Spring Vacation in Naples, FL - Part 3
Welcome to Part 3 of my Naples, Florida travel guide!
Today I’m bringing you recommendations of where to go out in the evening. The evenings in Naples are very fun. As the sun sets the air cools down and the palm trees lining Fifth Avenue are lit up with Christmas lights. The sidewalks are filled with people looking for places to eat, window shopping, or taking a stroll to enjoy the night air. The average age of the people is older, but that was totally fine with us because we weren’t looking for a loud, crazy bar scene.
The Naples location of Ocean Prime is located right next door to the Inn on Fifth where we were staying. It’s a restaurant with a large square bar in the center. The vibe is cool and glitzy and we had a great time the evening we went. Since we had limited days in Naples and wanted to try as many places as possible, we went here for a drink before going out to another place for dinner. The cocktail list was excellent and exactly what I would expect from a classy, upscale bar. My husband ordered the Cucumber Gimlet - made with Bombay Sapphire Gin, muddled fresh cucumber, and lime. It was garnished with a thin peel of cucumber. I requested the Black Orchid – made with Belvedere Vodka, St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, lemon, and white cranberry juice. A large round ice cube floated in the center of my drink with a magenta colored orchid frozen inside. It was really delicious.
I’m looking forward to checking out Ocean Prime’s Manhattan location. They have locations in fourteen major cities around the country, so if there’s one near you and you feel like having an upscale bar experience I recommend checking it out!
HobNob Kitchen and Bar
HobNob is a restaurant on Fifth Avenue serving American food. It has the sort of rustic, hip décor that I would expect to find in a Brooklyn neighborhood place. It doesn’t have any outdoor seating, but it has a large interior with several different seating areas. I ordered the Strawberry Watermelon Fresca – made with Pearl Cucumber Vodka, strawberries, watermelon, mint, and cucumber. It was very light and refreshing.
To start, I ordered the Grilled Artichoke Hearts. They were covered in garlic butter with pine nuts and came with a side of lemon aioli. They were extremely delicious. My husband ordered the Broken Caesar Salad. It included romaine lettuce, topped with white anchovies, grana padana (a hard cheese similar to parmesan).
For my entrée, I chose the Myer Lemon Short Ribs, which were boneless and cooked to buttery melt-in-your-mouth perfection. They were served on a bed of lemon risotto and escarole and was topped with pine nut gremolata. It was an incredibly delicious finely crafted dish. My husband chose the Sea Bass which was served on a bed of jasmine rice. It was surrounded and topped with coconut pesto and shavings of butternut squash. The beautiful presentation mirrored the great taste.
Bha! Bha! Persian Bistro
Two years ago when we first visited Naples we ate dinner at Bha! Bha! and were very impressed. This year, we saved it for the last night of our trip and it didn’t disappoint! The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating. Last year we discovered a covered seating area along the side of the building that is bordered by shrubs and a flowing water channel. It’s the perfect peaceful place to relax for a long dinner.
We decided to order a bottle of wine and went with the South African Simonsig Chenin Blanc 2015. It was a great, fresh wine for the warm weather but also complimented the aromatic flavors in both our entrées.
We ordered a warm appetizer of Haleem Bademjune, which is an eggplant and lentil blend garnished with sour cream, caramelized onions, garlic, walnuts, and scallions. It’s served with pita breads, which you can use to eat it. It was very delicious and also pretty filling, but we were eating slowly enjoying the evening. For an entrée, I ordered the Plum Lamb Khoresh. A Khoresh is a Persian type of stew. The dish came in a small pot and included slow braised lamb chunks in a zesty tomato pomegranate sauce with sautéed butternut squash, and macerated plums. It was accompanied by saffron and white rice and was very delicious with well-blended aromatic flavors. Overall the sauce made the dish on the sweet side, but the rice balanced it out perfectly. My husband ordered the Sheeshleek! – a dish of three double lamb chops marinated and grilled, with adas polo (lentil apricot rice), chargrilled vegetables, and asparagus. His dish was extremely good as well.
We were enjoying ourselves so much that we decided to continue on to a dessert course and ordered Shole Zard – a saffron almond rice pudding with cardamom, rose water, and cinnamon. The dish was topped with red cherries and sliced almonds. It was a delicate, delicious blend of intense flavors. We also had tea, which was served in glass cups which fit into silver cup holders. A beautifully decorated box was brought to the table with all different types of sugar to add to the tea.
It was a very nice dining experience with interesting authentic Persian cuisine, that I highly recommend you check out if you find yourself near Naples.
Missed the first parts of this series? Check them out now!
Enjoying this series so far? Leave a comment on your favorite recommendations!
Check back on Tuesday for the Naples Travel Guide grand finale post!