Take a trip to the scenic north end of Marco Island for both the views and the serene dining experience.
Café de Marco, an award-winning bistro that prides itself on quality and consistency, is surrounded by stunning water views and a quietly reserved atmosphere unique to this end of the island.
Set out of the way of Marco Island vacation rentals and hotels, this historic bistro offers a classic and comfortable setting with diverse seafood selections. Below is your guide to the versatile and traditional fine dining of one of the leading Marco Island restaurants.
The 1900s to Now
Café de Marco contains a significant slice of Marco Island history, and the building in itself is one of the island’s historic attractions. In the early 1900s, the building served as living quarters for maids who were employed at the Old Marco Inn a stone’s throw away. Over time, this need was phased out and the building was restored as a fine dining restaurant in 1983.
The Café de Marco owner and operator, Sandy S. Franchino, retained the basic aesthetics of the Old Florida house, filling it with tables, linens, and, of course, a full menu of seafood classics. In an effort to preserve the building and its historical significance, the restaurant remains a historical site, as well as an intimate, elegant bistro known for its gourmet food.
The leading emphasis at the restaurant is the seafood. Many visitors begin their journey with the seafood sampler, a sharing platter of clam, oyster, and shrimp cocktail, and stuffed mushrooms.
The Lobster Bisque is one of the restaurant’s premium starters or the acclaimed Jumbo Prawns broiled with garlic butter over seasoned rice. And this is just the beginning.
Their menu offers an array of seafood entrees, such as stuffed lobster tail, shrimp scampi, and the North Atlantic salmon drizzled in a fine coconut butter rum sauce.
You can even find some more unique local delicacies, including Everglades Frog’s Legs and the rotating Fresh Catch of the Day (such as tilapia or grouper), prepared in various styles.
These farm-to-table seafood items represent the pinnacle of local fine dining on the island. Even traditional dishes feature a dizzying spin of fanciful flavors.
For the Land Lovers
For those who prefer turf over surf, the menu is not entirely seafood. Meat lovers can indulge in a 12 oz. Angus New York strip steak, topped with sautéed portabella mushrooms or lightly blackened.
The chicken breast stuffed with spinach, pine nuts, and roasted peppers, finished with a beurre blanc drizzle, is another favorite. The New Zealand rack of lamb or the marinated center cut filet mignon are some of the other land fare favorites.
The entire menu is farm to table and offers diverse options for all kinds of diets. There are vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options available. Guests can also call ahead to request special dietary limitations.
For non-meat eaters, the aptly titled Vegetarian’s Delight – a mixture of white button mushrooms, carrots, and a number of other vegetables with a white wine and teriyaki sauce fusion over penne pasta or rice – is both tasty and satisfying.
For an appetizer, try the artichoke cassoulette – sautéed with leeks and mushrooms in a sherry wine sauce. Of course, these are just a few of the samplings of what’s available to you on the full menu, with a diverse range of selections that are sure to impress.
Quality is consistent and excellent every time you visit, ensuring that whatever you order is made just the way you would like. Round out your meal with a vast dessert menu such as Café Key Lime Pie, Cannoli, Tortini Cake and many other choices, as well as a full selection of wine and beer.
Café de Marco is located at 244 Royal Palm Dr., Marco Island, FL. You can call (239) 394-6262 for reservations and other details. Café de Marco is open for dinner daily from 5 to 10 p.m.
Marco Island is a refined and secluded vacation getaway, with many beautiful natural attractions. Stay at some of the finest Marco Island vacation rentals during your next trip while enjoying unique upscale historic eateries like Café de Marco.