Sweet Melissa's Cafe, Sanibel Island, Florida

On one of our days in Florida we decided to take a road trip to Sanibel Island. My wife had talked about going there for vacation and I'm thinking. Hmmmm..... let's check this out, not knowing when we might have a chance to visit in the future. We could live here, she could go to the beach and I to Jet Blue Park and the Red Sox spring training in Fort Myers. Oh, to dream!

Because of the long drive we didn't have as much time as we would have liked to explore. For shopping my wife found a little mall called Periwinkle Place which had a number of stores. Of particular interest are the beaches and as you drive in you over the bridge to the island you can actually see the beautiful water. In terms of places we have visited it reminded us of Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Anyway, we were starving and my wife begged for me to find a place for dinner. We drove by a number of places and our gut instinct indicated that Sweet Melissa's Cafe might be a good option.

According to their website, Chef Melissa Talmage was thinking about becoming a lawyer and changed her mind and went in a cooking direction instead. We are certainly pleased that she did and you will see why when you visit the sunshine state.

Off one of the main small roads on the island this is set off in a wooded area which adds to the ambience. Because we were so hungry we arrived fairly early (but not early bird special early) for dinner and it was not busy yet so we had our choice of where to sit. We selected the outside enclosed porch area. With a slight wind blowing gently through the trees this is a perfect setting.

With comfortable chairs as you can see below:

For the appetizer we split one of their tomato, mozzarella and watermelon salads with cornbread croutons, are you kidding, amazing!

For dinner I went out on a limb for a fish called Cobia (not Wanda). This is certainly not something I am familiar with from the Northeast. As explained by our waiter it was a white tender fish that was delicious.

My wife chose their scallops. I sampled some and they were fabulous!

Here are a few estimated times from select cities:

Tampa, FL, About 2 hours and 48 minutes or 160 miles

Manchester, NH About 25 hours or 1,530 miles or a little over 3 hour flight (My wife and mother in law once took a road trip to Florida from New Hampshire. Do so at your peril! They didn't speak to each other for a week once the trip ended)

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, About 2 hours and 35 minutes or 143 miles

Want to know how far it is to Sanibel Island and Sweet Melissa's Cafe? Click on the map below to find out.

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