A new bull has charged onto Pine Ridge Road, bringing lechon asado, paella and café cortadito—olé!
His name is Fernandez, and, like his older counterpart on Immokalee Road, he has a Cuban accent. But from a fully stocked bar to a space double the size, including an ample outdoor patio, there’s even more to love about the second location of a Naples institution.
Fernandez the Bull Cuban Café and Bar opened in late September on the eve of the Fernandez family’s 30th anniversary in the local restaurant business. This new spot, aside from being easier for downtown patrons to salsa on over to, is also offering what no other Cuban restaurant in Naples is at the moment: a full bar for rum-drenched, minty mojitos.
As for the food, loyal fans won’t be disappointed.
“The family recipes remain unchanged, and we have our head chef overseeing both kitchens to ensure this,” says Stephanie Figueroa, the café’s co-owner and niece of Luis Fernandez, who opened the first Fernandez the Bull in 1985.
That’s not to say they haven’t had fun in the new kitchen. They’ve added appetizers, such as stuffed yucca and a bruschetta of house-made Cuban bread with shredded pork, avocado and tomato. But the El Toro, a hulking 32-ounce bone-in rib-eye that the menu warns needs 45 minutes to prepare, is guaranteed to turn heads.
The north location on Immokalee will remain open, and the Fernandez family is looking to bring the flavors of their native Cardenas even further up the coast. Although we’d like to think of Fernandez as the cousin to famous flower-smelling Ferdinand in temperament, when it comes to expansion, we hope it’s a full-speed-ahead charge.
To plan a visit:
Fernandez the Bull Cuban Café and Bar
3375 Pine Ridge Road (in the Meridian Marketplace east of Livingston Road)