Hot Dish

Resch, Sutton Team Up to Open The Rooster

The Carolina Catering Co. founder and the departing executive chef of Veranda E are working to bring us Southern comforts with a healthful streak to downtown Naples this December.

BY October 27, 2017

She is known as a go-to for sophisticated cocktail bites with a Southern streak. He is known as one of the best fine-dining chefs in town, able to craft many of his masterpieces without gluten and often without even carbs.

Together, these two Southerners, Lisa Resch and Bryan Sutton, are about the give Naples a rustic coastal café, The Rooster Food + Drink.

“There will be healthy options along with the Southern favorites we are tied to,” Resch, owner of Carolina Catering Company, says.

The menu isn’t set, but Resch envisions plenty of lighter fare, like greens with candied nuts and fruit. 

Targeting a Dec. 3 opening, the breakfast, lunch and brunch spot (that will be open on and off for dinner with special events) will take over the spot previously held by Oneyda’s Bakery & Deli and a barbecue joint before that. On the north end of the plaza on Goodlette-Frank that also holds Bambusa, they are renovating the space, going with what Resch calls clean and sweet (think: a lot of white-wash, pieces from Naples Custom Furniture and enamel-ware plates).

Colleen Connolly, manager of Carolina Catering Co. (which is definitely still very much going to continue its busy calendar, whereas Sutton has resigned from his post at Veranda E), is also a partner. Resch has significant experience in the restaurant business, too, owning the popular Bin 58 in Tanglewood Plaza before selling it and going into the catering world.

“We are doing as much of it ourselves—we will even make some of our own charcuterie. Our goal is keeping it healthy and keeping it really flavorful,” Resch says.

They are planning to source meat from Circle C Farm, Florida pinks when it comes to shrimp, and the renowned cheeses from small dairies in the center of Florida.

Lunch could mean buttermilk fried chicken on a scallion biscuit with red pepper jelly, or cumin-grilled skirt steak lettuce wraps with charred corn, salsa verde, radish and cotija—or a watermelon, feta and arugula salad with sugared pumpkin seeds, fennel, kale and pistou-grilled chicken.

Y’all know it’s gonna be good.

Resch and Sutton are also going to host a public menu tasting for 30 or so guests to refine which dishes will make the final cut (but the real battle, to Resch, is a shrimp and grits cook-off—whose dish, hers or Sutton’s, will win). Stay tuned to social media (the Facebook handle will be TheRoosterNaples) in the coming weeks for more news and to reserve a seat. Or just stop by and be surprised after Dec. 3.

Bryan Sutton, who made a name for himself in Naples at the Hotel Escalante’s Veranda E, is leaving there Nov. 10 to devote himself to The Rooster. 

Lisa Resch’s Carolina Catering Co. is a fixture on the social circuit—and she’ll now also return to her restaurant roots. 


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