Hounds visiting Naples area. Where should we eat?
We'll be in the Naples area for a week in early September. Like all kinds of food so long as it's well prepared and presented. Prefer American with an edge, French bistro, tapas, contemporary Mexican, Indian, good seafood and especially places that offer lots of interesting appetizers so we can order a bunch for dinner. Price is not a big deal, we're willing to pay good money for good experience.
I have read a couple of good posts about both restaurants and butchers. Any good bakeries? Any superb dishes we shouldn't miss?
Thanks. We'll see you soon.
Nosh is absolutely correct about Grouper & Chips. It's the best fried grouper you will ever experience. Wylds is also another good choice-great calamari appetizer, hudson pasta with duck and foie gras sausage, and Kurobuta pork chop. Tropical Reef has a hot and crunchy grouper that's wonderful, along with a terrific cornmeal crusted calamari appetizer. Be sure to save room for Zach's killer brownie. Campiello's is my favorite restaurant in Naples, with many items cooked in a wood burning oven, and food that is pretty close to authentic Italian fare, as opposed to Italian American. Chops is a pretty hip, cutting edge restaurant where you could graze on appetizers. Don't let the name fool you-they have a great black grouper with artichoke wild mushroom risotto. Bay House has a beautiful setting overlooking the Cocohatchie River. Some sterling dishes are fried oysters with remoulade and shrimp and grits. Bleu Provence is good bistro. Tommy Bahamas has a wonderful outdoor cafe for lunch. The Strip House has the best steak, imo. Don't forget the goose fat potatoes. No bakeries I can recommend. Jimmy P's is a great butcher shop, if you like to browse. Peppers, a German deli and butcher, is also fun. This should get you started quite nicely.
There is certainly no shortage of restaurants in Naples, though many of them in the seaside hotels and along 5th Street can be very pricey. For casual but trendy American I've enjoyed Tommy Bahama's -- I remember an excellent thick pork chop there. For French many recommend Bleu Provence -- check their website for the menu. Off the beaten path, I've always enjoyed and had fun at The Real Macaw, a Carribean place. For lunch, be sure to try Grouper and Chips. There is a Roy's in Naples and another a bit north in Bonita Springs -- same thing for a local chophouse appropriately named Chops. My favorite meal in the area during my stay last year was at Wyld's Cafe in Bonita on Bonita Springs -- excellent food, service, and reasonable prices for an upscale experience. In Ft. Myers, my absolute favorite is an Italian place with a woodburning oven called Sasse's.
Search this board for Naples, Ft. Myers (use the Fort Myers spelling too) and Bonita. Look particularly for posts by Revrend Andy and Val, two local 'hounds who know the area restaurant scene well. Report back.
I just got back. We loved Randy's for casual seafood and incredibly fresh fish, Trilogy and Truluck's for fancy. The only place we didn't adore--and we're picky--is the restaurant inside La Playa hotel, Baleen. It was goodwith awesome beach views, just not as excellent as the others. There's also a tapas place on 5th Avenue with funky red or purple walls that had great lunches. I can't remember the name, but it's far from Inn on 5th but on the same side of the street. It has a few outdoor tables and is near a pizza place.