Naples Coastal Kitchen
13500 Tamiami Trail N., Naples
Reflecting upon a recent dining experience at the newly opened Naples Coastal Kitchen, I am reminded of the simple rhyme often employed at weddings: “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” If this is a recipe for good luck, Naples Coastal Kitchen seems to have all the right ingredients.
Something Old, Something New…
Chef Hector Hidalgo’s culinary talents have been proven through his past ventures as executive chef at Fish Crazy and Randy’s Fishmarket Restaurant. Although Fish Crazy closed last summer, Chef Hector — who has been running restaurant kitchens in Southwest Florida’s food scene for more than 15 years — brings the best of Fish Crazy’s menu to Naples Coastal Kitchen. Favorites like Firecracker Shrimp, Seafood Gumbo and Chef Hector’s Famous Tacos (with mahi, shrimp or chicken) have been transplanted to the Coastal Kitchen menu with a few minor tweaks. The Firecracker Shrimp appetizer, for instance, has been upscaled with larger shrimp, while Chef Hector’s zesty “house sauce” packs the same, delicious sweet-hot flavor.
The Coastal Kitchen menu also brings many new items to try, thanks to the input of owner Stuart Bell, who runs a food distribution and manufacturing business in Minnesota. He’s added Tater Kegs (oversized, gourmet tater tots) to the appetizer menu and Iowa-raised, choice-cut beef to the “grill” offerings. He even contributed his own personal recipe for the Gulf Shrimp Shore Dinner — a colorful medley of fresh veggies, locally caught shrimp and savory andouille sausage.
Something Borrowed, Something Blue…
Naples Coastal Kitchen is located in a plaza at the southeast corner of U.S. 41 and Wiggins Pass in the space formerly occupied by Daniela’s Restaurant. The design and decor has been completed revamped to produce a modern, oceanic vibe with walls of periwinkle blue. General Manager Emily Dall, formerly of Bokampers Sports Bar & Grill in Estero, was placed in charge of bringing Bell’s vision for an upscale-casual eatery to fruition. Among her final touches were a few nautical decor items for the walls, including a compass rose she “borrowed” from her own Estero home. The maritime theme goes modern with neon blue lighting at the bar and brushed metal tables.
Coastal Kitchen seats about 45 inside and even more outside, including al fresco dining under a large pergola which may be enclosed on chilly nights and warmed by ambiance-enhancing outdoor space heaters. The Coastal Kitchen wine list features California and international wines by the glass or bottle. Signature smoothies are made with fresh, seasonal fruit (and a shot of rum or vodka, if desired).
“We want to have a nice, coastal, warm restaurant for casual fine dining,” says Bell, who also owns two Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchises in Southwest Florida. Coastal Kitchen is his first venture into fine dining.
“We’re not stuffy,” adds Dall, the personable GM. “We want everybody to be comfortable. It’s just a peaceful, romantic vibe here.”
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These kicked-up tater tots make an appetizer that’s sure to please everyone in your party. Jumbo tots are filled with bacon, Wisconsin cheddar cheese and chives, and served with seasoned sour cream. Look for more flavors of Tater Kegs to be added to the Coastal Kitchen menu!
Coastal Kitchen Watermelon Salad
This fresh and creative salad stars lightly breaded goat cheese paired with homemade raspberry vinaigrette, atop a bed of mixed greens. Add candied pecans, fresh watermelon and a hint of mint for a palate-pleasing flavor combo that could easily make a light meal.
Gulf Shrimp Shore Dinner
Inspired by owner Stuart Bell’s home recipe, the Shrimp Shore Dinner highlights fresh Gulf shrimp paired with smoked andouille sausage atop a colorful medley of seasoned red potatoes, green beans and red bell peppers, along with a juicy ear of golden corn. The dish is steam-baked with garlic, olive oil and spices and presented in a foil pouch, releasing a powerful, steamy aroma at the table.
Sea Bass Miso
This premium seafood entree offers the mild, buttery flavor of sea bass with its moist, meaty flakes, topped with homemade miso sauce. Order it with Chef Hector’s creamy Mushroom Risotto, creatively made with coconut milk for extra flavor.
New York Strip Steak
The Coastal Kitchen grill features Midwest, corn-fed USDA choice cut beef. The 14-ounce New York Strip is lightly seasoned and grilled to succulent satisfaction. The accompanying vegetable medley includes an assortment of fresh baby squash, red bell peppers, carrots and green beans. Top your steak with Main lobster tail or jumbo Gulf shrimp if you wish!
Homemade Key Lime Pie
Chef Hector brings his famous recipe for Key Lime Pie to Coastal Kitchen. It’s classically prepared, smooth and creamy, and topped with whipped cream. Enjoy dessert with a cappuccino or try a simple scoop of Haagen-Dazs ice cream topped with seasonal fresh berries.