Hot Dish

Hot Dish: Oct. 22, 2008

Inside the Gulfshore’s Dining Scene
New Restaurant Sets Itself “Apart” with Global Cuisine
A Table Apart has opened on Bonita Beach Road between U.S. 41 and the Gulf, serving up great-tasting, truly balanced global cuisine with Asian, French and Italian nuances.

While creative Chef Jeff Acol works in the kitchen, wife Jessica minds the front of the house. It’s been a family venture from the beginning. Everyone pitched in to paint the walls a rich gold faux finish, choose the stained glass lamps, pick the gold cloth napkins and decide the menu. The setting is a pleasant blend, suitable for both casual lunches and upscale dinners.

Chef Jeff Acol and wife Jessica at A Table Apart 

Jeff trained with some of Hawaii’s cooking giants, and the proof is in the pudding, or actually the delicate tarte Tatin (made by Jessica’s mom) and the chocolate mousse. My party of four raved over the filet mignon ($26), topped with caramelized onions and a pinot noir reduction. The pan-seared scallops ($24) were perfectly seared with a separate, savory roasted corn, richly smoked bacon and sliced Portobello mushroom mix. The sweet chili drizzle and a long dash of curry corn sauce on the plate made for another delight. We loved the comfort food of the succulently tender roasted Cornish hen ($19).

Filet mignon at A Table Apart

Chef Jeff brings out the best in fresh and unique vegetables, creates top quality food at very reasonable prices and pairs it with a solid wine selection. Highly recommended! A Table Apart, 4295 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs, (239) 221-8540.
Dine with Dolphins

M Waterfront Grille
opened with a splash on the Naples scene Oct. 14. A showing of “who’s who” and curious visitors alike were happy to see the stylin’ new décor and the beautiful expansive bay view. The owners, Peter and Chris Sereno, tastefully redecorated the restaurant from carpet to ceiling, with a relaxing, warm autumnal palette of tans, gold and burgundy.

a wine and cheese spread overlooking the bay at M Waterfront Grille

The Sereno brothers opened Maxwell’s on the Bay in 1988, and after 20 years, they realized the aging beauty needed more than a facelift to stay competitive. They enticed CIA-trained Chef Brian Roland to Naples from Fort Myers’ Crü, and diners have been amazed at his delicious cooking.

Cauliflower and corn soup at M Waterfront Grille

I tasted the heavenly cauliflower and fresh sweet corn soup and feasted on desserts including a 1.5-inch mini crème brûlée! Others had compliments for the almond brittle Chilean salmon, the classic braised pork and shrimp with manchego cheese mashed potatoes and the seared maple leaf duck breast with foie gras.

Peter Sereno, Chef Brian Roland and Christopher Sereno at M Waterfront Grille


It’s a hit! A neighboring shop owner told me the revamped restaurant exceeded her expectations and she plans to start referring customers there again for a great meal.

Feel free to post your comments on A Table Apart and M Waterfront Grille below.