The Perfect Caper

Our 17th wedding anniversary was celebrated Saturday in real caper fashion. It was a big surprise taken on entirely in secret by my loving husband. He really gets big kudos for this one. Not only did he book a lovely gem of a restaurant, he booked us into a new hotel facing the gorgeous harbor in Punta Gorda. This unique little town sports lots of local art and shops, and plenty of delicious food.

We arrived early enough in the day to enjoy a bit of shopping. We strolled the quaint streets of downtown, ducking in and out of some colorful little shops filled with local art. Then, Jack had reserved a window table at a seafood restaurant on the water.  We celebrated with a bloody mary and  some of the best New England clam chowder either of us has ever tasted. Then we napped.

The walls of The Perfect Caper in downtown Punta Gorda are riddled with first class reviews. The restaurant itself is unassuming from the outside. Upon arrival you are met at the door by the owner. We arrived early to visit the piano bar and sip a martini. The bar quickly became full with standing room available. There is nothing quite like a piano bar. I love the tinkling of the ivory keys. It’s extremely relaxing.  The small, cozy bar was popping with Saturday night atmosphere.

Our host collected us precisely at our given reservation time and led us to the dining room. We were swept into a roomy, comfy booth which I sunk right into. I love a good booth.  The menu was overflowing with descriptive selections. Then we discovered the specials. And were told they were going fast. Oh no. A quick decision must be made. Then our host appeared with a bottle of champagne in his hands. Yes, it is was our  favorite: Veuve Clicquot. Jack had driven up the day before with this bottle after finding it was not a champagne they carried.  He had already met the owner and they had bonded. So sweet. A toast was definitely in order.

What I enjoyed the most about the evening was the timing. This meal was our “event.” And the knowing people at The Perfect Caper made it very special. We shared a Kobe beef steak tartar that could have fed a family of four. All while sipping our champagne. Then we  moved on to a warm mozzarella, tiny heirloom tomato and thinly sliced ham salad topped with a fine 12 year old balsamic vinegar. Yum. Jack ordered the day boat  scallops

Jack's entree

Jack's entree

which were prepared in a lemon  beurre  blanc sauce and served with sautéed spinach and whipped potatoes. I have included a photo of this entrée.

I snagged the last special: broiled flounder over a butter sauce with capers and golden raisins.

As we pushed aside our plates, we were already talking about dessert and coffee. I have included a photo of the cake and the coffee. The little cups with our cappuccino turned out to be so cute. There was also a plate of homemade vanilla ice cream. Can you believe it! But the cake stands out and had to be photographed. Even though the cake was absolutely drop dead gorgeous, and very tasty, it was not what we expected. We really, really just wanted a big old-fashioned piece of chocolate layer cake. But we are not complaining.

Cake

The menu led us to believe we were ordering a slice of old-fashioned chocolate cake. What we got was a tall slice of multi-layered flourless cake. Don't get me wrong, it was good, just not what we expected. But the ice cream was divine.

Our experience on a scale from one to five was almost a five. Great atmosphere, great food, great service and unique.

Jack did a fantastic job of choosing just the perfect restaurant in The Perfect Caper. He chose a great hotel, and he did a good job with the lunch too. I think I’ll keep him:)

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