A Tropical Oasis and Legacy of Love

 

By Cheryl Mandell

 

Real Macaw

Real Macaw

The Real Macaw is a hidden gem in every sense of the word. Tucked away past Tin City in the Bayshore Arts District, this eclectic restaurant is a vibe unto itself. The restaurant, which is actually two former houses and an adjoining courtyard full of tropical whimsy, is quite unassuming from the exterior. But once you walk in, there’s a hidden paradise that’s been thriving for 32 years.

Peacock chairs, strung lights, palms and feathers, vibrant colors and nightly live music transport patrons to easy, breezy island time. Choose from dining al fresco in the courtyard and north-side area amongst the giant palms, or indoors where bold colors and beautiful paintings of macaws adorn the walls.

“There used to be a water feature and a macaw that would hang out around all of the people, and a whole menagerie of white doves,” said owner Siobhan Cleveland. “So, it’s kind of always been an eclectic place.”

The original owner, Jeanne Harvey, from Brooklyn, was no stranger to seeking out a diamond in the rough –– in 1992, she found the spot and took a chance. The original building was a “greasy spoon” diner in the 1970s, and the second building was a house. The Bayshore area was not what it is today, but Harvey saw its potential. Given its proximity to the water, she knew it would be a success.

Harvey’s daughter, Cleveland, took over four years ago when her mother fell ill. Cleveland was born in Cape Cod, but her family spent summers in Florida. Her parents were restaurateurs, and they also lived in St. Thomas and St. John, which is why the restaurant reflects a Caribbean influence. That’s where Harvey met her chef, originally from Tortola, who is still in the kitchen to this day.

Taking over the restaurant was not necessarily in Cleveland’s plans, but after her mother passed, her family moved from Manhattan to continue the legacy and honor her mother’s decades of devotion to this small slice of paradise.

“The more time we spent here, and hearing from people how much this place really meant to them and how grateful they were that it was still going, we decided to stay and to apply what we know and what we do to what was already here,” Cleveland said.

The restaurant has been featured in Bon Appetit magazine and on the Food Network and was named the “best overall restaurant” in Collier County. So, despite its humble facade, The Real Macaw has been pleasing customers and critics alike for over three decades.

“It’s one of the oldest continuously owned and operated restaurants in Naples,” Cleveland said.

The Real Macaw is open for dinner daily, Tuesday through Sunday, from 4:30-9 p.m., and the bar is open from 3 -10 p.m. on those days. There is live nightly music from 6:30-9:30 p.m., with a rotation of musicians from around the country.

Looking for a fun getaway? Look no further than The Real Macaw for a combination of delicious food, creative cocktails and an ambiance that will make you forget your troubles.

 

OUR FAVORITES:

 

Trinidadian Crab Cake

Trinidadian Crab Cake

 

 

 

 

Trinidadian Crab Cake: Mouth-watering jumbo lump crab cake, made with no filler, and pan-seared over a bright, creamy creole remoulade, topped with fresh greens. A delicious way to set forth on your journey!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calypso Calamari

Calypso Calamari

 

 

 

Calypso Calamari: A generous heap of lightly battered calamari, tossed in a sweet and slightly spicy Sriracha-spiked honey ginger tamari glaze. Not to be confused with soy sauce, tamari is Japanese fermented soybean sauce, with a rice taste and texture in a league of its own. This popular appetizer is topped with scallion and cilantro.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caribbean Duck

Caribbean Duck

 

 

 

 

Caribbean Duck: A house favorite since the beginning, and we understand why! Crispy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside, this half duckling is roasted with a tamarind rum sauce and served with whipped potatoes and green beans. It’s a gluten-free delight!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuna Madagascar

Tuna Madagascar

 

 

 

Tuna Madagascar: Ahi tuna is seared to rare perfection and finished with a beurre blanc (white butter) sauce, served with pickled ginger, rice, green beans, wasabi and sweet wakame (Asian seaweed). This delicious entree is also gluten free

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guava Bread Pudding

Guava Bread Pudding

 

 

 

 

Guava Bread Pudding: All desserts are made in-house, and the proof is in the pudding! Island spiced bread pudding is paired with a ribbon of sweet guava puree. It’s topped with toasted coconut and served warm with vanilla bean gelato. A very tropical way to end the evening!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

 

 

 

Key Lime Pie: The classic, perfectly tart key lime filling sits atop a fresh, homemade graham cracker crust with a dollop of whipped cream and raspberries, finished with a delicious mango purée.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Real Macaw

3275 Bayshore Drive

Naples, FL 34112

239.732.1188

www.therealmacawnaples.com

 

Leave a Comment





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.