Food + Dining Main

The Next Class of Best New Restaurants

BY January 30, 2018


Try these rock star eateries that didn’t open in time for our 10 Best New Restaurants list. 

The Fashionista: Society (Fort Myers)

The kitchen of a Miami-based chef who vanquished the Food Network’s Bobby Flay on national television is putting out sinful works of art—plus, the sleek dining area and colorful rooftop greenspace are places you’ll want to linger.

Most Refined: Sails Restaurant (Naples)

This seafood bastion on the western end of Fifth Avenue South is led by a chef who last helmed a Relais & Chateaux property in Rhode Island. Matching the extensive crudos, raw bar and composed entrées in sophistication is the posh Euro space.

Best Reason to Eat Local: The Rooster Food + Drink (Naples)

The dynamite duo of Lisa Resch (who still owns and runs Carolina Catering Company) and Bryan Sutton (formerly of Veranda E) is putting refined twists on breakfast and lunch classics—and staying open late some nights, too.

Most True to Self: Namba (Naples)

You may know chef Koko, as he was the force behind Zen Asian BBQ. He left to pursue this passion project, which is a super-casual izakaya (Japanese pub) serving his signature ramen and sushi.

The Interpreter: Two Sisters Vietnamese Cuisine (Cape Coral)

Reaching into their family canon, these siblings and their mom deliver soulful, true-to-form delicacies from halfway across the world.

Most Spirited: Gather (Cape Coral) For a full description, see this month’s Best Bite.

Biggest Personality: The Saucy Meatball (Fort Myers)

The love child of Two Meatballs in the Kitchen, this smaller follow-up café has a dual identity—pizza by the slice on one end, and a lush private sit-down patio and restaurant on the other.

Most likely to surprise: Artisan Eatery (Fort Myers)

What may look like an ordinary sandwich shop is a playground for culinary school grad and former executive chef Tim Yoa, where he reimagines what can be done between two slices of bread. 

Most Exotic: Kareem’s Lebanese Kitchen (Naples)

Authentic Middle Eastern fare is affordable at this everyday gathering spot that features twists on hummus, shawarma, and heftier dishes like lamb and roasted quail.

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