Best Of


10 Best New Restaurants 2018

Our food editor’s annual list of the hottest places in Southwest Florida

Not only did we have a great year, but Collier County—like the straight-A student it has proven to be—claimed a particularly precocious class of newbies (so much so I wished for more spots on the list). Per usual, my magazine foots the bill, so I can imbibe to share the full scoop (no special treatment from servers, managers or owners). And while food creativity and execution were my main concerns, I also factored in service, ambience and other intangibles. I have once again stayed focused on independent eateries, which led to some hand wringing—two chains still deserved recognition (see our honorable mentions). To be technical, there are two lists here: one for Collier and one for Lee. Because, really, raise your hand if you tend to stay in a 20-minute comfort radius—let alone drive an hour-plus on the interstate. But perhaps you should. Read on, get hungry and dig in. Collier County 1. The French Brasserie Rustique 365 Fifth Ave. S., Naples; 239-315-4019, thefrenchnaples.com There’s no beating around the bush: Vincenzo Betulia’s venture into Gallic cuisine was by far the best new restaurant to hit all of Southwest Florida. His latest effort expanded beyond the rock-solid Italian base he has built with his Osteria Tulia and Bar Tulia, just steps away on Fifth Avenue. You could dine à la parisienne outside on the sidewalk, in a café chair on the sea of mosaic tiles blanketing the floor or on a stool at the bar. (The fact
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