Since spending winters in southwest Florida, I’ve been on a search for the best seafood restaurants in Naples. Now I’m ready to share four of my snowbird finds. Each one offers a little something different with its own specialties. If you’re a fish and seafood lover like me, you’ll be eager to experience these delish places if and when you travel this way. Now it’s time to get your hungry on, cause I’m diving right in.
Swan River Seafood wins votes for top seafood restaurant
Housed in a strip mall off the main road Tiamiami, Swan River Seafood is so unassuming that you might pass it by if you didn’t know it was high ranking. I liked Swan River in 2022 and took my sister N for dinner there when she was visiting this February.
The fish is super high quality with selections from all over the world. Swan River also has a gourmet market where they sell fresh fish and seafood and some other appetizing accompaniments. According to their website, Swan River offers the widest varieties of fresh fish and seafood in Naples, FL.
During my first endeavor I dined on Broiled Sole from Maine with Beet and Sweet Potato Salad and Green Beans Almondine. Second time I ordered Broiled Shrimp and Scallops. Both were simple, yet so good, so good, so good.
All Aboard the USS Nemo Undersea Cuisine
I initially read about USS Nemo in The New York Times. “The miso broiled sea bass with citrus-ginger butter sauce is almost worth a trip to Naples in and of itself,” raved the writer. I knew I had to try it. Only problem is getting an in-season dinner reservation is almost impossible unless you book way in advance.
I was lucky in 2022 when I called a week before my friend D was arriving to see if there were any cancelations. Lucky for us there was a regret on a Thursday evening which turned into sheer elation for our palates.
D and I had the most wonderful meal. I don’t know whose dish was better — D’s was the Nemo Signature Grilled Black Grouper ‘Ala Nicoise with lobster risotto, sautéed artichokes, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, and almond Romesco. Mine was a special that evening — African Pompano with charred baba ghanoush, cashew butter, pickled cherries, cauliflower florets and crispy potato spirals.
As fellow foodies we were compelled to eat every last morsel and agreed both entrees had the most unique combination of flavors on a plate. We almost cried it was so good, so good, so good.
Fast forward to 2023. “I have to take you to USS Nemo,” I said to my daughter A. “You will love this restaurant.” The minute she confirmed her flight, I called for a resy. Bingo, we were all set for 6:15 pm on Saturday night.
“There are so many great choices,” said A upon looking at the menu. This time we jumped at the chance to enjoy the famed Pan-Asian Signature Miso Broiled Sea Bass. A opted for the Nerone black rice risotto and sautéed baby bok choy sides, while I was tamer with steamed rice and carrot tempura.
We were speechless once the fish entered our mouths. The citrus-ginger butter sauce was ah-mazing with the perfect touch of sweet and spice. It was so good, so good, so good.
It’s ocean’s bounty at Hogfish Harry’s
Have you ever heard of Hogfish? I hadn’t until I went to Hogfish Harry’s. The tropical-themed oasis is housed poolside at Park Shore Resort. I say this so that you won’t spend time looking for the location. When driving, use the Resort as your destination.
How did the Hogfish get designated? According to the menu: “The Hogfish uses its elongated pig-like snout to rummage and graze crustaceans that are buried beneath the sand. The shape of its snout and the way it uses it is what gave the Hogfish it’s name.”
Hogfish Harry’s has an eclectic mix of seafood. Chef Everett Fromm makes everything from scratch “utilizing sustainable, fresh, and one-of-a-kind ingredients. He works with fishermen, farmers and artisans locally, nationally and in Europe” to source the best for his menu items. For example: “The fish is flown in whole overnight from Hawaii and the Yucatán Peninsula, and broken down in-house to limit exposure to exterior elements.”
“What are you having tonight?” asked A. “I’m going to be adventurous and try the Hogfish,” I replied. My Spiced Hogfish with Pineapple Ginger Butter Sauce atop Coconut Lemongrass Jasmine Rice was quite tasty. I found Hogfish to be a meatier fish than I usually prefer but liked the rice and sauce and was glad to say I conquered the Hog.”
Truluck’s is an Open Table Top 100 restaurant
“I know we’re going to USS Nemo on Saturday. Are you game to go to Truluck’s on Friday?” I asked A. All I had to do was show her the menu and she was all in.
Located in downtown Naples, the white table cloth restaurant is a class act. How would I describe the food? INCREDIBLE (yes all caps). How would I describe the service? EXCELLENT (more caps). You can tell that this is a popular place by the line that wraps around the door for Happy Hour. We learned afterwards that food and drinks at the bar offer early-bird discounts. (Note: Truluck’s also has restaurants in other cities across the country. Check the website for details.)
OMG, first I have to tell you about my cocktail. It was Voila! and was indeed as they say “a sensory tour de force of dry ice smoke, vodka, cava, Chambord, pineapple juice and raspberries. I’ve never had a smokin’ drink before. It was so cool, so cool, so cool!
We asked the nice waitress what she recommended on the menu. There were so many appetizing choices we couldn’t decide. Our starters included made-to-order Parmesan Yeast Rolls; Yellowfin Tuna with wasabi, avocado, roasted carrot ginger sauce and a Jumbo Lump Crab Cake. For our entree we shared Mediterranean Branzino which was roasted whole with olives, capers, lemon and oregano vinaigrette. It was perfectly filleted and divided in two. We couldn’t resist ordering a side of Crab Fried Rice and ended up taking it home since our tummies were full. It was all so good, so good, so good.
There you have it — my favorite seafood restaurants in Naples, FL. Without a doubt I would go back to all four next year. Or perhaps I’ll discover four new ones. Can’t wait to see.