A bevy can be a term for a group of people flocked together like birds. Which is why The Bevy in Naples, just off Third Street South, feels appropriately named—it draws flocks of the kind of sophisticated fine diner who appreciates the combination of beautiful setting, exquisite menu and superb cocktails. On the night of my recent dinner, the restaurant’s tables and its bar were both filled.
The restaurant is divided into two al fresco wings with an interior bar between them. A vertical garden graces one wall and gives the area a lush, verdant feel. With the neutral color palette illuminated by the glow of candlelight, the effect is both contemporary and comfortable, with a warmth and grace that permeated the whole evening.
My dinner companion and I began our meal with an order of deviled oysters ($11), yellow cornmeal-dipped oysters fried and placed over deviled eggs with candied bacon (at left). The flavor combination was strikingly good and reminiscent of the South with its salty, savory, earthy cuisine. We also shared the twice-cooked crispy pork belly with kimchi roasted vegetables ($11), which had just the right amount of spicy kick to balance the rich meat. As for those cocktails that have earned The Bevy its reputation as a prime sipping spot, I chose the Blackberry Collins ($14), a lightly sweet, easy-drinking beverage made from St. George gin, crème de mure, lemon juice, simple syrup and soda.
The evening grew cooler as we dined, and staff members circulated with blankets. They adjusted the gas heaters to just the right temperature, making sure everyone was comfortable, and the night took on the cozy feel of a campfire setting.
Our main courses arrived: grilled yellowtail snapper served with wild mushroom risotto ($29) and a bone-in Kurobuta pork chop special with blackberry demi-glace ($33). When I tried my first bite of the snapper, I had to take a moment to collect myself. It was that good.
“But how?” I asked my friend. “How have they made it so delicious?”
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A beurre blanc sauce had been served in a cup on the side, and the fish itself was free of any adornment. Yet somehow it was exceptionally good, perhaps due to its freshness and the on-the-mark preparation.
Across the table, my companion cut into her chop and with her first bite said, “Oh, my God.” She repeated it a second time. “Oh, my God.” Then, “This isn’t like any pork chop I’ve had before.”
The pork’s flavor had a depth and character not found in standard chops, and the blackberry demi-glace added the right amount of acidity to balance the meat. The dish was accompanied by steamed broccoli rabe and whipped potatoes.
When it came time for dessert, we saw more of The Bevy’s unique touches at play with an outstanding panna cotta ($8) served with mango coulis and fresh berries and a whimsical plating of a Nutella “dirt cup” ($6). Made with Nutella mousse, crushed Oreos and salted caramel pretzel bites and served in a miniature flower pot adorned with mint leaves and a flower blossom, the cup was a delight to see and to devour (which we did, promptly).
The Bevy offers a combination of many fine elements, any one of which would make it worth visiting. But with all three—lovely setting, impressive cocktails, excellent menu—it’s a must-visit spot.
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360 12th Ave. S., Naples, 228-4220, naplesbevy.com. Open Monday through Thursday, 3-11 p.m.; Friday, 3 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wheelchair-accessible. Reservations recommended