Doubly Delicious Dining
Trabue in Punta Gorda, Florida is where
Paris, France meets Cracker Florida. Chef Keith Meyers creates a
fascinating array of dishes where he combines the best of
traditional French style cuisine with Florida's local offerings.
A perfect example was our appetizer, the Mussels Provencal. It's
a true French dish but here the delicate mussels are topped with
gulf shrimp and flavored with tiny Florida cherry tomatoes
pieces with a hint of citrus and combined with a healthy serving
of mahi-mahi. The
mussels, shrimp and mahi-mahi come from nearby waters and the
tomatoes and citrus are Florida grown.
|Chef Meyers' Mussels Provencal
For the main course we enjoyed etouffee
made with gulf shrimp and stone ground grits with an andouille
type sausage. An unusual
dish for a French trained chef perhaps but Chef Meyers
explained, "I don't like to be boxed into one cuisine.
This is my take on French with a regional southern
Chef Meyers' take on such dishes is what
makes Trabou an exciting culinary destination. He combines the
best French techniques with his use of ingredients from local
farms and fisheries as much as possible.
Chef Meyers learned his craft at the French
Culinary School in Manhattan. Then for eight years he honed his
craft in the Big Apple. He has been graded by some of the
biggies. Right out of culinary school he worked for a French
Bistro. He was shocked when Emeril Lagasse ordered a strip steak
medium and Martha Steward had her pork chop well-done. He worked
as sous-chef at a celebrity studded venue on Park Avenue in New
York called Lever House Restaurant, voted one of the top five
new restaurants in 2005.
|Chef Keith Meyers displays his
I asked if he had cooked from many
celebrities whole he was at Lever House Restaurant. He said "Robert De Niro ate there. A lot of New Yorkers are very
eccentric. They are not impressed by celebrities. But there was
one person that everyone could not stop looking at. That was
Dolly Parton. She was the nicest person. Really down home. A lot
of celebrities are too good to talk to ordinary people. Like
Robert De Niro. He wouldn't speak directly to his server. He
told his wife and she repeated the order to the server."
We finished off the evening with dessert, a
light caramel topped Tres Leche Cake. Not overbearing but
tasty. Just enough after the large meal.
|Interior of Trabue Restaurant
Trabue has a extensive wine list and a
complete cocktail bar with lots of very Florida drinks.
The setting fits the food. It has a split
personality. You have a choice of dining inside in a modern
setting. The vivid primary color scheme is enhanced by sparkling
blue-lit bar. The chandelier and the colorful art combine to
made the setting cozy and smart. The loft dining table looking
down on this scene is a perfect place for people watchers.
For a more relaxed,
romantic setting you can dine in an enchanted garden.
Colorful tables and chairs are ensconced in a fairy tale forest
entwined with tiny lights. This setting is timeless Florida at
Trabue takes its name from the original
founder of the city, Colonel Isaac Trabou. who founded the town
of Trabue In 1884. Later the town was renamed Punta Gorda.
|Enchanted Garden at Trabue
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