Trendsetting Dining in Naples & Marco Island

Sale e Pepe dish

A dish at Sale e Pepe, an Italian restaurant on Marco Island.

Foodies rejoice as the Naples restaurant scene takes on a trendy new vibe. Think fresh-muddled cocktails, locally brewed craft beer and farm-to-table experiences – all with an emphasis on delicious flavor, and all in a meticulously fashioned atmosphere. Sample a variety of mouth-watering masterpieces by local chefs, most of which are beautifully paired with wine for an all-around delectable dining experience.

SEA SALT
Location: Third Street South, downtown Naples
Chef: Fabrizio Aielli
Meals served: Lunch and dinner
Culinary style: Open-minded New World Venetian
Best for: Culinary thrill-seekers, sea-salt tasting and new menus daily
Personality: Coral limestone walls, lively bar, sidewalk bustle
Signature dish: Fresh seafood flown in daily from Hawaii, the Mediterranean and local waters
Best splurge: Chef's Table: 10-15 courses for eight to 10 people

OSTERIA TULIA
Location: Fifth Avenue South, downtown Naples
Chef: Vincenzo Betulia
Meals served: Lunch and dinner
Culinary style: Rustic Italian cuisine
Best for: Social diners, adventurous Italian food and wine lovers
Personality: Warm, rustic and authentically Italian
Signature dish: Any of the many handmade pasta dishes
Best splurge: Moderately-priced menu calls for a try of the daily special – always fresh and intricately prepared

THE LOCAL
Location: Naples
Chef: Jeff Mitchell
Meals served: Lunch and dinner
Culinary style: Farm-to-table, local fresh eats
Best for: Health-conscious vegans, organic ingredients, fresh produce
Personality: Hip, laid-back, rustic
Signature dish: Local Pan Seared Snapper with Lime, Garlic and Cilantro
Best splurge: Grass-fed Butchers Cut of Southeast Family Farms Beef – although any of the daily specials promise a great meal

CITY SEAFOOD
Location: Everglades City
Chef: Richard Wahrenberger
Meals served: Breakfast and lunch
Culinary style: Fresh Everglades-style seafood
Best for: Giant crab claws, grouper sandwiches, frogs’ legs, grouper, snapper and mullet
Personality: Small fishing village meets Old Florida charm
Signature dish: Fresh stone crabs served October 15 through May 15 straight from Wahrenberger’s boats
Best splurge: Colossal-sized stone crab claws or the fried grouper sandwich

HOBNOB KITCHEN & BAR
Location: Fifth Avenue South, downtown Naples
Chef: Tony Biagetti and Jeremy Caprari
Meals served: Dinner
Culinary style: “Clean and fresh” American
Best for: Cool, eclectic, city atmosphere and small plates
Personality: Hip and trendy with a strong dose of really good eats
Signature dish: Sea Bass with Coconut Pesto, Butternut Squash and Jasmine Rice
Best splurge: Bone-In Rib Eye with Slow-Cooked Béarnaise Onions, Cabernet Demi and Honey Roasted Fingerlings

LITTLE BAR RESTAURANT
Location: Goodland
Owner: Ray Bozicnik
Meals served: Lunch and dinner
Culinary style: Local latitude, regional romantic, naked simplicity
Best for: Boating in for lunch and live entertainment
Personality: Pieces of boats, mansions, a pipe organ and an optometry office went into the making of this eclectic waterfront fun house
Signature dish: Voodoo (blackened) Mahi with Florida Avocados and Key Lime Crème Sauce
Best splurge: Stone crab claws – right from the source

THE TURTLE CLUB RESTAURANT
Location: Vanderbilt Beach Resort, Naples
Chef: Roy Tierney
Meals served: Lunch and dinner
Culinary style: Fresh food, simply and deliciously prepared
Best for: Casual beachfront lunches or elegant tropical dinners 
Ambiance: Casual, yet sophisticated with unparalleled views of the Gulf of Mexico
Signature dish: Locally Sourced Roasted Gulf Grouper and Lump Crab with Citrus Beurre Blanc and Bacon Potato Hash
Best splurge: Filet of Beef Tenderloin with Parmesan Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus and Béarnaise Sauce

FOOD & THOUGHT
Location: Gateway Plaza, Naples
Owners: Eric and Alfie Oakes
Meals served: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Culinary style: Fast and affordable certified organic home-cooking
Best for: A lunch that won't weigh you down
Ambiance: Part whole foods mart, part cafeteria with flower-showered patio seating
Signature dishes: Enchiladas on Wednesday, turkey on Thursday and salmon cakes on Sunday
Best splurges: Chocolate Chia Pudding and Freedom Surprise Cookie

BISTRO SOLEIL
Location: Marco Island
Chef/Owner: Denis Meurgue
Meals served: Dinner
Culinary style: French with a Florida kiss
Best for: Fine cuisine that's priced affordably enough to indulge in often
Ambiance: Gracious Victorian Olde Marco Inn with its cranberry glass chandelier, Audubon prints and live piano
Signature dish: Roasted Black Grouper Topped with Blue Crab Meat Draped with a Light Lemon Butter Caper Sauce
Best splurge: Homemade Warm Apple Tarte Tatin with Vanilla Ice Cream and Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

VERDI’SAMERICAN BISTRO
Location: Marco Island,
Chef/Owner: Vince & Mari Rodriguez, Chef Uphan
Meals served: Dinner
Culinary style: American bistro with global inspirations: “We serve food the way we entertain at home”
Best for: Fine seafood and meat selections with an extensive wine list
Personality: Intimate fine dining with top-notch service
Signature dish: Pan-Seared Chilean Sea Bass with Cannellini Beans, Oven-Dried Tomatoes and Artichoke Hearts
Best splurge: Grilled New Zealand Rack of Lamb with Garlic mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Port, Lamb & Mint Demi-Glaze

SALE E PEPE
Location: Marco Beach Ocean Resort
Chef: Giuliano Matarese
Meals served: Dinner
Culinary style: Gourmet Italian cuisine
Best for: Wine pairings and homemade Italian meals
Personality: Inviting, with stunning views overlooking the beach
Signature dish: Fracosta Di Manzo Piemontese, a dry-aged and marinated prime Italian piedmontese beef ribeye, grilled asparagus, roasted potatoes and a port wine sauce
Best splurge: Dentice “Al Cartoccio,” a parchment-wrapped red snapper filet, clams, rock shrimp, cherry tomatoes, capers, garlic, oregano, white wine and an arugula salad

RIDGWAY BAR & GRILL
Location: Third Street South, downtown Naples
Owner & Chef: Tony Ridgway
Meals served: Lunch, brunch and dinner
Culinary style: A New-American eatery with a French-influenced menu
Best for: Dining al fresco in a quaint courtyard
Personality: Quaint and casual
Signature dish: Pan Seared Grouper & Shrimp
Best splurge: Sautéed Yellowtail Snapper Piccata or the Rack of Lamb Chops

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