Café YOU

A Unique Coffee & Food Experience

It’s ON! Chef’s Dinner in May

We are happy to offer a Chefs’ Tasting Dinner in May! You won’t want to miss this extravagant menu. Join us for a truly unique dining experience…and JUST before we expand into the larger space!!!

Chefs Dinner - Aug 2017 - Scallops

Six-course Degustation

Grilled octopus salad, Calabrian chili sauce, edamame purée, pickled peaches

Agave roasted carrots and parsnips w/ asparagus pesto

Coconut poached king salmon with jasmine “risotto” and cashews

Huli-Huli braised short rib w/ sweet chili mango salsa

Brule Passion

Cheese Plate

$50 pp dinner only / $25 additional for wine pairing with each course

Make your reservations here!


Koala Report – Anzac Day & Anzac Bikkies

Today, millions of people across Australia, New Zealand and in many other places like Gallipoli in Turkey, in Hyde Park in London and in Villers Bretonneux in France, attended Anzac Day dawn services and parades. My husband and I are in Australia and attended one of hundreds of dawn services held across the country. We enjoyed the service which is held each year in the beautiful quadrangle at Sydney University, and then went downtown to watch the parade.

Anzac Day is Australia and New Zealand’s equivalent of Veterans Day. It’s a day of remembrance of those Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) soldiers who have fought and died for their country, and is marked annually on April 25, the anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign of the First World War.

While Anzac Day is set to coincide with the anniversary of the landing in Gallipoli, the day itself is not meant to be a commemoration of the event, but rather the qualities that Australia established for itself there. On Anzac Day, we recognise the courage, mateship, skill, and perseverance of those who have served, fought, and given their lives in the military. On Anzac Day, we show love, honour and support for those who fought to enable freedom for people all over the world. It’s a special day for Australians and the services and marches are very moving and meaningful.

Some ways Anzac Day is commemorated:

Dawn Service. The Dawn Service is one of the most revered and popular ceremonies that takes place on ANZAC Day. After the First World War, returned soldiers sought the comradeship they felt in those quiet, peaceful moments before dawn. With symbolic links to the dawn landing at Gallipoli, a dawn stand-to or dawn ceremony became a common form of Anzac Day remembrance.

The Last Post. Often heard at the Dawn Service and other memorials on Anzac Day. The Last Post is the tune that is played over a bugle to signify the end of the day, or the final post. The soldiers could then take their rest. At memorial services, this melody is played to suggest the last post as a metaphor. The soldiers who are being honoured can hear the tune and know that all duties have been completed, so he or she may finally rest in peace.
The Ode for the Fallen has been recited in Anzac ceremonies since 1919. “They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them. Lest we forget”.
A Period of Silence. Two minutes of silence is held at services and ceremonies as a time of reflection and a sign of respect.

Marches. Throughout the day, cities and towns host marches that feature veterans, members of The Returned & Services League and current service men and woman. Thousands of people gather to give their thanks and respect along the parade routes.

Rosemary is worn and Red Poppies are placed on war memorials as a symbol of remembrance on Anzac Day. Rosemary is a herb found growing wild on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Poppies grew wild in battlefield in Europe and it was a popular tale among soldiers that the flowers gained their bright red hue from the blood of the fallen.

Anzac Biscuits. These treats had a very practical beginning. During the First World War, the friends and families of soldiers would send care packages overseas. Since any food they could send had to be resistant to spoilage and full of nutrition, a biscuit made from rolled oats, sugar, flour, coconut, and a few other ingredients became a popular pastry to pack in boxes. To this day, Anzac biscuits are one of the few products approved to bear the Anzac acronym, which is protected by Federal legislation.

At Cafe YOU, we are observing and celebrating ANZAC Day with our wonderful Anzac Bikkies – $2.25 per cookie, or 5 for $10. Come and try one, you’ll be hooked!

It’s time to sign up for Kids’ Chef Camp!

Help your kids get excited about healthy cooking and eating!

Limit 8 participants per week

At Café YOU we make our food from scratch using fresh ingredients, organic wherever possible, and we do not deep fry anything.

Our cooking camps focus on nutrition and on getting kids, aged 12 and up, excited about healthy cooking and eating. Our camps are a great choice for kids who have an interest in cooking and also for those who need to learn to enjoy healthy, nutritious food. Children make soups, salads, appetizers, entrees and baked goods and our camp culminates with a dinner service all planned, prepared and served by camp participants.

Learning Skills: Children will learn about exotic ingredients and spices, food safety and preparation, knife skills, recipe building and a myriad of cooking techniques.

Counselor Certification: Camps are run by our chefs and restaurant staff so that the campers learn first hand from trained professionals.

Levels of Expertise: Campers of all cooking levels are encouraged to attend. From beginners to advanced cooks, everybody will learn something new.

Camp Schedule 2018

Cost includes morning and afternoon snack and lunch everyday. Camp is Monday through Friday, with a Friday night dinner made by your kids!

Week 1 June 25 – 29 Middle Eastern Food Focus – $199.00
Week 2 July 16 – 20 Spanish Food Focus – $199.00
Week 3 July 30 – August 3 French Food Focus – $199.00

Click here to see more photos from last summer’s camp, to learn more in detail and to download an application form. 


100% Organic, 100% Vegan ….. so Many Talents

Did you know …..

Café YOU will be at the Millenial Brewing Vegan Food Truck Event this Saturday

The Millenial Brewing Company is a hidden gem, located just on the outskirts of downtown Ft Myers at 1811 Royal Palm Ave. Its a really cool place and tomorrow  (Saturday, March 3) from 5 – 10 PM you will be able to enjoy a cold glass of Mellenial craft beer along with a spread of amazing vegan food. Come and say hello, we would love to see you there.

We are having a 100% Vegan, 100% Organic Chefs’ Tasting Dinner this month

On Saturday, March 24th we are changing things up a notch for our Chefs’ Tasting dinner and will be serving a 100% vegan & 100% organic tasting dinner. Even the wines we will be serving are made from organically grown grapes.  We have teamed up with the group and Healthy Harvest Community Farms from Lehigh to bring this special event to Cape Coral and we are going all out to impress and amaze you. We are already about 50% sold out so make your reservations asap by calling 239-600-0966 or booking on line at Make your reservations here

For event details and the full menu see Chefs’ Organic & Vegan Tasting Dinner – March 24, 2018 or check out the event on veganswfl’s facebook page

At Café YOU We Have So Many Talents

While you have come to expect the excellent customer service, cuisine and espresso drinks we have become known for, our café is actually staffed with experts in a wide range of fields.

wendy operaTake our manager, Wendy Reynolds. She has been a professional soprano with emphasis in opera since she finished her degree in piano performance and her Masters in composition. She has performed all over the country, has given lessons in voice and piano for 22 years, and her inspirational CD wings of healing is enjoyed the world over. Wendy also recently began painting murals! You can read more about her career, watch a live performance video, and see samples of her artwork at

kale signOur head barista, Kale Bernhard, makes a gorgeous (and yummy) latte, but she is also responsible for the beautiful hand-drawn signage around the café. She has taken her incredible lettering talent to other businesses in the area with her new company, The Fine Sign Co. You can explore her offerings and see unique samples at

Sandra headshot 01.pngSandra DeLaVega, one of our international servers (fluent in French, German, Spanish, English!), is not only a competition level tango dancer but she is also a certified Tai-Chi instructor. Sandra has taught for 20 years, including in various retirement communities from Cape Coral to Naples, and she is now offering a class at Fit n Fun in Cape Coral on Thursdays at 6:30pm (starting March 8th). One of her most popular classes takes place at Jaycee Park on Saturday mornings in the glorious morning breeze! To find out more and to register for classes, contact Sandra at 239-297-2559 or email her at

It’s amazing to have such a mix of talents and skills across the Café YOU team members, and really to embrace out-of-the-box thinking and contributions from them all. Come in and meet our outstanding staff – and see what more you discover.

Celebrating a special event this weekend?

or just want to enjoy an amazing fine dining experience. Join us for our monthly Chefs’ Tasting Dinner – a six-course gourmet extravaganza.

Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 7 pm. $49 pp for dinner. Add gorgeous wine pairings for $24 pp.

Call 239-600-0966 to make your reservation. Full Gluten Free and Vegan Menu.


Like Crab Cakes?

Chef Sam is making his famous crab cakes as tomorrow’s special. Friday, February 23, 2018. Don’t miss out 😊




Dreaming of YOU for dinner

Our Chefs’ Tasting Dinners are becoming something of a hot topic. Not only amongst our customers, but with the chefs themselves! They love the challenge and excitement of creating a feast of flavors to WOW you with. The variety of textures, aromas, sauces and little plating details which make each degustation a work of art – all of this beauty makes these events a monthly favorite for all of us at Café YOU.Chef Sam

Join us on Saturday, February 24th at 7pm. You’ll be so glad you did! At only $50 per person for dinner, or add wine pairings brought to you by wine aficionado and Café owner, Marlies Laaper, for only $25 pp, your six-course delight awaits!


~ make your reservations here ~

Regular Menu – Vegan Menu below

Ahi Poke w/ ginger, bean sprout, marinated mushrooms, herbs

Three Bean Salad w/ Dijon vinaigrette

Pan-seared Scallop & Roasted Carrot w/ roasted red pepper coulis

Beef Bavette w/ black garlic, cipollini, wild mushrooms, parsnip puree

Chocolate Pot

Baked Brie w/ fig & apple paste & lavosh

Vegan Menu

Watermelon Poke w/ ginger, bean sprout, marinated mushrooms, herbs

Three Bean Salad w/ Dijon vinaigrette

Pan-seared Zucchini Cake & Roasted Carrot w/ roasted red pepper coulis

Braised Butternut Squash w/ black garlic, cipollini, wild mushrooms, parsnip puree

Chocolate Pot

Vegan Cheese Plate w/ fig & apple paste & lavosh

~ make your reservations here ~


Fine dining thriving at Café YOU

Announcing a season rich in culinary delights and exotic flavors!

You can visit our full events calendar, but here are some details to whet your whistle…

Chef SamFrom our three masterful chefs, Sam Wood, Ed Rocchio and Ana Lewis, come monthly creations rarely seen this far South of the Big Apple. The menu for the upcoming Chefs’ Tasting Dinner on Saturday, January 27th at 7pm makes the palette tingle in anticipation: melon salad with feta, mint and balsamic, Duck Tsukune, Osso Buco Gremolata, and don’t forget the Chocolate Pots. This six-course extravaganza is designed to give foodies a fabulous taste of each specialty, with optional wine pairings by owner and wine aficionado Marlies Laaper to accent each course.


Tuscany Wine Bottle 2

If you prefer a gastronomic travel adventure, there are plenty of choices in Café YOU’s monthly Wine Dinners. In February, the menu features Tuscan cuisine and wine pairings. The following months take diners on a journey through the Middle East, Spain and South Africa.


Valentine's 2Looking for the perfect way to spend quality time with your sweetie this Valentine’s? Come for a day of shopping and favorite café treats on Sunday, February 11th at the Sweetheart Sip & Shop. Special vendors with the perfect gifts await. This time, you’ll get exactly what her/his heart desires. Then come back on Valentine’s Day for an out-of -this-world Chocolate Themed Romantic Dinner.

And don’t forget about Mom. Mother’s Day Brunch is a big deal at the café, with two seatings for a brunch she will always remember.

Café YOU offers authentic espresso coffees and a hip café culture by day, with truly fine cuisine and dining by night. A unique blend, right here in Cape Coral.

Reservations for all special events can be made right here online. We invite you to call with questions: 239.600.0966. Or email us at

It’s our pleasure to take care of you – whenever you stop by!


New Year’s Eve Celebration!

Join us for a New Year’s Eve Celebration

Sunday, December 31st, 2017 at 8:00 pm


Party in style this New Year’s Eve.

Join us for elegant entertainment, hilarious international traditions, and, of course, gorgeous cuisine and a champagne toast.



Salmon Toast Canapés

Oyster, Mushroom & Leek Soup

Beef Wellington w/ truffle potatoes, sautéed asparagus, watercress salad

Pomegranate Pavlova

Cheese Plate

Champagne Toast at Midnight

$50 per person

Make your reservations here!



The Paleo Diet & Café YOU’s December Chefs’ Dinner?

What is the Paleo Diet?

This is a summary of an online article that I think explains the Paleo Diet very nicely. Our menu at Cafe YOU has a number of yummy paleo options including our Smoked Salmon Breakfast Salad, our Shakshukah, most of our soups and much more. Come in and enjoy!

If a caveman didn’t eat it, neither should you – that’s the Paleo diet in a nutshell!

When you are following the Paleo Diet, you can eat anything we could hunt or gather way back in the day – things like meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional veggies, and seeds.  Pasta, cereal, and candy all have to go! Anything that didn’t exist in caveman times don’t exist on a Paleo plate or in a Paleo stomach.

You don’t have to keep track of how much you’ve eaten or obsess over how many calories you have consumed or how many grams of a particular nutrient you’ve had. All you have to do is focus on eating caveman food.

The Paleo Diet in more Detail

The Paleo Diet is an effort to go back to eating how we’re biologically designed to eat, allowing us to tap into our genetic potential and start living healthier immediately.

No Grains

Back in the day, grains weren’t part of our diet.  When we (over)consume grains regularly, our bodies take those grains, which are composed of carbohydrates, and those carbs get turned into sugar in our system.

That sugar is then either burned as energy or stored as fat. That’s right: the grains you’re consuming are stored as fat in your body and they’re what most Paleo experts believe are the main culprit in why people are overweight.

Next, most grains contain gluten and lectins. What are they and what’s wrong with them?

  • Gluten is a protein found in things like rye, wheat, and barley.Many experts now believe that much of our population may be gluten-intolerant (hence all the “gluten-free!” items at Café YOU).  Over time, those who are gluten intolerant can develop a dismal array of medical conditions from consuming gluten: dermatitis, joint pain, reproductive problems, acid reflux, and more.
  • Lectins are natural toxins that exist within grains to defend us from eating them!  Grains have evolved to keep themselves from being eaten by us. These lectins are not a fan of our gastrointestinal tract, prevent the tract from repairing itself from normal wear and tear. This can cause all kinds of damage.

Long story short: our bodies don’t process grains well, and they are causing a boatload of problems.

No Sugar

The Paleo Diet also almost completely eradicates sugar. Unless you’re getting your sugar from a fruit, forget it. Sugar causes an energy spike and crash in your system, turns to fat unless it’s used immediately, and wreaks all kind of havoc on our bodies.

So, no grains, no sugar, no processed foods. Whether you’re talking about the paleo diet or not, many studies have shown that an incredible number of diseases and lifestyle issues can be reversed with these three simple changes.

No Dairy

Dairy’s a tough one, as most Paleo folks tend to stay away from it – a portion of the world is lactose intolerant, and those that aren’t usually have at least some type of an aversion to it.  Why is that? Because no other animal in the entire kingdom drinks milk beyond infancy.

Hunter-gatherers didn’t lug cows around with them while traveling – milk was consumed as a baby, and that was it. As with grains, our bodies weren’t designed for massive dairy consumption.

There is evidence that some adaptation to dairy has taken place throughout the years, specifically with people with ancestry in herding cultures, but this is not the majority of the population.

So, this is one that Paleo purists will avoid like the plague, while others have found that consuming dairy in its various forms work for their genetics, goals, and lifestyle.

If you’re not sure, remove dairy from your diet and only introduce it back in when you’re ready to see how your body responds.

So no grains, no sugar, no dairy: what DO I get to eat on this diet?

Okay, so if we cut out the grains, almost all processed foods, and dairy, you’re left with only things that occur naturally:

  • Meat – GRASS-FED*, not grain-fed. Grain causes the same problem in animals as they do in humans.
  • Fowl – Chicken, duck, hen, turkey…things with wings that (try to) fly.
  • Fish– Wild fish, as mercury and other toxins can be an issue in farmed fish
  • Eggs –Look for omega-3 enriched cage free eggs.
  • Vegetables – As long as they’re not deep-fried, eat as many as you want.
  • Oils – Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil – think natural.
  • Fruits – Have natural sugar, and can be higher in calories, so limit if you’re trying to lose weight.
  • Nuts – High in calories, so they’re good for a snack, but don’t eat bags and bags of them.
  • Tubers – Sweet potatoes and yams. Higher in calories and carbs, so these are good for right after a workout to replenish your glycogen levels.

*If you can only afford grain-fed meat, that’s still better than grains. Do the best you can with your situation!

Steak with asparagus and sweet potato fries, grilled chicken salad, massive omelets that will fill you up for the whole morning, apples dipped in almond butter (a delicious snack), and so on. Pick any of the things from that list, and eat as much as you want of them (with the noted exceptions). You’ll feel better and be healthier.

Here is a link to the full article;

Café YOU’s December Chefs’ Dinner

Our next Cafe YOU Chefs’ dinner is this coming Saturday, December 16th.

This is when our Chefs showcase the best of their best in a 6 course dégustation menu. They spend hours researching and collaborating and testing out new ideas to come up with a really special gastronomical experience for YOU. Once the menu has been finalized I work out the wine pairings. More long hours of research, reading reviews about the wine, checking ratings and buying the wines, sometimes just one bottle to make sure its the right wine before buying enough for the evening. Our chef’s dinners can be enjoyed with or without the wine pairings.

Here is the Wikipedia definition of a Dégustation menu;   Dégustation is the careful, appreciative tasting of various foods, focusing on the gustatory system, the senses, high culinary art and good company. Dégustation is more likely to involve sampling small portions of all of a chef’s signature dishes in one sitting.

We still have some space left at this Saturday’s dinner. Don’t just buy gifts for others, spoil yourself for the holiday season too. Bring along some friends or come come on your own and enjoy a wonderful food experience with good company.

Chefs’ Tasting Dinner Menu – December 16, 2017

Braised Artichokes  –  w/ lemon verjuice

Snapper & Shrimp Ceviche  –  w/ melon & basil oil

Pan Roasted Halibut Towers  –  w/ green onion & rosemary sauce

Filet au Poivre – green peppercorn demi glace & candied root vegetables

Coco Almond Fondant  –  w/ coconut milk, brittle and Amaretto spheres

Rosemary Baked Camembert – w/ chopped cranberries & almonds


Dinner presented by:

Chefs Ed Rocchio & Sam Wood, Pastry Chef Ana Lewis  and Wine Aficionado Marlies Laaper.


Previous Chefs’ Tasting Dinner Photos;



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