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Restaurant Reviews

Fine food, history found at island restaurant

Posted on September 14, 2016
By Carol Orr Hartman (Special to The Eagle) , Pine Island Eagle
History, Restaurant Reviews, Tarpon Lodge Reviews

Looking down on beautifully plated seared white fish with diced red tomatoes and golden flower

The Florida of today doesn’t reflect the tenacity of those who first settled the area, and it is difficult to find vestiges of early Southwest Florida. Before the Matlacha Bridge was built, the only access to Pine Island was by boat, and to build without power or easy access showed the commitment to this area by early residents. As time evolved, less and less properties have maintained a true history as that of Tarpon Lodge, 13771 Waterfront Drive, offering a view into the past.

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Florida coast offers great food, fun on, off water

Posted on May 29, 2016
By Bryan Hendricks, Arkansas Sportsman
Fishing & Boating, Restaurant Reviews, Tarpon Lodge Reviews

Southwest Florida has an entirely different vibe because tourism is not the center of its culture. Tourism is woven into its fabric, and its environment is authentically native.

My base during my kayak fishing extravaganza was Tarpon Lodge, an early 20th century fishing camp that evokes images of old Florida. Its whitewashed exterior houses and understatedly lavish rooms are scrupulously clean. It is the cleanest place I have ever stayed. It’s comfortable and it is warmly welcoming. Miss Laura and I stayed there last year as well, and its high quality was consistent.

The lightning show from late-night storms was spectacular from my balcony.

The Tarpon Lodge restaurant offers a diverse selection of surf and turf options, including a filet mignon so tender that it practically falls apart at the touch of a fork. You’ll be wobbling at the end of the entree, and the desserts will deliver the knockout blow. The head waiter, Frankie, is a master at his craft.

This article originally appeared on and has since been archived.

Tarpon Lodge featured in Destination Spotlight by Living Local Florida

Posted on April 14, 2016
By Living Local (The Buzz by Gina)
Restaurant Reviews, Tarpon Lodge Reviews

There are places in Southwest Florida that no matter how long you’ve lived here; you may have never experienced. Tarpon Lodge on Pine Island is one of those gems.

Off the beaten path, it has a rich history and a great reputation as a launching point for all kinds of water adventures. Dating back to the 1920’s, the property has been a private residence, a rehab facility and now a casually elegant fishing lodge.

For decades the location has been popular for sports fishing, Tarpon in particular. That was the inspiration for the name when the Well’s family, residents of SW Florida since the 1970’s, bought the property in 1999.

The bright white lodge is a beacon in the middle of lush green grass, swaying palms, blue skies and lapping water of the Pine Island Sound. With the feel of a bed and breakfast the lodge has wooden floors and a fireplace in the cozy bar for those rare evenings when there’s a chill in the air. Eight rooms spiral off the lounge.

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Bite-sized Jean Le Boeuf Review: Tarpon Lodge on Pine Island

Posted on October 15, 2013
By Jean Le Boeuf, Restaurant Critic - News-Press
Restaurant Reviews

The News-Press restaurant critic Jean Le Bouef is out and about during The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Restaurant Week, sampling something from every participating restaurant through Oct. 20. For Old Florida charm, Tarpon Lodge is hard to beat.

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2nd Annual Restaurant Week Provides Fresh Perspective

Posted on October 9, 2013
By News-Press
Restaurant Reviews

…. expect wine tastings paired with live music, more exclusive cooking demonstrations, more tours and classes. Last year’s list of 24 participating restaurants rose to 31 this year, many offering a limited-time, prix-fixe menu.

To participate, chefs are required to look to area farms and waters to fill their plates.

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10 Best List Reviews Tarpon Lodge

Posted on July 9, 2013
By 10 Best List: A Division of USA TODAY Travel
Restaurant Reviews

10 Best Insider Tips Says…

Yes, the Tarpon Lodge is “a nice piece” away from Fort Myers, but passing up a chance to enjoy a meal at this acclaimed dining room should be nothing short of illegal. Bronzed Gulf shrimp, bruschetta and blackened “fish bites” help start the meal in the right direction, preparing the palate for the fine things yet to come. How fine? Try these on for size: pork chop with mango chutney, veal picatta, filet mignon with béarnaise or even Pine Island Sound crab cakes. In addition to the outstanding fare, the Tarpon also delivers spectacular views of the water, especially at sunset.

by local expert Rachael Taft ©

In The Kitchen: Chef Albert at Tarpon Lodge

Posted on June 20, 2013
By Special to
Restaurant Reviews

Albert Keijl lives in Cape Coral and is a father of four. He has worked at Tarpon Lodge for a year and a half. The restaurant opened to the public in 2000 at 13771 Waterfront Drive, Bokeelia; 283-3999 or

    • Age: 37
    • Birthplace: Oldebroek, Netherlands
    • Culinary training: Four years of chef’s training in the Netherlands; three years of special training for talented chefs in the Netherlands; special training for cold kitchen, warm kitchen, pastry and advanced pastry in Netherlands
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    Go Fishing at Pine Island

    Posted on February 16, 2013
    By Florida Travel & Life
    Cabbage Key, Fishing, Restaurant Reviews

    The Weekend: Go Fishing at Pine Island
 Pine Island may not have a single beach, but you’ll hardly notice while napping on a hammock or fishing along the 17-mile island’s coast.

    Start Here: An old-school fishing lodge with upscale trimmings, Tarpon Lodge provides comfort; we love the island house, a building on stilts with views of Pine Island Sound. (You’re so close that the waves will lull you to sleep.) Get fortified with a complimentary continental breakfast at the 1926-built historic lodge building before heading out for the day.

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    Thanksgiving Weekend Redfish a Worthy Feast!

    Posted on December 26, 2012
    By Florida Sportsman
    Fishing, Restaurant Reviews

    Twas the day after Thanksgiving, so we gave the turkeys a break and invited these twin 24-inch redfish in to a four-star dinner at the Tarpon Lodge and Restaurant on Pine Island.

    From boat to table in two hours, the reds somehow equaled the previous day’s holiday feast in the opinions of Ralph Hudson and me and wives Kay and Sheila.

    Capt. Erik Flett had orchestrated the capture of the redfish along a mangrove shoreline a mile south of the Tarpon Lodge.

    Tarpon Lodge Featured on CNN Travel: Top 10 coastal inns

    Posted on December 30, 2011
    By Jeff Book, CNN Travel (Coastal Living)
    Pine Island, Recreation, Restaurant Reviews, Tarpon Lodge Reviews

    Plan a weekend getaway to one of these coastal inns for inviting accommodations, great food and plenty to keep you busy. Or, just kick up your feet and relax!

    Tarpon Lodge

    Tarpon Lodge offers waterside accommodations in the original 1926 inn and auxillary buildings, plus fishing and boating day trips with osprey, egret and dolphin sightings; 239/283-3999.

    Eat: The Tarpon serves always fresh (never frozen!) fish and outstanding blue crab-and-roasted corn chowder. Bert’s Bar & Grill in Matlacha, an islet towards the mainland, features tasty seafood, live music and dockside dining.

    Do: Hike the Calusa Heritage Trail that winds among ancient shell mounds and the remnants of an impressive cross-island canal built by the Calusa Indians. Or, rent beach cruisers from Pine Island Cycles; 239/560-0320; or vessels from Gulf Coast Kayak to paddle the area’s placid inlets.

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