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.
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.