Naples, Florida has a ton of restaurants to choose from and, even with the downturn in the economy, they are packed at this time of year. On a recent visit, I went to Chops City Grill, KC American Bistro (coincidentally the owner’s initials, having nothing to do with my hometown of Kansas City), and Bha Bha Persion Bistro. Fortunately, a close friend had been in Naples the month before and suggested the latter two, both of which I enjoyed immensely.
Chops City Grill is on 5th Avenue, and is full of beautiful people. But it’s more than a pretty face–the restaurant turns out serious steaks and fish. One of my favorite appetizers anywhere can be ordered here. It’s called “Tuna Chop”, a luxurious blend of sashimi tuna strips, crabmeat, avocado, mango and mache greens tossed in a yuzu dressing. Fresh, citrusy and refreshingly tasty. I overdosed on tuna, also ordering the grilled tuna with wasabi mashed potatoes (one of my all time favorite combinations) with a spicy red pepper coriander sauce. Cooked perfectly, I loved every bite.
Bha Bha Persion Bistro has been around for years, but this was my first visit. Persian food has many elements of Mediterranean cuisine, and utilizes similar ingredients. I started with an exceptional spinach salad, with dried figs and apricots, cucumbers, tomatoes, pistachios, feta, pomegranate seeds and apple in a pomegranate vinaigrette. As creative a cook as I fancy myself, I would never have put that all together. But boy was it good–it worked so beautifully I made it as soon as I got home, fortunately with similar results.
For my entrée I ordered the special of the evening, escolar (a meaty white fish) on lentils with a tomato pomegranate sauce. Another winner! Those who enjoy lamb would undoubtedly be happy with the shank that is cooked in a claypot.
I also had an outstanding meal at KC American Bistro. The attractive dining room (in the same strip center as Bha Bha) is so small that I didn’t feel comfortable taking pictures, so you’ll have to take my word for it–everything was beautifully presented. Or check out the website, there are plenty of pictures posted there. Each item on the menu is identified by the region of the country it represents. I had a Southeastern dish–blackened red snapper on cauliflower puree with corn and fava bean succotash. An avocado and shrimp relish topped it off. Short ribs were accompanied by roasted root vegetables and potato straws. Everyone was happy.
Three nights, three delicious meals, something for everyone.