Torino-born Alberto Varetto created a sensation as the original chef at Sale e Pepe on Marco Island. He left several years ago to open his name brand restaurant along dining hot spot Fifth Avenue South. The sensation continues in a sleek, sand-toned dining room that spills out onto the sidewalk. Using house made ingredients such as sausage, pasta and sauces, Chef Alberto creates a select menu of authentic Italian dishes such as yellow tomato soup with shrimp, black ink fettucine with calamari, risotto with roasted jumbo scallops, Chilean sea bass with wild mushrooms, veal tenderloin with eggplant and roasted pepper ragout, and tiramisu.
Toes-in-the-sand Florida dining takes place as the Baleen Restaurant spills out through grand doors to a terrace with tables overlooking the sweeping beach and ends with a few more tables for cocktails where diners are happy to go barefoot in the sand. Guests enjoy Baleen with a palate-pleasing dinner menu. And starting up the night, the intimate beach fire pit is a cozy setting for cocktails. For the ultimate “on-the-beach” dining experience including candlelight and private butler service, please inquire about their over the top private intimate dinners on the beach.
Golden-hued and elegant, Bice is a formidable presence on the Naples dining scene. Refinements like crisp linens and fresh flowers provide indication that a meal here will be nothing less than spectacular. Northern Italian cuisine is particularly authentic, given that the restaurant was founded in Milan in 1926 (and still maintains headquarters there). Patrons frequent the restaurant for everything from light pastas to grilled meats and seafood, reveling in impeccable presentation and service. Pasta e fagioli, a favored dish, ranks highly, along with perfectly prepared calamari and great veal cutlets.
Chops City Grill has two local locations – one on Fifth Avenue South and a second in Bonita Springs. Its name is a double entendre for its fine steaks and its chopstick (Asian influence) fare. Chops fancies itself as the most spectacular steakhouse in the city, and there’s a good chance the claim is right on. The atmosphere is fun and upbeat, from the Art Deco décor to the eclectic menu. Dishes include braised short rib, teriyaki glazed sea bass, Kurobuta pork chop and black pepper seared tuna, but the standouts are clearly the reasonably priced, dry aged and flawlessly prepared cuts of prime beef.
The award for the best new “greet-and-eat” bread basket alternative: Inca’s Kitchen’s fried corn with a trio of dipping sauces. With two Naples’ locations, this Peruvian favorite starts off diners with this fun taster of yellow pepper sauce, red pepper sauce and another remoulade-like native sauce. Corn is a rivet (stronger than a staple) in Peruvian cuisine, and this starter is an original and flavorful way to launch diners down the path to authentic dining. Next in line if you’re determined to try favorite Peruvian specialties: ceviche, which originated in Peru. Inca’s sells various versions of the raw fish dish dressed with citrus. You will also find seafood dishes in other dishes such as the traditional tacu tacu – beans and rice – and parihuela – Peruvian bouillabaisse. There are also tapas, chicken and meat dishes, vegetarians options and wonderful dessert.
Located in the Village on Venetian Bay, Miramare meaning “to gaze at the sea “ offers an unparalleled Italian fine dining experience including uncompromising service and attention to detail. Located directly on the Venetian Bay offering breathtaking waterside views, Miramare offers a wide variety of appetizing meals including homemade pastas and daily fresh fish specials. For a true water front experience, Miramare is the place to go!
The first dilemma: Sit al fresco and people watch along busy Fifth Avenue South or enter the embrace of “farmhouse chic” indoors, where repurposed barn wood creates warmth and character? Then the food ordering decision! Chef Betulia makes everything himself – from the pancetta on the chicken liver crostini to the fennel sausage tossed with mascarpone cream and torchio pasta. Pizza on the dinner menu ranges from classic tomato with basil and mozzarella to the lamb sausage with ricotta and chile. Pork osso buco with herbed spatzle, wood roasted veal chop and homemade pasta dishes are other popular options on the menu.
With the motto “A place to wine, a place to dine” Panevino serves up fine Italian classics including spectacular homemade pastas paired with an excellent wine selection. Panevino’s mission is to ensure that each guest receives prompt, professional, friendly and courteous service, while maintaining a clean, comfortable and well maintained premises for guests and staff. They provide healthy, well prepared meals at a fair price all while using the highest quality ingredients.
Chef Fabrizio Aielli comes from a stellar background that covers Italy, the Caribbean and two of his own highly hailed Washington, DC, restaurants. At Sea Salt, he conceived dining centered around the sea. To carry the concept, he stocks more than 100 different varieties of salt and infused flavored salts. Dinner at Sea Salt begins with a three-flight sampler of salt to season dishes to come. Convivial and inspired by chef’s Venetian birthright, the setting transitions from the outdoor, pet-friendly patio to indoor casual elegance via a bar that circles outdoor to in. Colors from the beach and sea decorate the sweeping interior. The main menu intertwines cultures – charcuterie, sea urchin poached in duck fat, ravioli stuffed with braised veal, salt-encrusted branzino, akaushi beef and whole fresh fish from the showcase.
One in a team of steakhouses owned by football legend Don Shula, this popular steakhouse at the Hilton Naples scores a touchdown with every sizzling steak that comes out of the kitchen. The award winning Shula Cut beef is the trademark of the center cut Angus beef served at the restaurant. Cuts include filet mignon in three sizes, New York and Kansas City strip and cowboy (bone in) rib eye. Lobster is also in high demand, and patrons can select their own from a tableside cart. The menu offers other seafood and, at lunch, sandwiches and salads. The steaks are substantial, but try to make room for classic sides such as crab mac and cheese or truffle fries.
Swan River Restaurant and Raw Bar
Known for their nautical theme and boat-shaped bar Swan River delivers some of the freshest and highest quality Oysters in the country. The sparkling glass cases tempt patrons with heaps of fresh oysters and clams packed on ice. Pair these delicacies with any of their icy beers or divine wines and you have the start to a memorable seafood experience. Some of the most popular dishes include the gorgeous Ahi Tuna Platter arranged with seaweed salad, pickled ginger and flatbread crackers and the Cold Water Sashimi Oysters on the ½ shell. The seafood that makes it to the raw bar is of the highest quality and freshness. Handcrafted and fresh-made describes all the food served at Swan River.
On entering the Capital Grille you encounter a refined and gracious space with Frank Lloyd Wright inspired decor. This is followed with top-notch service and spectacular steaks. These are the trademarks of The Capital Grille making it a perpetual Naples favorite. Beef is dry-aged on the premises, so its quality is well-controlled. And while the Kona-crusted sirloin and Delmonico are sublimely done, the Steak au Poivre with Courvoisier Cream is a true show-stealer. Other choices include broiled lobster, grilled swordfish, and seared salmon with mustard sauce. As with many high-end steakhouses, entrees are served a la carte. The wine list ups the ante with more than 350 choices from Europe, South America and the US.
The Turtle Club at Vanderbilt Beach
Has a fairly extensive and well rounded wine list with some recognizable vintner names and an intriguing selection of vintages you will want to try for the first time. Plus it offers a full selection of beer and liquor. Most come here to dine because the food is as excellent as the front row view. Salads and seafood dominate the lunch menu, but there is a burger and pulled pork sliders, too. At dinner, choose from magnificently crafted temptations such as roasted Chilean sea bass with grilled pineapple, lightly blackened scallops with apricot horseradish glaze and roasted grouper with lump crab and citrus beurre blanc.
Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar
This laid-back Olde Naples destination has, as you would expect, a definite tropical theme. A prototype for the chain, it was the first Tommy Bahama restaurant to open. The Caribbean decor is bright, marked by tropical plants and artwork. Outdoor seating is especially popular, particularly when there is live music. Tommy Bahama’s serves a hybrid of slightly spicy American and island cuisine, including Cuban sandwich and fish tacos. Many patrons fall in love with the restaurant and end up spending a good part of their day sipping the Tommy’s Bungalow Brew. Located beside the restaurant are men’s and women’s retail shops that sell tropical apparel bearing Tommy Bahama’s name.
Part of a small, Texas-based chain of restaurants, it is anything but cookie-cutter. The dining room seems oversized at first, but its popularity fills the warm, welcoming space at the back of Inn on Fifth. Patrons come for their fix of various varieties of crab, lobster, New Orleans BBQ shrimp, miso-glazed sea bass, Scottish salmon bearnaise, cioppino and Idaho trout amandine, plus fine steaks and chops. The restaurant professes a commitment to sustainable seafood. The “Chilean sea bass,” for example, comes from South Georgia. Every afternoon from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Truluck’s Stone Crab Lounge runs its Cocktail Hour specials, which include half-priced drinks and a specially priced appetizer menu.
Who would believe that a restaurant can pull off submarine decor and do it tastefully? But that’s not all that’s tasteful about this small restaurant that has a faithful following. USS Nemo’s seafood tastes fresh, and there’s a freshness to the way it is prepared. The diver scallops come with leek fondue and goat cheese polenta, for instance. Grouper, shrimp and calamari populate the Commodore’s Mixed Grill, treated to an orange and tomato puree. Regulars rave about the signature miso sea bass. And the even better news is price. Away from the posh downtown neighborhoods and upscale shopping centers and resorts, its price point is also easy to swallow. Meat-lovers, don’t worry. There’s plenty for you to choose from, too.