The relaxed, casually elegant steakhouse Jimmy P’s Charred debuted last week after months of hungry (make that ravenous) anticipation. To say it was the hottest restaurant opening in Southwest Florida this summer is no hyperbole—the intimate, dark wood-paneled dining room was packed from day one and will continue to be if the kitchen keeps the food coming like it was, which we’re sure will be the case.
The Pepper family, Naples’ favorite purveyors of wagyu and other superior cuts of meat at their adjacent Jimmy P’s Butcher Shop & Deli for the past two decades, are blazing a new trail: butcher-to-table. The formula works well. Come in for your week’s supply of sirloins, house-cured sausages and Kurobuta pork chops; leave with a reservation for a decadent Friday night dinner of melt-in-your-mouth filet (with picture-perfect grill marks), quail-egg-topped steak tartare and swoonworthy sides, including the best creamed spinach laced with truffle oil this restaurant aficionado has ever tasted.
In the glow of the dining room’s wall-spanning fireplace, it’s hard not to admire the care with which Jim Pepper, a third-generation cleaver-wielding samurai, and his son, Jimmy, have put into the new venture. A long granite bar, exposed brick and other refined yet unstuffy touches invite guests to stay a while. The menu is filled with flavors and pairings modern palates have come to demand, like the aforementioned truffle (delicate shavings also dot the tartare), burrata (in an original and wonderfully delicious spin on a classic caprese salad) and Brussels sprouts (the star of a side dish with morsels of bacon and Argentine chimmichurri sauce).
Entrées stick to what the team knows better than anyone: meat, more meat and top-quality, mostly local fish. But take my word for it: Order yourself the wagyu—a filet, a New York strip or a sirloin. The Peppers have staked their reputation next door on carrying the best meats on the market. Now, with deft hands working the grill at their upscale-casual eatery, every steak brought to the table at Jimmy P’s Charred is cooked to perfection, and, to borrow the restaurant’s tagline, is indeed a cut above.