2017-01-04 / Cuisine

Flavors of the world come together at Sanibel’s new Pasture & Pearl

A former Sanibel art gallery has been transformed into a stylish establishment in which food is being artfully crafted with imagination and flair.

Pasture & Pearl, which opened on Christmas Eve, reflects the experiences of the well-traveled owners, Executive Chef Elaine Dammeyer and her husband, General Manager Christian Jego.

The couple have lived and traveled in Europe and Asia as well as various parts of the United States and have gathered the flavors of those regions at their Periwinkle Way restaurant. They combine those with a commitment to sustainably sourced, organic and seasonal ingredients.

“We are using as many local products as we can get our hands on,” says Ms. Dammeyer, a professional chef for 30 years. “What isn’t local is organic or sustainable, including sustainably caught fish, naturally raised meats, and other high-quality proteins. A substantial portion of menu is meatless options, some vegetarian, some vegan. We definitely aim to please, whether you’re eating primarily a plant-based diet or want to splurge for a special occasion with one of our great steaks from White Oak Pastures (a 150-year-old multi-generational farm in Southwest Georgia).”

Above: The building that houses Pasture & Pearl was formerly an art gallery. Right: Elaine Dammeyer and Christian Jego are the owners of the newly opened Pasture & Pearl on Sanibel Island. Above: The building that houses Pasture & Pearl was formerly an art gallery. Right: Elaine Dammeyer and Christian Jego are the owners of the newly opened Pasture & Pearl on Sanibel Island. She calls their concept “elevated dining,” rather than fine dining. “It has an elegant feel, typical Sanibel architecture a peaked roof, open spaces and original hardwood floors,” she says.

While the tables are dressed in white tablecloths and napkins, crystal and fine flatware, guests are welcome to dine in casual attire. The restaurant also features the colorful work by local artist Lacy McClary.

COURTESY PHOTOS COURTESY PHOTOS The menu will change seasonally but right now a sampling includes gochujang chicken skewers with ginger-scallion sauce and kimchee; beets au poivre with bitter greens, Bleu d’Auvergne and walnut vinaigrette; winter vegetable tagine with preserved lemon couscous; pan-seared jumbo sea scallops with bourbon-caramelized apples and crème fraiche potato puree; crispy-skinned duck breast with Thai flavors; and roasted rack of lamb with harissa-spice crust.

Ms. Dammeyer also makes the desserts, such as coconut cream and passion fruit tartlette with key lime curd, dark chocolate panna cotta with pistachio crème Anglaise and all the ice creams and sorbets.

Beer and wine are available and sommelier Kory Lyn is on hand to guide customers through the options, which will be primarily, but not exclusively, French.

“It’s a diverse portfolio,” he says, “some exclusive to us. We will have the best champagnes and sparkling wines from all over the world, wines with personality but that are farmed and produced with the kind of biodynamic principles that put energy and depth in to wines.”

He says the approach will be the same as that of the menu: “honesty and transparency” and that many of the wines will be moderately priced.

There are some wine-based cocktails available as well.

For now, the restaurant is open 5-9 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday (closed Wednesday). It will start serving lunch and weekend brunch in mid-January.

Pasture & Pearl is at 2340 Periwinkle Way. Call 810-5514 for reservations. Visit raffinehospitality.com for details.

Pei Wei opens second south Lee county location

The Pan-Asian fast-casual restaurant, Pei Wei, has opened a branch in Estero at Coconut Trace, 22909 Lynden Drive. The restaurant features made-to-order dishes using quality ingredients showcased in an open kitchen, serving lunch, dinner and in-between snacks.

A ribbon cutting will take place at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10. The grand opening celebration is scheduled for 2-6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, and will include prizes, T-shirt and card giveaways, free food samples and a chance to win a free Pei Wei entrée a week for 52 weeks.

“Our ‘flavor with purpose’ mission is gathering momentum in Southern Florida,” says Pei Wei Chief Marketing Officer Clay Dover. “We look forward to serving the Estero community and becoming a go-to dining choice for those looking for flavorful foods that offer nutritional benefits to fit their active lifestyles.”

A Pei Wei opened a couple of weeks earlier across from Gulf Coast Town Center .

The menu reflects the company’s belief that eating well is at the center of a well-balanced life. To that end, it offers options such as quinoa and edamame hummus, noodle, rice and salad bowls, small plates, hand-rolled sushi and more.

View the complete menu at peiwei.com or on the new Pei Wei mobile app, on which you can also place order and view your My Wei Rewards account.

Purple Spoon in Bonita begins lunch service

Chef Kristina San Filippo is broadening the reasons for people to stop by her Purple Spoon Culinary Hub: lunch service. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, the Purple Spoon will offer prepared foods for a casual sit-down lunch you can enjoy with a glass of wine or juice.

Among the prepared foods available for purchase are pecan and roasted eggplant dip; roasted kabocha squash soup with spiced sweet onions; wild and brown rice with papaya and purple radish; braised bison soup with mahogany rice, amara mustard greens, carrots and pomegranate. These can be picked up for an easy at-home dinner.

Visit chefkristina.com for a full list of classes, wine dinners and other activities taking place at the Purple Spoon, which is at 25151 Chamber of Commerce Drive, Bonita Springs. Call 908-3842.

Quick bites

¦ Yellowfin Sushi & Sake Bar has opened in the space formerly occupied by Sans Sushi at 1306 Cape Coral Parkway E., Cape Coral.

¦ Pine Island has its own sushi restaurant as well since Hideaway Grill & Sushi Bar opened at 7573 Raymary St., Bokeelia, in early December.

¦ The weekly farmers market at JetBlue Park at Fenway South returns Monday, Jan. 9, and runs through March 27 at 11500 Fenway South Drive in Fort Myers. The market runs 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and will include local produce, cheeses, fresh pastas, seafood, meats, breads, ready-to-eat meals, plants, flowers and more. ¦

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