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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Cider Press Café: 2014 Open Table Diner’s Choice Winner

Jul 31, 2014 08:34AM

Foodies that appreciate savoring plant-based, modernist cuisine will enjoy a dining experience at the Cider Press Café. Located in North Naples, the café specializes in Florida-inspired fare and uses the freshest and highest quality local and organic ingredients prepared using the latest techniques. Food temperatures are kept below 117 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure the maximum flavor and freshness, while preserving the nutrients and enzymes in the food.

Executive Chef Johan Everstijn, Sous Chef Susan Dunn and General Manger Roland Strobel create a unique, sophisticated and healthful dining experience in a casual, elegant setting. Beautifully presented starter plates, entrées and desserts please the eye as much as the palate. Local and farm-to-table fresh fusion foods are influenced by several of the world’s food culture traditions.

Choosing is the challenge with appetizers such as cheesy kale chips, pineapple kimchi dumplings in a mango habanero sauce, a Thai lettuce wrap with a spicy pineapple sauce and coconut spring rolls with an almond Caribbean jerk sauce. Everstijn’s special appetizer, Seminole corn chowder made with cashew cream, is a customer favorite.

Enticing main dishes with nut-based sauces and nut “cheeses” provide healthier alternatives to their cholesterol-laden counterparts while remaining just as scrumptious. Try chipotle enchiladas with macadamia crema fresca, garden lasagna with an herbed cashew ricotta and basil walnut pesto or churrasco with smoked nut and Portobello quenelles (poached dumplings) and chimichurri sauce. Everstijn’s take on pad Thai includes sea tangle (kelp noodles), zucchini noodles and spicy tamarind sauce, served with mixed vegetables sprinkled with tamari almonds.

Coffee and tea are available, and the menu boasts an impressive selection of wine, beer and hard ciders. On the healthier side are kombucha in a variety of flavors, freshly squeezed lemonades and juices, as well as smoothies and coconut water in the shell.

The refurbished apple press, an authentic piece of American history from 1869, previously owned by Strobel’s father and the inspiration for the restaurant’s name, is on display in the entrance. The café’s bright modern interior is designed by the architecture firm of Dyehouse and Comeriato using American-made products, sustainable materials and historical farming artifacts.

Hours: lunch, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; dinner, 4 to 9 p.m.; happy hour, 3 to 6 p.m.; happy after-hours, 9 p.m. to close.

Location: 1201 Piper Blvd., Ste. 26, Naples. For reservations and more information, call 239-631-2500 or visit CiderPressCafe.com.

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