Food to love! That’s what you’ll enjoy at Sanibel’s Normandie Seaside Cafe at West Wind Inn.

The baked scallops appetizer bathed in sherry cream and topped with streusel-textured parmesan bread crumbs was my first clue. But the Mediterranean Clay Pot Grouper cinched it. The Kalamata olives. The capers. The whole cloves of mild, soft garlic. The plump mushrooms. The artichoke hearts and fingerling potatoes. The fennel-tinged roasted tomato sauce. The grouper! – so perfectly cooked to the very brink of doneness. 

The grouper dish is unequivocally the star of the new, brilliant dinner menu recently at the Normandie Seaside Café. Named for the famed French ocean liner, Normandie stands, in more ways than one, as the flagship restaurant at West Wind Inn, ‘Tween Waters Island Resort’s sister property on Sanibel Island.

While I went for the new, my husband stayed with one he has long loved: crab-stuffed snapper with lobster cream sauce. But there are other classic and new delights! The garlic mussels app, for instance, has evolved into a curry cream rendition. The pan-seared scallops entrée benefits from a tomato fennel sauce and chef’s evident know-how when it comes to cooking seafood to the proper degree.

Our scallops appetizer, another tweaked rendition, came with two gigantic scallops in a ramekin, baked to a lovely pink rareness. My husband didn’t exactly lick the bowl, but he did bread-sop up every last drop.

Besides the grouper dish, a beef tenderloin tips appetizer with caramelized onion, mushrooms, and brandy reduction; and a roasted half duck entrée glazed with raspberry and accompanied by sweet potato puree also make a first-time appearance on the menu.