1975 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda, FL, USA

The Discriminating Diner went on the road to Punta Gorda and came across a gem of a restaurant. They are not a hidden gem because they are right on 41 but to Lee County diners you may have never heard of them. Phil’s 41 Restaurant is certainly worth the trip!

We were warmly greeted by the hostess and taken to our table. The atmosphere is very warm and welcoming. They were decorated for Christmas as well. The dining room is fairly large and there is a separate room perfect for large groups or parties. While it is not closed off from main dining room it is separate enough to give your group privacy.

Our server was a real delight. She answered all our questions and checked on things for us. I have to say that when it comes to service, they worked together in such harmony. There was a system and that reflected in their professional service. Yet they made you feel comfortable and that they were there to make sure you have a great dining experience.

We started with some cocktails a Lemon Drop Martini and a Chocolate Martini. They have a skilled bartender because not everyone can make a good martini. Both were excellent.

We opted not to have an appetizer as the entrees come with choice of soup or salad. The soup of the day was a Tomato Bisque, but it was like none other that I have had. It had small diced tomatoes, onions and peppers in it. It was very hearty and full of flavor. My dining partner had the salad which was large for a side salad. Everything was crisp and fresh.

For entrees we chose the Prime Rib special and the Veal Francese. The prime rib was cooked perfectly, tender, and was a large portion. The baked potato was light and fluffy on the inside and the sautéed veggies were fresh and crisp. The veal just melted in your mouth and had perfectly balanced flavors.

For dessert we chose the Perogies and the Cannoli. The Perogies were filled with sweet cheese and I could only eat 3 of the 8 provided. When it comes to Cannoli it is all about the cream and is the shell crisp. Their Cannoli was excellent. The cream was delightful and the shell crisp.

Towards the end of the meal, the service kind of slacked off a bit. Our server was a real delight, but we could tell she was struggling a bit. Our meal was perfectly paced but the desserts and coffee took a while to be served. However, this did not detract from the experience. The only other recommendation is that the butters etc. are served in little plastic containers but using a dish and or glass cups would better fit the caliber of restaurant this is.

We were so impressed that we spoke with the owners to let them know how pleased we were. So when you find yourself in Punta Gorda or are looking to take a road trip for dinner, Give Phil’s 41 Restaurant a try. You will not be disappointed.

Overall rating: Above Average+

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