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looking for Naples recommendations

d
dannymeis Oct 29, 2010 12:39 PM

I'm heading to Naples on 11/18 for a few days with my girlfriend and best friend and his wife. We are all 30 and are looking for some ideas on where to get some great food. We're staying in Pelican Bay in North Naples. I figure we'll have lunch at the turtle club one day sicne its just a stroll up the beach and will probably have lunch at our beaches in pelican bay the other days.

We want to have a few very good dinners while we're there. Friday the 19th is my birthday and I think we're going to try Cafe Lurcat. I have no intention to go to any chain restaurants ie capital grille, roy's etc, although I haven't been to trulucks and would consider trying it out. we are primarily looking for seafood.

What are some places with great food, nice ambiance / setting (like on the water etc) and a younger vibe / crowd?

Also what are some places we should check out for night life?

Thanks,
Danny

-----
Pelican Bay Cafe
, Boca Raton, FL 33433

  1. s
    scscr Oct 29, 2010 01:18 PM

    Head to Mercato (retail center) for the younger night life scene. There are four bars there where most of the young people in town head after dark and they even maintain crowds after midnight. Blue Martini is a chain, but seems to be the focus of the action. There is an Irish pub around back that had a good mix of people when we were there a few weeks ago. Keep an open mind and understand that the town is not focused toward the party crowd. At most no chain restaurants, you will be the youngest in the room by at least 10 years.

    -----
    Blue Martini
    550 S Rosemary Ave Ste 244, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

    1. TomOHaver Nov 2, 2010 04:50 AM

      In addition to Mercato, in North Naples there is also nightlife at Absinthe (sleek, urban club/restaurant in the Vanderbilt Collection at the NW corner of Airport and Vanderbilt Beach Rds) and Fred's (down-home friendly place) in the SE corner of Immokalee and Airport Rds.

      For food, don't miss USS Nemo's for great seafood in an urban modern environment. And watch the sunset from the bar at the LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort.

      But, yea, this is not South Beach.

      1. l
        Littleman Nov 2, 2010 08:31 AM

        Randy's Fish Market is a fun casual place for lunch or dinner serving outstanding seafood. The Bayhouse is fine dining with a waterfront view of the river. Baleen is your best bet for real fine dining at the Laplaya Resort. Bha Bha is fun if you like Persian food.

        Randy's Fishmarket Restaurant @ 10395 Tamiami Trail N, Naples, FL 239 - 593 - 5555.
        http://www.randysfishmarketrestaurant.com/
        The Bayhouse Restaurant @ 799 Walkerbilt Road, Naples, FL 239 - 591 - 3837.
        http://www.bayhousenaples.com/
        Baleen Restaurant @ 9891 Gulfshore Drive, Naples, FL 239 - 598 - 5707.
        http://www.laplayaresort.com/laplaya_baleen.aspx?utm_source=MAD+Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=MAD+Newsletter+Baleen+Link&utm_campaign=LaPlaya+MAD+Newsletter
        Bha Bha Persian Bistro @ 847 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples, FL 239 - 594 - 5557.
        http://www.bhabhapersianbistro.com/

        -----
        Randy's Fishmarket Restaurant
        10395 Tamiami Trl N, Naples, FL 34108

        5 Replies
        1. re: Littleman
          v
          Val Nov 2, 2010 01:07 PM

          Littleman, have you been to Randy's lately? Seems like the quality has gone down quite a bit to me and a few others, just saying. Truluck's and Swan River seem to still have very good quality seafood and the stone crab season just started up again, good for everyone who loves them!

          1. re: Val
            l
            Littleman Nov 2, 2010 03:18 PM

            Randy's is respectable in my opinion. Trulock's is a chain. The OP stated he was not going to a chain restaurant including Capital Grille. I have always found CG to be respectable also.

            1. re: Val
              c
              chelle Feb 15, 2011 12:04 PM

              We want Randy's the week before Thanksgiving - we were VERY disappointed. The service was fine, but the quality of the food was bad. In fact, some of the food seemed over-cooked and even tasted burnt (fried grouper). We will have to locate another source for stone crab fix this spring break.

              1. re: Val
                TravelWise101 Mar 25, 2011 01:03 PM

                I agree 100% with you! We visited Randy's a year ago and were disappointed when in 2009 we had a wonderful meal there. We frequent that are (Naples) once a year and we ended up finding Nemo's and had a fantastic meal there. Every dish seemed to spark our taste buds into an amusing smile while eating but I'd pass on the drinks menu - everything is mixed with saki and we are not fans of saki (so if you want a mixed drink - be warned no top-shelf there) - stick with hot tea or a wine. Loved their shrimp appetizer as well as the salad, and signature fish dish.

              2. re: Littleman
                TomOHaver Feb 22, 2011 04:39 AM

                I second the rec for Bha Bha Persian Bistro. We ate dinner there on a Thursday night recently and it was as good as always. Everything there is delicious in a "different", not-your-same-old-same-old-way, with interesting flavor combinations of herbs, spices, nuts, yogurt, and fruits. And to top if off, on Thursday nights there is a belly dancer (and a beautiful young one, at that), which might be a good thing or a bad thing, depending. The vibe is casual chic.

                -----
                Bha!
                847 Vanderbilt Beach Rd, Naples, FL 34108

              3. d
                dannymeis Nov 3, 2010 08:34 AM

                tom, i know its not south beach, my family has had a house in pelican bay since the mid 80's. i really havent been there as an adult though and when i have its been with friends for fishing trips or just grilling and hanging out at the beach. i'm a bit older now and my ideas of vacation have changed, but as much as we'll enjoy eachother's company we kind of wanted to go out a night or two for drinks, we are on vacation...

                thanks for the baleen link Littleman, I think we'll head up there for dinner one night. Its close, and the reviews look good. At least maybe we'll do cocktails and apps then move elsewhere for a later dinner...

                what are the best places for stone crabs?

                how is the dock at creighton cove for drinks / casual dinner?

                Thanks

                1 Reply
                1. re: dannymeis
                  v
                  Val Nov 3, 2010 05:10 PM

                  Dannymeis, our office group was discussing this very subject about stone crabs today...a number of us just go and buy some at Captain Kirk's and bring them home, heat up some butter or make some mustard sauce and eat the darned things. You *could* go to Truluck's for the all you can eat thing but heck, it's a MUCH better buy if you buy 'em and bring 'em home to eat. Usually, they'll crack them for you wherever you buy them, you just need to ask!

                2. r
                  RevrendAndy Nov 4, 2010 09:41 AM

                  The Dock is a nice place for a casual meal but I recommend it for lunch or an early dinner while it's still light out. It's on the water with a nice view. Campiello has great food and is a happening restaurant, although the happening is probably at least 30+ years older than you, except of course for some of the trophy wives and girlfriends.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: RevrendAndy
                    An Insatiable Appetite Nov 10, 2010 01:39 PM

                    DM

                    You've got some good suggestions from folks.

                    Best seafood is at USS Nemo, or the chain Trulucks. Nemo's has a younger crowd.
                    Baleen has a view that Lurcat doesn't have. I've enjoyed Lurcat's food, Baleen was good, not great a year ago-my friends say it's still best for drinks at sunset, then move on.

                    Revrend's right. Campiello's is surely the place for May-December lust, er, true love - seeing generous older guys and perky trophy women.. The girls' plastic surgeons sometimes dine across the street at Sea Salt and watch their craft work in motion, from a discrete 50 feet away!

                    Absinthe used to be livelier in its better days, then Blue Martini has become the hot spot magnet for all ages. Good loud live bands. You can dine like a bandit for 1/2 price from 5-8 pm at BM, and the lamb chops and steak are worth 2-3x the Happy Hour price-it's decent dinner portion size for ~$8-9, and a generous wine pour for $4 then!
                    Randy's is funky casual atmosphere and good if the others are filled-you'd fit in in shorts and shorts.

                    Do you just want to eat, or dine with live very good music, too?
                    If you're a touch romantic, go to Bites at the Ritz-great tapas type food that's not expensive, and the guitarist and vocalist are truly tops. They are professional musicians who do latin, talian, contemporary, flamenco, etc .On their day off, a pianist is there.

                    Patric's is another favorite for simple bites, tapas style and live jazz music.
                    Check out photos and ideas on the left sidebar at:

                    http://aninsatiableappetite.blogspot....

                  2. n
                    nosh Nov 11, 2010 07:47 PM

                    Two places well worth hitting are virtually next door to eachother on Bonita Springs Road in Bonita -- Wyld's and A Table Apart. I like them better than an of the hoity-toity places we've dined at in Naples proper. For inexpensive, excellent grouper, try Grouper & Chips.

                    -----
                    A Table Apart
                    4295 Bonita Beach Rd, Bonita Springs, FL 34134

                    Grouper & Chips
                    338 Tamiami Trl N, Naples, FL 34102

                    Wylds Cafe
                    4271 Bonita Beach Rd, Bonita Springs, FL 34134

                    1. z
                      Zeits Dec 24, 2010 12:04 PM

                      what about Angelina's, the local italian (no chain) in Bonita. and Sophia's on Pine Ridge also not too far from Pelican Bay.

                      although CG is a chain, they do their best to make it very much not like a chain. the chef gets his seafood locally and the service is always the best.
                      for real local color and a great meal, the newly renovated The Bay House just north of Immokalee (make a left at that night club-Visions?).

                      -----
                      Bay House Restaurant
                      799 Walkerbilt Road, Naples, FL 34110

                      Pelican Bay Cafe
                      , Boca Raton, FL 33433

                      1. t
                        tourbook Jan 24, 2011 12:41 PM

                        This restaurant is not cheap but very good. The wine list is good and fairly priced. The service is top notch. I had the risotto with black truffles, very good. The grouper special was perfectly cooked and the calamari appetizer was very special.

                        -----
                        Ristorante Ciao
                        835 4th Ave S, Naples, FL 34102

                        1. t
                          tourbook Jan 24, 2011 12:46 PM

                          Try Bayside in Venetian Village. I had lunch. Very good. Great view of the Bay. Also Bellini on 5th avenue. Had a really spectacular lemon tart for dessert. Great outdoor seating.

                          1. d
                            dannymeis Feb 17, 2011 11:50 AM

                            I'm going to be back in Naples for a week starting on Saturday. Anything interesting going on? I hope to check out some lower key delicious spots, kinda want to shy away from dressed up dinners and the like...

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: dannymeis
                              v
                              Val Feb 17, 2011 03:05 PM

                              Falafel Grill=very low key. Inca's Kitchen is also very casual and great quality last time I was there for lunch, okay--it was a while ago...9/2010. heh, but no pretensions or dress-up required, quite refreshing for Naples. Fernandez the Bull, same deal--ethnic and casual.

                              1. re: Val
                                d
                                dannymeis Feb 18, 2011 05:37 PM

                                Awesome, falafal grill has been on my radar since I started this thread...

                                Also, if there are any intersting food, wine, other events happening around town please post em. I'll be in the area for a week with my gf so we are going to want to get out and enjoy the area as much as possible. Thanks

                                1. re: dannymeis
                                  v
                                  Val Feb 18, 2011 05:53 PM

                                  Darn...this PAST weekend they had the Asia Fest and the Greek Fest! But I don't know of any other food fests this coming weekend in Naples...well, it's the President's Day holiday on Monday...maybe take in one of our beautiful parks....Fakahatchee Strand or Corkscrew?

                                2. re: Val
                                  TomOHaver Feb 20, 2011 03:19 PM

                                  We've been back to Falafel Grill and Inca's Kitchen this season (twice to the latter) and they are both still the same and still excellent. Prices seemed higher than I remember at Falafel Grill, but Inca's Kitchen is still an excellent deal - $16 for a whole roast chicken with a huge platter of salad and the best and crunchiest "french" fries I've even eaten. Don't miss that. (Inca's Kitchen gets very busy on Weekends - call for a reservation).

                                  1. re: TomOHaver
                                    v
                                    Val Feb 20, 2011 04:23 PM

                                    Thanks, Tom...I need my "falafel fix" and will abide tomorrow since it's a holiday for some of us...♥

                                    1. re: Val
                                      TomOHaver Feb 21, 2011 03:30 AM

                                      It's great to see these little restaurants busy. I expect to see long lines at locally popular places like Mel's, Michelbob's, and Carrabbas, but I was surprised when four of us tried to eat at Inka's Kitchen on a Saturday at 6:30 pm and were told there would be a 45 minutes wait! I had no idea it had become so popular. We called for a reservation the next time we ate there. 8-)

                                      Another nice place that has become very popular is Mimi's Cooking, on Pine Ridge at Yahl Street (near the Asian Pok Market). We had a great lunch there recently and every table in this tiny place was filled. (Try the onion soup.) At dinner, reservations are a must there. (Marie-Michelle greets every guest with a kiss-hello. I love it).

                                      1. re: TomOHaver
                                        z
                                        Zeits Feb 21, 2011 05:19 AM

                                        finally, Inca's is busy. i think the remodeling helped too. hopefully he will open up another (or move?) to N. Naples--i thought the building on Pine Ridge where the Tre Fratellis was (now a vegan place) would be perfect.

                                        -----
                                        Fratellis Restaurant
                                        415 Anastasia Blvd, Saint Augustine, FL 32080

                                        1. re: Zeits
                                          An Insatiable Appetite Feb 21, 2011 08:07 PM

                                          Zeits,

                                          I suggested a better place- that is available...he's looking into it...

                                          Tom,

                                          Mimi's is a treat!

                                          1. re: An Insatiable Appetite
                                            TomOHaver Apr 9, 2011 04:04 AM

                                            When we ate a Inka's Kitchen a couple of weeks ago, the owner said he was thinking about expanding into the empty storefront next door.

                                            Restaurant owners who are struggling should some and see how Inka's Kitchen does it.

                                            -----
                                            Inka's'
                                            250 E Palm Dr Ste F20, Homestead, FL 33034

                              2. j
                                jnannic Apr 10, 2011 06:38 AM

                                Best Italian food so far is Naples Tomato in North Naples on US41 north of Wiggins Pass. Fresh made pasta, extensive wine list, reasonable prices, nice bar.

                                Blue Martini at Mercato is cool but after 10pm when crowd is younger.

                                Bistro 821 on 5th Ave is another favorite.

                                -----
                                Bistro 821
                                821 5th Avenue South, Naples, FL 34102

                                Blue Martini
                                550 S Rosemary Ave Ste 244, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: jnannic
                                  An Insatiable Appetite Apr 11, 2011 10:22 AM

                                  I enjoy Naples Tomato for the reasons jnannic mentioned.

                                  The clear choice of those who have dined in Italy is however Sophia's, on Pine Ridge.

                                  They do not advertise like NT, nor have the volume of customers.

                                  It's more of a Mom and Pop place, a hidden gem, only Mom and Pop are gourmet chefs who have a lovely daughter, Sophia.

                                  Give it a try, and let us know your thoughts!

                                  1. re: An Insatiable Appetite
                                    z
                                    Zeits Apr 11, 2011 04:42 PM

                                    stopped in on the way home for take-out from Sophia's. i thought i was getting some generic veal parm platter but it was a veal chop in sauce and cheese. little surprised by the price but it was absolutely delicious.

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