Babymoon in Naples
Hi! My husband and I are heading to Naples for our Babymoon and I'm looking for some good eats!
Here's what is on my list for the 5 nights:
Handsome Harry's (we've been before and he really enjoyed his meal there)
Bites at Ritz
USS Nemo (on the fence about this one, husband not a seafood lover)
Thoughts on my list? Wouldn't mind adding another Italian restaurant since that is our favorite cuisine...suggestions?
Thanks in advance!
Drive a little north to Angelina's, in my opinion, the best Italian restaurant in SW Florida. Great atmosphere, awesome food. It is nice to wonder around Coconut Point when you are done.
Some may suggest Campiello, only steps away from Handsome Harry's and Barbatella, which, while a great place, is not Italiano like Angelina's. I suppose it depends if you have a car.
Regarding your list and suggestions:
1) Bites is good, not great. I felt it was pricey for what it is. Atmosphere is okay (basically in lobby of Ritz).
2) Would second the recommendation on Angelina's, it is excellent. Another suggestion for Italian would be Sophia's. We tried Campiello and thought it was okay, service was poor.
3) Two other suggestions we really like:
a) Cafe Lurcat (downtown Naples): VERY creative cuisine, great atmosphere and excellent service. Is probably our favorite restaurant.
b) Chops (on 5th avenue in downtown Naples): If you like steak this is the place to go. Not only excellent steak but great sides and superior service. We also tried Capital Grille (another steakhouse) but MUCH preferred Chops.
Hope this helps.
re: Property manager
Cafe Lurcat is a lovely restaurant. Women look fabulous with the great lighting glancing off the Chagal-like murals...They have a great way with the veggie sides. I've never had a meal there that was not first rate. I think I may have recommended it to you a few years ago PM. Like the Chops on Fifth, not so much the Bonita one...not sure why.
You are absolutely right. you did recommend Cafe Lurcat and we think it is outstanding.
We are traveling to Naples again during Christmas and New Years and was wondering if there are any new , interesting, creative restaurants ? Also what do you think of Sophia's?
re: Property manager
I haven't been to anywhere exciting and new in Naples or Bonita lately. Barbatella is the only one and I do love it. Exciting wine list. Amazing Italians by the glass.
Not been to Sophias. Chowhound is a dead zone for information on Naples, Fort Myers and the islands. Not sure why, but sometimes it is a month between posts. Perhaps someone will show up as soon as the snowbirds start returning.
Note that Cafe Lurcat has (or at least had) a great prix fixe early menu (before 6:30?) that had a choice of four entrees and was excellent. I did not notice any reduction in portion size nor in the quality of service.
My favorite restaurant in the Naples area (we drive down from Ft. Myers) is actually in Bonita. Wyld's Cafe -- nothing to look at from the outside, it is in a small strip mall that fronts Bonita Beach Road, and you park and enter from the back, but very quiet and nice on the inside. Very good service, and the food is topnotch. Their roast duck napolean is an amazing appetizer, with slivered duck and mushrooms and a delectable sauce. If they have their meatloaf -- a recurring special -- try it, it is fantastic.
have a few suggestions (as someone who has lived here for 12 yrs):
1-Afredo's--my new favorite Italian rest found on 5th Ave across from Chops--beats Angelina's hands down. they make their own pasta, the chef is from Italy and was until he opened his eponymous restaurant the exec chef at a well acclaimed eatery on Marco. before that he was a star sous chef in dc at Galileo and or Goldoni's--which brings us to
2--Sea Salt--perhaps Naples only world class restaurant (whatever that means).
3-Handsome Harry's is ok--it was great when it first opened and then expanded too quickly and quality suffered. it has recently changed hands.
4-Nemo's is good is you like seafood and everyone gets the signature dish.
5--Barbatello's is a trattoria with not much ambience but the food is good. its the little sister to expensive Sea Salt
6--Lurcat is not impressive (for me). they are nice, the service is good but the food is average.
7--Bricktops for american cuisine at Waterside is great (its a chain of 2--the other somewhere in Ohio).
8-Preston's for the best steak (if you can get a reservation) or Capital Grill.
9-Inca's Kitchen for change--great Peruvian food which is different from other latin american foods.
Interesting comments above. Although not living in Naples we have been going there for a few years and eat out at a wide variety of restaurants:
1) Sea Salt-felt was WAY overrated and expensive for what it was. The service was also average at best.
2) Lurcat as I mentioned above I feel it the most creative menu we found in Naples and the food exceptional.
3) Bricktop is our feeling a "dressed up" TGI Friday's..nothing more. it is not a chain of two it is a chain in five or six in different cities. Not bad but again nothing exceptional for the prices.
4) Chops we felt was definitely superior and more unique than Capital Grille (again another chain) .
Again, just my opinion.
re: Property manager
just a few more details:
1-- owner/chef Aielli at Sea Salt was the sous chef at Galileo in dc which was the #1 restaurant for many yrs and then he opened up his own place called Goldini's which then became the number 1 rated eatery in dc. he visited Naples, sold his place in dc and opened Sea Salt which for foodies is a haven here.
2--if you think serving donuts is creative then Lurcat is for you
3--Bricktops does have about 6 locs in the south (Atlanta, Tenn, etc) but so many locals go there as their "go to" place for lunch or dinner that calling it a fancy TGIF is like calling Chops an classier Long Horn steak place--which brings us to
4--Chops is also a chain, albeit a local one and although i really like the copper ceiling its service and food is so mediocre that i promised to not set foot in there again when i had one of the worst meals 3 yrs ago.
of course its all personal taste--which is why we have so many chain restaurants in town.
Thanks to everyone for your input and suggestions! We just returned from our trip and I wanted to give a quick update on our delicious week in Naples :-)
Trulucks - excellent meals and service! Hadn't planned to dine here, but got turned around with finding Handsome Harry's and luckily Trulucks was able to fit us in without a reservation. Granted it was a weekday. Best crabcake I've ever eaten and my husband enjoyed his steak. I do regret not getting the "award winning" carrot cake but I just couldn't fit another bite!
Barbatella - our meals were delicious as was the vanilla brownie gelato, but we were the only people seated in the kitchen side and the bar side seemed to be much more lively with more of an atmosphere. We both ordered specials..homemade linguine with shrimp, spinach in a spicy marinara and grilled lamb chops. Oh and delicious calamari to start! Incredible wine list that made me really, really miss wine!
USS Nemo - food was good but service was just so- so. Not sure I would go back but in fairness neither of us are big fish lovers. My mini fish tacos were very tasty, as was the mussels we shared. My husband is probably the first person to order a steak there and said it was very good. Not much ambiance but that was expected for strip mall restaurant.
Chops - I had planned to dine at Bites on Saturday night but at first glance of their menu, my picky palate husband said no way. We ventured downtown and was surprised we were able to get a table at Chops after a quick 10 minute wait at the bar. My husband raved about his steak and my blackened grouper was delicious. I also loved the tomato mozzarella salad as my starter..that was the highlight of my dinner.
Angelina's Italian (Bonita Springs) - WOW, saved the best for last! Incredible in every way. Beautiful establishment, service was spot on, food was amazing. My butternut squash ravioli had a truffle sauce that was to die for. Everything was amazing right down to the bread served before dinner. Small portions for dessert which was perfect after a rich filling meal. Definitely plan on at least a couple hours to enjoy this dining experience!
Thanks again to those for your recommendations...we ate very happily in Naples last week :-)