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“A fine dining experience”

Mad Hatter Restaurant
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $24 - $45
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Scenic view, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed August 23, 2014

The decor was very interesting-based on the Alice in wonderland book. Parking was limited and we had to wait for someone to leave to get a spot. We were seated at a window table right at sunset. ALL of the food was excellent. For appetizers we had he watermelon salad and beet salad. Our entrée was the crab cake dinner and short ribs. I highly recommend dining here. We had a 13 year old, a 5 month old and a 3 year old in our party and we found the place to be family friendly but then again our children were well behaved and loved their food.

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1  Thank originalkeithb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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695 - 699 of 1,381 reviews

Reviewed August 23, 2014 via mobile

My wife and I stopped in for dinner on a Tuesday night during the August off season. The restaurant was busy but there was no wait. We ordered the appetizer special which was fried grouper cheeks and the black grouper and crab cake entrees. The grouper cheeks were okay but generally tasted like a basic fried fish. The black grouper and crab cakes were both very good. Overall it was one of the best meals while on the island where all the menus seem similar.

1  Thank Mubbub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2014

My wife and I dined at the Mad Hatter this past Sunday celebrating our 35th Wedding Anniversary. We arrived a bit after 7 PM and were happy to see that is was quite busy for off-season - a sign of good food and service. We were shown to a nice table at the window which afforded a great view of the water and sunset. Our server Heather was outstanding; friendly, skilled and professional. She greeted us, explained the specials of the evening, took our drink order - generally making us feel welcome and confident that we would be receiving first class attention. We were treated to an amuse bouche of crab claw - excellent. Our champagne arrived and our server kept it on ice for us. My wife ordered the crab cake appetizer, the duck salad and the special lobster tail dinner. I chose the country pate, the beet salad and the special filet and foie gras dinner. Every course was top notch. All cooked perfectly and delicious. For dessert we shared the cheese cake and berries. It arrived with a candle in honor of our anniversary. Thank you all for a great evening and our sincere compliments to the chef and kitchen staff, owners and wait staff.

The negative was other diners. Seated at a nearby table was a family - grandparents, young parents and a toddler who cried and fussed; not really conducive to a romantic adult evening. We were happy when the family with the fussy toddler finally got the hint and took the child outside sparing us the annoyance. We also noticed that there appeared to be no dress code - most of the women nicely dressed but men in shorts, sneakers and t-shirts. It was a bit off-putting but perhaps a sign of the times - no real dining etiquette required anymore if you can afford the price (we're probably showing our age); a shame especially when spending $200 plus for a couple. We noticed other negative behaviors from other diners throughout the evening - checking smart phones, kids playing cards, teens texting, etc. None of this the fault of the restaurant - just a general decline in dining manners.

We highly recommend the Mad Hatter for its superb food and first class service. Hopefully when you dine there the other diners will be a bit classier.

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4  Thank Larry K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2014

Two twenty-something’s came here after watching the breath-taking sunset at The Mucky Duck. Came rather late and off-season so did not need a reservation (otherwise I’m sure you would).

Ambiance: Alice and Wonderland themed inside (cool paintings, not tacky. Well, maybe a little tacky). Trendy yet elegant vibe inside this unique space (think cottage meets beach bungalow). Service was impeccable, friendly, knowledgeable. A bit pricey, but this was fine dining, not just for an island, but anywhere. I wore shorts and felt a little silly. My lady date was in a long dress and did not look over-dressed. This is perhaps the “fanciest” restaurant on Sanibel.

Food: Portuguese oysters (roasted gulf oysters with chorizo, herb butter, and corn. Rare filet and seared fois gras was EXCELLENT and perfectly prepared (this was a daily special). Crab cakes left a bit to be desired (not too crabby, the breading wasn’t anything special), though the coconut risotto it was served with was delicious.

Did not drink or order desert so can’t comment on the wine/desert; though both looked delicious.

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2  Thank Daniel D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2014

awesome food , extensive wine list and great service. I know many people that are going to the Madhatter and they all love it.

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Thank Sanibel L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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