Lili Montes, 2013 Leading Lady

These stylish, smart Naples women are gorgeous on the inside and out—and we know they will be the toast of town this season. Get to know them here first.


Photography by Roland Scarpa

Hair and makeup by Philip Douglas


Lili Montes

Partner, Sea Salt Restaurant

   Born and raised in Naples, Lili Montes loves it and is here for the long haul. Her zeal for the city is evident in Sea Salt, the ever-popular bastion of fine dining on Third Street South that she founded and runs with Fabrizio and Ingrid Aielli. Team Aielli’s winning recipe has worked as well on nearby hot spot Barbatella that Montes manages—it’s an Italian trattoria and super-chic wine bar that opened last season. When not seen at Sea Salt or Barbatella, Montes can be found spending time with the two Davids in her life: fiancé David Contreras, a wine entrepreneur and owner of Bottles of Naples, and her son David, 21.

Lili Montes - Leading Ladies - Sea Salt restaurant - Barbatella

Words to live by: You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.


Sweetest part of success: The ability to share my time, talents and treasures with others.


Describe your perfect Naples weekend: The beach, boating and dinner with friends.


What’s on your bookshelf?          
I love to read biographies. Real life stories are more interesting than fiction.


How do you give back?
I’m the president of the Training Kids Foundation; I inherited the position after the passing of its founder, Nane Kimijan. I also co-chair the Nane Kimijan Memorial Scholarship Fund with Ingrid [Kimijan’s sister].


Favorite quote: From Dr. Seuss: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” That simple quote got me through the most devastating period in my life.


Guilty pleasures: Champagne and truffle fries.


What can’t you live without?        
My iPhone.


Last big social event on your calendar?               
The Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest dinner and auction at Miromar Lakes.


What would people be surprised by about you?       
I’m 100 percent Cuban.


Name a woman who inspires you:
My mom. She’s 84 and wears me out! She has a lot of energy and a great sense of style.


What are you looking forward to?
Turning 50 this summer. The most amazing ladies I know are over 50.


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