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“Aptly named "Perfect Caper" does approach perfection”
Review of The Perfect Caper

The Perfect Caper
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Ranked #6 of 162 Restaurants in Punta Gorda
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $40 - $60
Cuisines: European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Nesbit St.
Port Charlotte, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Aptly named "Perfect Caper" does approach perfection”
Reviewed October 10, 2011

The Perfect Caper Restaurant
121 E. Marion Avenue
Punta Gorda

Located in what was the Arcade Mall on East Marion Avenue, the restaurant can be a challenge to find. Only a cloth sign on the street identifies its site. From the entrance, a long hallway leading to the dining areas is decorated with a number of reviews singing the praises of the owner chef and her cooking.

The dining room has subdued lighting which highlights the golden earth tones of the mercifully uncluttered walls. A triptych abstract painting with brighter colors covers one back wall. The bar is separated from the dining room by another wall and the kitchen is open on another. White linen tablecloths with black cloth napkins and lovely tableware indicate the upscale nature of The Perfect Caper.

Several of us opted for the seasonal two-course, twenty dollar prix fixe dinner. Of the six appetizers offered, he chose the Sweet and Spicy Calamari and she, the Perfect Caper Pate. While we waited, a staff member offered the freshly baked “Bread of the Day,” a focaccia with Kalamata olives and rosemary to dip in flavorful olive oil. Another brought a complimentary amuse-bouche, a delightful striped bass tartare on a crisp wonton wafer topped with a chili aioli. His flash-fried calamari were pleasingly crisp without a hint of oil, seasoned with a dollop of sweet and spicy chili sauce. Her chicken liver pate plate included an artistic display of fig and onion relish, pear chutney, huge capers, and French bread crisps. The creamy pate was reminiscent of the best that Paris has to offer. Our dining companions enjoyed the lush flavor of the Celeriac Soup, a prix fixe appetizer, and the pear and aged goat cheese with frisee salad from the regular menu.

The entrees on the prix fixe are a lighter version of their counterparts on the a la carte menu. She ordered Pan Seared Sea Scallops, two impeccably sauteed jumbo scallops finished with a brown butter pan sauce complimented by sweet baby spinach and exemplary mashed potatoes. The delicate flavor of his Mahi-Mahi was enhanced by an accompanying mango butter sauce, wonderful toasted coconut Basmati rice, and intensely green haricots verts. Others at the table praised the Buttermilk Chicken and the New York Strip Steak, the latter served with a paper cone of matchstick French fries.

Desserts were outstanding from a simple coupe of raspberries garnished with a rich Cointreau cream ($9) to a special of a comforting Pear Tarte Tatin with mascarpone ice cream ($10). What is truly unique is that all the desserts, even the wickedly delicious Coconut Sorbet ($8) are made on the premises. The most spectacular dessert of the evening was the Gingerbread Ice Cream Sandwich($9), two triangles of gingerbread filled with dulce de leche ice cream crowned with a filigree of caramelized sugar.

What distinguishes a great restaurant from a good restaurant is attention to detail: a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds on a salad, the play of colors on the plate, homemade biscotti and cookies with some desserts, and the unfailing attentiveness of the staff (not to mention an award-winning chef). Even the presentation of the check was softened by the gift of the chef’s peanut butter chocolates. The Perfect Caper is not only the perfect place to mark an occasion; the twenty dollar prix fixe menu allows any evening to become truly extraordinary.

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Elaine and Alvi... L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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508 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    340
    92
    37
    22
    17
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“The quality is always great and the selection is diverse.”
Reviewed October 6, 2011

If you are looking for a place to celebrate or just enjoy a relaxing evening out while visiting Punta Gorda, FL then you will want to make a reservation for dinner at The Perfect Caper. We are fortunate to have a nationally renown chef who has chosen our great place of paradise to create her spectacular dishes! You will not be disappointed and save room for her fabulous warm chocolate bread pudding.
The staff is friendly and wants to please.

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Joyce411
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worthington, Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
184 reviews
161 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“This is a great place”
Reviewed September 18, 2011

We really enjoyed our visit to the Caper our callimari appetizer was spicy and good. Our entre was the rack of lamb. It was done perfectly and delicious. Our server, Zalmon was helpful, attentive and very polite.

  • Visited September 2011
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Steve7373
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andover, NJ
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Gourmet food, priced right in an elegant and friendly atmosphere. Our #1.”
Reviewed September 12, 2011

Perfect Caper has always been our favorite restaurant. My wife and I agree that it's one of the best things about visiting the Gulf Coast of Florida. The house chop salad is always fresh and tasty. The lobster macaroni and cheese is in a class of it's own. Any and all of the entrees are delicious. Also, the bar is very lively and the happy hour is a great deal. Plus you can eat at the bar (or one of the bar tables) if the restaurant is full. I would recommend reservations, even on the same day.

  • Visited May 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank marklpc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Punta Gorda, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Do Your Homework Before You Go - Skip It IF the Chef's Not There”
Reviewed September 9, 2011

We've been to this restaurant several times within the last year. Service and preparation has been inconsistent lately. The calamari, pate and lobster mac and cheese has never disappointed us. However, we were surprised by the amuse bouche (salmon tartar is the standard we've been served on every visit). It has been excellent in the past but during our last visit the salmon had a fishy taste and didn't taste fresh at all. The steamed mussels in a creamy leak sauce were very bland. Although the presentation was lovely the pan seared sea scallops entree wasn't great. The scallops were small and unremarkable. Mahi mahi is no longer available and been replaced with a cod dish which was flavorless. The dessert presentation was lovely as always. However, we found the gingerbread ice cream sandwich to be flavorful but the gingerbread was overbaked and quite dry. The creme brulee was a better choice. We hope that the chef will pay more attention to the kitchen preparation and once again deliver food that tastes as good as it looks. We were disappointed, unimpressed for the first time.. We haven't completely written this restaurant off but will find out if the chef is in the actually working in kitchen before we return.

  • Visited September 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Susan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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