philly chowhounds need Marco Island/Naples advise
Spending 5 nights between Marco Island and Naples. Done our due diligence on your board but seem to be getting conflicting opinions...it woudn't be Chowhound with out that.
Seems that IM Tapas is a definite and M Waterfront Grill is probably a very good bet. We'll probably do sushi at Club Sushi @Fujiyama's. Think we'll have lunch one day at Grouper and Chips.
So where do we go for:
1. Down and dirty, drink by the water, get an island head and suck down oysters like an outdoors Acme Oyster House?
2. Eat some great fresh Stone Crabs without feeling like I'm at Joe's in Miami?
3. New American cuisine with local fresh fish creatively presented?
4. Drinking beer and wine and hammering some Gulf crabs, as if I were in the Chesapeake?
5. Lovin' a cute little BYOB?
Am I expecting too much from the area?
I'm a Jersey boy now spending winters on Marco Island. Here's a few suggestions on a couple of "comfortable " places.
If you want to relax with that island feel and knock down a few drinks, try Pelican Bend on the Isles of Capri, just off of Marco Island. I don't remember if they have oysters because I go for the southern fried chicken. It's the best around. Sit at the outside bar and have a nice talk with Alice. She's a lot of fun. The view is great.
They rent kayaks next door at the Capri Fish House if you're so inclined. They have a pretty good Sunday brunch buffet there.
My oyster eating buddies tell me the best place to go for them is the Crazy Flamingo on Marco. It's a small place with a small menu, but what they make is good. They now have a sushi bar too. I'm told the oysters are cold, fresh, and opened when you order them. I hear the price is right too.
For fish and crab claws I'd head to Little Bar in the Godland section of Marco Island. This area has a "Keys" feel to it, as does the Isles of Capri. Every meal I've had at Little Bar has been great. It's right on the water too.
If you want to see a bit of a show, try Stan's in Goodland on a Sunday afternoon. I don't know where the cast of characters come from that show up there most weeks, but between them and the music, it makes for a good time.
I may not have specifically addressed all of your questions, but I think you'd enjoy the places I've mentioned. Good luck !
For the food, I like Little Bar a ton more than the Snook. But the tourists pour into Snook Inn. It has a lot of outdoor seating on the Marco River and they often have live music. If you're meeting for lunch I might consider Snook, but for dinner Little Bar wins hands down. BTW, I had a misspelling in my post. It's Goodland, not Godland.
Regarding other places, we've really enjoyed CJ's on the Bay, which is in the Esplanade on Collier. New owners this year and they have a fairly priced menu with very good food and a varied menu that should suit everyone. It's on the water with some outside seating, so the view is nice.
A personal favorite is Verdi's. Everything I've had there is really good. Nothing special about the venue, just very good food and service.
For italian try Da Vinci's or Arturo's. Both pretty good. Also, Sale E Pepe in the Marco Beach Ocean Resort is about as upscaleas you get on Marco. Very good food, mostly Italian in a classy setting. I don't get there much because you need long pants (and a jacket in one of the dining rooms) ! I'm a casual guy. Their outside seating on the gulf is spectacular at sunset.
There are other good restaurants, but I don't want to go on forever. If you like a particular type of food, write back and I'll drop you my thoughts.
BTW, I spent my first 47 years in the Princeton area and have migrated to the Jersey shore. My wife is from up your way in Bergen County. Glad to hear some Jersey people are coming down. I'm surrounded by Red Sox fans !
I can't really think of New American seafood but USS Nemo's has very good fish-more of a fusion style.
Pinchers Crab Shack may be your closest bet to the Chesapeake or Acme(I personally prefer Felix). You could knock down oysters and stone crabs, but they aren't on the water.
A cute little BYOB is a stretch. I've never been to Club Sushi but you can't go wrong with IM Tapas, Grouper & Chips, and M Waterfront Grill.