An Argentinian/Italian steakhouse right on the Caloosahatchee River has quickly earned a name for itself for its fine food and great ambiance.
Che Tito's, at 13101 N. Cleveland Ave., opened at the beginning of the year to rave reviews from people who didn't want to wait an hour to dine downtown.
What they found was a gem where the old Lenny C's Pizzeria used to be, serving Argentinian and Italian favorites.
Tony Varando, manager of Che Tito, shows off their impressive wine collection at the grand opening of Che Titio at 13101 N. Cleveland Ave.
Che Tito's was the dream of Tito Varando, whose brother, Tony, is the manager. The word "Che" is Argentinian for "Hey," a way to call someone.
Che Tito's started in the Kendall section of Miami in 1995, shortly after the family migrated from Argentina. The Miami location is still in business today.
Tito moved to Cape Coral in 2010 with his family because he liked the peace and quiet of the area as opposed to Miami.
"It was very safe for the kids. We decided this would be a great area to open an Argentinian restaurant. I started looking for a place three years ago," Varando said.
Varando's nephew worked to broker a deal with the owner of the place, and finally succeeded last fall.
The place looks immaculate, with wine lining the walls of the establishment and a wine cabinet in the back. The walls, floors and kitchen were refurbished, and a new air conditioner installed. There are also numerous televisions for people to watch soccer or whatever international sporting event is on.
Che Tito's opened Jan. 14 with many of the same dishes the Miami location offers. It proved the perfect time to start. Dinnertime has been very successful, and the lunch crowd has been solid, though they may stop serving lunch as summer approaches.
The North Fort Myers Civic Association, with County Commissioner Brian Hamman, held an official grand opening celebration on March 17.
Varando said he's not worried about "off-season," as many of their target customers tend to live here year round.
"We're trying to get the local people, especially the Latin people, who know where to get food," Varando said. "They come and bring their families and come later than American people."
Empanadas and salads are among the favorite appetizers, along with sandwiches with an Italian flair such as veal and chicken parmesan. There are also pasta dishes and homemade sauces.
But the specialty is the Parrillada para dos, or the BBQ for two. It features sausage, short ribs, flap meat, a quarter chicken and sweetbreads served on a little grill to keep it hot. That is among the numerous beef offerings.
Most of the reviews have been positive and, if the restaurant gets a less-than-stellar notice, Varando said it is a learning experience as it helps them fix the little things.
"Many people are happy we've opened a place like this. There were some places like this that closed, but we're trying hard to stay," Varando said.
Che Tito's is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 4:30 to 9 p.m.
For more information, call 997-2644 or go to chetitos.net.