Culinary Naples

By: Chelle Koster Walton

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Miami's not the only city with culinary appeal. Naples impresses with everything from swanky five-coursers to good ole American breakfasts.

Place to Go: Naples

The Thing to Do: If you think the only place in Florida to find bold, exciting dining is Miami, think again. As one of the nation’s most sophisticated resort towns, Naples way outshines its size in culinary stature. Here are but a few restaurants:

Coast
Style: Internationally inspired coastal cuisine
Setting: Hotel lobby restaurant without walls; the definition of beach-view cutting-edge
Menu: Pared down to well-crafted works of art
Don’t miss: Key Lime Tort
Bonus: Stay overnight at the Edgewater Beach Hotel, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel (888-564-1308, www.edgewaternaples.com), home to Coast
Details: 239-403-2000

Handsome Harry’s
Style: American Uptown
Setting: Indoor-outdoor glam.
Menu: Well-crafted, well-rounded seafood, steak and salad selections for lunch and dinner.
Don’t miss: Lemon Cream of Lobster Bisque
Details: 239-434-6400, www.handsomeharrys.com

Strip House
Owner: The Glazier Group
Style: Modern Steakhouse
Setting: 20s-era club combined with a classy bordello
Don’t miss: Bone-in ribeye
Bonus: Sleep it off at The Waldorf Astoria Naples (888-722-1267, www.waldorfastorianaples.com), where the restaurant resides.
Details: 239-598-9600, www.striphousenaples.com

Bha! Bha!
Chef-owner: Iranian native Michael Mir
Style: Persian
Setting: Chic sheik
Menu: Classic and innovative ethnic specialties
Don’t miss: Spicy kermani beef with saffron sauce and cucumber yogurt
Bonus: Belly dancing on select nights
Details: 239-594-5557, www.bhabhapersianbistro.com

Chops City Grill
Chef-owner: Skip Quillen, owner of several local restaurants.
Style: Steaks and Pacific Rim
Setting: Bustling bistro-bar with display kitchen
Menu: Fine beef, sushi and seafood
Don’t miss: Dry aged steaks
Details: 239-262-4677, www.gr8food.net

Escargot 41
Chef-owner: French imports Chef Patrick and Jackie Fevrier
Style: Classic French
Setting: Cozy corner au province
Menu: Seven escargot apps, tournedos with anchovy butter, duck and seafood
Don’t miss: Seafood and morels in champagne cream sauce
Details: 239-793-5000, www.escargot41.com

Aurelio’s Is Pizza
Style: Chicago pizza
Setting: Red-and-white checkered tablecloths and Illinois license plates
Menu: More than 30 types of pizza plus other Italian specialties
Don’t miss: Super Six (the works!)
Details: 239-403-8882, aureliosofnaples.com

The Dock at Crayton Cove
Owner: Vin DePasquale, longtime Naples restaurateur
Style: Old Florida fish house
Setting: Open-air at Naples Dock
Menu: All major Florida food groups: Sandwiches, seafood, deep-fried, Caribbean-style and rum
Don’t miss: Blackened mahi tacos
Details: 239-263-9940, www.dockcraytoncove.com

Skillet’s SunRise
Style: Good ol’ American
Setting: Country-style. More cheerful than anything should be first thing in the morning
Menu: Huge selection of breakfast favorites all day (until 2:30); also lunch
Don’t miss: Whole wheat cranberry-pecan pancakes with orange sauce
Details: 239-566-1999, www.goodbreakfast.com

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