Sweet Melissa's Cafe
Sweet Melissa's Cafe

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

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Casa Ybel
  • Parking: Private Lot
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.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Sweet Melissa's Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
62 reviews since July 31, 2014
Overall Rating4.7
  • Food4.8
    Service4.7
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (48)special occasion (38)romantic (24)neighborhood gem (19)notable wine list (15)good for groups (9)great for outdoor dining (8)great for lunch (8)hot spot (4)late-night find (2)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • A great place to celebrate an anniversary
    Happydiner
    Dined on 11/24/2014
    We celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary at Melissa's and enjoyed it immensely. Service was personal and first class, food superb and atmosphere quiet. Though some of the full entrees are pricey, you can order a smaller portion, which makes this excellent restaurant affordable. A top tier restaurant
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing favors!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/17/2014
    I've dined here multiple times,. The menu varies, but each and every dish has always been bursting with amazing flavor combinations. On the most recent occasion my dining companion raved about the fish stew, while my snapper was perfectly prepared. Another excellent meal at Sweet Melissa's.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • so good we re-ordered them
    stevie
    Dined on 11/17/2014
    great place, the sweet breads were so good we re-ordered them after the entrees. very good service and great atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another outstanding experience
    Sanibelchuck
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Sweet melissa 's is the most consistent excellent restaurant imaginable. Server was outstanding. She knew the menus and sold several dishes in a nice way. Special snapper was outstanding. Good wine list with reasonable prices. One of those rare restaurants which deserves its outstanding reputation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely place
    JackDinesVIP
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    A really lovely meal. The option to go with smaller entrees means you get a couple of wonderful tastes without being over-stuffed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sweet Melliss's was excellent in all aspects.
    Howmull
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    The decor was lovely. The wait staff was excellent. The food was divine. The fish stew, shrimp and grits, and homemade ice cream and sorbets made us very happy. Also loved the petite plates were just right for the ladies. The best meal we had on Sanibel.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sweet!
    Bellerina
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    Sweet Melissa's continues to be fresh, innovative and delicious. That trait is especially appreciated on this small island where the food at most of the nicer restaurants may be good, but it all tastes the same from restaurant to restaurant. Sweet Melissa's is in a category of its own. Thanks for that. Also, the wait staff is knowledgeable, pleasant and attentive, but not overbearing and the wine list, including wine by the glass, is exceptional and reasonably priced. A wonderful dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great dinners at Sweet Melissa's on Sanibel.
    DeeJ
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    My husband and I ate dinner twice at Sweet Melissa's on our annual visit to Sanibel. As in past years, we believe this is the best upscale restaurant on either Sanibel or Captiva Islands. Our food on both occasions was great. We tried a number of menu items...grilled romaine, conch chowder, rabbit pate, fish stew, smoked tenderloin, oven roasted cobia, and goat cheese ravioli...all of which were absolutely delicious. Cocktails were unusual, especially the "Smoke Gets in Your Rye" Manhattan. I'm a Manhattan lover and this was one of the best I've tried. Lastly, our waiter was Paul on both occasions. He was great....knowledgeable about the food and provided exactly the right amount of attentiveness. Try it.....
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just delicious
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/10/2014
    Over the years, Melissa's is the address for fine dining. An excellent mixture what we would call Euro-American fusion.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A very pleasant evening
    JohnT
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    We had a round table for five. The ambient noise level was high, so conversation was not easy. The service was excellent. We were given details of the specials in great detail and the suggested wines ( when asked) were spot on. I had the braised romaine which I thought was OK, not great but by wife thoroughly enjoyed it. I then had the small portion of the seared duck, which was good and an ample portion. The Key Lime panacotta was excellent. We shared it and again it was ample for two. Overall a very pleasant evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hidden gem
    Babs
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    We have been coming to the Sanibel/Captiva for years, and this five year old restaurant I'd one of the best we've visited. Our salads were outstanding; we shared an order of mussels--my 26 year old daughter pronouncing them among the best she's ever had (and they were!). The subtle flavors of the mussel broth were delicious. Entrée options were available in both a small plate size or full size. We enjoyed scallops, seared duck breast and mahi mahi. All were outstanding! Lastly we had to share the flourless chocolate cake--needless to say It was also deliciously decadent! You will miss this restaurant if you are not specifically looking for it--we missed it two years ago. Dress is casual--food is not! Melissa Talmage is a fine young chef!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pompano was wonderful!
    Gator4OkieVIP
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    Pompano had a very flavorful sauce and vegetables with a nice kick. Fish stew was fabulous with abundance of fish and no filler. Service perfect.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Special place for a special dinner
    bjoycooley
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    I selected Sweet Melissa's for my birthday dinner with my adorable husband and mother. The restaurant was perfect; we were given a table in a quiet corner (to accommodate my mom who is hard of hearing) and the service was impeccable throughout the evening. The food was amazing; it dazzled the eyes and the tastebuds. We won't wait for another special occasion to return. We'll be going back sooner rather than later. Melissa Talmadge is a fine chef who runs a delightful and comfortable restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for dinner!
    FloridaFoodieVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Delicious, creative cuisine. LOVE that small portions are offered!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • My special occasion favorite
    SilverSpringDave
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    I 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:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Glad I found this Gem!
    Melisa
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    We 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:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Disappointing Food Selection
    SJCharlie
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    I 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:
    good for groups, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Reliable Top of the line food
    Gator4OkieVIP
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    It 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:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A good meal
    snkk
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    We 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:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best tuna ever
    Pc1029VIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Only 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:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best gourmet food on the island
    Kdubyu
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    We 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:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • very good
    bernd
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Sweet 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:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Restaurant in Sanibel Island
    Alberto
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    We 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 recommended
    Special Features:
    special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fantastic stew
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Great 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:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Great restaurant for good friends to enjoy a special evening.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Its simply great
    mickhol
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    Year 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:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Belisimo!
    Local
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    I 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:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Small plate dining a must
    passingthruVIP
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    My 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:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding
    KBRSRVIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    This 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 restraurant
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Food; Great for + Courses
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Wonderful 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:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent Food; Beautiful Setting
    MITIMANVIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Sweet 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:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding Restaurant
    TheRealETVIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Melissa'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:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • top notch
    tourist
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Sweet 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:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Incredible dinner
    Casualdiner
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    We 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:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Awesome addition
    NvizbleVIP
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    It's been almost 10 years since we visited this area, and this is a nice new venue to try.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 27 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 31, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.6
    • Food4.7
    • Ambiance4.2
    • Service4.6
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 855 reviews are from the Sweet Melissa's Cafe reviews archive.
  • Not so Sweet Melissa's
    Dana
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    After 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Interesting 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:
    fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very good
    FloridaFlash
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    Just 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:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best restaurant on Sanibel Island
    NYCCalgal
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    My 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:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great dinner experience
    foodie44
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Most 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:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.