When I stepped into Timeless – an MHK Eatery, the first restaurant from Naples architect Matthew Kragh and chef David Nelson, I let out a little gasp. The interior is breathtaking—high ceilings, white walls, pale wood floors, wood and marble tabletops. The space feels so fresh, so current, that one glance and you’ll know the Naples dining scene has arrived.
On the night of our dinner, my companions and I perused the menu, trying to choose among its whimsical, sometimes witty take on American classics. We opted for the lobster and shrimp corndogs ($14)—corndogs!—a trio of tempura-fried lobster and shrimp croquettes complete with wooden sticks. Served with wasabi cocktail sauce and Chinese hot mustard, they were divine. We also ordered the beet and watermelon salad ($10), a fresh deconstructed take on the traditional beet salad made with mâche, feta and ginger-pistachio vinaigrette.
Funghi pizza with truffled arugula
It’s impossible to eat at Timeless without sampling their pizzas, perhaps the eatery’s best-known dish. The menu is filled with adventurous combinations like The Maverick, made with barbecue short ribs, smoked gouda, pickled jalapeños and caramelized onions, and the PB&J, with pineapple, bacon and jalapeños. We decided on the Hog Wild ($18), made with ham, Italian sausage, cracked olives and fennel—“It’ll wow you,” our waiter said, and he was right—along with the Funghi ($14), made with creamed leeks, olive oil- and garlic-braised wild mushrooms, Gruyere, thyme, rosemary and truffled arugula.
“That could be the best pizza I’ve ever put in my mouth,” one friend said of the latter after her first bite.
The crust was thin, artfully blistered by the coal-fired oven, and the toppings showed a superb understanding of the best ways to balance diverse ingredients.
Rock crab- and brie-stuffed salmon
For our main courses, we split the Florida black grouper ($36) with sweet corn risotto, andouille sausage, serrano-lime butter and rock shrimp pico de gallo as well as the espresso and stout 48-hour braised short ribs ($38) served with blue cheese gnocchi. When we were debating what to order, we had asked our waiter about the short ribs and he said, astutely, “Best short ribs I’ve ever eaten.” The meat was fork-tender, rich and savory, with hints of the stout and espresso. The grouper, too, was very good, if a touch overshadowed by the andouille sausage.
After all that, we still needed a sweet touch to complete the evening. We chose to split the bananas foster bread pudding ($14), an exquisite end to the night with notes of bananas and chocolate.
Timeless is the kind of spectacularly beautiful restaurant where, even if the food wasn’t top-notch, you’d still want to eat there. But, as it happens, the food is top-notch, and it’s everything sophisticated diners seek in a restaurant.
Timeless – an MHK Eatery
90 Tamiami Trail N., Naples, (239) 331-4325, timelesseatery.com. Open Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to close, and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to close. Wheelchair-accessible. Reservations recommended.