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Mad Hatter Restaurant on Sanibel Island Brings Back Sanity

Mad Hatter Restaurant on Sanibel Island Brings Back Sanity

-Sanibel Island
Elizabeth Dougherty

I felt like Alice in a rare reality these days. It was wonderland for an evening.

So many beach destinations are full of casual restaurants. The focus is on getting to the beach and catching the sun and waves. Sinking toes into hot sand is one of the simplest pleasures in life. And yet…

we stumbled upon this gem of a restaurant. It was pure chance. In fact, we almost missed it at 6467 Sanibel-Captiva Road. Unassumingly, it is located in a small house. The enclosed back porch is the dining area.

In addition, if you arrive at sunset, the view is spectacular. That would have been enough.

The Food – Mad Hatter Restaurant on Sanibel Island Brings Back Sanity

The food rivals  some of the best restaurants I’ve visited in the Nation. Below are a few examples.


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The detail and artistry throughout the small space was award-worthy by itself.

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Lovely house-made tapenade with fresh bread.

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No bottled Caesar here, we could taste the hint of anchovy. And that was refreshing,

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After that, the Hudson Valley Fois Gras brought back memories of better days. Exquisite.

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They even manged to select my favorite knife, the Languiole. Yes, the signature bee was forged on it.

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Lobster tails finished on the grill for a smokiness that set it apart. Drawn REAL butter, of course.

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Tender, slow cooked short rib with polenta. Michael was in heaven.

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He finished with drunken ice cream topped with black pepper. Surprising and a perfect blend of flavors.

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What can I say? Very high quality dark chocolate with a touch of port and other “secret stuff”.

In conclusion, suffice to say, they knew the way to my heart. I was up all night after that dessert. I had to bring half with me for the next day,






About Elizabeth Dougherty

Elizabeth Dougherty has been cooking and writing about food intensively for more than ten years. She is the fourth generation of chefs and gourmet grocers in her family with her mother, Francesca Esposito and grandmother, Carmella being major influences in her early cooking years. As a teenager, her family sent her to Europe where she became focused on French and Italian cuisine. She survived a year and half of culinary tutelage under a maniacal Swiss-German chef and is a graduate of NYIT, Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality, Business and Labor Relations. Food Nation Radio has won two news awards for content. Broadcasting LIVE each week, nationwide, on and on stations around the country.

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