Fun, funky haunts Naples/Bradenton/Sarasota

Old May 22nd, 2006, 07:36 AM
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Fun, funky haunts Naples/Bradenton/Sarasota

Heading to FL tomorrow to visit a friend. Looking for recommendations for restaurants, bars, shopping, lounging & general entertainment while we spend Wed/Thurs in Naples and the rest of the week in the Bradenton/Sarasota area.
We're both foodies (she's a chef), love wine and probably won't be interested in Campiello/Lurcat as we're from Mpls and have had our fill for years.
Would love suggestions that are off the beaten path, have innovative specials/happy hours, great ambiance, and will accommodate our budget/great value mindset.

Thanks in advance!
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 11:31 AM
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Randy's Fish Market cafe on the southbound side of US 41 in North Naples between Vanderbilt Beach Road and Bonita Beach Road. You won't be sorry. Come as you are, stay all afternoon.

Fernandez the Bull in a strip mall just north of the Naples airport. Delicious Cuban food and nice people. Not easy to find, but worth the hunt. Dinner or lunch. Two steps up the dressy scale from Randy's but casual is fine.

Baa! A Persian bistor near the post office and movie theatre in the strip mall at the intersection of Vanderbilt Beach Road and US 41. Fabulous, fabulous unusual food in a very attractive setting with good service. Dressy casual. Reservation advised.



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Old May 22nd, 2006, 11:32 AM
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Randy's Fish Market cafe on the southbound side of US 41 in North Naples between Vanderbilt Beach Road and Bonita Beach Road. You won't be sorry. Come as you are, stay all afternoon.

Fernandez the Bull in a strip mall just north of the Naples airport. Delicious Cuban food and nice people. Not easy to find, but worth the hunt. Dinner or lunch. Two steps up the dressy scale from Randy's but causal is fine.

Baa! A Persian bistor near the post office and movie theatre in the strip mall at the intersection of Vanderbilt Beach Road and US 41. Fabulous, fabulous unusual food in a very attractive setting with good service. Dressy casual. Reservation advised.



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Old May 22nd, 2006, 12:38 PM
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With all due respect I'm not sure any of the above three suggestions would be too impressive to any "foodie". They are all OK, but I wouldn't call any of them anything special. A big step up from Randy's is Nemo's -- also a strip mall location, but a Japanese bent on very good seafood dishes really well prepared.

In Old Naples is a new place called Nektar, pricey but really interesting Mediterranean (not necessarily Italian as that word seems to mean these days at most places).

You may want to check out Evoo on the north trail between Naples and Bonita. I haven't been, but local foodies are singing high praises. www.evoomarket.com
 
Old May 22nd, 2006, 12:46 PM
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Another vote for Nemo's. I ate at Nemo's in March and was quite impressed with their varied menu. I had their salmon pie!
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