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emily Oct 29th, 2002 08:25 AM

naples, fl. restaurants
Wondering if anyone has tried any of these restaurants recently and would recommend them:<BR><BR> Sign of the Vine<BR> Syrah<BR> Chops<BR> Baleen @ La Playa<BR><BR>Any of these you would not go to for dinner? Any other recommendations? Thanks!

Patrick Oct 29th, 2002 08:40 AM

I'm not a big fan of Sign of the Vine, but it is a truly unique dining experience. I only have been there when someone else is footing the bill --which is guaranteed to be enormous.<BR><BR>I love Syrah -- excellent fish in unusual preparations and outstanding service.<BR><BR>Chops is certainly a favorite. Owned by the same team as Pazzo and Yabba, <BR>Chops is the outstanding star in the &quot;chain&quot;. I especially like being able to get outstanding sushi as an appetizer, followed by a truly great in-house-aged steack. I haven't been to their newer location north near Bonita/Estero, but hear it is just as good.<BR><BR>No experience with Baleen -- too far for me to go when I live just a couple of blocks from the great places on Fifth Avenue.

emily Oct 29th, 2002 08:53 AM

Patrick:<BR>I have enjoyed all of your past Naples recommendations. Is there a particular restaurant you would recommend instead of Sign of the Vine for a &quot;fine dining&quot; experience?

Paul Oct 29th, 2002 09:26 AM

Thanks to Patrick's recomendation on a previous post, I too have eaten at Syrah. I took my parents there to dine and the three of us had a blast and one heck of a terrific meal. I WILL return! {Thanks again for the suggestion, Patrick.}<BR><BR>La Playa's restaurant is also VERY good. Maybe a bit more formal than Syrah, but still extremely comfortable. Go ahead and try the filet of beef with the blue cheese. It was wonderful!<BR><BR>I have not been to the other restaurants you are questioning. Did you know that you could eat at a different restaurant in Naples every day of the year, and never repeat the same establishment twice? (Meaning there are more than 365 restaurant in Naples!}<BR><BR>Happy Trails,<BR>Paul

Patrick Oct 29th, 2002 09:44 AM

When I moved to Naples in 1977, the choices were pretty much fried fish and french fries, or steak and salad bar. My how times have changed!<BR><BR>I still think the Grill Room at the Ritz is a very special place. Yea, it is far too overpriced, but still a great restaurant with a wonderful &quot;library&quot; sort of atmosphere. And the service there will be polished and refined in every way. I find the main dining room, just too big and &quot;over the top&quot;. <BR><BR>Haven't been to Lafite at The Registry for a while, but for a formal dining experience it has always been a favorite.<BR><BR>Many people still rave about Chardonnay for a more formal French place, but I refuse to go back after a whole series of really bad experiences there. Those have been quite a while back now, but I find there are too many other good places to spend my money there.<BR><BR>Campiello is probably my favorite restaurant in Naples, but it's not what you'd call formal. Everything that comes out of their wood ovens is just so delicious.<BR><BR>Paul's comment reminds me, however, that perhaps my favorite dish in Naples is the gorgonzola encrusted filet mignon at Pazzo. Haven't tried this similar dish at Syrah.<BR><BR>Roy's is a another favorite of mine, and always worth the drive north to eat there. You just have to pretend that you don't know it's owned by the Outback and Carabba's people.<BR><BR>There are three new restaurants in the same Bayfront complex as Syrah, but I haven't had the chance to try any of them -- &quot;Bellagio&quot; just opening this week. <BR><BR>Now, damn you Emily, I've been trying to reduce my eating out budget so I can afford to travel, and you've just got my mouth watering for all these places.

Tina Oct 29th, 2002 06:44 PM

I moved to Naples in 1972. I'll say no more.

lilmsfoodie Oct 30th, 2002 01:56 AM

Campiello isn't exactly fine dining but it is one of my Naples favorites. It has a gorgeous location and the design is excellent. It is part of a chain from Minneapolis that owns D'Amicos. The food is sort of Italian and they make lovely Bellinis. My favorite is a chicken salad with gorgonzola, grilled and carmelized pears and candied walnuts on mesclun. Outstanding.<BR><BR>I used to love Roys but now go to Chops in Bonita as it is better and less expensive. I didn't realize that Outback owned Roys.

Ike Oct 30th, 2002 03:54 AM

Tina retired in Naples when she was 67 during the year 1972. Guess this 97 lady had to go fish her teeth out of the jar before she could talk here on the forum.

Patrick Oct 30th, 2002 05:08 AM

Lest people misunderstand about Outback owning Roy's. That is misleading. Outback is a &quot;fanchise&quot; chain as is &quot;Carraba's&quot;. The way I understand it, the same people who own the Naples/Bonita Outbacks and Carrabas, also own the &quot;franchise&quot; Roys in Bonita.<BR><BR>I think you have a good point, lilmsfoodie. I have a number of friends in the northern areas of Naples and Bonita, many of whom now also prefer Chops to Roys. Roys made a mark as being the first &quot;upscale&quot; restaurant in that area. Now, fortunately, there are several more.

Paul Oct 31st, 2002 03:39 AM

Three times, I have been to a terrific Italian restaurant in the strip mall that houses Publix at Pine Ridge and Airport Roads. It is excellent!!! Sorry, I'm not sure, but I than it was called Rinalti's Ristorante. Just a small cafe, but very good.<BR><BR>What I am curious about, is the restaurant that is referred to in the Fodors post, &quot;Looking for Shery who stayed at LaPalya...&quot;<BR><BR>Sherry writes, &quot;The concierge at CP also recomended that little Italian 'strip mall' place, and unfortuantely we didnt get there, although I am sure, based on her other recommendations, it was great! Glad you made it and enjoyed it.&quot;<BR><BR>OO (I assume that is the same person as Olive Oyl?) writes, &quot;I raised my eyebrows at 'strip mall,' and certainly the drive-up appeal was less than ideal, but what a terrific restaurant and experience it was. It was just lovely inside, full of well-heeled locals, and obviously one of the better dining spots. We had super meal.&quot; <BR><BR>Can anyone name this restaurant? I would like to try it on my next visit.<BR><BR>Thanks, and Happy Trails,<BR>Paul

Patrick Oct 31st, 2002 04:33 AM

Good question, Paul. I saw that post too and was curious. Olive Oyl or anyone?????? Nonna Marie's fits that description, but I've never been very impressed with it, just a small step up from Olive Garden.

Sherry Oct 31st, 2002 08:23 AM

Sorry Paul &amp; Patrick, we didnt go to eat there, but maybe OO will see this and can remember the name of the restaurant.

Paul Nov 9th, 2002 04:54 PM


nancy Nov 11th, 2002 08:56 AM

We stayed at LaPlaya three weeks ago and dined at Baleen one of the nights. It was wonderful!!! I definitely recommend dinner as the sun is going down. We ate there right at the end of sunset, but as the darkness came, it was still soooo wonderful. Try to eat outside if the temperature is not too low. The mashed potatoes were great. Everything was great.

Patrick Nov 11th, 2002 09:36 AM

Since this thread has reappeared, thought I'd add a postscript about Sign of the Vine. There was an article in the local paper (The Naples Daily Snooze) last week about it. They've reopened for the winter with a bit of a different format -- $ 75 fixed price. It includes appetizers from &quot;the table?&quot;, choice of two or three main courses, and several other courses. I couldn't tell from the article if there were any choices other than the one for the main course.<BR><BR>I also ate this week at a new place called Bravissimo. Food from various regions of Italy. Nice place, good service, pretty atmosphere. It is on 7th Avenue South. I got bold and had the braised oxtail -- like a beef osso bucco only better. It was really wonderful. Two at our table had a spectacular pasta -- homemade pappardelle with a thick and rich lamb ragu. The fourth had a great rack of lamb. Other specials include a slow roasted rack of pork which is definitely mine the next time. Starters and desserts were great too. The waiter politely advised us against the four fish dishes, saying they really aren't happy with their supplier and are working on a better one.

OliveOyl Nov 11th, 2002 10:31 AM

I missed this note earlier on our Bonita Springs restaurant experience, and on seeing it mentioned now, decided to track it down--first through one of Coconut Point's concierge who gave one possiblity that sounded familiar and the directions were correct, then directory assistance because I couldn't find a number for the name she had given me (she neglected to add the first word, &quot;Ristorante&quot;, then speaking with the restaurant itself, after which I am positive this is it. Ristorante Farfalla, which is in the Corkscrew Village Shopping Center, the first right off 41 onto Corkscrew Rd. as you head north from the Hyatt. Phone # 239-495-9912. The address is actually Estero, FL, not Bonita Springs. It's a 75 seat fine dining restaurant, linen tablecloths etc. If the restaurant isn't authentic...the restaurant manager/owner certainly is!! It has received 4* accolades from xxx--I was lost in his accent. :&gt; It's a drive from Naples, as Hyatt Coconut Point is about 40 minutes north and this restaurant was another 5-10 minutes or so north of that. For anyone headed to Hyatt Coconut Point though, I'd give this two thumbs up. Food, service, decor, all far surpassed our expectations.

Patrick Nov 11th, 2002 11:28 AM

Thanks for the efforts, OO. Amazing, I've never heard of this place. A little far for a normal evening out for me, but with these glowing recommendations sounds like something I'll have to try.

Sherry Nov 11th, 2002 04:07 PM

Nice of you to hunt it down OO!<BR>I think that was indeed one of the names from the menus the concierge showed us. She certainly gave it a good rec.<BR>Again, glad to know you enjoyed it and Patrick, if you do ever make it up there, let us know what you think please.

Laurie Nov 12th, 2002 07:57 AM

Is Roy's the Hawaiin restaurant? They opened one in Chicago recently and I heard it was very good. I go to Naples often and didn't realize there was one in there. I also didn't know that it was owned by the Outback group.

Patrick Nov 12th, 2002 08:36 AM

Yes it is Roy's of the Hawaiin fame. Again, so far as I know it is only the local franchise Roy's in Bonita that is owned by the same group that owns the local Carraba's and Outback. This does not imply that other Roy's around the country are, or even that it means much of anything. I suppose a local person or group could own a high end restaurant and own a local McDonalds franchise at the same time.

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