M Waterfront Grille Naples
M Waterfront Grille opened at the Venetian Shops, in the space previously occupied by Maxwell's on the Bay. They call their cuisine "cutting edge Continental," and the chef, Brian Roland, arrived from Cru, one of my favorites. The setting is beautiful, with nice views of the bay and the decor is comfortably contemporary.
We enjoyed local watermelon salad with shaved fennel and red onion, goat cheese, candied pine nuts, arugula, balsamic, red oak and micro lime basil. It was very busy but quite tasty. I liked their version of escargot, with wild mushrooms, wilted spinach, boursin cream garlic and butter brushed french baguette.
Entrees were stellar. MsRev had Orange-miso galzed seabass with goat cheese dumplings, apple smoked bacon, bay broccolini, and florida orange broth. The fish was cooked perfectly medium rare and the dumplings were like silk. I had two succulent tiger prawns grilled over heirloom tomato risotto, meyer lemon oil and roasted garlic dipping sauce. This is a simple preparation but worked perfectly because the prawns were pristine and undercooked a bit. Great risotto. I loved this dish.
We were too full for dessert.
Prices are moderate to high but well worth the sophisticated cuisine served to you with a great view. Service was efficient, however the restaurant was nearly empty on a Sunday at 6pm. In these economic times it's tough for a new restaurant, added to the construction taking place in the mall. M deserves to survive and should get as much support as possible.
We (two NYC Hounder's and a friend from the area) ate at M Waterfront Grill this week for my birthday and were hugely disappointed in the food. It started out well--the salads were quite good, bread and olive tampanade yummy--but the entrees were poorly thought out and executed. My first disappointment was my first choice entree was not available (the duck). Okay, so I ordered the ribeye special which was described as a 10-oz ribeye with gorgonzola fondue. I should have been forewarned when I was told it could not be made rare, but only medium-rare, because it was "trimmed of all fat and seared". I was promised it would be done as rare as possible. Now, when I hear ribeye I expect a nice juicy and rich steak! What I was served in no way resembled a ribeye or a steak of any kind--it was a large round about four inches high resembling a small roast beef, totally dry and flavorless. To their credit the waitress immediately noted my dismay and both she and the manager (owner?) were very gracious about replacing it. I wanted something that would come out quickly at that point, so I then ordered the Lobster Mac & Cheese. This was just okay--nice amount of good lobster, but the mac & cheese part was not rich and cheesy as it should be, but rather thin and watery...more like a parmesean cream sauce. Okay but not as described.
My husband's entree was also not as described on the menu. He ordered the beef short ribs which were NOT short ribs at all, but more like a piece of brisket or pot roast! Not seperate pieces but one large hunk of meat, so obviously not short ribs. Also very dry...who ever heard of dry short ribs?
Again, I commend the service which was at all times understanding and of the "we want to make it right" variety (we were comped a free dessert for my birthday), but that didn't help the food or the mis-leading menu. Its unfortunate because the setting is nice, the place is lively and the service professional.
I second RevrendAndy's impression, and am drooling from his description!
The food at "M" is very well prepared by chef Brian Roland, service was great on my visit, place was packed at dinner, and I've been back several times. The price is a little higher than lesser places, and you do get what you pay for-quality food and service.
I have some photos and a write up at::
Bayside and its neighbor Cloyd's are overpriced, and not up to M's standards.
"M" is gutsy in changing the food afer 20 years. The ancient regulars grouse cause their meatloaf and other soft foods are not there on the menu. However, one night a week they flock to try the oldies. I Sampled both, and prefer Chef Brian's cooking, hands down.
Nosh, it's scary in the restaurant scene, as this recession, or depression is just starting to take hold. Gone are the realtors cackling over closing several deals in a day, and gone are the $800 dinners for four they treated themselves to. Economies go in cycles, and this is one cycle to tough out.I wish all well through the next couple years. I now eat out a little less, and am more picky in where I go.When I do eat, I feast. Life's too short to eat mediocre food.
Thanks for the review, RevrendAndy. I never made it to Cru during my annual visits; my mom liked it at first but by last season thought that they had developed quite the attitude. I clicked on the website, which is attractive and easily navigated, but had a bit of a schizophrenic experience with the menus. The dinner menu includes very detailed descriptions of the dishes and preparations, but alas one of my real pet peeves -- no prices. The lunch menu, however, does include prices, which are on the high side for lunch salads or sandwiches (mid to high teens) but not outlandish, especially for a Naples spot with a view.
It will be very interesting to see how the upper-end restaurant scene sorts out this winter season. Certainly those who winter in the area are often pretty affluent, but a lot of retirement funds as well as real estate have taken a big hit over the last year.