but when I sat down and saw and smelled the scrumptious dishes, I found room. Formerly Flounder’s Tiki, the SandBar carries the familiar seafood and casual fare including burgers, sandwiches and their popular tiki tacos. New is the smoke pit and some staff were sent to Georgia to learn the art of barbecue. After sampling what seemed to be an endless feast, I’d say they aced whatever classes they took.

The Group Enjoys the SandBar Tiki & Grille's Smoked Barbecue.

The Group Enjoys the SandBar Tiki & Grille’s Smoked Barbecue.

I tasted the smoked chicken wing, smoked mahi fish dip, a hog shank, pulled pork with the Sandbar’s house rub, St. Louis-style rib, smoked salmon with bourbon teriyaki sauce and grilled pineapple ring, smoked pork baked beans and smashed sweet potatoes which were the best I have ever had.

And for dessert, it was one of the most sinfully delicious things I have ever put in my mouth, deep-fried coconut cheesecake with mango puree and a deep-fried Oreo.

If smoky barbecue goodness is your thing then the Sandbar Tiki & Grille is up your alley. Again, it’s hard to pick one item that stood out because everything was flavorful and tender. But, I suppose the smoked salmon topped my list although the chicken wing was mighty tasty. The sweet potatoes were also the best I have ever had anywhere. Period!

Sandbar Tike & Grille
1975 Beach Rd.
Englewood, Fla.
Tel: (941)-460-8280
www.sandbartikigrille.com

Farlow's on the Water in Englewood, Florida

Farlow’s on the Water in Englewood, Florida

Farlow’s on the Water, Englewood
Hurricane Irma tried to cancel Let’s Eat!- Englewood Restaurant Week but all it did was change the dates to Sept. 22 – Oct. 6 and moved the Media/VIP kickoff event to another day. This resulted in a more intimate event at Farlow’s on the Water in Englewood, another outstanding restaurant. During the kickoff some of the items they served included their famous chicken salad, a seafood salad, goat sliders and fresh fruit (See what I did there? Throw in something healthy!)

Farlow’s on the Water
2080 S McCall Rd.
Englewood, Fla.
Tel: (941) 474-5343
www.farlowsonthewater.com

LetsHelpEnglewood.com

LetsHelpEnglewood.com

Helping Others Locally
Announced during the Let’s Eat! – Englewood Restaurant Week kickoff was the Let’s Help Englewood initiative. Hurricane Irma was an unwelcomed visitor causing destruction throughout Florida. The Englewood community has come together and created Let’s Help Englewood with the mission of collecting monetary donations to help those locally and in surrounding communities impacted by the storm’s destruction. There is no donation too small or too large. Diners eating at Let’s Eat! – Englewood Restaurant Week (through Oct. 6) restaurants can make monetary donations or visit www.letshelpenglewood.com.

Plan your Englewood, Florida culinary adventure by visiting LetsEatEnglewood.com. #LetsEatEnglewood #WRCH2017

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to support my traveling habit, this blog and my special-needs dog.

Author: Solo Travel Girl

Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led Jennifer Huber, aka: Solo Travel Girl, to a career path in tourism. She has worked in the tourism industry for more than 20 years including 10 years with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley and Everglades National Park. She currently lives in Southwest Florida, and maintains this travel blog with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely.

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2 Comments

  1. All that looks so delicious. I have to get out to more restaurants in my area.

  2. You’ll need to check out this part of the world sometime. We have beer! 🙂

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