Naples Resturant Rec's
I am a bride to be planning a destination wedding in Naples. I currently reside in the New England area but am getting married at the LaPlaya resort in Naples. I am looking for resturant rec's for my guest that will be traveling down for the wedding in July. Any ideas? I am looking for all kinds of places, casual and inexpensive, to more upscale. Also dining on the water. I really just want the "Can't Miss" places in Naples. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks so much!
At the upscale end of the scale, don't overlook Baleen right in your hotel: excellent food and a beautiful view of the beach. Other unique Naples dining experiences might include IM Tapas, Escargot 41, USS Nemo's, the Dock or Blue Provence (near the City Docks), and the giant sushi at Club Sushi in Fujiyama's. At the modest end of the scale, your guests might enjoy Grouper and Chips, any of several Cuban places (such as Fernadez the Bull), Randy's Fishmarket, Kelly's Fish House, Tommy Bahama's, or Sushi-Thai (at 3 locations). Also the Naples area has many good family-owned Italian places (like Angelina's in Bonita Springs or Joey D's and Anthony's Trattoria in north Naples). And for a discussion of waterfront dining in Naples, see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/635208
Funny, I had trawled chowhound for just such recommendations, seeking a nice 'gift certificate' holiday gift for my dad, who lives there. I ordered on the phone (I'm talking about La Playa/Baleen here...), gave all the info, mine, his, credit card # etc, even dictated a message for the enclosed card. It never arrived. I was never billed. A called 3 weeks down the line turned up no sign of any order/transaction etc - nothing. Nada. Zip. Not what I expected (obviously) from a highly regarded resort. Experience gave 'dropping the ball' new meaning. I'm actually back on here now looking for other recs, and was amused (but not really..) to find La Playa/Baleen again, so couldnt resist adding my 2 cents.
We were in Naples over the holidays and did extensive research on this before going . Our top picks in order of preference:
1) Angelina's-THE BEST overall restauarant we went to. Outstanding food and service. Is in Bonita Sprngs
2) Chops (city location): Outstanding steak, great service.MUCH BETTER (and more affordable) than Capital Grille
3) Turtle Club-On the beach. The food is good (not great) but a fun atmosphere , is actually on the beach.
There are FEW nice waterfront Naples restaurants, let alone inexpensive ones. And even fewer that have good food.
So my recommendations for food quality, atmosphere, and reasonable cost are as follows:
1) Pazzo - Directly downtown on 5th Ave, Lovely interior, Excellent food (free bread, many entrees less that $20).
2) Cafe Lurcat - Also on 5th Ave which is Beautiful to stroll at night. Great food in what I think is the prettiest restaurant in Naples.
3) Flacos - Great Mex food and nice, casual atmosphere. Very reasonable.
4) Pelagos - Casual, quiet Greek, Almost everything less that $20 with a fabulous Greek salad included.
Other restaurants posted here are good too. But if you are a foodie (which I assume you are since you are on this board), these would be my choices. These restaurants are not on the water; I'd head to the Naples Pier or any of the many beaches or parks at sunset to get your water views.
Though it is not inexpensive, Roy's at Bayfront offers dining overlook the marina and has great food.
Have a lovely dinner!
I've stayed at LaPlaya - beautiful place for a wedding!
As for restaurants, even though it's a chain, I love Ted's Montana Grill for a mid-priced place.
Tommy Bahama's Cafe is pretty cool for a Florida-themed restaurant for visiting northerners. It has *excellent* she-crab soup and blueberry pulled pork sandwich, although the rest is only slightly above average. It's worth a lunch though.
For nice places, I've never had bad food anywhere on 5th Avenue in Naples, although I would agree with previous poster that Chops is tops.
Last but not least, the absolute best food I've had in Naples, and the best Greek food I've had anywhere (still anywhere, even though I tried a couple of new Greek places since then) is the Greek Gourmet (if it's still open, it's been probably three years since I've been). Even though it has "gourmet" in the name, it's a dive and super-cheap, but the food is amazing!