Fine Dining in Naples: Originality, Luxury and Excellence



In 2014, Conde Nast Traveler magazine listed Naples at number 17 on its Top Cities for Foodies readers' choice awards. That was a first, but a well deserved honor for a small town stuffed with talented chefs and to-die-for-restaurants.

Most local foodies agree that the recent appearance of Sails Restaurant boosted Naples' reputation for innovative cuisine. But years and many restaurants have set the table for the town's culinary ascendancy. The Grill at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, for instance, sent Naples down a path of culinary excellence and polished service decades before. Others followed suit.

This list includes the creme de la creme, from inimitable Italian cuisine in a town with uncountable Italian restaurants to creative global fare. Others create their palette with French, Mediterranean and American cuisines. Their settings range from designer dining rooms and a masculine club-like setting to simple strip-mall spots and one with golf course greens views.

Though their settings and culinary influences vary, all of these restaurants share the common denominator of daring creativity in a town that tends to weigh in on the conservative side. The fine dining scene - fueled by a well-traveled and -heeled winter clientele - continues to improve every year as competition grows stiffer. Naples is a town that loves to eat out and eat well. Its fine restaurants meet that challenge brilliantly.


10
Old Naples
Avenue5
Photo courtesy of Inn on Fifth


 

Opened in February 2014, it replaces the well-loved McCabe's Irish Pub at the Inn on Fifth. Residents grumbled at first, but now they hail the light, airy space with walls of glass and wine bottles. The menu matches the contemporary setting...  Read More


9
Lemonia
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


 

The only town with two Ritz-Carltons, Naples benefits from the brand's fine, precise influence on its restaurant scene. At the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Lemonia has a slightly more relaxed feel than The Grill at the cross-town beach resort. But...  Read More


8
Wylds Cafe
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


 

The menu changes with the seasons at Wylds, but the tenderloin saga remains a constant. Wading in a pool of demi-glace, the grilled filet mignon gets piled with shards of pommes frites and the glue of melted saga blue cheese. A take on steak...  Read More


7
Verdi's American Bistro
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


 

Subtitled "an American Bistro," Verdi's has been Marco Island's culinary boast for well over a decade. Don't be fooled by its simple strip mall setting. The kitchen offsets the simplicity with marvelously crafted seafood and meat dishes...  Read More


6
The Continental
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


 

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...  Read More


5
Angelina's Ristorante
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


 

The kitchen's excellence stems from exquisite attention to detail " from a house-cured cherry in the Manhattan cocktail in the convivial bar to fanfare touches such as baby kale tucked in among the Caesar salad's romaine lettuce, citrus tomato...  Read More


4
Osteria Tulia
Photo courtesy of Osteria Tulia


 

The first dilemma: Sit al fresco and people watch along busy Fifth Avenue South or enter the embrace of "farmhouse chic" indoors, where repurposed barn wood creates warmth and character? Then the food ordering decision! The lunch menu may be...  Read More


3
Sails Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


 

"Excellence" describes the new Sails Restaurant from start to finish. From start: Owners meticulously sourced decor items such as a Greek marble bar in the shape of a sail, dish ware, and the finest seafood and steaks to create a modern European...  Read More


2
Sea Salt-Naples
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


 

Chef Fabrizio Aielli comes from a stellar background that covers Italy, the Caribbean and two of his own highly hailed Washington, DC, restaurants. At Sea Salt, he conceived dining centered around the sea. To carry the concept, he stocks...  Read More


1
The Grill
Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Naples


 

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...  Read More


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Meet 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...  More About Chelle

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