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USA Today names Sweet Melissa’s as ‘Top 10 South Florida’ restaurant

By Staff | May 23, 2017

Executive Chef Melissa Talmage.

Sweet Melissa’s Cafe? on Sanibel Island has been named as one of the top 10 restaurants in South Florida, according to USA Today.

Landing at number five on the list of the Best Restaurants in South Florida, USA Today touts the restaurants’ creative menu that is jam packed with fresh, local produce, seafood, beef and everything in-between. Under the command of Executive Chef Melissa Talmage, diners will experience delicious seasonally-inspired eats where fresh ingredients and small plates reign supreme. Diner’s taste buds will be challenged by trend-setting fare with a wide array of different tastes, textures and eclectic ingredients that make Sweet Melissa’s Sanibel Island’s ultimate foodie destination.

The honor stretches far beyond beautifully plated meals. A full bar featuring artistically crafted concoctions, an intimate patio for al-fresco dining and an educated, professional staff add to the designation. Stray away from traditional island-fare and enjoy a culinary experience that can only be described as “outstanding.”

Executive Chef Talmage is thrilled to be placed on the prestigious list.

“I am so proud of our entire team,” says Chef Talmage. “It truly is a group effort to create an unforgettable culinary experience every single day, and we all are honored to be placed among the ranks of South Florida’s great chefs and restaurants. I believe our success can be attributed to our unique approach to the traditional dining experience. I want all of our guests to feel like I’m coming to their house for that night and that I’m cooking just for them, in a laid back, fun, relaxed atmosphere.”

Executive Chef Melissa Talmage.

This is not the first honor Sweet Melissa’s has received. Since opening in 2009, Chef Talmage has received high praise from every major publication in Southwest Florida, with recipes featured in multiple local travel and restaurant guides. At the 2010 Sanibel Island Taste of the Island, she was awarded first place for Best Appetizer. 2011 saw her selected as the “Best Chef for a Chef” Vintner Dinner in the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest. The popular on-line dining reservation website, Opentable, recognizes the restaurant with Diners’ Choice Awards, including Best Food, Best Overall and Best Service.

Sweet Melissa’s Cafe is located at 1625 Periwinkle Way. Lunch is served Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is served Monday-Saturday from 5 p.m. until close. The restaurant is closed on Sundays. For reservations, call (239) 472-1956, or visit www.sweetmelissascafe.com?.