After 19 months and seeing it being built in real-time, True Food Kitchen is finally ready to handle the deluge of Neapolitans who have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of its good-for-you and good-tasting food.
On Tuesday, March 28, it will be open to the public for both lunch and dinner. It's the kind of place where wire baskets brimming with oranges and limes are atop the bar and millennial servers in weathered tees emblazoned with “Honest” and “True” are happy to spread the gospel of Dr. Andrew Weil. The menu, based on his anti-inflammatory diet, also reflects a keen interest in sustainability. (Leaflets delivered to the table explain the gist—inflammation is bad; grains that you digest slowly help prevent it; fish, vegetables, and nuts do a whole lotta good).
I went for an early preview (a test run for the kitchen and wait staff), and now I’m signed on as an evangelical of the brand. I had my reservations at first because 1) it’s a chain, albeit a small and independently owned one and 2) I didn’t know how memorable the food could be with such a bias toward health. But to say I was beyond impressed is an understatement. My husband and I will for sure return time and again for the exquisite charred cauliflower coated in a creamy harissa-spiked tahini that’s dusted with pistachios, chopped mint and the most surprisingly dainty slices of medjool dates—and a sea bass over a hearty quinoa-mushroom-snap pea mix with tangy umami sauce. Even the grass-fed burger is a knock-out, with, again, that umami, and the lightest multi-grain bun you can imagine (plus caramelized onions and wilted greens to boot). Another sandwich, the “inside-out” quinoa burger, is also a must-try, if only for the novelty factor—baked quinoa patties double as a bun and hold a refreshing tower of hummus, tzatziki, avocado, lettuce and tomato inside.
From start (a Mediterranean salad hummus plate) to end (vegan Key lime pie with coconut chantilly), everything was seriously good. The only question I have is when I’ll go back for seconds.
To plan a visit:
True Food Kitchen
5375 Tamiami Trail N. (at the Waterside Shops), Naples