It's not every day that a chef who has worked with New Orleans' lauded John Besh settles on Sanibel Island, but that's exactly what Melissa Talmage did, making Sweet Melissa's one of the island's—and Southwest Florida's—best. Don't judge the place by its bland, retirement home décor. The white tablecloths are lovely and the lighting is dim enough, but the real attraction here is the food. Using only seasonal meats, produce, and seafood, Talmage offers a creative menu of dishes like pork belly and clams—the most unlikely, yet remarkable, bacony-briny combo you'll have in these parts. Other specialties include braised veal cheeks, Benton's country ham-wrapped mahi mahi, and a tamarind-braised lamb shank that, like a good book, you won't ever want to end. Dishes come in small or large plates, depending on your appetite, which should be huge here. For real Top Chef-style creative cuisine, Sweet Melissa's is only bittersweet when the meal is over.