The British Have Landed in Naples FL and They're Serving Up Pints All Over Town

November 1, 2010 | By | 1 Reply More
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Naples FloridaWinter is on the way and thoughts are leaning toward warm vacation getaways. After the coldest winter on record in Southwest Florida last year, Naples is getting ready for what promises to be a terrific winter season ahead. If October weather is any indicator, they will be 100% correct. October has brought sunny days (80 degrees or better) and clear skies. And best of all, Naples is ready to welcome tourists with some great deals.  So come on down……

I visited Naples in October and made the rounds of popular dining venues to find the latest gems for you.  I have some real treats to pass along.

The ever-popular 5th Avenue was hit hard by the recession as well as new competition from the Mercado and Coconut Point shopping developments.  After a years’ absence, we decided to venture off to 5th Avenue to see how it was holding up,  what a change! 

Naples Pet BoutiqueThe streets were blocked to auto traffic and displaying high end autos like Corvette, Camaro and Shelby Mustangs.   Live music entertained the crowds with dancing in the street. New shops have opened including Florida Olive Oil Company (the best oils and balsamic vinegars), and the most outrageous Pet Boutique we have ever seen. The Best of Everything still offers designer knock-off jewelry that will make you do a double take at the prices.

Jolly Cricket GastropubBut what really brought us down to 5th Avenue was to have a bite at The Jolly Cricket Gastropub, a traditional British Pub, complete with show stopping Fish and Chips and Bangers and Mash.  We were welcomed by Scott, the Manager, who immediately made us feel at home and guided us to a coveted outside table. A busy Saturday night on Fifth Avenue usually has the wait staff hovering to speed you along, but not our waiter, he was knowledgeable about the menu and eager to please. We started out with a wedge salad that put the finest of 5 star restaurants to shame. As they say, when in Rome (OK England) order local, so we went for the Fish and Chips.  It was served in a traditional newspaper basket, with an abundance of chips and traditional (delicious) battered fish. The only thing missing was the malt vinegar for the fries. The New York Times’ review raved about this dish and they were right on. The Pub was packed and the music was very Jimmy Buffet, but not loud or blaring. Our server kept checking in to make sure we were doing fine, but we never felt rushed. Scott told us the Pub opened a year ago, and his goal is to make everyone feel like The Jolly Cricket Gastropub is their neighborhood pub. Drop by for a drink or a light meal.  The menu was very diverse; from sandwiches to full entrees or anything in between. Here are a few additional tips:

  • Ask Scott to recommend the wine, the Cabernet he suggested was terrific
  • They do take reservations – make sure you have one or the wait can be long
  • Relax and enjoy the view of 5th
  • And most of all tell Scott, ‘Wicked’ sent you

Pure Urban Oasis NaplesNext I checked out Mercato, where you’ll find upscale shops and “Uptown Chic”  restaurants like PURE.  PURE is an “Urban Oasis” that offers imaginative decor and one of the most diverse menus I’ve seen in a long time.  We dined on a fabulous cheese plate and shared some exceptional seafood entrees.  Our server was well versed in all the dishes and flavors and the service was outstanding.

The Brits have also staked out territory at Mercato as well.  If it’s casual pub fare you’re after,  duck into ‘The Pub’ for your fill of draught beers and authentic British pub grub.

Now that I’ve tantalized your taste buds, here’s a great reason to fly away to Naples for some wonderful Fall golf to go along with your restaurant hopping.  The Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club is offering a golf package starting $149 that includes overnight accommodation for two in a newly renovated room, complimentary greens fees and golf cart fees, complimentary tennis at the Mary Watkins Tennis Center, free parking (self or valet) and access to the spa and fitness center (no extra resort fee!).  The resort has just completed a renovation of its 18-hole par 72 championship course, that was named “Best Public Golf Course in Southwest Florida”, so bring your game!  (Subject to availability through December 23rd so jump right on this great deal).

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Category: Featured, Florida Travel Tips, USA