Saturday, May 30, 2009

An Extraordinary Dining Experience: Sanibel's Traders

Although it is not as extraordinary as a cat eating a melon, eating at Traders on Sanibel Island does provide something very special in the way of ambiance and culinary skills.

The spacious store turned eatery reminds me of our home on the Island, Toucan House. I was immediately comfortable with the environment when we went Traders for dinner recently with friends.

The high wooden ceilings, bright orange colored walls and exotica bedecking the dining area were all very familiar.

But aside from the similarities in spatial dimensions and decor, Traders is a very comfortable place to eat.

Tables are spaced out nicely, allowing for good dinner conversation.

The wait staff is attentive and knowledgeable about the food.

And the food itself is innovative, satisfying and beautifully presented.

Though in the higher priced category of Sanibel restaurants, it is not exorbitantly expensive and there is nothing pretentious in either the decor or menu offerings. Like most places on the Island, one is perfectly "blended" into the atmosphere in a pair of dress shorts or Capris. I did not see a formal looking outfit in the house the night that we were there.

Set back on a large parking lot, Traders has a nice landscaping around it. It does have an island flavor both outside and inn.

We were all very content with what we ordered, and the real dessert was not the sweet concoctions served after the meal but the little shopping spree at the end of the night.

Traders is not only a restaurant, it is a large and lovely store with some nice gift items from around the world as well as locally.

I will have to keep that in mind as shops on Sanibel generally close by 9 or so and the Traders' store is open until the restaurant closes which is probably closer to midnight.

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