Spring has Sprung at Bistro 41
For two decades, Bistro 41 at The Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers has had a reputation for superb food and service. That reputation is getting a fresh shot in the arm with the arrival of Corporate Executive Chef and General Manager, Allen Fisher.
Fisher started his new job after the New Year and has been slowly making changes. Now that season is over, the menu is undergoing an exciting overhaul.
“I grew up on a farm in North Carolina, cooking at my mother’s hip,” says Fisher. “By the time I was eleven I was responsible for the mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving.”
He worked for a catering company whi l e in college, but upon graduating decided to pursue finance. Then, his world was rocked when his father died unexpectedly of a heart attack. Taking stock, Fisher says, “I realized I was selling stuff to people they couldn’t afford and didn’t need, and it didn’t make sense to me anymore.”
He packed his bags and moved to Key West, saying, “I worked in the kitchen as an escape. When tragedy happens, you go to the ground level and figure out what means the most to you.”
Wanting to make it official, Fisher eventually went to culinary school in Michigan, then moved to New York City where he worked in legendary kitchens such as DANIEL; the restaurant earned two Michelin stars while Fisher was there.
Now leading the charge at Bistro 41, longtime chef Oscar Garcia has stayed onboard with the award-winning chef to keep the kitchen cranking with tempting new dishes like corn and goat cheese soup with blackened shrimp and roasted shiitake, seared cauliflower steak piccata, duck confit Cuban sandwich, and wild onion crab hushpuppies with green goddess dressing.
“We’re going to cater more towards locals. The menu is younger with fantastic flavors and more vegetarian and gluten free items,” says Fisher. Locals will also like the news that prices are going down for many items and portion sizes will be ‘more responsible’ according to Fisher.
The bar features a new tapas-style happy hour and the cocktail menu is more sophisticated with house made syrups and clever combinations such as the Rose Spritz made with pink vermouth, fresh lime and club soda. The Honey Habanero Daiquiri is sweet with some heat; honey powder decorates the rim. Wine lovers will be happy to know that their “by the glass” program is growing with higher end selections being added.
“I love it here. I love this business and I’m excited for what is to come. I have more surprises when the mall finishes its remodel, so keep your eyes open,” says Fisher.