Naples, FL - Restaurant Recos?
My parents are going to be in Naples for several weeks in February. Looking for the best of the best local places running the gamut from burgers to fine dining. Anything interesting happening on the culinary scene in Naples? Any must-do's? Thanks!
Tulia and Mereday's are not to be missed. USS Nemo, Bleu Provence, Cote d"Azur, Bayhouse, Gumbo Limbo (at the Ritz Carlton Beach resort), Chops (on 5th Ave.), the Grill Room (also at the Ritz Beach resort) & Capital Grill are all very good. Hope they enjoy themselves.
Giovanni's Ristorante for good local inexpensive Italian. Went there two nights in a row and will go back when we're "on that side" on the 28th.
Bonita springs is just north of Naples. There are two excellent restaurants on Bonita Springs Road, on the south side of the street a bit west of 41: Wyld's Cafe is my favorite. Really excellent food and service in dark and subdued dining rooms with white tablecloths and the works. Their meatloaf is my favorite (a very upscale rendition of the dish) and their shredded duck with mushroom napoleon is an outstanding starter, and big enough to share. A Table Apart is a door or so to the west. More lively and perhaps informal. I've had a wonderful thick pork chop there, and their rack of lamb gives you about eight small ribs. Neither is inexpensive (most entrees mid-$20s?) but not as dear as Fifth Street in Naples. Also in Bonita there is a Roy's. Yes, a mini-chain, but food and service are topnotch. They offer a three-course prix fixe menu that is a good value. Fish lovers in my family rate their butterfish as superb.
I don't know where your parents are from, but here in L.A. we don't have Bonefish Grille, a chain with locations in Naples (I'm pretty sure) and the one I go to in Ft. Myers. Yes, it is high-volume, but the simple chargrilled salmon I've had is cooked to specification and delicious. Their corn-crab bisque is rich and tasty and their bang-bang shrimp is a great dish. Since I can't go here, I really enjoy it when in Florida.
I certainly hope Grouper & Chips is still alive and frying. Their crunchy grouper makes a delicious, inexpensive lunch.
If they get up to Ft. Myers -- gotta see the Edison and Ford houses -- I really like Sasse's. While ownership has changed (again) and the gargantuan portions are gone, their fare from their woodburning oven is delicious. For many years they served the best eggplant parm I've had.
although i haven't been to Mereday's its received excellent reviews but i agree with SBHjunkie on all recs.
would add Preston's for a steak (or anything else: chicken, fish) as its the best steak i've had (that includes all the usual suspects) but its a bit austere in atmosphere.
if you're out in Bonita then Angelina's--some of the best wine selection at reasonable prices (at least it use to be).
my new favorite place is Bayhouse--the less formal Tavern part where you can order anything from the more formal dining room (good live music too).
local breakfast (i mean where the locals go) is Sunburst.
and if you're feeling a little chez panisse-ish i recommend "The Local" which uses local ingredients, vegetables, fruits etc for its menu.
Zeits...Angelina's has new owner, new chef, and it may not be as good. I posted something here I received by email and it was deleted by Chowhound as they considered it advertising, which it certainly was not. I had received an email detailing the old chef's new enterprise, in Naples somewhere. Alas, I had deleted the email by the time I got the notification from Chowhound.
Bayhouse certainly isn't new. I went 5 years ago after their re-do. I wasn't impressed at the time, but many love it.
I really like Mereday's. Tulia as well. I'm interested in The Local, but the name is a little precious for me.
I had the same experience at Bayhouse-/several times--but the past 2 recent meals were great. They have a CIA trained chef and excellent wine selection. I had a pricey Chardonnay that was only 30-40% markup.
So did Angelina's previous owners also sell Agarve? Now that place defined mediocrity.