Restaurant Review: The Mad Hatter, Sanibel, FL

My husband and I love dining at The Mad Hatter–it has traditionally been our choice for “date night” dinners when we’ve vacationing on Captiva.  We’d get the kids all set up with food (and a babysitter, when they were younger) back at the house, and enjoyed a delicious, upscale meal and attentive service that could compete easily with any fancy New York City restaurant experience,  but with a sunset beach view and casual, friendly atmosphere.

This year, though, we decided that it was finally time to bring all three girls to experience dinner at The Mad Hatter.  Our youngest daughter is 16, and although she’s a very picky eater, we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. (I honestly thought she’d eat nothing but bread all night–I was wrong!)

We went on a special night–my 49th birthday. (a.k.a. STILL NOT 50)

The service was, as always, first-rate. The staff always seems to strike the perfect balance between attentive and unintrusive: they’re knowledgeable about each menu item, offer recommendations freely, anticipate your drink refills before you even have to ask, and bring little “extra” tastings from the chef for you to try in between courses.

For once, I didn’t obsessively take photos of every single thing we ate, but trust me, it was all absolutely wonderful. The staff was also very accommodating of my youngest daughter’s particular ways, and served her dishes with all sauces on the side, customized exactly to her liking.  The menu selection was, as usual, varied and outstanding: from foie gras to filet mignon, we’ve never had a dish we didn’t absolutley love.

The Mad Hatter–100% worth the trip.  (For reservations, call 239-472-0033)

Hudson Valley Foie Gras–a must have, even if you are
a die-hard animal lover horrified by the concept.

Birthday dessert–a tasting trio, because choosing
between decadent desserts is too difficult!
The view from inside the restaurant at sunset

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