Food + Dining Main

Hot Dish: Mediterrano Debuts Off Third

  Over the years, I’ve found that when I let my internal compass steer me, I’m never disappointed. On a recent walk in downtown Naples, I stumbled upon Mediterrano, a tiny restaurant across from Le Lafayette off Third Street. It had only been open for three days, and I was intrigued.  Menu interesting? Check. (Dishes with accents from countries around the eponymous sea—bonus points for wines from Slovenia, Croatia, Israel and more regions worthy of discovery, plus, of course, requisite Italian, French and Spanish selections.) Décor inviting? Check. (A lovely sea green-and-white coastal vibe.) Diners on the packed patio seemingly enjoying themselves? Check. (Smiles, laughter and no audible complaints.) Yes, please, I’d like a seat. I frantically waved for my family who were lagging behind to join me, barely containing my excitement.  There was something very comforting about the place, even with the craziness of season and the fact it had been open for less than a week. The hands-on nature of the owner, Milos Ljubenovic, has everything to do with that. He tended to each of us and the other customers as if we were all old friends. He had no problem poking some fun at himself, cracking a joke about how he was the waiter, host and also a remodeler for-hire, as he and his brother crafted every element of the aforementioned dining room by hand. (In case anyone out there may doubt the sincerity of his actions, he had no clue I was a f
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