Closed since Aug. 1 as part of a face-lift that has consumed the hotel in which it is housed, Baleen is one place that was particularly tough for locals to not have up and running. As it's an effortlessly elegant eatery directly on the beach, courtesy of its perch within LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort, a renovation was appreciated in theory—but was hard to stomach in practice. It is one of the only fine dining restaurants in town with sunsets as the backdrop and where bottomless champagne brunches can be had while sinking toes into the sand. As if we weren’t already impatient, Hurricane Irma’s landfall in September extended the timeline of the project and wreaked some havoc to boot.
But good things come to those who wait, and now visitors can re-enter a better, updated version of a treasured favorite. Reopened Nov. 17 for its regular service, guests will be greeted by new finishes in the dining room, such as natural shell stonework and cerused oak paneling (the technique creates a telltale undulating look, mirroring the waves outside), plus an installation piece resembling a whale bone by Barcelona-based artist Sophie Elizabeth Thompson.
The kitchen team is also gearing up to launch a new seasonal menu in December. Plus, those views, oh those views—they are one constant we can always get behind.
To plan a visit:
at LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort
9891 Gulf Shore Drive, Naples
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