Chef David Nelson's next act after nearly a decade helming Truluck’s kitchen (with a brief stint righting the ship at Avenue 5 before it was announced Ocean Prime would take its place) will put him in the center of a brand-new open kitchen from before sunrise till after sundown. Timeless – an MHK Eatery is owned by architect Matthew Kragh and being built right now on U.S. 41 across from Wynn’s—and, if all goes to plan, it should be open by February 2017 for breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, late bites and deliveries.
Chef David Nelson stands with the restaurant’s mascot, a 1957 Porsche replica; he and Timeless owner architect Matthew Kragh envision a large area for deliveries, with this car being trotted out to serve Naples clients.
The restaurant will combine traditional table service with elements of a gourmet market and lounge and an indoor-outdoor bar serving beer and wine. It also hopes to fill a niche for gourmet meals brought straight to your door through its mascot, a 1957 Porsche convertible replica (imagine that pulling up as opposed to a motor scooter or van).
Coinciding with Timeless’ opening is the arrival of Le Moulin Bakery and Bistro under the same roof. Run by third-generation French baker Yannick Brendel, it will be one half of a collaborative relationship between the two spaces connected by a small breezeway. In fact, several key items from the broad modern American menu at Timeless will get their start next door: Brendel and his team will make bagel dough, pizza dough and all of the bread that will be served at Timeless.
“I’m excited to get back to lunch. Truluck’s was dinner-only. There’s an art to making a sandwich—the textures, the heat. I can tell the guys next door what kind of bread I want each day, and it will be baked fresh,” Nelson says.
As for the building blocks of those creations, Nelson is excited to make his own pastrami and plans to smoke pork belly in-house—the latter he’ll use in a Cuban sandwich with “some prosciutto cotto, straight-up mustard, a sweet apple-onion slaw for uniqueness and texture, and house pickles,” he says.
Classics including a Cobb salad are being reinvented: a frisée-topped stack of crab meat, shrimp, shucked corn, tomatoes and more alongside lardons.
Rounding out the menu for lunch are salads and pizzas. Daily breakfast will have bagels and a short list of frittatas and such with expanded brunch offerings on weekends. For dinner, there will be small plates (which will also be available late, at least until midnight), the pizzas (including some fun ones, like braised short ribs with Gouda and pickled jalapeños), plus about six to eight composed dishes, like steak, a wagyu pot roast and a few seafood items. The inspiration, says Nelson, has been the type of upscale comfort food he’s sampled in gastropubs across the country.
Kragh, a big foodie himself, has designed many a restaurant, including Vincenzo Betulia’s The French opening in December—but this is his first project for himself. The décor will be white, minimalist—in a word, timeless. He plans to install a giant horseshoe crab sculpture from Naples artist Ed Koehler as a focal point; he also gave Nelson carte blanche for kitchen equipment, and the layout organically sprouted around a top-of-the-line coal-burning oven (hence the clever thru-line of bagels, frittatas, sandwiches and pizzas—all of which will be fired up in there). The oven will anchor an open kitchen that will separate the table-service area from the lounge with bar stools lining each side for front-row seats to the action.
Rock shrimp tacos will take on an Asian influence with house-made “Dynamite” chili mayo.
“I really hope that people come in and we’re known as a place where you can have a really great time—great unique but approachable food—food that people will recognize but has a independent twist,” Nelson says. “It’s a little daunting because I’ve been a dinner-only chef for most of my life. I’m going from five-hour service to 15 hours. It’s daunting but I’m pretty excited as well. There’s such a small amount of breakfast places and late-night places in Naples. That’s the motivation. I’m doing the best to help fill that void.”
Until the doors open in February, visions of bagels, pizzas and gastropub favorites will have to dance in our heads.
Timeless – an MHK Eatery
Opening February 2017
90 Ninth St. N., Naples
Get the Hot Dish every Wednesday and Friday online and every month in Gulfshore Life.