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Sweet Melissa's Cafe
Sweet Melissa's Cafe

Sweet Melissa's Cafe Details

  • 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.Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "Great restaurant for good friends to enjoy a special evening."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/12/2014
  • "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"
    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!"
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "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 '"
    Dined on 8/5/2014
  • "It's been almost 10 years since we visited this area, and this is a nice new venue to try."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Fish stew, Beef Tenderloin and Cobia awesome. Try anything on menu and you won't be disappointed."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Best restaurant in Sanibel - hands down! Every dish perfectly prepared and presented. Interesting and very special food. One of my three all time favorite restaurants!!!!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "23rd 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."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Chef 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 forward"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "We 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."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "We 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."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Melissa 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."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "My 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."
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "There 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."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "Located on Sanibel Island. The food and flavors were out of this world!! Great menu!"
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "Had 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!"
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "So 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!"
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "Excellent food & service. We were there for dinner. There was a guitarist playing at an appropriate noise level. Already recommended it to others."
    Dined on 5/29/2014
  • "Inventive food, including a nice selection of local fish and food, good wine and cocktail list, professional and friendly waiter with great homemade ice cream for dessert! Nice bar are, outdoor dining."
    Dined on 5/26/2014
  • "My wife and I were somewhat disappointed with the tamale appetizer because it was so dry tasting. Following that we were each served a hanger steak that was tough as shoe leather, a blob of sautéed spinach and nearly cold French fries. The steak was so tough we couldn’t cut it with our steak knives. We advised our waiter of the toughness of the steaks, and after consultation with the manager, we were offered a free desert and cup of coffee. A more appropriate result might have been Chef Melissa apologizing for the steaks, providing new steaks or taking the steaks off the check. None of the components of the meal or the quality of the individual components warranted being on Sweet Melissa’s menu or anybody’s menu for that matter."
    Dined on 5/26/2014
  • "Pleasant surprise on Sanibel. Loved that they had small plates / smaller entree portions available. Well executed dishes. Chocolate dessert was crazy good."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "We had a lovely meal with lots of small plates to sample. The wine was good, great service, and really appreciate the gluten free items. Best place in Sanibel, hands down"
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "The food was fairly good and unique. They need to offer bottled water cause Sanibel municipal water has that awful taste. Drinks were very good. Service was attentive and professional, but for such a seemingly upscale place, they wait staff needs to stop referring to my wife and I as "guys". That really kind of takes the specialness out of dining out. And, we were dressed up for the occasion and "guys" just doesn't show respect. The chairs are bottoming out - they need new seat cushions. Otherwise everything else was good - good food, good timing, overall well done."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "We travel to Sanibel each May. The best food on the island--by far--is at Sweet Melissa's Cafe. Love the menu... roasted beet salad and fish stew are delicious!"
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "My boyfriend and I visited Sanibel while we stayed in Naples. I saw some very good reviews o Yelp So we decided to check it out. Our server was absolute delightful, but more importantly she knew about the ingredients and preperation of the foods. We had the grilled Caesar and beet salad. Both were very tasty with fresh flavor. The bread is to die for. Next we had the shrimp and lobster tamale. This was good but a bit on the bland side. It could use a salsa or a bit of spice to dress it up. For dessert we had both the homemade Carmel ice cream and the praline ice cream. Both are outstanding! We had a lovely fruit tart, and the banana strudel in the phyllo dough. Pleasant but nothing special. Overall a very good dinner. "
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "We were seated in a section of the restaurant that cut us off from the main dining room which left us to wonder what really goes on here. I rated the ambience "fair" only because it was clean. Our server was excellent, knowledgeable and friendly. I would go back because of her, the main courses and the fabulous hand made gelatos and sorbets."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "We went here to celebrate our daughter's birthday, and were not disappointed. The restaurant had excellent food. The salads and appetizers were fresh, and our entrees were perfect. Melissa's also has a very nice way to order entrees--a "full" or "half" portion are choices for almost all of the entrees. The "half" portion has half the amount of protein (fish, steak, etc) but about the same amount of sides. This worked out very well and made the meal very reasonably priced. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone going to Sanibel Island who wants to experience fine dining."
    Dined on 5/22/2014
  • "We visited Sanibel in late May and ate at Sweet Melissa's. We look forward to a return trip to Sanibel and dining again at Sweet Melissa's. The food was delicious and the interior of the restaurant is gorgeous and one of understated elegance."
    Dined on 5/20/2014
  • "We had great meals on Sanibel/Captivia Island. Sweet Melissa's was top on the list of where to go based on reviews here but it was my least favorite. We had 2 small plates. The Mussels were good but too much garlic. We also had a crab & lobster tamale. It was a bit mushy. The apps came out before we even got out drinks - too quick for my liking. We also had to remind our waitress 2x about our drinks. For dinner, I had Grilled hangar steak. I asked for medium is was rare & tough & lacked flavor. My friend had the Sauteed Sweetbreads which had duck in it but it does not say that on the menu - strange. Dessert was very good! Overall, it was an ok meal but expected better."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "The food was really good, although my husband didn't love his entree. The ambiance was a little stale, not very lively for a Saturday night. Service was average at best. We found much nicer places, this wasn't worth the high price. "
    Dined on 5/17/2014