1) Remember the many reasons I love Naples (and Fort Myers and, heck, all of Southwest Florida). So often I find myself chasing what’s brand-spanking-new and sizzling-hot so much that I will go for months without visits to the timeless treasures that have shaped the Naples dining map. For 2019, I will make my rounds of those treasures with more frequency and include places that opened three or so years ago—that are not quite in the establishment but are not in the breaking news realm, either.
2) Expand my horizons with every small bite. Even those of us who eat and write about eating for a living can get into a rut from time to time. It’s not so much going to the same restaurants on repeat (although, for the ones that I do frequent, I want to force myself always to order outside of my comfort zone—you know, the one dish that makes my mouth water with every forkful). It’s more so that I’ve found I’ll get on an octopus kick or a hummus kick or a sausage gravy kick, and I’ll order my focus du jour anywhere and any chance I get. That I’m going to shy away from.
3) Be kind. As an editor, I’m constantly observing, analyzing and crystallizing my experiences so readers can then judge for themselves if an eatery is worth their time. This year, while it’s no secret expectations have steadily climbed as the dining scene has reached new heights, I vow to keep it fresh in my mind that all places—even the best—can have off days. So if a soufflé isn’t as puffed as it should be or the wait staff keeps missing my motion for the check, I won’t let the alarm bells sound—not without another chance, another night.