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Naples/Marco Island


bcjr
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Doe anyone have any recommendations for the Naples- Marco Island area ? I like fairly upscale dining for dinner, but little, on the water places for lunch are great too. Let me know what you know.

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  • 4 months later...

Can I ask this too - with the same agenda ?

Heading to the area in mid-Sept. First time in FL for 20 years and completely unfamiliar with the terratory. There have been previous postings about Naples but they're all a little dated now.

I had good eating on earlier trips to the US this year in LA, Aspen, Seattle (esp. good) and New England. Would be a shame not to do justice to Florida.

A case of "See Naples and Dine ?" (Sorry...)

Much appreciated,

Gareth

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  • 2 weeks later...
Can I ask this too - with the same agenda ?

Heading to the area in mid-Sept. First time in FL for 20 years and completely unfamiliar with the terratory. There have been previous postings about Naples but they're all a little dated now.

I had good eating on earlier trips to the US this year in LA, Aspen, Seattle (esp. good) and New England. Would be a shame not to do justice to Florida.

A case of "See Naples and Dine ?" (Sorry...)

Much appreciated,

Gareth

I had really good meals at 2 restaurants in Naples, although I'm sure there are many others.

Campiello's (3rd Street South), which is Italian with a wood burning oven, was excellent as was Cafe Lurcat on 5th Avenue.

There is nothing amazing going on in the restaurants on Marco Island, although it is among the prettiest areas in Florida. The best restaurant in that area is just off the island in the Isles of Capri (technically a Naples address) called the Blue Heron. It sits on the bay, so the view is very nice and the food is great.

If you find any others I'd appreciate a heads up. I'll be spending the winter down there.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Interestingly, Campiello's and Cafe Lurcat are owned by the same group.  I noticed this when perusing their respective web sites.  We're going to Naples in January.

bcjr, you're not involved with this restaurant group, are you? :biggrin:

No. I'm just a young (51) retiree who will now be spending 6 months a year at my place on Marco Island. I love to cook so I enjoy going to good rstaurants to get ideas. If you have any good dining experiences I'd love to hear about them.

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Doe anyone have any recommendations for the Naples- Marco Island area ? I like fairly upscale dining for dinner, but little, on the water places for lunch are great too. Let me know what you know.

Recommendations would be much appreciated by me too. My In-laws live in Naples full time and if I have to keep going to a "we found this great italian restaurant" - Maggianos or "we found this great chinese restaurant" - P.F. Chang's. I'm going to scream. Or ending up on 5th at 5:30 during high season with an infant and a two hour wait.

What are some good, reliable restaurants, besides the Turtle Club's grouper sandwich or salad?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bit of a belated post.

Spent a week in Naples in mid-Sept. Rented a villa, had a great time but having to fit in round others on a budget, so cooked in as much as we ate out and didn't really do the place justice. Four places I remember:

"Gumbo Jumbo" (I think) Beach bar place at the Ritz. Did pretty standard beach bar type food. Had a perfectly respectable grouper sandwich but the lobster fritters could have done with...er...some lobster in them. Would be happy to go back but wouldn't make a date of it.

"Blu Sushi" Neighbourhood sushi that had a nice vibe and provided OK sushi. Did what it said on the tin without knocking your socks off.

"Sushi Thai". Went for the thai (but can't help noticing that so many places seem to have a sushi section on the menu, almost no matter what basic cuisine they're cooking. Looking forward to the opening of the first mexican sushi joint). Enjoyed the thai because the food was tasty enough, it had one or two things on the menu that were a bit off the beaten track and they didn't hold back on the chillis.

"Trilogy". Oh dear. Where to start ? Positives: really friendly staff who were helpful to a party which included a rebellious two-year-old. But beyond that, this was a bit of a car crash. We had gone to have a "special" meal out on our last evening of the holiday. The ambience is posh and the prices reflect it. But the food. My honest impression was of a chef who was thought he was delivering "high end dining" but had never set foot in an accomplished restaurant in his life. Or, if he had, had totally missed the point.

A case study: last week I had lunch at the sensational Mugaritz in San Sebastian. One course was a simple langoustine tail coated in quinoa which itself had been simmered in a sardine broth, simple, clear and a joy to eat. At Trilogy I had "Hurricane Shrimp" at least a dozen tiger prawns coated in a mayonaisse-y type sauce and "resting" (as I think the cliche has it) on a baby leaf salad. Tasty enough in a comfort food kind of way but far too many shrimp. Far too clunky a sauce. And what the hell was that pile of salad leaves contributing ? (I suspect I know. He ran out of ideas once he'd put a dozen shrimp on a plate and needed to bulk it out otherwise it would have looked empty.) Why not halve the volume, double the quality of the ingredients and have the confidence to let some well-judged flavours do the talking ? Every dish was like that - heavy handed and ill-conceived. Had it been served for a casual lunch in a beach bar, I would probably have quite liked it but as my bill started heading north of $80 my expectations of standards were inflated to match and, for a place that was pitching a 'fine dining experience' this was just clumsy.

Left Trilogy and covered up my disappointment by getting blitzed in an Irish bar.

Sorry it's not a post where I can really point out some "must visit" places I found. I don't want to be down on Naples 'cos we had a great stay but the eating we did turned out to be pretty average. Which surprised me considering how much money was there (or at least was there a month ago, before Black October on the stock markets !). Guess we just picked wrong. What I did like about Trilogy and the other restaurants in Florida was the sheer number and range of wines by the glass. Visited Winter Park near Orlando and that too had the same trend with some very classy wine bars with interesting lists.

And, if we visit again, you can always eat with us. The Osso Bucco, Risotto alla Milanese and Tarte Tartin I cooked was pretty knockout :wink:

Gareth

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  • 3 weeks later...
Bit of a belated post.

Spent a week in Naples in mid-Sept. Rented a villa, had a great time but having to fit in round others on a budget, so cooked in as much as we ate out and didn't really do the place justice. Four places I remember:

"Gumbo Jumbo" (I think) Beach bar place at the Ritz. Did pretty standard beach bar type food. Had a perfectly respectable grouper sandwich but the lobster fritters could have done with...er...some lobster in them. Would be happy to go back but wouldn't make a date of it.

"Blu Sushi" Neighbourhood sushi that had a nice vibe and provided OK sushi. Did what it said on the tin without knocking your socks off.

"Sushi Thai". Went for the thai (but can't help noticing that so many places seem to have a sushi section on the menu, almost no matter what basic cuisine they're cooking. Looking forward to the opening of the first mexican sushi joint). Enjoyed the thai because the food was tasty enough, it had one or two things on the menu that were a bit off the beaten track and they didn't hold back on the chillis.

"Trilogy". Oh dear. Where to start ? Positives: really friendly staff who were helpful to a party which included a rebellious two-year-old. But beyond that, this was a bit of a car crash. We had gone to have a "special" meal out on our last evening of the holiday. The ambience is posh and the prices reflect it. But the food. My honest impression was of a chef who was thought he was delivering "high end dining" but had never set foot in an accomplished restaurant in his life. Or, if he had, had totally missed the point.

A case study: last week I had lunch at the sensational Mugaritz in San Sebastian. One course was a simple langoustine tail coated in quinoa which itself had been simmered in a sardine broth, simple, clear and a joy to eat. At Trilogy I had "Hurricane Shrimp" at least a dozen tiger prawns coated in a mayonaisse-y type sauce and "resting" (as I think the cliche has it) on a baby leaf salad. Tasty enough in a comfort food kind of way but far too many shrimp. Far too clunky a sauce. And what the hell was that pile of salad leaves contributing ? (I suspect I know. He ran out of ideas once he'd put a dozen shrimp on a plate and needed to bulk it out otherwise it would have looked empty.) Why not halve the volume, double the quality of the ingredients and have the confidence to let some well-judged flavours do the talking ? Every dish was like that - heavy handed and ill-conceived. Had it been served for a casual lunch in a beach bar, I would probably have quite liked it but as my bill started heading north of $80 my expectations of standards were inflated to match and, for a place that was pitching a 'fine dining experience' this was just clumsy.

Left Trilogy and covered up my disappointment by getting blitzed in an Irish bar.

Sorry it's not a post where I can really point out some "must visit" places I found. I don't want to be down on Naples 'cos we had a great stay but the eating we did turned out to be pretty average. Which surprised me considering how much money was there (or at least was there a month ago, before Black October on the stock markets !). Guess we just picked wrong. What I did like about Trilogy and the other restaurants in Florida was the sheer number and range of wines by the glass. Visited Winter Park near Orlando and that too had the same trend with some very classy wine bars with interesting lists.

And, if we visit again, you can always eat with us. The Osso Bucco, Risotto alla Milanese and Tarte Tartin I cooked was pretty knockout  :wink:

Gareth

I'm back down in Florida. Last night my wife and I tried I M Tapas in Naples. It turned out to be a real treat.

In talking to the waiter it seems that a good number of people don't know what to expect from a tapas restaurant. It's a great way to eat at a casual pace and to sample numerous dishes. I really enjoy it and wish there were more tapas places around.

I'll try to be brief. The bread was warm and crusty and the accompanying oil with tapanade was very tasty.

We sampled the cheese plate that included 5 different cheeses with assorted fruit. Very good. The olives (3 varieties) with almonds was a nice start. There was enough for 8 people.

We tried the most tender stuffed (with Serrano and cheese) artichokes we have ever tasted. We also had the grilled langostines and a special, a sea breem with a chopped tomato topping. It was all so fresh and delicious.

They have a rather small but adequate wine list. The sauvignon blanc we tried was very good.

This place gets my recommendation. Very good food with pleasant, helpful service. They are also listed on restaurant.com, so you can download a coupon to save a few bucks.

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  • 2 months later...

Sale e Pepe on Marco is the best restaurant on the island. It is a decent Italian with a great location, good wine list and pro staff. I took my mother for her birthday last year and we had a good time. I can't recommend anywhere else on the island at all.

Adrian York
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  • 2 weeks later...

We just returned from a trip to Florida that included a brief stay in Marco Island and Naples.

In Marco, we had an excellent meal at this place: http://www.verdisbistro.com/

All the food was very good and well prepared. Nice service with a good wine list, I'd go back if I found myself on Marco Island again. This may be unlikely as we found Marco on the whole to be kind of sterile. Pretty, but sterile.

In Naples, we had a nice lunch here: http://www.seasaltnaples.com/seasalt.html

The prosciutto and parmesan were excellent, all the charcuterie looked good. The lunch dishes were a bit uneven, but I got the feeling that this place has some real potential. They were a bit distracted as they were hosting a wine tasting event in advance of the Naples wine festival.

We had two dinners, one at Truluck's http://trulucks.com/naples_location.php and one at Bice http://bicenaples.com/naples/index.html Both of these places have multiple locations. We really enjoyed Trulucks. It's like a cross between Joe's Stone Crab and Ruth's Chris. Pricy, but what we got (stone crab, mobkfish, ribeye) was very good. Attentive service and nice wine list. Had two flights of wines with dinner, four small glasses each and a bargain at about $18. Bice was a disappointment. Had heard of these places (NYC particularly) and wanted to give it a try. Food ranged from lame to just OK. Service was a bit disjointed and rushed. We did have an excellent Italian white wine that I would search out again.

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  • 2 weeks later...

For a unique experience. Go to www.solochefnaples.com while in the southwest florida area. They will come to your home and cook a meal without you having to deal with iffy restaurants.

"He could blanch anything in the fryolator and finish it in the microwave or under the salamander. Talented guy."

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