What Does Sundial Beach Resort & Spa’s Restaurants Offer?

DATE: May 29, 2015

The 17th century English poet John Milton, with his failing eyesight, supposedly dictated his grand epic “Paradise Lost” to one of his wide-eyed and likely horrified daughters. With his sweeping poetic verse, the man known for his “peculiar power to astonish” sketched the backside of the universe that “would encompass all space and time.”

But as some of his critics would say, Milton had it wrong.

While we at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa decline to take a position on Milton’s literary merits, we can say pretty emphatically “Paradise Lost” ain’t lost at all.

Finding Peace in the Midst at Sundial

It’s here. On the serene edge of the Gulf of Mexico. On delicate Sanibel Island. As the warm and gentle winds of the Sunshine State remind visitors – sojourners here – that perhaps Milton’s lesser known work, “Paradise Regained,” is more emblematic of at least the culinary and exquisite condition of the human species. At least on this spot on the great planet.

Steeped in the finest amenities available, Sundial Beach Resort & Spa offers guests three dining options: The Sea Breeze Café, Turtle’s Pool & Beach Bar and Slice of Paradice pizza and ice cream shop.

Chef Criss Works Culinary Wonders

At the head of it all is one chef Criss Menassa. She knows her stuff. She knows how to whip up the wonder. This chef extraordinaire never misses a stroke. Not a dash, not a diddle, not a sprinkle, not a spray. Nada. Nary a sprig out of place.

For starters, Menassa refuses to work with the ordinary, the bland, the average. There’s no second best for this lady.

Her culinary (and, in some ways, life) philosophy: Fresh ingredients, wild-caught seafood, sustainable products, and local produce and seafood.  She knows what her customers want. And she knows what is at the core of fine dining. Good eating involves healthy eating, so she takes her cue from health-conscious diners who have become more vigilant about their food choices.

“In an effort to promote healthy oceans, we offer wild caught seafood, not only from Florida, but from all over the world. When it comes to specialty-farmed seafood, we know where ours comes from and what it’s fed… or more importantly, what it wasn’t fed!”


That’s how Menassa’s culinary team paints it. And there’s more.

“We proudly serve Harris Ranch Beef. Located in Central California, Harris Ranch has been under continuous family operation since the 1930s. They have built a uniquely integrated beef production system where cattle are sourced, fed and humanely processed exclusively by Harris Ranch. Few, if any, beef companies besides Harris Ranch can claim they control all aspects of production. Their pride is in raising pure, great-tasting beef, and it is our pride to serve it to you.”

Here’s what Menassa has to say: “If I must explain my philosophy on food, I would say that it is ingredient driven, seasonal with infinitely fresh sustainable products. I dislike complicated recipes and over the years have become much simpler in my approach to food. ‘Good food done well’ has been my mantra of late. I also deeply appreciate my heritage and roots in Mediterranean cuisine.

“Our desire is to supply ‘farm to fork’ food to our guests,” she said.

Looking for the finest experiences Florida has to offer?  Sundial Beach Resort & Spa celebrates the best things in life. For more information, call 239-395-6030.

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