Category: Travel

Dinner at Coolinary–Jupiter, Florida

Florida doesn’t have the best culinary reputation on the planet.  Before I started frequenting restaurants like Campiello, Chez Boet and Sea Salt in Naples with my parents, I was convinced that all Florida had to offer were chain restaurants like Outback and Chili’s.  And while those restaurants are good every once in awhile, I really enjoy finding great restaurants that are so good you swear you were sitting in Chicago or New York and not Florida.  Coolinary, located in Jupiter, Florida, is definitely one of those restaurants.

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Coolinary has a farm-to-table concept that focuses on using meat, dairy and produce from local purveyors.  Tim Lipman is the executive chef and owner of the restaurant and was personally involved in cooking my dinner!

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Based on what I ate on this night (and, true to my style, I tried a bite of almost everyone’s food – there were six of us), I can honestly and authoritatively say that everything that we ate at Coolinary was exceptional.

We also had a really great “experience” outside of just the food.  Our waiter was knowledgeable and friendly and helped guide us through the menu offering lots of different suggestions.  Also, because we sat at the “counter,” we got a front row seat of much of the cooking action, including the preparation of my whole deep fried fish – see below!

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Seeing all of the chefs prepare the food made the whole dining experience really interactive and I think made me enjoy my time there even more!  The company wasn’t half bad either – I had a wonderful time with Tommy, his brother Johnny, his Mom Carol and his Aunt Pat (who is my number one YoungFoodies fan!) and Uncle Bill.

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Me and Johnny

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Pat and Bill

Perhaps even better than the company (just kidding) was the food.  Coolinary encourages sharing food so that everyone gets to try a bit of everything. For the appetizers, the group got a couple orders of Beets 3 Ways, an order of fried shrimp and deviled eggs!

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The Beets 3 Ways salad was fantastic and included roasted beets, pickled beets and boiled beets that were each served alongside some some tangy goat cheese.  I cannot wait to recreate the pickled beets at home – they were slightly sour and had great flavor. 

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The deviled eggs were served four to an order and were a great “nibble” (which is what they are categorized as on the menu).  I am a huge deviled egg fan and these were as good as any I have tasted.

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The fried shrimp appetizer, which Johnny ordered, was probably the biggest surprise of the bunch.  In addition to having large pieces of shrimp, the dish also featured fried artichoke leaves, candied cashews and green chili goat cheese aioli.  Strange sounding combination? Yes.  Delicious regardless of the strange combination? Double Yes!  Any time you change up an already delicious dipping sauce like homemade aioli and make it better, I am pretty much going to be all over that dish (goat cheese is genius!).

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After we finished the appetizers, we moved on to my favorite part of the meal which included a whole fried sea bass, shrimp udon dish, boneless southern fried chicken and waffles and grilled chicken sandwich (with the volume turned up!).

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Carol ordered the shrimp udon that was served in a flavorful shrimp stock with lots of fresh vegetables.

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Johnny had the grilled chicken sandwich which was no ordinary grilled chicken sandwich.  In addition to the grilled chicken, the sandwich also had lots of melted brie, fresh basil, bacon and a “seasonal preserve” that added a bit of sweetness to the whole thing.  Johnny didn’t love the preserve all that much, but I thought it was needed to cut the richness of the melted brie.

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Tommy and I split the remaining two dishes  fried chicken over waffles and whole fried sea bass (Pat also ordered the fried fish).  The fried chicken and waffles was a lot like what I had at Little Goat a couple weeks back.  Although Little Goat’s was bone in chicken, the slaw, breading and waffle were all very similar to Coolinary’s and both were equally delicious!

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Finally, I have to finish this post with my favorite part of the meal – the whole fried sea bass.  I think that the pictures do the best job of showing how much I really enjoyed this meal:

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I literally loved this fish so much, which thanks to the frying, was perfectly moist on the inside with crispy skin on the outside, that I ate every edible part of it including the skin, meat and even the eye ball!  Everything was perfectly seasoned and cooked to perfection.  This was a special on the menu, so I am not sure how often you will be able to find it, but if you can, order it! It was absolutely delicious.

Overall, if you couldn’t tell by my overly enthusiastic post, I loved Coolinary!  The menu is big enough that you could go back over and over (which I plan to when I am visiting Tommy’s family in Jupiter) and try something new each time.  I am already eying a couple of different dishes – I am looking at you Pork Shoulder in a Coconut Curry!  So if you find yourself in the Palm Beach area of Florida, please give Coolinary a try.

Restaurant Review–Sea Salt Naples, Fl

While visiting my parents in Florida last month, we tried a new-to-me restaurant called Sea Salt.

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As I understand it, Sea Salt is one of the most popular restaurants in Naples thanks to its fantastic seafood dishes.

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Plus, as an added bonus, they seemingly have the exact same lights that I do in my kitchen (just the giant version!).

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As for the atmosphere – the restaurant is quite nice.  There are both indoor and outdoor seating options, plus a large open kitchen that you can peak into and see what the chefs are up to!  I also loved the wall full of salts and spices that was next to the kitchen – maybe one day I will have as many seasonings in my pantry!

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Added to the great atmosphere, is the absolutely delicious food.  While the food itself is definitely on the more expensive side (as many Naples restaurants are), Sea Salt offers a great “early bird special” that they call their “Pre-Sunset Menu” for $29.99, which is what we took advantage of.  The menu is offered between 5-6 PM and while it has limited offerings (option of two appetizers, two entrees and two desserts that do not vary), the food that you get is definitely not short on flavor.

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My family and I opted to get a couple of all the dishes so that we could try everything.  To start the arugula salad and crispy shrimp:

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The arugula salad was fresh and peppery and had tons of lemon flavor – just how I like it.  Fresh Florida heirloom tomatoes and a generous portion of shaved parmesan don’t hurt anything either.

I was actually really pleasantly surprised with the shrimp dish as well.  I was slightly disappointed when one shrimp on top of a small bed of seaweed came to the table, but by the end of eating the dish, I thought it was the perfect appetizer.  First off, the shrimp was huge, so even though I had to split this dish with Sarah, I still got 4-5 decent sized bites.  The flavor and textures of the dish were also just so good.  While the shrimp was fried, it did not have any greasiness whatsoever.  Additionally, the combination of the the spicy-sweet sauce with truffle, while bizarre sounding, was extremely tasty.  I give this appetizer a big thumbs up and would gladly order it again.

For our main dishes, we had the choice between Swordfish and Rigatoni with beef ragu.  Given that Sea Salt specializes in seafood, my Mom, Sarah and I wanted to stick with the swordfish.  Kate and my Dad, on the other hand, wanted to give the ragu a try as well, so they split both dishes.  They both loved the rigatoni and were pleased that they got it.

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I was able to taste a bite of it too and agreed that it was a very good tasting dish.  The ragu seemed like it had been simmering all day (and then some!) and was very rich tasting and full of beefy flavor.  The rigatoni was also the perfect noodle for this dish because many of the little beef pieces got caught inside so you ensured that you got a taste of beef with every bite of pasta.

While the rigatoni was delicious, it was not as good as the wonderful swordfish dish option.

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As you know, I absolutely love polenta with mushrooms.  I often order it in restaurants and even make it at home.  Because it goes so well with Italian sausage, I never even considered changing out the protein.  Well Sea Salt blew.my.mind when they added swordfish on top of their creamy parmesan polenta.  It was an awesome addition to the traditional polenta and mushroom match up.  It didn’t hurt that the swordfish was incredibly fresh and perfectly cooked as well. 

To go along with the creamy polenta, meaty mushrooms and hearty fish, Sea Salt also added fried wontons (for texture) and sautéed artichokes (and you know how I feel about artichokes).  Then they finished everything off with a light, but well seasoned, chardonnay sauce.  There was absolutely nothing to complain about this dish.  I loved it.  So much so that I intend to do a restaurant recreation and if my dish is 1/4 as good as the one at Sea Salt, I will be very happy.

With the sunset menu at Sea Salt, you also get you choice of dessert between a raspberry sorbet and a tiramisu. 

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I was actually so full from dinner that I only wanted the sorbet, but in the spirit of trying lots of different things, I split the sorbet and the tiramisu with Sarah.  This proved to be a good decisions because the tiramisu, while extremely rich, was very tasty.  Those “beans” you see atop the dessert were actually coffee flavored chocolate beans and in spite of my fullness, I was able to eat almost every single one.  The raspberry sorbet was actually just alright.  I tend to like berry sorbet on the tart side, and this was quite sweet.

While the food at Sea Salt was fantastic, we thought that at times, the service left something to be desired.  For example, we waited 10 minutes to get our wine and had nothing to drink when our appetizers were delivered to the table.  We sat around looking at our salads and shrimp dishes desperately wanting a bite, but holding off because we had no wine.  And then half way through the meal, our waiter seemed to vanish and was replaced by an entirely new waitress.  While this was weird, the waitress was very attentive and helpful, so we were thankful for the switch.

Overall, I really enjoyed Sea Salt and hope to go back. As I mentioned above, the prices are quite expensive, so it has to be a special occasion to warrant doing anything but the sunset menu.

Mexican Night–Chili Rellenos, Pico de Gallo and Guacamole

While you couldn’t tell by my blond hair and extremely fair (read: pale) skin, sometimes I truly feel like I am part Mexican!  This has a lot to do with the fact that I absolutely adore authentic Mexican food and used to spend a few weeks every year vacationing in various places throughout Mexico. 

It’s funny how food can so closely connect you to a place like it has done for me and Mexico.  When I used to visit a lot (a least once a year), my family would often hire local Mexican cooks who would prepare us breakfast, lunch and dinner.  And while the food they made for us was obviously quite a special treat, the best thing about having them cook for us is the recipes that taught my family.

To this day, my family still frequently makes the Mexican recipes that we were taught over ten years ago.  Two of our favorites include enchiladas verdes, with homemade verdes sauce, and chili rellenos.  It is also a requirement in my family to serve homemade pico de gallo, guacamole and Margaritas as accompaniments to either of theses meals.

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While the girls are typically in charge of the food prep, my dad is always responsible for the margaritas.  He literally makes the best margarita you can find thanks to lots of fresh lime juice.  He somehow always strikes the perfect balance between sweet and sour and strong but not overpowering.  One of these days, I will attempt to record his drink “recipe” and share it on the blog.  The only problem is, he doesn’t do a lot of measuring and instead relies on feel and taste!

For those of you who don’t know what Chili Rellenos are, they are basically cheese stuffed poblano peppers that are breaded and fried.

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When topped with a fresh tomato sauce, and served alongside rice and beans, these unsightly fried blobs above actually become even more delicious.

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The only problem with chili rellenos is that they can be a little hard to predict – hotness wise.  I have come across an equal amount of extremely spicy poblanos as I have mild, which makes planning your tomato sauce somewhat tricky.  You see, if the poblano pepper itself is hot, you want to make a tomato sauce that cools down the heat in the pepper.  But if there is little or no heat in the poblano, you want to kick up the heat level in the sauce.  I typically taste a little bite of a poblano I am using to get a sense for the heat level and then plan accordingly (I find that if you get the poblanos from the same source, they will all generally have a similar heat level).

When making this meal, try and enlist a couple of helpers, because when it comes to making the salsa and guac, shredded the cheese and then stuffing, breading and frying the peppers, many hands make much lighter work of the whole process.

Mexican Meal featuring Chili Rellenos, Pico de Gallo and Guacamole – Serves 6:

Pico de Gallo and Guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 serrano chilies, minced
  • 1 cup cilantro, minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 large avocados, mashed

Directions:

Chop tomato, onion, chilies and cilantro and add to a large mixing bowl.

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Stir everything to combine and add the 1/3 cup of lime juice.  Season with salt to taste (I usually start with 1 tsp and increase from there).

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In a separate mixing bowl, mash two avocados until most of the lumps have been removed, but it is not totally smooth.  You want it to still have some texture.  Add 1/3-1/2 cup (depending on how much you like) of the pico de gallo mixture directly to the mashed avocado as well as 1 tablespoon of the tomato/lime juice.  Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary (you may need to add more salt or a bit more lime).

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Serve the guacamole and salsa with some salted tortilla chips.

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Chili Rellenos:

Ingredients:

Stuffed Peppers:

  • 12 poblano peppers,
  • 1.5 lb Mexican crumbling or shredding cheese, shredded or diced (good cheeses include: oaxaca, queso fresco, mozzarella, monterey jack, etc.)
  • 6 eggs (room temperature), whites separated from the yolks
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • S+P
  • Oil for frying

Tomato Sauce:

  • 12 roma tomatoes, chopped or 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup carrot, chopped
  • 2 garlic gloves, minced
  • Optional: 2 serrano chilies, minced (depending on how hot your poblanos are/how spicy you like your food, you may want to use more or less of the serranos)
  • S+P to taste

Directions:

In order to make chili rellenos, you have to remove the skin from the peppers.  You do this by broiling the poblanos in the oven or charring them on your stove top.  Both ways are pretty straight forward, but I find broiling the peppers is a little easier from a clean up POV. 

If you are broiling, place into oven and broil until one side is completely blackened, about 3-5 minutes.  Remove pan from the oven, flip the peppers, and broil until the other side is blackened as well.  Remove the peppers from the oven and immediately place in a large paper bag or a big bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap.  Allow the hot peppers to steam in the paper bag or bowl for 10-15 minutes. 

Once 10-15 minutes has elapsed, remove the peppers from the bag or bowl.  At this point, the skin on the peppers should be easy to remove.  I find that I can just remove it with my fingers, but some people find it easy to remove all the char by running a paper towel over the peppers.  Once all the skin has been removed, the peppers will be soft and should look like this.

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Once 10-15 minutes has elapsed, remove the peppers from the bag or bowl. At this point, the skin on the peppers should be easy to remove. I find that I can just remove it with my fingers, but some people find it easy to remove all the char by running a paper towel over the peppers. Once all the skin has been removed, the peppers will be soft and should look like this.

Next up, it is time to make the sauce.  In a medium sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and carrots and cook for 5-7 minutes until the veggies are just soft, but not browned.  Add the serranos and garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes.  Finally, add the tomatoes and their liquid.  Note – you don’t need to worry about having perfectly cut vegetables because everything is going to be blended anyway.  Bring the tomatoes to a simmer and then reduce heat.  Add salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp of each to start).  Cook for 20 minutes and allow to cool completely.  Once cooled, blended the entire mixture together until smooth.  Return to the sauce pan and taste for seasoning.  Adjust as necessary.  Set sauce aside until all the other ingredients in the dish are almost ready.

Next up, you will need to de-seed the poblano peppers delicately.  Because the skin has been removed from the peppers, they can tear easily, so you want to be careful.  First, if the peppers are hot, you will want to be wearing rubber gloves to do the de-seeding as this is where all the heat lives in the peppers.  To de-seed the peppers, cut a small vertical slip near the stem of the pepper (it will expand, so start small) and remove all of the seeds.  Once all the peppers have been de-seeded, use the same slit that you made to remove the seeds to stuff them with the shredded or diced cheese.

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Now you have to do what my family fondly refers to as “pepper operation.”  Because the slits in the peppers are so large, you need to close them up with tooth picks.  This doesn’t have to be exact, as the batter will also help to keep the cheese inside the peppers, but goes a long way to prevent any possible leakage.  I typically use 2-3 toothpicks per pepper.

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Once you have stuffed and “sewn up” the peppers, it is time to warm up the oil and get the batter made.  I think its best to get a large pan and slowly warm up the vegetable or canola oil.  You want it to be almost smoking when you put the peppers in to cook.

In order to make the batter, you first will need to separate six egg whites from six egg yolks.  It is important that no part of the egg yolk contaminates any of the egg whites because you will be beating the egg whites to a stiff peak and any yolk will prevent this from happening.  With an electric mixture (much easier than by hand), whip the egg whites until they come to a medium stiff peak.  In other words, the egg whites should be able to stand up on their own, but shouldn’t be as stiff as you would make it for a meringue.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks together.

When the oil is up to temperature, you want to mix half of the beaten egg whites with the egg yolks in another separate bowl.  You want to mix to combine, but do not over mix so that the egg whites lose all of their stiffness.  I like to “fold” the egg whites into egg yolks with a spatula to prevent over mixing.

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In a large shallow bowl or plate, combine the 1 cup of flour with about 1/2 tsp of salt and peppers.  Set up a little assembly line of: stuffed peppers, flour mixture, egg mixture, hot oil, paper towel lined cookie sheet.  By doing this you can go into auto-pilot when cooking up the peppers!

Step 1:  Dredge the pepper in the flour mixture:

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Step 2: Dip the floured pepper in the egg mixture and cover completely (sorry forgot to snap a picture of this step!)

Step 3: Lightly place the battered pepper into the hot oil.  Repeat with other peppers, careful not to overcrowd the pan (I like to cook 2-3 peppers at a time). 

Step 4: Cook peppers for 2-3 minutes per side on medium high heat until the peppers are lightly browned. 

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Step 5: Remove from oil and place onto a paper towel lined plate to remove any excess oil.  Sprinkle with salt and then place in a 250 degree oven to keep warm as you cook the other peppers.

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You will need to replenish the egg mixture half way through cooking the pepper.  Repeat by folding in the remaining egg yolks to the egg whites.  Replenish the flour mixture as needed.

As I mentioned above, its much easier to make these if you can enlist some help.  This way one person can be responsible for the batter, one person can be responsible for the frying and one person can be responsible for the oil blotting/seasoning/putting in the oven step.  Here is a live shot of all the actions (Thanks Sarah!)

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While the peppers are cooking, make sure you turn on your sauce to get it hot.  Top the peppers with the sauce and serve with rice and beans.

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 ¡Buen apetito!

Campiello–Naples, FL

Whenever we come to Naples to visit my parents, we always request a trip to our favorite Italian restaurant, Campiello.  Campiello is one of the most popular restaurants in Naples and for good reason.  It has tons of outdoor seating in the form of a front patio and a back courtyard and delicious Italian food.  I have been to Campiello probably 10 times and have always had a great experience.

When my family and I went a few nights back, we sat outside on a semi chilly night, but were warmed up quickly by some warm space heaters!  We were informed by our waiter that the menu had just changed a week ago and we were delighted to see some new and tasty looking appetizers and entrees.

To start, my sisters and I split the tuna tartare and house-cured salmon appetizers.  The tuna tartare was a generous portion of freshly minced tuna, topped with sheep’s milk ricotta cheese, olives and a parmesan cracker.

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I wasn’t sure what to expect with the combination of ricotta cheese and tuna, but to my surprise, it worked really well.  I also enjoyed the olives and fried capers that were served alongside the tartare because they added a nice salty bite to the fresh fish.

The house-cured salmon was also quite tasty. While I didn’t enjoy it as much as the tartare, I would definitely order it again.

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The salmon had a slight smoky flavor, was thinly sliced and topped with a citrus vinaigrette.  Campiello also added some thinly sliced fennel that added nice anise flavor and a contrasting crunchy texture.

My parents split a stuffed pasta as their appetizer and said it was the best pasta they had ever eaten at Campiello.

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I was able to snag a bite of one of these angolotti and would have to agree that it was up there among my favorite pasta dishes at Campiello.  The noodle dough was homemade and extremely tender and the dumplings themselves were stuffed with prosciutto and swiss chard.  If that wasn’t enough, the chef drizzled on a parmigiano fonduta that added creaminess and great flavor to the dish.  While all of that was delicious, my favorite part of the dish was probably the jus that was served alongside the angolotti.  It was a beef jus that had tons of flavor and lots of complexity.  After the pasta was eaten, we all were dipping bread into the sauce to soak up as much flavor as we could.

For our entrees, Sarah and I split a fish dish and a pasta dish.  As good as Campiello is at pasta, they are equally as good at fish.  I think finding a partner to split a fish and pasta dish is the perfect approach to a meal here!  The pasta we ordered was a potato gnocchi served in a saffron cream sauce with rock shrimp, shredded zucchini and burrata cheese.

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The sauce was actually reminiscent of a paella thanks to the saffron and shrimp.  The saffron was also responsible for the beautiful yellow color of the sauce.  We all commented that the gnocchi in this dish was probably the lightest and most fluffy gnocchi that we had ever had.  For the most part I thought that the other elements of the dish worked really well too.  The raw zucchini were a nice addition because they added a crisp little bite.  However, while I love burrata cheese on its own, I didn’t think it added anything to the dish itself.  Perhaps if there was more of it and I could enjoy it with more bites it would have been good with the dish?  Otherwise, it sort of felt like an afterthought (a really delicious afterthought though!). 

For our fish, we opted for the branzino, which is Mediterranean sea bass.  The fish was served with a celery root puree, sliced fingerling potatoes and a rosemary vinaigrette.

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This fish was served with the skin still on, which usually I am not a fan of, but quite enjoyed it in this dish.  Sometimes, I think the skin can add a fishy tasty that I don’t like, but somehow this didn’t have any trace of that.  In addition to the skin being tasty, the fish itself was mild and perfectly cooked.  The celery puree was also quite good and I dipped each bite of fish into it.  My only complaint about this dish was that it felt pretty heavy.  The fish was cooked in butter or olive oil . . the potatoes, while good, were drenched in olive oil . . then there was a creamy puree . . . and finally everything was topped with a rosemary vinaigrette.  While everything was great tasting, by the end of the meal, it felt like my mouth was coated with oil.  I think the simple addition of some acid would go along way in this dish.

For their entrée, my parents also shared the branzino and enjoyed it quite a bit.  Kate was the only one who didn’t share and she went with an old favorite – the homemade fresh tagliatelle with a spicy lamb sausage bolognese.

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Campiello truly shines with its homemade fresh pastas.  I don’t know what is different about it, but it is always some of the best pasta I have ever had.  The sauce on this dish, which Kate was nice enough to left me taste a few times, was spicy and full of lamb.  It struck a nice balance between being spicy, yet not over the top.  Kate couldn’t quite finish her pasta at the restaurant, so opted to bring some home in a doggybag.  About an hour later, she was digging into the leftover because she couldn’t stop thinking about how good it was!  That is a true testament to how good it was!

It was another great meal at Campiello and if you are in the Naples, Florida area, I highly recommend checking this authentic, wonderful Italian restaurant out!

Dinner at Chez Boet–Naples, FL

Now that my parents are retired, they get to spend about six months of the year in Naples, Florida.  My sisters, Tommy and I are fortunate enough to get to visit them a couple of times a year.  Not only is all the golfing we get to do wonderful, but my parents often treat us to delicious meals out in Naples.

On our most recent visit down to Naples, we checked out a restaurant that was knew-to-me, called Chez Boet.  As the name implies, Chez Boet is French restaurant.  It is actually owned by a French family and has a very authentic feel to it.  We even saw a few dogs eating dinner on the terrace – how Parisian!

The food is classic French bistro cuisine with favorites like escargot, steak frites, bouillabaisse and duck l’orange.  They also had a nice wine list that included both French and worldly reds and whites.  One of the other things that I liked about the wine list is that it listed wines by price range and had about eight whites and eight reds all for under 40 dollars.  My family ordered one red and one white wine.  The red we ordered was a Malbec from Argentina.  It was full bodied and dry and very delicious!

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For the white wine, we took our waiter’s recommendations and ordered a Sauvignon Blanc from France.  It was light, very easy drinking and was the perfect complement to the hot Naples night!

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In addition to getting a recommendation on the wine, the waiter also guided us on what the best items on the menu were.  To start, we ordered some escargot and a salad to split amongst the table.

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The salad was actually a little on the bland side.  It had some interesting ingredients including goat cheese and chickpeas, but needed some salt and I thought that the dressing was on the watery side.  The escargot on the other hand was absolutely delicious and some of the best I have ever had.  I find that sometimes the garlic that comes in the escargot butter sauce can overpower the whole dish.  Chez Boet’s escargot had just the right amount of garlic in its sauce.  The snails were also perfectly cooked and so tasty.

For our entrees, my mom, Kate and I split two dishes – the Yellow Tail Snapper en Papillotte and the Bouillabaisse.  My dad ordered the Moules Frites.

The Yellow Tail Snapper en Papillotte was wonderful.  Cooking fish “en papillotte” means roasting it with seasonings and a little liquid (think stock or citrus juice) in a parchment paper purse.  This gently steams the fish while infusing it with the flavorings of whatever you cook it with!

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The gentle steaming of the fish made this yellow tail so tender and flakey and it was full of flavor.  Chez Boet also served the fish with some roasted vegetables (including bok choy which was both different and delicious!) and saffron rice.  Between my sister, my mom and I, there was not a single bite left on this plate!

We equally enjoyed Chez Boet’s Bouillabaisse which was chock full of fresh local seafood and had incredible depth of flavor in the seafood stock.

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This was a huge portion and although we were able to eat all of the seafood and potatoes in the dish, we regrettably had to leave behind some of the stock! I have no idea how Chez Boet got such a flavorful, mild and well balanced stock.

From the bites that I stole of my dad’s Moules Frites, or mussels with crispy French fries, I can tell you that this is definitely a dish I would order in the future.

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The mussels were fresh and very well cooked.  We think the key to the mussels was that they were cooked just until they opened and were not overcooked.  Overcooking mussels can lead to them being gummy and unappealing, and these mussels were definitely not that!  The French fries were also the perfect texture with a crispy exterior and a soft interior!  They were the perfect accompaniment to the broth that comes with the mussels!

To end the meal, we opted to do as the French would and split a cheese plate.  Chez Boet’s cheese plate included a rich Roquefort cheese, a tangy goat cheese and a creamy brie.  A couple of bites of each cheese was a great way to end the meal!

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I know that there are an abundance of wonderful restaurants in Naples (I hope to do a post on a couple others that I have enjoyed in my time here), but I would highly recommend checking out Chez Boet.  Everything about this restaurant was so authentically French – from the French speaking waiters, to the French couple that owns the restaurant, to the traditional French bistro food offerings!

 

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