September 1, 2014

New Season HOT LIST

What's new and hot in dining, retail and culture

Cookies from Le Macaron, which has opened a new store at Mercato.

Cookies from Le Macaron, which has opened a new store at Mercato.

Vanessa Rogers

(page 1 of 3)

DINING

 

Recent openings:

COLLIER COUNTY

Black Forest Mill Restaurant, 2366 Immokalee Road, Naples, (239) 592-4784. German

Café Chic, The Village on Venetian Bay, 4350 Gulf Shore Blvd. N., Naples, (239) 643-0004; 635 Eighth St. S., Naples, (239) 529-2195, thecafechic.com. French bakery

Culver’s, 5775 Airport-Pulling Road N., Naples, (239) 596-4640, culvers.com. Burgers

Delicious Raw, 821 Fifth Ave. S., Naples, (239) 430-6555, delraw.com. Juice bar

Grouper Grille Seafood, 2075 Pine Ridge Road, Naples, (239) 963-2058. groupergrilleseafood.com. Casual seafood

Le Macaron, Mercato, 9115 Strada Place, Naples, (239) 260-7066, lemacaron-us/com. French macarons

Manzanillo’s Cocina Mexicana, 13240 U.S. 41 N., Naples, (239) 260-7635. Mexican

Marco Prime Steaks &Seafood, 599 S. Collier Blvd., Marco Island, (239) 389-2333, facebook.com/marcoprimeseafoodandgrille. Asian- and French-infused steakhouse

Mereday’s Fine Dining, 1500 Fifth Ave. S., Naples, (239) 732- 0784, meredaysnaples.com. Contemporary American

Petit Soleil, Shops of Olde Marco, 210 Royal Palm Drive, Marco Island, (239) 970-6072, bistrosoleil.net. French-inspired breakfast and lunch

Pho Dai Loc, 11985 Collier Blvd. N., Golden Gate City, (239) 354-9141. Vietnamese

Pizza Fusion, 2146 Tamiami Trail N., Naples, (239) 262-8111, pizzafusion.com/naples. Organic pizza, salads and sandwiches

Restaurant Bonjour, 2099 Pine Ridge Road, Naples, (239) 566-2275, restaurantbonjour.com. French

Saladworks, 11180 Tamiami Trail N., Naples, (239) 213-2227, saladworks.com. Fresh, low-calorie salads

Second Cup, Mercato, 9106 Strada Place, Naples, (239) 653-9072, mysecondcup.com. Coffee, tea and baked goods

Tacos & Tequila Cantina, 4834 Davis Blvd., Naples, (239) 732-8226, tacosandtequilanaples. com. Tex-Mex

TAPS Restaurant, Bar & Lounge, Mercato, 9108 Strada Place, Naples, (239) 598-5000, tapswineandbeer.com. Tapas, beer and wine

Thai Udon Café, 5926 Premier Way, Suite 116, Naples, (239) 596-7331, thaiudoncafe.com. Thai and Japanese

FOOD FAD: THE SURPRISE FACTOR

Two new ventures are promising a fresh take on the dining experience. Crave Culinaire, headed by Chef Brian Roland, has introduced an Underground Pop-Up Series in which participating diners don’t learn what—or where—they’re eating until 48 hours beforehand. And with Thirteen Dozen, Maria d’ Anna Café Executive Chef Ryan Flood is dishing up a six-course communal meal for 13 diners 12 evenings a month, with rotating venues and ever-changing themes. Guests have to trust his creativity—he reveals each course only as he’s serving it (think fresh, local fare like Everglades gator and star fruit gazpacho). From hand-selected seasonal ingredients to carefully crafted seating charts to menus planned according to individual dietary restrictions, Flood is redefining customer service in a virtually one-man show. He gives us the scoop:

Explain the concept behind Thirteen Dozen. It’s entertainment dining; it’s a chefs table. It’s without Dom Pérignon and fluffed feathers. It’s not about that—it’s just about the product. … I just wanted to take some time for myself and cook people the things that I love.

What sets it apart from a traditional restaurant? Basically, you flip a restaurant that closes at 4 and start at 6:30. And you’re sitting with people that you don’t know, No. 1, so that makes it unique. … It’s very private, different. I deliver the food, I take away the plates, I pour every glass of wine, I explain every single thing you’re eating.

Why 13? After 13 it gets a little overwhelming for one person to organize everything. When I get more comfortable, I’ll extend the table. … I haven’t myself sat at a table of 13 like that before—I’ve never seen that before.

Can you divulge any upcoming themes? An Elvis party, with Elvis food. In order to get a ticket, you have to buy an Elvis cookbook.

craveculinaire.com, thirteendozenbyflood.blogspot.com

 

LEE COUNTY

Big Block Sub Shop, 27792 Old 41 Road, Bonita Springs, (239) 949-9455, bigblocksubshop.webs.com. Subs and salads

Broadway Factory, 1514 Broadway, Suite 101, Fort Myers, (239) 326-2079, yogurtandchocolate.com. Frozen yogurt and artisan chocolate

Cabana Burger Bar & Sports Café, 15880 San Carlos Blvd., Fort Myers, (239) 362-3605, facebook.com/cabanafortmyers. Gourmet burgers

Ceno Grille, 1715 Cape Coral Parkway W., Cape Coral, (239) 549-2366. Mediterranean

Dante’s Coal Fired Pizza, 900 SW Pine Island Road, Cape Coral, (239) 800-2112, dantescoalfiredpizza.com. Italian

Heavenly Hoagies, 1419 SE 47th Terrace, Cape Coral, (239) 541-0314. Hoagies, soup, salad and dessert

La Casita Dulce, 3913 Palm Beach Blvd., Fort Myers, (239) 243-0426. Dominican desserts and sandwiches

La Morenita Mexican Restaurant, 19630 S. Tamiami Trail, San Carlos Park, (239) 590-9999. Mexican

Lil’ Italy Bistro, 28811 U.S. 41 S., Bonita Springs, (239) 676-8047, facebook.com/lilitalybistro. Italian

Restoratives Café, 20461 S. Tamiami Trail, Estero, (239) 949-6715, restorativescafe.com. Gourmet soups and sandwiches

The Rolling Stone Libation Co., 1175 Homestead Road N., Lehigh Acres, (239) 369-7625, facebook.com/larollingstone. Tapas and beverages

Salado Pedro’s, Gulf Coast Town Center, (239) 314-8226, saladopedros.com. Veracruz-style cantina and tequila bar

Sunny’s for Breakfast and Lunch, 16520 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 122, Fort Myers, (239) 288-6049. Diner

 

TREND: DESTINATION: LEE COUNTY

Lee County is proving quite the sweet spot for restaurants looking to expand their brand.

Since last season’s end, Skip One in Fort Myers gained an upscale sister restaurant on Fort Myers beach, Skip One Seafood Restaurant Beach; Fort Myers’ Blue Coyote announced it was adding Blue Coyote Supper Club Sanibel; and Bokeelia’s Red’s Fresh Seafood House & Tavern expanded into Cape Coral. From Naples, Truly Organic Pizza branched out to FGCU and Bokamper’s Sports Bar and Grill lined up for Coconut Point. Naples’ Komoon Thai added a second, much larger location, on the northwest corner of U.S. 41 and Bonita Beach Road.

“When we heard about the restaurant that was for sale in Bonita, we kind of jumped at the chance,” says Komoon co-owner Paul Adrianzen, citing centralized location and beachgoer traffic. “It’s perfect. It’s very easy to tell people how to get there. … It just seems more fun, like a younger crowd, whereas in Naples we’re used to a certain crowd. It seems like people appreciate the diversity of our menu.”

Kearns Restaurant Group, headed by Daniel P. Kearns, is certainly leading the Lee County pack with The Firestone, Los Cabos Cantina and a growing number of Ford’s Garage locations. Ford’s expanded beyond its downtown Fort Myers spot to Cape Coral in July, opened in Miromar Outlets this fall and will add a spinoff location called Ford’s Boat House at the Cape Coral Yacht Club as early as December. Co-owner Zak Kearns says they enjoy success from Lee’s college, visitor and shopping markets.

“It seemed like a natural progression for us,” he says. “Lee County is really looking for that fun and exciting, entertaining place to go for dining.”

skiponeseafoodrestaurant.com, bluecoyoteclub.com, redsfreshseafood.com, trulyorganicpizza.com, bokampers.com, komoonthai.com, fordsgaragefl.com

 

Still to come:

Fall 2013: Alcarbon, Naples. Peruvian rotisserie chicken; Monarca’s Authentic Mexican Cuisine Bar & Grill, 1604 SE 46th St., Cape Coral. Mexican

December 2013: AVENUE5, 699 Fifth Ave. S., Naples, innonfifth.com. Contemporary American

Early 2014: Cavo, Mercato, 9108 Strada Place, Naples. High-end tapas; Flo’s Clam Shack, 675 Ninth St. N., Naples. Seafood; Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern, Mercato, 99110 Strada Place, Naples, myrustybucket.com. American

Spring 2014: Sloan’s Ice Cream, Fifth Avenue South, Naples, sloansicecream.com. Ice cream

 

Moves and more:

Burgerque, 3852 Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers, (239) 277-5700, burgerque.com, added a beer garden. At press time, Café Luna expected to open a second location this fall in place of Boston’s Restaurant & Sports Bar at 4270 Tamiami Trail E., Naples, cafelunanaples.com. Joey D’s Italian Restaurant opened a second location at 12975 Collier Blvd., Naples, (239) 529-6131, joeydsnaples.com. Oakes Farm Market, 2205 Davis Blvd., Naples, (239) 732-0144, oakesfarms.com, plansto open its two-story addition by Dec. 1. Origami moved to 8911 Daniels Parkway, Suite 5, Fort Myers, (239) 482-2126, sushiorigami.com. One Pelican Larry’s and two Uptown Larry’s locations are now Rusty’s Raw Bar and Grill: 2700 Immokalee Road, Naples, (239) 597-5013; 16520 S. Tamiami Trail, Fort Myers, (239) 437-1870; 20041 S. Tamiami Trail, Estero, (239) 390-0123; rustysrawbarandgrill.com. Cloyde’s Steak & Lobster House is now T-Michaels Steak and Lobster, The Village on Venetian Bay, 4050 Gulf Shore Blvd. N., (239) 261-0622, t-michaels.com. Uncle Louie G’s Italian Ices & Ice Cream closed on Fifth Avenue South and opened at 7385 Radio Road, Naples, (239)-455-0664, unclelouiegee.com. Whisk! Treats and Eats re-opened at a new location: 935 Third Ave. N., Naples, (239) 263-3707, whisktreats.com.

 

—Cayla Stanley

 

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