Politics and Potpourri March 2014

PoliticsBy Councilman Bill Barnett

Today is February 5th, and the breaking news is CVS Pharmacies are removing tobacco products from their shelves. I will make a pledge to make CVS my pharmacy of choice and support them as much as I can.

Good for them!

I am one of those fortunate people that live to eat, as opposed to eat to live. I really enjoy cooking, and dining out has always been an added bonus. For the  Naples community we are fortunate to have cutting age restaurants and amazing places to shop for groceries. 41 years ago when I first moved to Naples there were two restaurants, Picadilly Pub, and St. George and the Dragon. Picadilly closed many years ago, and St. George just closed last year. Each year I write about my favorite dining spots in Naples and I’m afraid that I must do an abbreviated version this year or it would take the next three issues of Life in Naples to complete.

As always my disclaimer is that the opinions that follow are strictly mine, and there is no doubt whatsoever that there will be and for that matter should be some who disagree, which is as it should be. Today it’s so easy to go online and check out almost any restaurants menu and see if they take reservations, which is an absolute must in Naples especially during season. So, where do I start? From North Naples to South Naples the following is a list of my favorites. AZN, Swan River Seafood, USS Nemo, Chops City Grill, Cafe Lurcat, Hob Nob, Bha! Bha! Persian Bistro, Bistro 821, Handsome Harry’s, Sea Salt, and Ridgway Bar and Grill. There is a phenomenal new restaurant named Mereday’s located at the Naples Bay Resort. If I were only able to dine out one night a year and had to choose a place to dine, Mereday’s would be my choice, it is that good! Naples has steakhouses galore, and it’s really difficult to single one out. There are four that are excellent, Capital Grille, Shula’s, Flemings, and Andre’s. Andre’s is a true family style steakhouse, and has been in Naples for over 20 years.

Charlie Chiang’s is hands down the best Chinese restaurant in Naples. There is definitely no shortage of wonderful Italian restaurants in Naples that I enjoy. Panevino, New York Pizza and Pasta, Bellini, Pazzo, Vergina, and of course my perennial favorite Cosmo’s. Friends have told me that Osteria Tulia is an excellent choice, but I can’t seem to get a reservation unless I want to make one 10 days in advance, so I’ll wait till after season to dine there. Naples can boast of some very fine French restaurants that I frequent. They are Bleu Provence, Le Lafayette, and Escargot 41. If you are looking for a unique and delicious dining experience try the Tapas at Bites, located at the Ritz Carlton on the beach.

And last but certainly not least one of Naples newest and a very good restaurant, Chapel Grill, certainly lived up to its name last week when they held their first ever wedding which I had the pleasure officiating.

Congratulations to my fellow Council Members Doug Finlay and Sam Saad for being re-elected to City Council, and to Linda Penniman our newest Council member. They were officially sworn in February 19th, and I look forward to serving with them for my remaining two years on Council.

I know I am being repetitious, but in my 41 years of living in the City of Naples I have never seen real estate sell so fast, traffic be so bad, restaurants and hotels booked so solid, and having our heat on one night and the air conditioning on the next day! I’m thankful to live here, and have true compassion for my family and friends Up North dealing with the nightmare weather that they are experiencing.

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