Todd Brooks has worked nearly every angle of the restaurant industry, starting out as a dishwasher and eventually settling in as the vice president of a chain in Kansas City. But after several vacations to Naples with his wife, Sandra, who also has a background in food service, something about the city stayed with them. The couple decided that was where they needed to be?so they sold all of their belongings, moved to Florida, learned to speak Alligator, and began setting up shop in the space previously occupied by the Naples staple Lindburgers, which they bought and made their own. Todd was also a finalist for "Best Burger" in the "Best of the Gulfshore 2011".
It didn?t take long for Todd, who had grown accustomed to working with food from inside his own office, to reacquaint himself with manning a grill. Incorporating some favorites from the Lindburgers? menu, Todd and Sandra put together a list of more than 20 gourmet burgers and sandwiches. Each burger patty is hand-formed from all-natural black Angus beef, and topped with fresh veggies from the nearby Cooper Farms. Todd?s namesake burger, Todd?s Way, is a client favorite, boasting a fried egg, bacon, and cheese, and other adventurous options include the Cajun, a blackened patty with onion, jalape?os, and pepper jack cheese.
Before moving to Naples in 1994, Lisa and Philippe Bo?t spent nine years in Paris, retreating to the French countryside on weekends for traditional, home-cooked meals with ingredients from the gardens and farms of family and friends. The duo re-creates that authentic experience at Chez Boet French Home Cooking, where a culinary staff headed by Lisa whips up French classics such as french onion soup, bouillabaisse, steak frites, and fondue made with imported French and Swiss cheeses. The Bo?ts' commitment to using locally sourced seafood and locally grown, organic, and seasonal ingredients has since earned Chez Boet the distinction of being the Naples' first certified green business.
Meals commence in the restaurant's 2,000-square-foot facility, which houses a main dining room, bar salon, and a covered outdoor terrace. Tones of raspberry, eggplant, and pomegranate grace the walls alongside wallpaper that depicts classic Piero Fornasetti portraits, which guests can admire and mimes can challenge to lifelong no-speaking contests.
Lined with more than 70 high-definition flat-screen televisions and two 110-inch projector screens, Boston Beer Garden immerses diners in 360 degrees of sports. Every seat is the best in the house, whether it’s a brown leather booth on the restaurant's perimeter, a high-top table in the center, or the bartender's lap. Behind the indoor and outdoor bars, the other barkeeps offer various microbrews and domestic drafts to complement the chefs' all-natural, home-style cooking—burgers stuffed with bacon and cheese, for instance, and short ribs braised in Sam Adams lager and Guinnes stout. To accompany nighttime happenings such as pub trivia and live music, the culinary team cooks until 2 a.m. from a late-night menu that includes deep-fried kosher pickles and sandwiches filled with ingredients such as scallions and harvati cheese.
At Jaegerhaus, just about everything is imported from Germany: the age-old family recipes, the curtains, and perhaps most importantly, the man who cooks the food. Chef Sebastian Heyer and his family moved to the United States in 2009 to fulfill their dream of opening a German restaurant.
The Heyers soon transformed a local Naples establishment into an old-time Southern German café, and established a business that has earned multiple Naples Daily News Readers' Choice awards in the categories of "Best German Food" and "Dishes Most Fun to Pronounce Incorrectly." Inside, dirndl-clad servers deliver authentic German eats, such as wiener schnitzel, or schweinehaxe—a skinless roasted-pork shank. Visitors can get cozy amid the intimate dining room's curio decor, or slide up next to the trellis-lined, exposed-brick bar while sipping on domestic and imported beers.
The award-winning Charlie Chiang?s is a modern Asian kitchen and lounge with roots in Washington, DC. Familiar dishes such as general tso's chicken are sprinkled throughout the menu, but the kitchen specializes in more rarified Chinese-inspired fare, such as creamy sesame jumbo shrimp and sweet soy-glazed spare ribs. Other specialties include creative sushi rolls and the flaming steak Christiana, whose rum-soaked morsels are flamb?ed tableside by the chef's pet dragon.
Charlie Chiang's modern interior favors long, sleek lines and bursts of bright color. Carmine partitions stretch up from each booth, and a diffused rosy light glows through thin jets of water in a central fountain. On a spacious open patio, outdoor heaters and shady umbrellas protect guests from the vagaries of climate while still allowing them to chat with mermaids in the nearby Cocohatchee River.
The colorful sailfish on the sign outside Capri Fish House Restaurant beckons diners into the restaurant, which rests on the shores of Johnson Bay between lanky palm trees. Inside the nautical-themed dining room, a large saltwater fish tank glows across rows of casual wooden tables, where servers place baskets of fresh fried fish while announcing updates about the daily catch. Outside, rows of rentable kayaks litter the white-sand beach, and a screened chickee hut equipped with a tiki bar encourages low-key meals with unobstructed views of the sunset, which occurs nearly every day. Owners Michael and Theresa Castellano center the Capri Fish House's focus on locally caught seafood—from Florida lobsters to fresh Gulf shrimp—seen on their extensive menu and across impressive spreads at the weekly Sunday buffet.