In the heart of downtown Cape Coral, there is a restaurant that is right on the main thoroughfare of Cape Coral Parkway, yet, when you walk in, is a quiet haven in which to relax and enjoy a wonderful meal.
Wine and Roses owners' Jeffrey Radke and his mother, Audrey Lane, have a winner with their restaurant. This mother-and- son team shows that family love can be passed on through the food.
Jeffrey Radke shares his background: "We got into the business when we first came down in early '80s. I was the general manager for 12 years of a restaurant on Sanibel and had my mother come in and help with the front of the house. My mother has been in the restaurant business long before I started so it comes naturally.
Shiela Day, owner Jeff Radke, owner Audry Lane and Frank Mensonides.
Carol Orr Hartman
"We became a perfect business fit to run the restaurant. Eventually, the owner wanted to get out and offered to sell to me and my mother and I bought it and owned if for 11 years after that. Learning by trial and error in restaurants for 30 years, I saw what worked and didn't work.
"I have lived in Cape Coral on and off since the early '80s and wanted to bring a nice, finer dining restaurant into Cape Coral for Italian dining. We looked for over a year to find the perfect location and this one came available and we bought it. After a year of remodeling to the tune of $500,000, we opened six years ago. "
The atmosphere when you enter Wine and Roses is comfortable and intimate. There is a warm feeling when you walk in and are greeted by Audrey Lane. If you want to sit at the bar and have a cocktail, you can have the bartender make you a specialty drink or an old standard.
According to Radke, "We have a great martini list. Top sellers are the classical martinis but Snickers and Boston Crme are fun and tasty. We also infuse our own vodka (strawberry, peach, apple, etc.)."
You will also have a hard time deciding which of the 89 different types of wine you wish to try with your meal but they are carefully chosen and represent a wide variety from all over the world ask Frank for a suggestion.
The menu is large with traditional Italian favorites and some with Radke's twist that will satisfy any craving.
There are 11 appetizers from which to choose. Top choices, according to Radke, are the Crabby Mushrooms (mushroom caps overflowing with crabmeat stuffing and a touch of cream cheese, then topped with a canopy of melted provolone cheese) or Fire Shrimp (lightly deep fried with a sweet and spicy mayo sauce on a bed of lettuce).
Wings, yes wings, are also offered! From hot to mild with everything in between, it is a nice switch from regular appetizers.
Dinner soups are very hearty and are classic Italian dishes translated to soups. There are three to choose from and you can add shrimp, chicken, sausage or meatballs if you desire. The Signature Seafood Chowder is chock full with mussels, clams, shrimp and whitefish in creamy, rich, white New England chowder.
Or choose a hearty traditional Minestrone or a spicy Roasted Pepper Bisque (rich bisque with roasted red pepper and smoked Gouda cheese).
There are eight different salads. Choose from the traditional antipasti (marinated Italian feast of artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives, onions, pepperoncini peppers, feta, mozzarella, pepperoni, and salami served on a bed of crisp lettuce) or the unusual but very popular Raspberry Walnut Delight (strawberries, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, roasted walnuts and blue cheese tossed with fresh greens in a raspberry vinaigrette optional add-ins are shrimp or chicken breast).
And now on to the pasta. Entrees include a choice of 10 signature pasta dishes. Popular are the Spaghetti Aurora (sauted shrimp with shallots, garlic, white wine, fresh tomatoes and a touch of cream) and Seafood Cannelloni (lobster, crab and scallops with marinara or Alfredo sauce).
For those who like the classic Italian dishes, choose between the lasagna Bolognese or spaghetti with sauce. You also can add shrimp, chicken, sausage, or meatballs.
The parmigiana family is not overlooked. Choose among five different family members for a memorable experience. Most popular are the chicken or veal parmigiana.
Six chicken dishes are offered that include potato and vegetable of the day or served with a bed of pasta. Favorites are Petto de Pollo al Masala (chicken sauted with mushrooms, shallots and a masala wine) and Chicken Francese (dipped in egg, sauted in lemon butter and white wine).
Seafood lovers have five choices offered with potato and vegetable of the day with a bed of pasta. Popular dishes from this menu are Grouper Livornese (fresh tomatoes, capers, black olives, basil, garlic and white wine) and Seafood Scampi (scallops, shrimp, mussels and white fish sauted with shallots, garlic, tomato, basil, white wine and a touch of marinara and served with linguini).
The traditional Italian veal is offered in five different ways and includes a potato and vegetable of the day or with a bed of pasta.
Not surprisingly, Veal Oscar (tender sauted veal topped with fresh asparagus, crab meat and hollandaise sauce) and Veal Francese (veal scaloppini dipped in egg, sauted in lemon butter and white wine) bring in the top votes.
Craving beef? Try a wonderful Rib Eye Steak of Genuine Black Angus Prime Rib Roast or the Bar-B-Que Ribs, a full rack of tender slow roasted ribs.
Pizza, pizza, pizza. Have a signature pizza from one of four choices, or choose one of three standard pizzas, each with a unique Wine and Roses touch. The Greek (white pizza with spinach, sliced tomatoes and feta cheese) and the Caprese, (sliced tomatoes, fresh basil in a pool of ricotta cheese).
House pizzas and calzones are available with your choice of 25 toppings from which to choose, and you can add shrimp or scallops if you desire. There are two sizes of calzones the "baby" is a 14 inch pizza crust folded over and "big one" is an 18 inches pizza crust folded over.
Wine and Roses Signature Supreme Special pizza includes nine toppings; most restaurants include 5-6. The Buffalo (white pizza with buffalo chicken and blue cheese) and the Greek (white pizza with spinach, sliced tomatoes and feta cheese) are the most requested.
Desserts are certainly not overlooked. Top sellers are homemade tiramisu and chocolate malted caramel pie.
After a scrumptious meal try a double espresso, cappuccino or latte with a piece of homemade tiramisu, spumoni, cannoli, chocolate malted caramel pie or homemade bread pudding. The icing on the cake of a perfect evening!
There also is a nice lunch menu at very reasonable prices, served from 11 4 p.m. If you want to order from the dinner menu at lunch, you have that option.
There are two different gourmet wraps. The pressed turkey, spinach and artichoke is the most popular (turkey, spinach and artichoke spread, caramelized onions and fontina cheese, grilled with blackened seasoning).
In the mood for a sub? There are seven choices, with the Chicken Parmesan being the most popular.
Half-pound burgers are offered with lettuce, tomato, onions and French fries with a choice of 11 cheeses and toppings.
Fried food addicts take note. There are four different choices of baskets pulled BBQ pork sandwich, fried fish sandwich, fried shrimp and fried fish.
There are seven different kinds of pastas on the lunch menu, served in smaller portions than the dinner menu. Favorites are the Angel Hair Caprese (fresh tomatoes sauted with garlic, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella) or the Chicken Fettuccini (creamy, fresh sauted and "so Italian").
Many are surprised to learn that Wine and Roses has one of the very few banquet rooms in Cape Coral that can hold up to 75 people comfortably. Radke says that they have done everything from wedding rehearsals to baby showers in the banquet room.
Wine and Roses also caters. According to Radke, "We can serve it here or bring it to your home from silverware and napkins to just dropping off food totally customized. We can do anything from step one to step three. We do everything custom for the clients every party is custom you get what you want and what you can pay for and we don't add items in that cost extra or you have to take because they are included. "
Radke closes with "I want people to know that it is a nice, quiet restaurant, good food, good prices and good atmosphere. Most people driving by think it is a pizza place but once they come in they are sold on the dcor and food land realize that it is not a pizza place, but a place in Cape Coral for fine Italian dining."
Wine and Roses is at 1404 Cape Coral Pkwy E,
Dine In, Take Out & Delivery
Monday - Saturday 11a.m.-10 p.m.
Sun 11a.m.-9 p.m