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, jalapeños, and pepper jack cheese.
Inside Del-Mel Restaurant's tropically themed walls, owner and chef Pauline ladles hearty rations of authentic Jamaican fare onto dinner plates. Oxtail meat tenderly greets taste buds, and jerk chicken ignites drool receptors with varying states of spiciness, prepared according to the diner's preference and the availability of fireproof mouth guards. Pauline also fixes up specialty seafood dishes such as coconut shrimp and steamed grouper, and any of the eatery's zesty morsels can pair with sweet sips of housemade sangria.
At the back of the restaurant, an ocean mural abuts warm yellow walls depicting fish, a scuba diver, and a drawn-to-scale pistol duel between a whale and giant squid. Overhanging palm fronds shade countertops, and on Friday and Saturday evenings, house reggae music pulses as guests peruse stockpiles of Bob Marley apparel.
Milan resident Beatrice "Bice" Ruggeri opened her first neighborhood trattoria in 1926. It was a family affair, with Bice preparing hearty dishes in the kitchen while her brothers and sisters waited on guests in the dining room. In the 87 years since the first plate of pasta was placed on the table, Bice Ristorante has spread around the world, buoyed by the visions of Bice's sons, Remo and Roberto. There are now dozens of locations across Europe, South America, Asia, the United States, and the moon.
In the kitchen at the Naples' restaurant, executive chef Massimo Pisati relies on market fresh ingredients to create his dishes. He crafts pasta entrees that include oven-baked lasagna with traditional bolognese sauce, beef tortellini simmered in a two-year-aged parmesan-cheese sauce, and linguine with clams. Fish and meat dishes round out the menu.
When morning falls on the town of Naples, Joe's Diner's chefs begin whipping up the homestyle skillets, blintzes, and frittatas that earned the diner a place among the Naples Daily News' top breakfast spots. They shower fluffy biscuits in sausage gravy, potatoes, cheese, bacon, and egg to craft the Joe's Challenge—their signature breakfast dish. The chefs continue to serve breakfast throughout the day, adding custom burgers, specialty sandwiches, and juicy steaks to the mix when lunchtime rolls around. Servers bear plates out to the bright '50s-style dining room, where guests sip milk shakes at checkered tabletops and in big red booths.
With kitchen credentials that include Boston’s Four Seasons Hotel and Le Bec-Fin in Philadelphia, executive chef Brian Martin presides over Evoo Bistro’s culinary marriage of rustic Italian and modern American fare. Brian and his team craft seasonal lunch, dinner, and catering menus that highlight pastas, simply prepared meats and seafood, and sandwiches built on homemade breads. The refined, yet hearty entrees pair with wines by the glass or cups of the bistro's signature coffee, which is blended with sweet liquors. These flavorful creations arrive at white-clothed tables arranged amidst dim track lighting, pendant lamps, and domesticated glowworms that hover from the lofted ceilings.
At Yogurbella, staff members mix nonfat frozen yogurt fresh each day, preparing every original batch with nonfat fortified skim milk and yogurt with live and active cultures. More than 20 different frozen-yogurt flavors range from mainstays such as original and lemon to seasonally rotating varieties such as green apple, pistachio, and cookie dough. Patrons may opt to adorn their 5-, 8-, or 12-ounce dishes with healthful fresh fruit, nuts, and granola, which can top scoops of chocolate chips and cheesecake bites. Customers also can sip on yogurt smoothies blended with mixed fruits and apple juice.