Ahead of The Curve: The Best Seats in the House
Want to be taken for a local celebrity? Make a reservation for one of these tables.
You hear the stories about legendary New York and Los Angeles restaurants and special seats for VIPs, of media power lunches at Michael’s and Hollywood royal dinners at Musso and Frank’s. Southwest Florida doesn’t quite have that sort of scene, but there are a few tables worth making reservations for in advance, whether for the spectacular view or to be spectacularly viewed.
1 Table No. 65 at Campiello in Naples.
Nestled under the pergola band shell on the patio, this is probably the ultimate see-and-be-seen table in the area. On a weekend during season, Campiello is packed to the gills and turning people away. “This is right in the middle of the action,” says Courtney Straga, a manager at the restaurant. Call early if you hope to get a seat, and hope for good luck. Even if you request a specifi c spot outside, Campiello makes no guarantees. campiello.damico.com
2 Tables Nos. 6, 7 and 8 at the Blue Heron on Isle of Capri.
One of the most spectacular views you will ever come across, the three tables that line the giant picture window on the water at the Blue Heron are the perfect spot to be at sunset (which will be between 6:09 and 6:27 p.m. this month). Get a reservation early, says owner Alex Alexander, like two or three weeks in advance early, if you want to secure a spot. the-blue-heron.com
3 Table No. 14 at Sale e Pepe in the Marco Island Beach Resort.
Although the restaurant is known for its spectacular sunset views of the Gulf of Mexico, the VIP table at Sale e Pepe doesn’t overlook the water. Instead it’s a semi-secluded spot in the formal main dining room that’s nestled against a romantic Italian landscape mural, says manager Ajan Sathan. In season, you might need to call as much as a month in advance to get the table. marcoresort.com
4 Tables Nos. 1 and 2 at Sweet Melissa’s Café on Sanibel Island.
This time last year, our reviewers called Sweet Melissa’s the best restaurant in Lee County. And the best place to enjoy Chef Melissa Talmage’s award-winning food is right near the front of the house. “You can see everything from there,” she says. There’s a view out the front windows, a sightline to the kitchen and the expanse of the dining room. It’s the head of the table, so to speak. sweetmelissascafe.com