Creative cocktails and cuisine pay homage to native Italy

By Cheryl Mandell


Bar Tulia

Bar Tulia

It’s easy to be impressed as you approach Bar Tulia. Ivy scales the soft white pergola from tall terracotta pots, offering the first glimpse of the restaurant’s traditional-meets-modern aesthetic. There is plenty of outdoor seating near the windows, as well as up against the street on the east end of bustling Mercato. Stepping inside, the brick walkway and dark wood beams evoke a feeling of rustic Italy. Avant-garde chandeliers give a boost of contemporary amongst the classic. 

Bar Tulia is a gastropub that satisfies discerning palates for cuisine and cocktails alike. If the scene looks slightly familiar, that’s because Bar Tulia’s interior reflects that of its sister restaurants, Osteria Tulia and Bar Tulia in Naples.

In January 2013, renowned chef and Sicilian native Vincenzo Betulia opened Osteria Tulia on 5th Avenue in Naples.  After gaining accolades and popularity, Betulia opened his second location, Bar Tulia in December 2014 next to his namesake restaurant downtown. The innovative chef opened his third restaurant, The French, a traditional French brasserie, in January 2017. Building upon his successes in Naples, Betulia opened Bar Tulia in Mercato in April 2021.

The eclectic menu features charcuterie and appetizers (antipasti) – such as Sicilian meatballs with tomato, pine nuts, currants, pecorino and scallions – as well as raw offerings (try the Faroe salmon ceviche), pizzas made in Bar Tulia’s wood oven, house-made pastas, salads, and snacks like Sticky Pork Baby Back Ribs. Entrees range from the Roasted Heirloom Pork Chop with fresh corn polenta to a Bar Tulia Pub Burger, and everything in between, including a variety of rotating specials.

The dishes are created using fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced locally and from overseas (like the gourmet Italian cherries!), prepared with a unique combination of traditional and modern flavors inspired by Chef Betulia’s native Italy.

The Bar Tulia beverage menu is a sight to behold. Composed of a vast array of wines from meticulously selected vineyards in Italy, the United States and around the world. Choose from authentic Italian and local hand-crafted beers on tap, or peruse the extensive menu of signature craft cocktails, with clever names like Hop to Scotland, Butter My Toast and Rummage Sale. 

Bar Tulia’s most hospitable beverage director, Marcello Palazzi, offered wine pairings with our dishes, including a sparkling white wine from northern Italy called Oltrepò Pavese (above the Po River) that is as rare as a cold snap in Florida.

“We are the only ones with this wine in Florida,” said Palazzi. “It’s made like a champagne. It is a 100-percent pinot noir; it’s elegant, dry and extremely well-paired with the octopus carpaccio appetizer, burrata salad and lobster arancini.”

Palazzi, who was born in Naples, Italy, and moved to the United States in 2007, has worked with Chef Betulia for 14 years. Palazzi spoke enthusiastically of their forged relationships with vintners and growers abroad, as well as with local farmers and fishermen who produce many of the ingredients used in their dishes.

One such dish is the mouth-watering Caponata – a Sicilian dish of chopped, fried eggplant seasoned with olive oil, olives and more, in an agrodolce sauce, served complimentary to every table. It is a recipe derived from Betulia’s grandmother, who often made it for guests, and it’s the chef’s way of saying “welcome” to each patron.

Our lovely server, Paige, was the second employee hired when the restaurant opened two years ago. She raved about the dishes as well as the bar options, which bring customers back time and again.

“Our Poolside Spritz is really popular, especially for summer; it’s super light and refreshing,” said Paige. “We also have an espresso martini that everybody loves.”

Take advantage of some great summer specials while they last – Bar Tulia offers a seasonal three-course “express” menu for $34, available daily from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner: Sunday to Wednesday 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, 11:30 am to midnight.




Burrata with Tomatoes

Burrata with Tomatoes



Burrata – Creamy, dreamy burrata nestled in a bed of locally grown heirloom tomatoes, drizzled with Frattini olive oil and topped with garnish of fresh greens and cracked pepper.








Sicilian Octopus Carpaccio

Sicilian Octopus Carpaccio




Sicilian Octopus Carpaccio – Generous plate of thinly sliced octopus mixed with cucumbers, celery, tomatoes and small, plump Taggiasca olives in a red wine vinaigrette. This cold dish is a great warmup to the evening.







Truffle Brie Raviolo Carbonara

Truffle Brie Raviolo Carbonara



Truffle Brie Raviolo “Carbonara” — One giant raviolo filled with mouth-watering fresh ricotta and smothered in creamy cheese and brown butter. This satisfying pasta dish is adorned with bias-cut asparagus, greens and guanciale (cured Italian pork cheek).







Veal Saltimbocca

Veal Saltimbocca




Veal Saltimbocca — Thinly sliced, expertly sauteed veal topped with bite-sized potato wedges, fresh sage, garlic and sauteed spinach. An iconic Roman dish.







Butterscotch Panna Cotta Budino

Butterscotch Panna Cotta Budino



Butterscotch Panna Cotta Budino — The long-lost flavor of butterscotch is infused in traditional Italian panna cotta, topped with the most delectable gourmet imported Italian cherries, housemade biscotti, butterscotch crunch and chocolate shavings.






Flourless...But Not Loveless

Flourless…But Not Loveless



Flourless…But Not Loveless — Smooth, sweet white chocolate mousse in between flourless chocolate almond cake, topped with wild berries and a scoop of mixed berry sorbet. It’s gluten free, so there’s less guilt but lots to love!





Bar Tulia Mercato

9118 Strada Place, suite 8150

Naples, FL 34108



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