Lured by stories of mild climates, year-round sun, and abundant fish and wildlife, visitors have flocked to Naples, Florida since the late 1800s for a taste of the relaxing neo-Mediterranean lifestyle. The white-sand beaches, lofty manicured golf courses, exquisite shopping and lively arts scene continue to attract the country’s most affluent citizens today, as Naples comes in second in regards to the highest proportion of millionaires per capita in the U.S. and has the sixth highest per capita income in the country. In this part of southern Florida, seafood is always on the menu. Area specialties include sustainably harvested native stone-crab claws drenched with butter or a bright mustard sauce, Sanibel pink shrimp and grouper. With the numerous highly acclaimed restaurants in the city, travelers often fly into the Naples Municipal Airport in their private jets to get up to speed on the latest culinary movements.
Where to Eat in Naples, FL
Hailed as the trendiest, must-visit upscale restaurant in the area, Sea Salt features the creations of Venetian-born chef Abrizio Aielli, who puts a new twist on traditional Italian cuisine. His menu changes daily and incorporates organic and local ingredients, which he cooks with his more than 100 varieties of salt. Dinner begins with a sea salt sampler with extra-virgin olive oil and bread to give you taste of the flavors that you can expect. Menu favorites include Wagyu beef, charcuterie, ravioli stuffed with veal, whole fresh fish, sea urchin poached in duck fat, salt-encrusted branzino, dry-packed scallops with lemon-caper oil, and foie gras funnel cake with beets and blackberry-nasturtium preserve. Elevate your dining experience by requesting a private dining service with carefully crafted menus, or have a seat at the chef’s table to watch masters at work on your 11-course degustation menu.
The Bay House
Hidden among flowing canals and mangrove trees, the Bay House is where discerning diners go for casual fine dining. When you look up at the ceiling, you’ll see a collection of restored wooden rowboats hung among modern chandeliers, adding to the restaurant’s trendy lodge-meets-boat house feel. The menu pays homage to seafood with items like the signature Coastal pan Roast made with fish, crab, and scallops; grilled octopus; oysters; and St. Augustine stew with grouper, snapper, shrimp, mussels, crab and lobster. For a more laidback vibe, head to the restaurant’s Claw Bar to enjoy live music with Southern culinary favorites.
Offering a mini-escape to the French Riviera in the middle of a Naples shopping strip, Côte d’Azur blends striking ingredients with country fare and slow-cooked delights in which chef Claudio Scaduto expertly executes classic French cooking techniques with vivacity and perfection. The quaint bistro’s interior decor will remind you of a provincial sidewalk café with its yellow-striped awning, windows inset with mirrors, and chic flower boxes. The fish of the day that Chef Scaduto serves is flown in daily, and the wine menu features highly rated vintages from little-known boutique wineries. The hidden gem’s daily menu includes succulent treats such as lamb chops with cranberry apple chutney, roasted pheasant tajine with Moroccan spices, roasted crispy duck, and Main lobster served with porcini mushrooms in a champagne and caviar truffle sauce.