In the past decade, the number of steakhouses in Naples, Florida, has shot up. Not only has the quantity improved, but the quality has shot up over the top. The towns of Bonita Springs, Naples and Marco Island have a nice mix of name brand, high end franchises such as Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar and homegrown, family operated favorites such as Jimmy P's Charred. They all excel in preparing prime beef cuts in the most flavorful and tender manner possible, but this is Southwest Florida after all, so seafood is not forgotten.
Most of the steakhouses adhere to the New York style ideal of a steak and potatoes bastion with handsome clubby and masculine attributes. Others make a departure with more modern and stylish looks. This list culls the best of the steakhouse herd from all parts of the region. It scans styles from old school to contemporary places where steak is only one of the house specialties. It reviews restaurants so clearly obsessed with steaks that they do their trimming and dry aging processes in house.
The range of prices, as beef costs continue to rise, is mostly at the top of the scale, but you will also find a few more affordable options among them.
With "chop" in its name, there's no doubting that the focus here is on meat. (239, of course, refers to the region's area code.) Choose from the standard cuts of steak, including a porterhouse for two. Pork rib chop or short ribs are more affordable options. Maine lobster is another specialty, and it comes on the surf and turf, whole or in ravioli. The menu also appeals to light and adventurous appetites with small plates. Given the restaurant's marina location and view, local seafood naturally has its place among the entrees. Try the black grouper with fennel pollen and Meyer lemon sauce. (239-394-0212)
Shula's Steak House
One in a team of steakhouses owned by football legend Don Shula, this popular steakhouse at the Hilton Naples scores a touchdown with every sizzling steak that comes out of the kitchen. The award winning Shula Cut beef is the trademark of the center cut Angus beef served at the restaurant. Cuts include filet mignon in three sizes, New York and Kansas City strip and cowboy (bone in) rib eye. Lobster is also in high demand, and patrons can select their own from a tableside cart. The menu offers other seafood and, at lunch, sandwiches and salads. The steaks are substantial, but try to make room for classic sides such as crab mac and cheese or truffle fries. (239-430-4999)
Chops City Grill
Chops City Grill has two local locations - one on Fifth Avenue South and a second in Bonita Springs. Its name is a double entendre for its fine steaks and its chopstick (Asian influence) fare. Chops fancies itself as the most spectacular steakhouse in the city, and there's a good chance the claim is right on. The atmosphere is fun and upbeat, from the Art Deco décor to the eclectic menu. Dishes include braised short rib, teriyaki glazed sea bass, Kurobuta pork chop and black pepper seared tuna, but the standouts are clearly the reasonably priced, dry aged and flawlessly prepared cuts of prime beef. (239-262-4677)
Truluck's Seafood, Steak & Crab House - Naples
Part of a small, Texas-based chain of restaurants, it is anything but cookie-cutter. The dining room seems oversized at first, but its popularity fills the warm, welcoming space at the back of Inn on Fifth most nights.
They come for their fix of various varieties of crab, lobster, New Orleans BBQ shrimp, miso-glazed sea bass, Scottish salmon bearnaise, cioppino and Idaho trout amandine, plus fine steaks and chops.
The restaurant professes a commitment to sustainable seafood. The "Chilean sea bass," for example, comes from South Georgia.
Its date night pre-fixe menu for two offers three courses for $39 a couple. ((239) 530-3131)
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar
Despite the fact it is part of a fairly extensive steakhouse chain, Fleming's ranks as one of Naples' best, winning awards locally and at the state level. In addition to offering the finest cuts of meat dry aged for the best flavor, it takes some daring creative risks. Take the porcini rubbed filet mignon with gorgonzola cream, for instance. Pair it with the truffled poached lobster for pure decadent surf and turf delight. Small plates and seafood entrees offer dimension. Try the Scottish salmon with barbecue glaze if you are not in the mood for red meat. Fleming's award winning wine list is very progressive with sampler flights also available. (2395982424)
The Continental is what foodies term a "meatery," a step above standard steakhouses. Its niche is two-fold: name-ranch steaks and craft cocktails. But yet it is multi-faceted, offering also such original concepts as its daily changing fresh fish and dessert pie menus. The steak takes center stage, however. It occupies one page of the dinner food menu, divided among the restaurant's four beef providers. Each touts its own connoisseur-level characteristics. Yet The Continental is clearly no ordinary steakhouse. Owners break the mold with their menus, but also with the restaurant's design. The dining room, which shows the telltale opulence of a typical steakhouse, opens onto the courtyard, where a convivial bar, bougainvillea-framed setting, cabanas and live dinner entertainment make this something wholly other. (239-659-0007)
It's not all about steak here, but that's what Manhattan dares to do in competition with the big name chains like Fleming's and Ruth's Chris breathing down its neck. And with much better prices. The family-owned fine steakhouse has earned its chops, so to speak, with restaurants in New York City, Miami and beyond. Start with the iceberg wedge salad to go along with the addicting soft rolls embedded with crunchy bits of cooked onion. You can order an eight-ounce filet or porterhouses for two to four. There's also a grilled T-bone veal chop, braised grouper with citrus sauce, Dover sole, grilled tuna steak, lobster tails, and lobster ravioli for entrees. For dessert, try the chocolate soufflé a la mode. (239-676-8687)
A well-loved local standout, Preston's Steakhouse is a top notch alternative to commercial chains. You can expect a convivial but intimate and soothing atmosphere, a fantastic wine list, peerless service and, of course, incredible steaks. The Morton Bay Bugs (Australian baby lobster) or oak grilled shrimp make a great starter, and you can complement your cut of meat with an array of impressive sides. Try the tender filet paired with savory creamed spinach. Seafood too figures importantly on the menu, with a crab cake appetizer and entree, grilled swordfish, and fresh fish of the day. Dishes are generously proportioned and executed with perfection. (239-435-1986)
Nothing beats a dinner out at the Ritz, where service, setting and culinary excellence combine to foment an experience that transcends mere eating by miles.
The Grill excels in fine steaks, but also knows its way around seafood. Dry-aged cuts include New York strip, ribeye and Delmonico, plus filet mignon, veal chop and Colorado rack of lamb. Why not splurge further and add a side of foie gras or half a lobster tail?
Signature entrees run the gamut from a decadent seafood stew with lobster, pink shrimp, mussels, octopus and clams to classic Dover sole meuniere.
Despite its formality, the atmosphere feels relaxed. Live music, usually light piano, frequently entertains. (239-598-6644, 239-514-6001)
Jimmy P's Charred
Newest to the Naples carnivore scene, Jimmy P's grew out of a popular long-standing butcher shop selling the finest in prime meats. The restaurant brings those steaks to the table for lunch and dinner, including Wagyu cuts and Kobe craft burgers and hot dogs. Specialties include the baseball sirloin and Wagyu Coulotte and "Frenched" New York strip. On the lunch menu, you will also find deli sandwiches, salads, and a boneless pork ribeye. Other dinner specialties include Berkshire pork short ribs, charred smoked octopus, pan-roasted Alaskan halibut, pork shank, and gnocchi 'n' cheese. Dark wood and brick set the warm, clubby tone. (239-643-2427)
About Chelle Koster Walton
Chelle Koster Walton – the Local Expert for Naples, Florida and the Caribbean – has been covering the destination for 30 years. Her top-selling Sarasota, Sanibel Island, and Naples guidebook (Countryman Press) is in its sixth edition. She was contributing editor for Caribbean Travel & Life for 12 years and has written guidebooks on the Bahamas.
A veteran travel writer, Chelle has published thousands of articles for Miami Herald, USA TODAY, Latitudes; has written/contributed to a dozen guidebooks, and produces travel shows for the local PBS station.
Read more about Chelle Koster Walton here.
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