When we heard the Randy behind Randy's Fishmarket was at work on a new project, we knew we'd better listen up. He may have stepped back from the original venture that still bears his name, but he didn't lose touch with his winning recipe for a casual restaurant to lure seafood lovers.
At Fish Crazy, which Randy Essig and Tony Valego opened earlier this year in the old Naples Tomato space on U.S. 41 north of Wiggins Pass, it tows the right harmony between pops of Naples’ characteristic refinement and a laid-back fish shack where you can sit with a bottle of Rolling Rock and a grilled grouper sandwich after a day on the water. A sushi bar opposite the main bar has its own menu and chef, and between the gumbos and fried baskets on the regular menu, we are thankful we caught sight of a darn good spin on shrimp and grits with an insanely sweet tangle of caramelized onions balanced by tart goat cheese and spicy chorizo.
There are, of course, some zany touches, like the indoor bocce court people can't seem to get enough of that can also be reserved for private parties. And, like with the original Randy’s, there’s a market that’s mentioned in our July issue (on newsstands now!) as a great stop for picnic essentials, including his famous Key lime pie, always fresh and on the refrigerated display shelves. Reeled-in fish is prepped as chunky to-go dips and spreads or sold by the pound—either precooked or in its natural state for you to experiment with at home.
Shrimp and grits and a grilled grouper sandwich
14700 Tamiami Trail N., Naples
(239) 260-1070, fishcrazyrestaurant.com