The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort opened Global in the lobby lounge, featuring a world of flavors with upscale bar cuisines. There’s Spanish seafood escabeche, chorizo empanada and a gazpacho martini; and Asia’s steamed pork-belly buns or shrimp tempura. India serves real tandoori chicken, vegetarian samosas, chickpea masala, pita and dips, and kulfi ice cream. Germany’s potato pancakes, bratwurst and chicken schnitzel meets the Americas’ chicken mole tamale and cheeseburgers. Italy shines with risotto fritters, antipasto and pepperoni calzones. 280 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples, 598-3300.
The Bay House is one of my “to-go” places to wow Naples visitors, with its expansive view of mangroves paired with delicious, low country, Charleston-style cuisine and hospitality. Relax and sip a nice wine and listen to light jazz. Watch the sunset play on the river through expansive windows. Start with fried green tomatoes, pickled shrimp or seared scallops with Benton’s smoked ham. Move up to she-crab soup, crispy fried oysters with bayou remoulade or a mixed seafood pan roast. Snapper and grouper are my fish favorites. Adventuresome? The lamb burgoo or the sautéed veal sweetbreads hit the spot. 799 Walkerbilt Road, Naples, 591-3837.
Gracie’s Cupcakes has opened up its second location at Fort Myers’ Bell Tower Shops next to Daruma Japanese Steakhouse and across from Bistro 41. I visited last week, and it’s quite busy with customers satisfying a sweet tooth or two. Many used to bring her cupcakes home from her Naples spot. The flavors frequently change, with specials for holidays and special events. I enjoy the Butterfinger’s rich peanut center, butter pecan, dark chocolate, brown sugar caramel, red velvet, pralines, banana and Oreo cookies-and-cream cupcakes. Bell Tower Shops, Suite 101, Fort Myers, 415-0300.
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