We find some of the tastiest meals on the Paradise Coast tucked away in places off the main drag. Following is a sampling of foodie finds worth seeking out.
Mediterrano is located off Third Street South on 13th Avenue South. The experience is true Mediterranean, from the bright, sea-inspired decor to authentic dishes like Galician-style grilled octopus; fire-grilled salmon with blood orange reduction and pumpkin couscous; slow-braised lamb with cinnamon, coriander, and roasted fennel; and paella Valenciana.
Petar’s Restaurant is in the shopping center on the northwest corner of U.S. 41 and Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs. Everything is fresh (there’s no microwave or freezer). Chef Petar’s sublime dishes include lobster with fresh-made linguine; local grouper with lobster mashed potatoes; and crepes with berries and crème anglaise.
The Real Macaw is a mainstay on Bayshore Drive in East Naples. This colorful, fun eatery has served a tropical menu for 25 years. Although the vibe is laid-back oasis, the food is a cut above, with items like West Indian bouillabaisse and tuna Madagascar finished with beurre blanc and wasabi pickled ginger-wakame salad.
Dolce & Salato is part Italian boutique, part breakfast/lunch/brunch place, around the corner from Fifth Avenue South. Customers return again and again for the mouth-watering baked goods, frittatas, bruschette, carpacci, salads, sandwiches, and platters of Italian meats and cheeses.