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Some days I love my job more than others. My visit to Bistro Soleil in the Historic Olde Marco Inn was one of those days.

I love old buildings and they’re harder to find around these parts. The floors of the Inn move under your feet; and the ceiling is not the same height in every spot; but the building is a beauty to behold and sets a unique mood for a night of elegant dining.

Our waiter had movie star good looks and a polite, friendly nature but he never crossed that line of over familiarity. And I should know, I tempted him to go there. I always do.

Things got off to an appetizing start with the fromage de chèvre, a “purse of fresh goat cheese with figs baked in a crispy French phyllo finished with a balsamic vinegar reduction” ($14).

My favorite part of this dish was the baked-to-perfection phyllo. Crispy and delightful come to mind. Add the warm goat cheese and reduction and you have a savory harmony concerting in your mouth.

Next up was the complimentary house salad tossed in a homemade black peppercorn and garlic vinaigrette. The greens were a nice mix, fresh and delicious with crunchy carrot shavings; the dressing a light and creamy delight.

For my main entrée, I had one of the night’s specials, swordfish ($35). The filet was char grilled to perfection and served with a sweet and tangy pineapple ginger chutney. It came with potatoes and assorted vegetables.

The swordfish surprised me, with a tuna-like quality to the filet; and an amazing understated taste that blended perfectly with the sauce. Side note; if you don’t go on a swordfish night; order the “saumon” from the regular menu, which is given a similar treatment.

My partner in dine also ordered from the specials menu, as recited by the debonair waiter. He had the eight-ounce filet mignon ($38) wrapped in bacon with a blue-cheese topping and served with a port wine sauce and the same mixed vegetables I enjoyed.

Cooked to perfection and so good, he says it didn’t need the bacon; but he ate it anyway. I should know, I offered to take it off his hands.  

When in France, or a French restaurant, only one dessert will do. Well, that’s not exactly true; but I always order the same one (weakness alert): the crème brulée, a traditional vanilla custard torched to utter sensational sugary goodness.

Sure, you can get this dessert at a lot of places. But this one had not been pre-made or refrigerated. It was freshly burned. And it was the perfect end to a great night of dining.

I would like to have seen it decorated with some fresh mint or fruit, especially blueberries, but the results speak for themselves; a four-star meal.    

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This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food.

If you go

  • Bistro Soleil
  • 100 Palm Street, Marco Island
  • 239-389-0981
  • www.bistrosoleil.net
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