Food + Dining Main

Stage Deli’s New Look

A renovation and name change earlier this year reflects a family’s renewed commitment to preserving the same great taste.

BY May 27, 2016


Matzo ball soup. Reubens. Latkes. Challah French toast. Kale salad, too. Talk to anyone in Naples, and it seems like they have a dish that draws them to the Stage Deli (formerly “Stage 62 Deli,” or just, “The Deli”).

A staple in Mercato since its early days now almost a decade ago, The Deli actually can trace its roots to Michigan in 1962. Owner Steve Goldberg’s parents started the original there, and he founded this one here.

A look behind the deli counter—oh, wait—there is no counter, and that’s the point: The family had the chutzpah to pair food found at the most casual of casual joints with table service. And now a soup-to-nuts makeover has pushed the idea even further. I’ve been a loyal patron for years, but when I walked in one evening near the end of season, I practically had to grip the back of one of the new white leather seats. The pictures of film stars were thankfully still there but hung gallery-style and offset by a palette of rich blues.

Goldberg, who splits his time between here and his two locations outside Detroit, said at a party this week to officially introduce the renovation that his goal was to continue elevating the concept of a deli. He also said his Mercato chef “makes food that makes me want to kiss her!" (If you know a Jewish bubbe or have seen one on TV, that image reads warm and sweet.)

I have to admit, I seek out the Deli for the Mish Mash ($14, pictured). Served tableside in a stock pot with a ladle and bowls, it’s matzo ball soup on steroids starring big pieces of chicken, noodles, rice and kreplach, and it can easily feed a family of four. But after my visit this week where I nibbled half the menu, I may return for a toasty reuben—or a simple corned beef sandwich (from now until September that classic “Single on Stage Rye” is 50 percent off with the purchase of a “Hot Plate” or “Grill” entrée at dinner).


To plan a visit:

Stage Deli
9105 Strada Place, Naples
(239) 597-2800

Local deal: Naples residents get 15 percent off their bill from 6 p.m. to close each day.

Related Images: