Though Michael’s on Naples serves authentic Italian dishes, the team doesn’t rely on imported ingredients. Instead, they makes their own pastas, sausage, and mozzarella each day, and pick herbs and seasonal veggies from the rooftop garden. This home-grown approach is a no-brainer considering the owner's background: before entering the restaurant business, Michael Dene used to bottle his own sauces to give as gifts to his New York neighbors. Inside the kitchen, chef David Coleman brings the menu to life using local and organic components whenever possible. As such, many dishes change with the season, but offerings typically include delicacies such as whole-grilled Mediterranean sea bass with artichokes, and oxtail-stuffed pasta with brown butter and breadcrumbs. Conversely, the wine list focuses primarily on Italian varietals. Should the 16-page collection prove dizzying, undecided patrons can find a perfect wine by completing a brief magazine quiz or by asking General Manager––and wine expert––Massimo Aronne for a recommendation.
Every aspect of Kelly's of Naples reflects the essence of a swanky steakhouse. From the white tablecloths and leather booths and seats to the wood-paneled walls and dim, hanging lights in front of a full bar, the restaurant carries an air of sophistication matched only be its menu. Kelly's chefs don't rely on fancy preparation to impress their guests; instead they rely on the natural flavors in their ingredients, with steaks such as a bone-in porter or filet mignon not bearing any excess seasoning. Chefs prepare some steaks tableside as well, such as the steak diane, and the menu's entrees even dip into the sea with crab legs, lobster tail, and a rotating selection of fish flanks. Choice entrees are served at lunch as well, and Kelly's Sunday brunch offers a unique twist on many traditional breakfast dishes such as the jalapeño eggs benedict. Bar-goers can keep it low-key with a menu of sandwiches and appetizers ranging from escargot to prime rib, and the barkeeps can stir up any drink with their huge stores of liquor. To complement the food, live music fills the restaurant every evening from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
K.C Branaghan's menu puts burgers and sandwiches alongside five different boxty (Irish potato pancake) dishes and a hearty list of traditional Irish fayre, including fish and chips ($12.95), shepherd's pie ($12.95) and corned beef and cabbage ($13.95). To start, dig into a bowl of creamy house-made potato leek soup ($6.95 for a bowl) or a plate of Irish nachos, freshly made tortilla chips smothered with corned beef and melted cheese and topped with a jalapeño cream sauce with avocado ($10.95). Wrap mitts around a Stilton blue-cheese pub-burger ($11.95) before summoning a serving of the grilled Atlantic salmon topped with a raspberry-port coulis ($17.95). Branaghan’s special cottage pie is stuffed with vegetables and tender beef, slow-cooked with Guinness in rich brown gravy, and topped with mashed potatoes ($12.95). Pair your eats with a side of fresh homemade Irish brown- or soda-bread ($3.50), a glass of wine, or one of more than 12 draft beers.
Gallons of craft beer from the States and beyond flow from taps at Brix at the Shore. Always changing, the ales, stouts, and sakes efficiently slake thirst and inspire new and experienced beer fans alike to pair a glass with one of the deli-style specialties. Appetizers, including soft pretzels served with jalape?o-honey mustard, pave palates for the arrival of pizzas, deli sandwiches, and kobe- and Angus-beef burgers. The menu transports eaters to the East Coast?not just because it unfolds into a giant wind sail, but also because its dishes express a whimsical sense of New York City nostalgia. The Fuhgeddaboudit pastrami sandwich, The Mitzvah corned-beef sandwich, and the Verklempt?an Angus patty on challah with pastrami, swiss, and slaw?keep Big Apple cravers happy while firmly planted on Golden State soil.
Mike O'Toole and David Black had already started their own Gondola cruise business together before Mike's first visit to Venice brought him into contact with the real thing. Fascinated by the sleek lines and ability to move under the power of a single oar, he stayed to investigate, toiling in boatyards and working stints as a gondolier as he learned to design and maneuver the classic boats. When he returned to the US, he brought with him a determination to make his gondola business a truly authentic experience. Together, he and David devised a gondola that exuded the traditions of Venice but that was specifically suited to the waters of Naples Island.
At The Gondola Getaway, Mike, David, and their team of gondoliers conduct one-hour tours with the unique watercraft, which range from authentic two-seaters imported from Venezia to boats that seat up to 14, crafted with the co-owners' unique designs. These are built from oak frames and mahogany plywood with a five-ounce fiberglass overlay, painted jet-black, and constructed to be a bit shorter than their European counterparts. Once on the water, tour guides explore Naples Island's ancient canals and waterways, and even serve European snacks such as cheese, salami, and bread.
Riley's Pub & Grill puts a spin on familiar pub fare with a menu of internationally inspired appetizers and entrees. Diners can dig into pulled pork tortas piled high with avocado and queso fresco, or savor grilled pizzas topped with mushrooms, feta, and balsamic vinaigrette. Comfort food favorites such as mac and cheese and chili share the stage with lighter salads topped with blue cheese, apple slices, and walnuts. Despite the eclectic, international menu, a traditional pub atmosphere pervades—the grill sizzles with juicy burgers, the beer flows freely, and the TVs buzz with broadcasts of professional athletic and knitting competitions.