Sweet Melissa's Cafe
1625 Periwinkle Way
Sanibel, FL 33597Neighborhood:
Contemporary AmericanPrice: $30 and under
Sweet Melissa's Cafe
- Dining Style: Fine Dining
- Website: http://www.sweetmelissascafe.net/
- Phone: 239-472-1956
- Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday 5pm Closed Sunday
- Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Contemporary American, Tapas / Small Plates
- Executive Chef: Melissa Talmage
- Dress Code: Smart Casual
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
- Entertainment: Acoustic Guitarist Wednesday Thursday Friday and Saturday Evenings
A word from Sweet Melissa's Cafe
Executive Chef Melissa Talmage offers a divinely creative menu sure to fit any foodies dream. Serving lunch and dinner, Chef Melissa challenges your taste buds to explore an array of different textures and tastes. Our dinner menu is broken into sections and the entrees are offered in half portions to give you the ability to try a few different dishes in one visit. We also offer an extensive wine list to enhance your dining experience. Come join us for another side to island dining.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Sweet Melissa's Cafe - Best Restaurants in Sanibel ›
Sweet Melissa's Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
58 reviews since June 24, 2014
- Ambiance4.2Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (40)special occasion (35)romantic (26)neighborhood gem (26)notable wine list (19)great for outdoor dining (8)good for groups (7)great for lunch (6)hot spot (4)kid-friendly (2)vibrant bar scene (1)late-night find (1)Show More
- Great for dinner!FloridaFoodieVIPDined on 10/18/2014Delicious, creative cuisine. LOVE that small portions are offered!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- My special occasion favoriteSilverSpringDaveDined on 10/14/2014I have been coming to Sweet Melissa's for my birthday for several years. The food has always been innovative and delicious. I especially like having the choice of "petit" portions. That way I can enjoy an appetizer, entree, and dessert without feeling stuffed. Having such a great restaurant on Sanibel is special.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Glad I found this Gem!MelisaDined on 10/13/2014We were pleasantly and delightfully surprised by the creations that Chef Melissa served. Small portions were bigger than expected. Perfect way to celebrate a special occasion. Menu had a good selection of everything and it was hard to decide. We opted for the specials of the evening. Service was excellent as well. Glad we experienced dining here.Special Features:
- Disappointing Food SelectionSJCharlieDined on 10/9/2014I was surprised that this seafood restaurant had seafood that contained no fresh fish dishes. The selection was too upscale for regular dining. I had to settle for beef when I was hoping for a good fresh fish dish. That said, the filet mignon was superb, thick tender and cooked the way I asked for it. My wife, who loves seafood could find nothing that sounded appetizing to her and settled for their fish chowder. Our waiter was very courteous, prompt and well informed. I asked for butter instead and received a ramekin of unsalted, warm, creamy butter. I don't think you know this but patrons do not like unsalted butter with good bread. Unsalted butter is best used for cooking.Special Features:
- Reliable Top of the line foodGator4OkieVIPDined on 10/4/2014It happened to be s night that we all had the grouper with a bacon sauce and black eyed peas. It was very moist and flavorful. Definitely something we would order again. Service is always very professional. Attentive but not intrusive.Special Features:
- A good mealsnkkDined on 10/4/2014We were on a mini vacation and had our final dinner here. Food was excellent. Quality ingredients, innovative pairings, excellent presentation. I started with the poached fig salad with house made ricotta cheese-delightful. My husband ordered the beet salad which had several kinds of beets in it. A very happy man. The rest of the meal was of the same quality. The only criticism was that the mussels in my husband's fish stew were tiny. A big disappointment for him as he loves mussels. The wait staff is attentive but not intrusive. A must try, quality restaurant.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best tuna everPc1029VIPDined on 8/29/2014Only my second time here, but will try to go back more often. Best tuna sandwich ever!! Homemade pickles on a grilled bun with the nicest piece of tuna I've ever tasted! & homemade chips. My husband got the beet salad and said it was excellent. Definitely worth the trip to Sanibel!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best gourmet food on the islandKdubyuDined on 8/28/2014We try to eat here at least once every time we visit sanibel. The menu has something for everyone, and there is a variety of fresh seafood. Melissa was not there this time, but her other chef did not disappoint. My wife had Pinot Gris wine, and I had a rum runner cocktail for libations. We started with the 3-cheese plate of may tag blue, tallegio and humbolt. We split a beet salad and they served it in two plates! For main course I had the tuna and my wife had the cobia. Both were cooked to perfection with great spices. We finished with a dish of chocolate gelato. All courses were timed well. We had joined another couple and one of them had the tenderloin filet - she raved about it as well as the twice cooked fries.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- very goodberndDined on 8/23/2014Sweet Melissa is consistently tops in food and service. She is not afraid to try new recipies and most hit home. A very good wine list complete the experience. Melissa does not have much competition in Sanibel, can highly recommend.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best Restaurant in Sanibel IslandAlbertoDined on 8/22/2014We discovered this restaurant only a year ago, the place is nice, service professional and friendly, now the most outstanding part is the food. There are good chefs and very good chefs, but above there are natural great chefs and Melisa is one of them, it is very difficult to decide between one plate and the next, she adds magic to every recipe that makes it unique. Highly recommendedSpecial Features:
- Fantastic stewOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/20/2014Great portion sizes. The fish stew was amazing. The cobia was perfectly cooked as well. The staff was very accomidating and provided honest and great recommendations. My wife and I will absolutely be returning.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/16/2014Great restaurant for good friends to enjoy a special evening.
- Its simply greatmickholDined on 8/13/2014Year after year we have been coming to eat here and every year we walk away saying "wow, that was good". We always try new restaurants on the islands and this is still one of the best.Special Features:
- Belisimo!LocalDined on 8/13/2014I love this place. The food is always superb and the service unbeatable. I've never felt like they rush you to turn the table.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Small plate dining a mustpassingthruVIPDined on 8/12/2014My husband and I shared several small plate items, from salad to entrees that can either be small plate or a full entree. Grilled peach salad, short rib ravioli, shrimp/lobster crepes and banana crepe dessert that were outstanding and just enough along with a bottle of wine.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OutstandingKBRSRVIPDined on 8/9/2014This restraurant continues to be excellent in your dinning experience The quality if the food is superior and the final product continues to exceed expectations beyond imaganaton You will be glad you booked this restraurantSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent Food; Great for + CoursesOpenTable Diner Since 2012VIPDined on 8/9/2014Wonderful food. We loved the smaller plates. Plenty of different flavors with each course. The option for half entrees was fantastic! We loved ordering multiple courses and having an appetite for an awesome desert!Special Features:
- Excellent Food; Beautiful SettingMITIMANVIPDined on 8/9/2014Sweet Melissa's offers a well-rounded menu featuring both small plates (somewhere between an appetizer and an entree in size) and full-size selections. Our party of five mixed it up by ordering several of the small items to share, plus a couple of regular dinners for the heavier eaters (that would be me, among others!). Items were well prepared, fresh, and appealed to both the seafood lovers among us and those who preferred land-based fare. Service was cordial and unobtrusive and the wait staff helped us make our way through the options with patience and humor. The Sanibel environment is matchless for its beauty in Southwest Florida, so that's a bonus for the evening. Recommended.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Outstanding RestaurantTheRealETVIPDined on 8/8/2014Melissa's Cafe is our most favorite place to go out to dinner. The food is always superb! We love the half-portion menu choices as that gives us a nice option and keeps the cost down when we don't want a full entree. We both had the grouper special and beet salad this time. They were both terrific. I had the full portion of grouper and my wife had the half portion. The full portion was almost too much to eat. The prices are very competitive and the servers are very attentive. We were delighted with our special night out and enjoyed the wine also. Sweet Melissa's is a great place for anyone seeking great food and service. We will go back again soon.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- top notchtouristDined on 8/7/2014Sweet Melissa's is an absolutely top-notch place to dine. The menu is varied & unusual; there's a superb chef in the kitchen!! For most entrees, there's a choice of a regular or petite serving size.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Incredible dinnerCasualdinerDined on 8/5/2014We had some guests in from out of town and wanted to show them Sanibel and then eat at a nice restaurant .. After some wine on the beach we went to Melissa's and had a fantastic dinner. We will go again and have recommended this fine place them to all our friends 'Special Features:
- Awesome additionNvizbleVIPDined on 8/1/2014It's been almost 10 years since we visited this area, and this is a nice new venue to try.Special Features:
- Not so Sweet Melissa'sDanaDined on 7/30/2014After all the write up's this was a big disapointment. Both entree's had to be sent back. We had to ask for bread, salt and pepper. The ingredients in the beet salad were old. The waiter was untrained. This will be our one and only visit.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 7/25/2014Interesting cocktails - I had the spicy jalapeno margarita. Just the right amount of heat, tart and sweetness. The lobster and shrimp crepes were perfect. We loved that the dinner entrees are set up so that you can order smaller portions. This allowed us to try more things. We had the cobia - the english peas were substituted by snap peas which made me happy - over the coconut rice. It was absolutely delish!! We also ordered the grilled smoked beef tenderloin. Although the filet was cooked perfectly, the smokey flavor on the meat as well as the spinach was almost too much. I would choose to put it in one or the other but having it in both really distracts from the flavor of the dish.Special Features:
- Very goodFloridaFlashDined on 7/15/2014Just not quite great. Appetizers were outstanding (beet salad, steak tartare), main courses ranged from great to acceptable, dessert (banana strudel) to die for. Nice, reasonable Chardonnay. The renowned fish stew was in a thick tomato base rather than a fish broth, which was a surprise and a disappointment. The mushroom risotto under the guinea fowl was amazing, while the bird was good, but largely reminiscent of well prepared chicken (tender with crispy skin). We'll be back, but read the menu more carefully.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best restaurant on Sanibel IslandNYCCalgalDined on 7/11/2014My husband and I stay on Captiva Island and always make the trip to Sweet Melissa's Cafe in Sanibel. The food is always excellent! Forget all those over rated and over advertised restaurants on Sanibel & Captiva Island, and go to Sweet Melissa's Cafe for the ultimate dining experience!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- great dinner experiencefoodie44Dined on 7/5/2014Most enjoyable. Decided to dine only appetizers and was rewarded by well-seasoned and creative dishes. Very nice and helpful staff who provided prompt and cheerful service.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Awesome. Must go when at SanibelRichVIPDined on 7/5/2014Fish stew, Beef Tenderloin and Cobia awesome. Try anything on menu and you won't be disappointed.Special Features:
- Unbelievable!!!Shunt10Dined on 7/5/2014Best restaurant in Sanibel - hands down! Every dish perfectly prepared and presented. Interesting and very special food. One of my three all time favorite restaurants!!!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- PerfectStanUsualDined on 7/3/201423rd anniversary for me and my wife - took a night to leave the family and celebrate our special day. Food, service, ambiance - all great.. Highly recommended. Fish stew is highly recommended.Special Features:
- Great Dining on SanibelDMMHDined on 6/28/2014Chef Melissa continues to tantalize the taste buds with great preparations and even better execution. The asparagus appetizer is amazing and the scallops were perfect. It will be one of my stops on the Island going forwardSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Anniversary ExperienceJust2foodiesDined on 6/24/2014We are from Orlando and celebrated our anniversary several years ago at Sweet Melissa's, so this year as we made our plans to celebrate our anniversary at Sanibel, we knew Sweet Melissa's was the perfect place for us. The food is exceptional. Bill tried the Fish Stew and stated that was the best meal he had ever had. We have already recommended Sweet Melissa's to friends in Fort Myers and know that we will return whenever we are in the area.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 845 reviews are from the Sweet Melissa's Cafe reviews archive.
- Birthday Celebration Sat June 21OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 6/21/2014We have been to Sweet Melissa's before which brought us back again--previously the food, ambiance and service was what we talked about when we left. This time only two of the three were positive….our service was less than good….way less. Our server was disinterested in us……he apparently did not understand one of the guest's request and blamed it on the guest (very rude!)………he was aware that one of the guest's was there for a birthday celebration but as we did not order desserts no mention was made….we had called in about the birthday and also the hostess reconfirmed the same. Overall the experience was very nice except I would hope that we would not have as our server the next time.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Special Findmargarita4Dined on 6/19/2014Melissa is one of the most innovative and personally involved chefs we have encountered, on Sanibel or anywhere. We especially appreciated that each dish was cooked from scratch with fresh and local ingredients. We loved the ambience for dinner, and our waitress was so pleasant and knowledgeable. Our seafood meals, with excellent sauces and vegetables, were truly delicious - fantastic! - and we can't wait to go back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Anniversary DinerOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 6/11/2014My wife and I had our first anniversary dinner at Sweet Melissa's. The wine list was wonderful but the pour was terrible. Three sips and its done. The ambiance was best on Sanibel and service was professional. Started with Mussels and they were the best I have had in years. BUT my wife's medium rare steak was well done and my "small plate" scallops had only two (2) scallops on the plate. For $17 are you kidding me? We may come back for a glass and wine and the mussels but for diner no way.
- Food created by an artistByronDined on 6/6/2014There is good food, there is great food, and then are dishes that have been created by a true artist that uses flavors as their medium. Melissa works at the latter level. A little pricey at first glance at the menu, but that feeling disappears at first bite. This was our first visit to Sanibel, but not our last, and Sweet Melissa is one of a few places on our ' must go back again' list.Special Features:
- Delicious !DCarneDined on 6/6/2014Located on Sanibel Island. The food and flavors were out of this world!! Great menu!Special Features:
- Terence DalyOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 6/6/2014Had great time with wife, daughter son-in-law and granddaughter. Fine food and "great" service from waiter Paul! We go to Sweet's whenever we visit Sanibel!Special Features:
- Wow!SunnyTravelerVIPDined on 6/6/2014So we stopped in to Sweet Melissa's for late lunch. The restaurant was quiet as it was about 30 minutes before close. (Lunch is 11:00 - 2:30) Our server was attentive and the atmosphere was clean, relaxed and classy. The crab cake sandwich was outstanding - a large crab cake, fresh, flavorful and light. The homemade chips were great too. My dining partner had the beet salad with grilled shrimp. It was so good she didn't share! Our cocktails were well made and a good size for the spend. The fresh bread on the table was a bonus - very delicious! We split the key lime parfait for dessert and it was the "cherry on top" of a wonderful lunch. If you are in Sanibel, go to Sweet Melissa's!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 5/29/2014Excellent food & service. We were there for dinner. There was a guitarist playing at an appropriate noise level. Already recommended it to others.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.