‘Watts for Dinner’: Bide your ‘tines’ at South Fork Grille

Will Watts

Our next dining destination is South Fork Grille at Coconut Point in Estero. The restaurant features a full bar, outdoor and indoor dining. There’s lunch and dinner every day and a weekend brunch.

Things got off to an appetizing start with the “Cheese & Charcuterie” ($12). It’s a chef’s selection of cheese, meat, fig jam, olives and a toasted baguette. Our tray featured pepperoni and four kinds of cheese, along with some grapes. I wish more restaurants offered this. It’s a nice lighter way to ease into your meal. Everything was fresh, creamy and delicious.

More:‘Watts for Dinner’: Off to the ‘Country’ for Thai and sushi

Next up for me, the “South Fork Salad” ($12). According to the description, it features “romaine, arugula, mozzarella, tomato, bacon and a lemon-honey vinaigrette.”

There was absolutely no cheese on mine. And while there was romaine, I’d be hard-pressed to find arugula. The dressing also did not live up to the flavor promise of a lemon-honey mix. If I were you, I’d pass on this salad.

Instead, go for this: My dining companion had a much better beet salad ($13). It featured and had mixed greens, beets, butternut squash, goat cheese, candied walnuts and a white balsamic vinaigrette. It looked amazing and tasted great.

For my main entrée, I picked the “South Fork Meatloaf” ($24). It features mashed potatoes with roasted vegetables (yum!). There were two large pieces of meat with grill marks on them. It both looked and tasted like an upscale Salisbury steak. And while it didn’t give me meatloaf vibes, I thoroughly enjoyed this hearty dish.

My partner in dine had the chicken Milanese ($23). It features a crispy cutlet, mixed greens, tomato, red onion, artichoke hearts, shaved parmesan, potato wedges and a balsamic glaze. This was a beautiful dish that won his approval. And while a tad thick of a Milanese, it was a great piece of chicken.

More:‘Watts for Dinner’: Michelbob's – Meat at its best

For dessert I selected the bread pudding ala mode ($8). It had two huge chunks of bread pudding and a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some cake piping. While it was a nice dessert, I’m not sure it would measure up for those who take their bread pudding seriously.

My dinner guest had the pound cake ala mode ($8). It’s a ricotta pound cake slice featuring an orange sauce over the ice cream and cake and a raspberry glaze on the dish. Beautiful with lots of flavors.  

Several things are obvious to me. South Fork Grille likes to put their own spin on things. That’s great. It builds loyalty. For first-timers like me, it’s hard not to compare your expectation to what you actually get. That being said, nothing was overcooked or undercooked. The dishes all looked beautiful and we ate nearly all of it. So, give South Fork Grille a try. Just leave your expectations at the door and enjoy what you get. Happy eating!

More:Hey Banner readers! Are you looking for a place to eat?

This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food. Not all dishes are featured in print, but you can find a gallery of all reviewed dishes online at marconews.com.

If you go

South Fork Grille

  • 23161 Village Shops Way #113, Estero
  • 239-992-5040
  • southforkgrille.com