Suite Life Magazine
The Lake House Kitchen & Bar The Lake House Kitchen & Bar
    The Lake House Kitchen & Bar is one of the best off the beaten path din­ing destinations in Southwest Florida. It’s located... The Lake House Kitchen & Bar



The Lake House Kitchen & Bar is one of the best off the beaten path din­ing destinations in Southwest Florida. It’s located at Bab­cock Ranch in Punta Gorda. July marks three years since Tyler McClosky and Daniel Kearns II opened The Lake House on the shores of Lake Babcock.

“There are some miscon­ceptions about dining here,” McClosky says about The Lake House. “It’s not exclu­sively for residents of Babcock Ranch. It is a dining destina­tion for everyone.”

And a destination it is. An inland, waterfront restaurant on a rural, but well-traveled, stretch of State Road 31, The Lake House is a perfect spot to stop for food and drink whether on a business or road trip, or out for a Sunday drive.

The cuisine is modern American style, and there is something on the menu for almost any palate and every diet. That in­cludes gluten free and plant-based diners.

The kitchen is fresh, not a freezer to frier variety. The rural location makes for a good spot to source locally grown, harvested, and produced goods.

The Gator Bites are a prime exam­ple. The Lake House is famous for this shareable appetizer. The meat from local alligator is marinated in buttermilk for 24 hours. Next, it is cut into meaty chunks, lightly breaded, and fried until golden. The bites are drizzled with a house made remoulade. You can also add garlic aioli or barbeque sauce for dipping.

“Everyone loves it,” McClosky says about the Gator Bites. “They say it’s different from those served in any other restaurant.”

A favorite entrée is the Loaded Dirty Pineapple. It’s also one of the most photographed for social media gurus. A whole pineapple is cut lengthwise, grilled and stuffed with yellow rice and black beans. You can enjoy it as is or add protein, such as chicken, steak, shrimp, salmon, mahi mahi and grouper.

Almost every seat in the Lake House has a view of the 300-acre Lake Babcock. It’s the only full-service restaurant in the area. The vibe is nautical and casual. As you might suspect, there are numerous seafood dishes on the menu, like ceviche, shrimp and salmon.

But that is not all. You’ll find a variety of meats too.

Diners rave about The Lake House burgers for both quality and value. They are a thick and juicy half-pound beef patty, expertly cooked to your liking. Get a classic burger with a signature Lake House sauce, or if you’re really hungry, go for the Barn Yard. It’s loaded with BBQ pulled chicken, bacon, and cheeses.

One of the most unique is the PBJ Burger. It really does have peanut but­ter and jelly on the bun and is stacked with bacon, jalapeno, pepper jack cheese and more – it’s decadent and delicious. Gluten-free buns are available for all burgers and sandwiches.

The menu also features an Impossible Burger for veg­etarians and plant-based din­ers. Similar offerings include General Tao’s Tofu Bowl that is also gluten free. Portabella mushrooms and toasted tan­doori crust serve as the base for Vegetarian Flatbread. They are topped with vegetarian cheese, peppers and homemade marinara sauce.

On the lighter side, try the refreshing Cucumber and Watermelon Salad. It’s perfect for summer. The two main ingredients are accompanied by cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, arugula and dressed with raspberry vinaigrette.

That’s not all. There are several fresh salads at the Lake House, all of which can be enhanced with proteins from chicken to fish to steak tips.

Breakfast is served on Sunday morn­ings. Enjoy all the classics, like bacon, eggs, pancakes and French toast, as well as specialties, such as savory biscuits and sausage gravy, crispy chicken and waffles, and a big, zesty breakfast burrito, to name a few. Unlimited Mimosas and Bloody Marys are also offered.

The bar serves frosty beer, wine and craft cocktails with catchy names, such as the Canoe Flipper Margarita, which has a Grand Marnier floater. It is one of the most ordered drinks, along with the Espresso Martini, which is crafted with

cold brew coffee. The Babcock Diva is pink, a touch sweet and topped with a splash of champagne.

Wednesday is Ladies Night at The Lake House, with live music and free drinks for women when they dine in. Live music and entertainment are not reserved for Wednesday only. It contin­ues through the weekend as well.

There is always something new to discover here with special events, such as cigar nights, cornhole tournaments and more. Check The Lake House web­site for schedules and updates.

Dining is both indoors and outdoors. Choose a view of the lake or sit under the shade of oak trees on the deck fac­ing Babcock Ranch Founders Square. This is where you’ll find the stage for entertainment, as well as comfortable couches for lounging.

The area is well suited for parties and private events. In addition, the Bab­cock Ranch Club House can be rented for special engagements regardless of where you live.

Babcock Ranch is a fascinating place. The award-winning planned com­munity is completely powered by solar energy and The Lake House Kitchen & Bar is found in the hub of it all. It’s a perfect dining destination for a lazy afternoon, big celebration or business meeting.

The Lake House Kitchen & Bar is lo­cated in Babcock Ranch at 42860 Crescent Loop in Punta Gorda. The Lake House is open on Monday and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Private events and large groups can be accommodated. Catering is available. To get in touch, call 239-567- 7913 or visit