This week's bargain adventure takes us to downtown Fort Myers where we visited the Twisted Vine located at 2214 Bay Street. Our first intention was to go to the Barrel Room connected and adjacent to the award-winning Twisted Vine Bistro. Along with a full bar, the Barrel Room offers a wide variety of hard to find whiskey, bourbon and scotch, yet this was a special day and it was rented for a private party.
Two hour parking directly in front of the building is very convenient. There was another couple at the far end of the bar as Damon, our bartender came over to greet us, explaining the Happy Hour Specials were the same on both sides and run from 4pm to 6pm, $2 domestics, $3 wells, $4 wines, $5 martinis and $5 appetizers which they call starters.
I ordered a Cape Cod and my lady began to explore the various Martini's available, after a few questions from Damon as to her preferences she decided to have a Cosmo, one of her favorites to test his skills. He passed wonderfully!
We decided on and ordered the 'Calamari', 'Crabcake' and the 'Tuna Poke' starters as our drinks were presented.
The tuna came out fast, it tasted clean, fresh and delicate on the palette, there were subtle flavors added by the cucumber, pickled onions and red peppers finished in a citrus asian ponzo sauce served in a Martini glass, great flavors and presentation.
The calamari and crabcake came out almost immediately after the tuna. This is the advantage of arriving just as happy hour began and before the crowd, which was now claiming their territory around the bar.
The crabcake was solo and large, full of clump crab meat and quite yummy.
The calamari were tender and delicious, but it was the spicy sweet chili sauce mixed with the peanuts, red onion, banana pepper rings and scallion combination with tiny teardrop sweet peppers, all falling out of an edible tortilla bowl shell alla cornucopia style that made this dish special, we ate every bit of it.
By this time my lady had ventured into a Blood Orange Martini which she quickly claimed to be her new favorite, after her first sip.
We were almost full and satisfied, Damon suggested the lollipop lamb chops, which were also available as a happy hour special, these were over the top!
Three New Zealand lollipop chops, chargrilled to perfection, served medium rare with house-made Greek yogurt tzatziki and pickled red onions over a few mixed baby greens.... and yes.... for only $5. By now we were full or another order of lollipops would have been on order.
We recommend the Twisted Vine Bistro, we will definitely be back. If you haven't been lucky enough to visit here yet, put it on your list! You won't be disappointed with these Happy Hour Specials.