Naples landmark resort Naples Grande opened Catch of the Pelican restaurant as part of an $18 million renovation in 2015. Formerly the Strip House, Catch of the Pelican switched gears from a sassy bordello setting to something more truly indicative of the location – with tasteful nautical photography, a huge mounted tarpon at the entrance and brass accents throughout.
The open, free-flowing dining area spills out onto a new patio. Communal tables indoors and out add to the casual conviviality.
The menu, too, fits snugly into the local scene, what management describes as “Coastal Cuisine.”
The newly restyled Catch of the Pelican dining room — Photo courtesy of Naples Grande Beach Resort
Of course, this means wonderfully fresh seafood, such as a steamed mussels appetizer wallowing in a spicy Moroccan broth that deserves the soup spoon it comes with; it's studded with chickpeas and then garnished with cilantro.
Other fresh catches include the gulf snapper entrée puttanesca style, served on a bed of pearl couscous with capers and Picholine olives in a flavorful roasted tomato coulis. Catch of the Pelican's Guava BBQ Shrimp puts a tropical spin on shrimp and grits, with hearty chunks of chorizo sausage.
Then there's the miso-broiled sea bass, masterfully caramelized while retaining its silky composure. And don't forget the signature Florida grouper with fava bean succotash, fried green tomato, lemon buerre blanc and verjus reduction.
Meat, however, also takes a stance on the menu, as it did in Strip House days. Entrees range from Chimichurri Chicken Breast and kobe burger to filet mignon and cowboy steak for two. In the starters department, there are creative enticements such as pressed Iberico ham torta with manchego cheese and truffle butter, or Asian BBQ Glazed Pork Belly with savoy cabbage and pickled vegetables.
Locally sourced produce and herbs from Chef Tim Yoa’s herb garden outside the door bring further freshness to the restaurant’s variety of rustic-elegant, pottery-ware plates.
Early diners can enjoy a special three-course dinner every day from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Family friendly, the Catch of the Pelican serves “Little Pelicans” in fun bento boxes. The robust wine menu lists a mix of familiar varietals and nicely curated vintages from California, Italy, Australia and beyond.
Desserts run the gamut from ice cream and gelato to Key lime crème brûlée with citrus mint segments. Try the roast peanut truffle tart with dark chocolate and five-spice streusel if you're looking for some of the old place’s decadence .