Suite Life Magazine
The Twisted Lobster The Twisted Lobster
Bodo Knoche and his son, Norman, admit they don’t know their way around a kitchen However, they do know their way around the world... The Twisted Lobster

Bodo Knoche and his son, Norman, admit they don’t know their way around a kitchen However, they do know their way around the world and the restaurant business As owners of The Twisted Lobster Seafood Grille in Cape Coral, the father-and-son team has put their unique qualifications to good use

“Neither one of us cooks,” says Norman Knoche “We like to eat and we travel a lot My father has been to more than 60 countries and I’ve been to 40 We’ve seen what makes restaurants successful and what makes them stand out ” The family has also owned a handful of other Cape Coral restaurants over the years, including China Wok, Lafayette Gourmet Seafood Restaurant, Mr Pasta Italian Buffet and Bodo’s Seafood Grill They opened The Twisted Lobster in March

The Knoches believe that their insights and experience will help their latest endeavor succeed at a location where others have not Located on Del Prado Boulevard, just north of the Wal- Mart Supercenter, The Twisted Lobster looks more like a local diner than a place that would serve filet mignon, crème brulee or even lobster, for that matter But don’t let appearances fool you Beyond its modest façade and quaint nautical décor is a first-class establishment with a surprisingly upscale flair

Regular patrons of The Twisted Lobster will attest that it delivers on its promise of fresh New England seafood “with a twist, as well as some international flavors,” says Knoche, who designed the menu alongside his father Although a couple of entrees are only available after 4 p m , the lunch and dinner menus are the same “Our focus is to be different and also consistent, so that diners can expect today’s meal will taste just as flavorful the next time they order it,” Knoche adds

Head chef Steven Worth ensures that the menu lives up to the restaurant’s “Fresh, Flavorful, Unforgettable” slogan The Florida native is extremely familiar with local seafood and has extensive experience preparing it He is also happy to accommodate special orders and will customize dishes upon request “As long as we have the ingredients, we can make whatever you want ”

Worth says freshness is the key to creating savory seafood dishes Although off-the-boat fresh seafood is easy to come by at local docks, lobster and other cold-water seafood must be flown in from New England He estimates the restaurant serves about 150 pounds of lobster each week In addition to the fairly straightforward twin twisted Lobster tails (grilled or broiled), there are numerous other signature creations including lobster rolls, bisque, and mac and cheese

It’s easy to see why the twisted Lobster Mac & cheese is among the restaurant’s most popular dishes Made with rotini pasta, lots of creamy cheese and sizeable chunks of lobster, the dish is topped with buttery breadcrumbs and baked to perfection It comes in single or double portions However, unless you’re feeding a family of four, the single portion is likely to suffice The twisted Lobster Bisque is another creamy crowd pleaser It hits all the right notes with just a hint of sherry and a consistency that is neither too thin nor too thick There’s also a new england clam chowda and Bodo’s twisted Fish soup (chock full of fish, shrimp, scallops and mussels)

Other best sellers include the new england style Fish & chips (made with beer-battered cod) and Whole- Belly clams Unlike fried clam strips, which the restaurant also serves, Twisted Lobster’s whole bellies are lightly coated and cooked to retain their juicy plumpness Knoche says that because these clams are such a rarity outside of coastal New England, whole belly afficionados “are so excited to get them locally They rave about the ones we serve ” Patrons also give rave reviews to the twisted scallops, a dish containing large sea scallops, pan seared in mushroom bacon butter and served with a sweet corn coulis

Other menu selections include a twisted Burger, Philly cheese steak (with rib-eye steak or chicken) and a chicken sandwich (frilled, fried or blackened) The sole steak selection is a prime cut Filet Mignon, which can paired with a lobster tail in the surf & turf Almost everything comes with one or more sides, which include French fries, cole slaw and other starches and veggies, as well as hush puppies

There’s also a Kid’s Meals section for diners 12 and under, with Fish Bites and several additional non-seafood selections, such as spaghetti & Meatballs In addition to non-alcoholic beverages, Twisted Lobster serves beer, wine and wine-based liquors (the Passion-Fruit Mojito is quite popular and as tasty as its full-strength counterpart)

Diners of all ages will appreciate the menu’s underlying focus on comfort food, including desserts such as the cheesecake spring roll (deep-fried yet creamy, served with ice cream, fresh strawberries and caramel drizzle), Pineapple upside Down cake, chocolate Molten Lava cake and Florida Key Lime crème Brulee They’ll also appreciate the affordable prices, which are in the $10-$20 range for entrees and baskets, and less than $10 for most sandwiches Kid’s meals are all $5 99

The diminutive restaurant seats 66 inside and another 24 outside, where there is a bar with TV and live music, typically on the weekends During the week, there are different daily specials such as half-priced appetizers and discounts for locals

Customer feedback is strongly encouraged and The Twisted Lobster Report Card makes it easy for patrons to rate the quality of their dining experience The cards are read nightly so that if something’s amiss with the food or service, the staff can make immediate adjustments “We take those comments to heart,” says Knoche “We want everyone to have a positive experience ”

(The Twisted Lobster is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. — 9 p.m. It is located at 1341 Del Prado Boulevard, S. in Cape Coral, three blocks north of Wal-Mart. Reservations accepted. Take-out is available for pick-up or GrubCab delivery. For more information: 239-800-2879; www.TwistedLobster. com; or