April 1, 2015

Hot Dish

Inside the Gulfshore's Dining Scene


Hot Dish: May 27, 2009

Inside the Gulfshore’s Dining Scene.   The Caribbean Comes to Naples Sheraz Khan, the feisty, European-trained chef/owner of Sweet Mama’s Island Cuisine, serves island-sized portions of tasty Caribbean dishes, with a nod to her Trinidad roots. A blend of European, African, Asian and Indian cuisines, Sweet Mama’s uses spices and fresh produce that make for a special treat.  Sweet Mama's Chef/owner Sheraz Khan with jerk chicken platter. I favor lunch’s $6.99 jerk chicken with island rice and peas, and recommend the dinner menu’s red snapper escoveitched ($16) or the spiced duck with a tamarind sauce and red pepper jelly ($19). The sides of corn casserole and mac ‘n’ cheese are tops! While in Europe, Khan studied in Italy. She can serve up great pasta and...

Posted at 03:17 PM | Permalink


Hot Dish: May 13, 2009

Inside the Gulfshore’s dining scene.   Famous Pastry Chefs Create Sweet Prize for Food Fest High Bidder   As people excitedly bid on incredible food and wine packages at the recent Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest auction, Fort Myers’ own famous chocolatier Norman Love and Food Network Challenge Host and Executive Pastry Chef Keegan Gerhard decided—on the spot—to offer a Desserts Dinner for 12. Chef Norman Love, Retta Singer, Chef Keegan Gerhard, Elliott Singer and Chef Brian Roland at the Singers' Dessert Dinner.   It was served May 3 at the Naples home of winning bidder Retta Singer, who donated $15,000 to The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. Retta and husband Elliott’s kitchen was the epicenter of an unforgettable epicurean evening. Gerhard,...

Posted at 03:33 PM | Permalink


Hot Dish: April 29, 2009

Inside the Gulfshore’s dining scene.   Vivi Ristorante Brightens Naples’ Coastland Center   Vivi Ristorante, nestled between Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Macy’s at Coastland Center, is the newest Italian restaurant in town. With lunches from $5 to $13.50, and more than 50 dinner items from $5 to $23, this truly is, as co-owner Miguel Sacal calls it, “primarily a neighborhood restaurant for year-round people, serving great food at reasonable prices.”   Vivi Ristorante at Coastland Center   The casually upscale setting is open, with an outside patio that seats 20 and ample room inside for 190 people. The décor is elegantly simple, with tall ceilings, tile floors and a comfortable bar area. The wait staff is dapper in black pants, long white...

Posted at 10:14 PM | Permalink


Hot Dish: April 15, 2009

Inside the Gulfshore’s dining scene. New Kid on the Block is Tops in Pizza Café Alessio Chef /owner Joe Mannino has guts. Who else would open an Italian restaurant in Naples, just a few calzone tosses from Noodles Italian Café & Sushi Bar and Dino’s, each already offering great Italian food and live entertainment on weekends? Well, Joe’s gutsiness and his tasty food have paid off—Alessio’s is standing room only on weekend nights.  The broad selection of more than 70 salads, sandwiches, pasta and seafood dishes is good, ranging from $4 to $25. However we, and many regulars, especially rave about their wood-burning-style pizzas! We had the 12-inch pesto and shrimp pizza ($17), with fresh tomato, pesto sauce, shrimp and lots of mozzarella, with a thin crisp...

Posted at 04:57 PM | Permalink


Hot Dish: March 25, 2009

Inside the Gulfshore’s dining scene. AZN Spells Asian Delight at Naples’ Mercato   AZN Azian Cuizine opened last week at Mercato in Naples. My dining experience was flawless, delivered in an asymmetrically beautiful setting, with broad windows open wide to welcome Naples’ mid-70s breeze. AZN complements Mercato’s other culinary offerings— McCormick & Schmick’s, Capital Grille and Whole Foods—with its fresh, high quality food at reasonable prices. Three circulating managers, an abundance of servers and a trio of sushi chefs provide attentive service. AZN's interior The seafood, beef and duck are tender and beautifully plated. I enjoyed the Ahi Poke Hawaiian ($9), a classic mix of cubes of fresh raw tuna, avocado and pineapple in ponzu sauce, topped with...

Posted at 03:19 PM | Permalink

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