Dining on the Boulevard: Island Cafe, Stonewalls and Philly Grille in Marco

Phyllo wrapped beef with a fig and almond baked gorgonzola crust.  Island Cafe is located at 918 N., Collier Blvd., on Marco Island.  Photographed on May 5, 2011.  Kelli Stanko/Marco Magazine

Phyllo wrapped beef with a fig and almond baked gorgonzola crust. Island Cafe is located at 918 N., Collier Blvd., on Marco Island. Photographed on May 5, 2011. Kelli Stanko/Marco Magazine

This week’s roundup of fine Marco Island restaurants offers diners plenty of dining options from sensational shrimp entrees and three-course early bird specials to diverse dishes created by a well-liked restaurateur/chef who’s known for opening new restaurants on the Island.

Tournedos in a port wine demi glaze with an onion marmalade.  Island Cafe is located at 918 N., Collier Blvd., on Marco Island.  Photographed on May 5, 2011.  Kelli Stanko/Marco Magazine

Tournedos in a port wine demi glaze with an onion marmalade. Island Cafe is located at 918 N., Collier Blvd., on Marco Island. Photographed on May 5, 2011. Kelli Stanko/Marco Magazine

The Island Café, 918 N. Collier Blvd. Hours: Open 5 p.m. to closing daily. Reservations accepted. Phone: 394-7578.

Shrimp lovers listen up! The Island Café is offering a Sensational Shrimp Special menu featuring six different shrimp entrees along with a shrimp and steak combo each served with choice of soup du jour or house salad, along with rolls and butter, and available Sunday through Thursday but not available Friday and Saturday. Crustacean connoisseurs may feast on traditional shrimp scampi in classic white wine and garlic, or elegant shrimp Diane New Orleans style with mushrooms, garlic and herbs served with rice or enjoy the shrimp and steak combo of half order shrimp scampi and half order of sliced steak with brandy green peppercorn sauce to name but a few of the several gourmet shrimp selections exceptionally priced $16 per entrée.

Not to worry if shrimp doesn’t sail your boat, the Island Café’s creative and classic regular menu is served 5 p.m. to closing seven days a week in the spacious and serene dining room along with the restaurant’s prix fixe $22 three-course early bird special available 5 to 5:30 p.m. daily. The special comprises a first course with choice of seven selections, a second course with choice of seven entrees and third course choices of three dessert selections. There’s also a thoughtfully selected wine list to complement any of the entrees as well as a la carte appetizer and dessert menus.

The Island Café’s appealing children’s menu offers simple and straightforward entrees such as linguini pasta with choice of three sauces, along with a chicken or sliced steak option served with mashed potato and vegetable.

In cooler weather, patrons can enjoy outside dining at Stonewalls American Bistro, 551 S. Collier Blvd. Nadine Ouillette/Staff

In cooler weather, patrons can enjoy outside dining at Stonewalls American Bistro, 551 S. Collier Blvd. Nadine Ouillette/Staff

Stonewalls American Bistro, 551 S. Collier Blvd. Open 11 am. to 8 p.m. daily for lunch and dinner. Breakfast served 9 to 11 am. Saturday and Sunday. Phone: 389-1995.

Restaurateur/chef Al Landers has been cooking up a storm and pulling in customers with the promise of “Fine Food Fast” ever since his new concept restaurant, Stonewalls American Bistro opened in December 2010.

Stonewalls restaurant, located at 551 S. Collier Blvd. across from the Surf Club between the Marriott and Hilton Resorts, is open from 11 am. to 8 p.m., daily, and currently offers an inclusive menu available during both lunch and dinner alongwith beer and wine and all soft beverages. In addition, Stonewalls is offering a special breakfast menu, 9 to 11 a.m., that’s available Saturday and Sunday mornings, said manager Tim Burke, noting that he’s been with Stonewalls since day one.

“Our motto, ‘Fine Food Fast,’ a reasonably priced and diverse menu along with daily specials is appealing to all age groups, while our Little Stonewaller’s menu with all items 5.99 each including chips or salad and fountain drink is popular with families, said Burke, noting that Stonewalls’ head chef Landers is constantly creating new foot to add to enhance customer’s dining experience. For instance, new comfort foods like Roast turkey with gravy and mashed potatoes and more. Lander’s signature gourmet flatbreads, such as pulled pork, blackened or Buffalo chicken and Margherita flatbreads to name but a few, remain perennially popular best sellers, said Burke.

Guy & Lisa’s Philly Grille opened in January 2011 at 1000 N. Collier Blvd., the former Marco Island home of Amigo’s.

Chris Curle / Special to the Eagle

Guy & Lisa’s Philly Grille opened in January 2011 at 1000 N. Collier Blvd., the former Marco Island home of Amigo’s.

Guy and Lisa’s Philly Grille, 1000 N. Collier Blvd., Heritage Square Shopping Plaza. Previously open for lunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 p.m. to close for dinner. Call to check on fall hours. Phone: 394-2221

Last but certainly not least, Marco Island’s classy sandwich shop, Guy and Lisa’s Philly Grille, will re-open Monday, Oct. 3. In case you’re wondering, the restaurant was purposely left for last but not least, because it’s currently closed and surely informed people would like to know these things.

The owners, Guy and Lisa Verdi, are enjoying their first vacation since they opened at 1000 N. Collier Blvd. nine months ago on Jan. 21. The Philly Grille menu focuses on vegan and vegetarian friendly foods but that’s not to say it’s totally bereft of beef because it also showcases a hefty 8-ounce prime ground chuck beef burger available with umpteen gourmet cheese and classy condiment toppings.

That said who knows what new and exotic food ideas chef Verdi will infuse into the fall season menu after his and Lisa’s summer hiatus? Don’t forget that he stretched out a reputation for using fresh dough to create an assortment of unique grilled flatbreads topped with a blend of house cheeses and piquant accoutrements such as fried eggplant cutlets, fried artichokes and other chic comestibles complemented with a nice selection of beers and wines to wash them down with.

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