I only ordered three items on my first lunchtime visit to K-Rico Mexican Grill at Bayfront in Naples. And now I have a new favorite margarita, ceviche and tamale. Plus a couple more reasons I’ll be back.
1. Our personable and attentive server assured me that The Mango Wango margarita would not be too sweet. The Naranja Orange Liqueur, mango puree and agave nectar ingredients had me a little worried. But she was right: The lime juice cut the sweetness while the Tanto Jalapeno Tequila and spicy tajin seasoning rimmer gave it just the right spark of fire. Perfect balancing act.
2. When it comes to ceviche, I’m a purist. I want it Peruvian style with some chunks of sweet potato and kernels of those corn nut-like crunchers. Then I met K-Rico’s Ceviche de Sandia (watermelon), and my whole life changed. Generous chunks of shrimp and grouper hide in wonderful habanero-passionfruit juices beneath a mound of cubed watermelon and red onion. The clincher is the added texture from chunks of jicama and slivers of radish. Crunchy house-made plantain tostada chips are the perfect sidekick.
3. After the birdbath ceviche encounter that had me slurping up every last bit of fruit juice, I thought I’d go light with just a single chicken tamale. It turned out to be more than I actually should have eaten, but I couldn’t stop. The tasty shreds of slow-roasted chicken and perfectly pillowy masa shell gets serious flavor and texture boosts from tequila-pickled onion, red tomato and green tomatillo sauces, pico de gallo, a drizzle of crema and cotija cheese.
4. Another reason to try K-Rico? The view outside overlooking the Gordon River sets the whole experience above. Views from the patio, bar and communal tables are best.
5. And then there’s the view inside: Its transformation from a former Roy’s restaurant feels artfully Mexican with mustard-colored walls, red pillars, pendant lighting and one huge skull-inspired mural.