So, I am sitting at the window of our condo, overlooking the beautiful Gulf of Mexico and The Ritz-Carlton, and witnessing the typical summer afternoon “Texas frog-strangler” rainstorm (a term I learned from my good friend Debbie from Dallas) we who live in paradise all year have learned to enjoy. It has been such a great day so far—listened to Bob’s radio show (“The Bob Harden Show”) with Mayor Bill Barnett as a guest. Then I was off to my 20-minute workout (yes, you read that correctly) at Concept 1010 in North Naples. In fact, Concept 1010 was going to be a main focus of my blog this week because the idea is unique, and personally, I originally thought it was going to be a bunch of hype. Well, it’s not. Concept 1010 really does work —both Bob and I are proof. And what I love the most is that my entire day is not shot.
However, there is even more late-breaking restaurant news. A favorite destination is Sea Salt on Third Street South. It has the most wonderful breads. (I could just eat freshly baked bread all day, couldn’t you?)
The watermelon gazpacho and the fabulous beet salad are two items I never pass up. Chef Fabrizio Aielli and his wife, Ingrid, only use the freshest and most organic ingredients for all of their menu items.
To add to the magic of Third Street South, Fabrizio and Ingrid are opening a new restaurant in addition to Sea Salt. Barbatella, Spirited Italian Trattoria, will be located in the spaces formerly occupied by the Garden District and CW Smith Gallery at 1290 Third Street South, with access to a beautiful courtyard and fountain. Barbatella will offer the very best Italian rustic cooking, featuring pasta, pizza, fabulous meats and homemade Italian gelatos and sorbets—fresh interpretations of authentic dishes from many Italian regions. Fabrizio and Ingrid are bringing one more terrific reason to visit Third Street South. Barbatella will open before year’s end.
On another restaurant note, Bob and I are heading to Naples Tomato this evening for dinner. We have been eating at the Tomato since it opened and have always been fans. (The olive tapanade and sourdough bread are to die for; I know—bread again.) The owners, Jack and Nadine Serfass, recently kicked the quality at the Tomato up a few notches by hiring Bryan “Bubba” Sutton as head chef. Many of you will remember Bubba for his Hot & Crunchy Grouper from his former restaurant, The Tropical Reef. Not only have the ingredients and preparation of food been enhanced at the Tomato—now that famous Grouper is on their menu—yum.