When it comes to dining out, I’m not normally picky or easily excitable. As long as the food is good, service consistent, and the atmosphere not too cramped, I’m happy. The exception to this is The Mad Hatter in Sanibel Captiva Florida. This restaurant effectively incorporates my absolute favorite aesthetic into the theme of their restaurant, flawlessly.
My parents have been dining at this fancy restaurant since I was too young to follow. I remember hearing legends of the amazing scallops or fantastic dessert at ‘The Mad Hatter’.
I always seemed to be the only one more interested in the name of the restaurant than the food. Why did nobody talk about The Mad Hatter and whether or not it had to do with Alice in Wonderland! This never really happened, I had to experience the the curious atmosphere myself.
On the outside The Mad Hatter doesn’t look to Mystical or strange. With the exception of a vase of bright red roses and stained glass featuring Alice and the White Rabbit, one may not even know there was a theme to this five star restaurant.
Once inside the small restaurant its hard to deny as the small front room is scattered with Alice In Wonderland themed items everywhere.
The front room leads to a small hall way with a sign above the entrance stating “Into the Rabbit hole”. So like Alice, you fall down the Rabbit hole (or in this case hallway) and into the main dining room. The entire restaraunt is very small but that hardly matters when the entire meal feels like an adventure. One wall of the restaurant is all a window, one is all mirror, and the two other walls a murals. Against the ceiling run Alice in Wonderland book quotes. Even the Wine glasses are engraved with ‘Drink Me’.
Every year, The Mad Hatter exceeds expectations and fills me with curiosity as it did Alice. Each year I leave stuffed to the brim with leftovers in tail and each year I can’t wait to return.