New Naples restaurant: 'The Star' will be born 11-11-11

L'étoile, a classical French restaurant, is opening this fall at 10711 U.S. 41 N. in North Naples.

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L'étoile, a classical French restaurant, is opening this fall at 10711 U.S. 41 N. in North Naples.

— An aspiring star has high hopes to shine brightly this fall on the North Naples dining scene.

L’Etoile, French for “The Star,” plans to open Nov. 11 — that’s 11-11-11 — in Naples Park. The new restaurant will add French classics to a location that has previously served German and Italian cuisines.

The lineup of restaurants at 10711 U.S. 41 N., on the corner of 107th Avenue North a few blocks south of Immokalee Road, was dominated by the old Heidelberg Restaurant, which occupied the space for many years. But that address also has been home to a few other restaurants, including Mr. G’s Italian Restaurant and Rudi’s European Cuisine. The building, which easily could be mistaken for a nice, single-family residence with a courtyard patio, has been vacant since Rudi’s closed last summer.

“I thought it needed a new identity, a little touch of sophistication,” said new owner/chef Marc-Jean Berruet, who painted a subtle tan over the coral color left behind by the previous tenant.

Chef Berruet, also an artist who enjoys painting still-lifes and carving decoys, said he put 52 gallons of paint on the old restaurant, faux finishing every wall in their new place during this past winter season.

“We made some visually big changes in there,” said Trish Berruet, Marc-Jean’s wife and co-owner of their restaurant business.

Marc-Jean and Trish Berruet are not strangers to the Naples area, which they have considered their second home for years. The couple honeymooned and lived in Naples 20 years ago and frequently visit friends and family here. Marc-Jean’s mother lives nearby in Pine Island and he worked at the old Chardonnay Restaurant in Naples more than 20 years ago.

For four years, the Berruets have operated The Pearl, a fine dining establishment in Kill Devil Hills, N.C. They will operate L’Etoile in Naples during the off season of their Outer Banks restaurant.

“They are pretty much opposite seasons,” Trish Berruet said. “My husband doesn’t sit around very well. I have to keep him busy.”

Shortly after The Pearl closes Oct. 1 for the season, the Berruets and some of their employees already familiar with the chef’s food and expectations will travel to Naples to prepare for the November opening. The process will reverse when The Pearl reopens in early to mid-April. L’étoile will close in May for the summer months.

“There is a little bit of overlap between the two,” Trish Berruet said. “We haven’t decided when Naples will close for the season. We’re going to wait to see how it goes.”

Marc-Jean Berruet is a classically trained French chef. In fact, Berruet is a second-generation French chef and literally grew up in the kitchen of their longtime family-owned restaurant, the Chanticleer, on Nantucket Island, Mass.

Trish and Marc-Jean Berruet met while working at the Nantucket restaurant. When the family sold the renowned restaurant a few years ago, they ventured south to open their oceanfront place in North Carolina.

Similar to The Pearl, L’Etoile will specialize in local ingredients with a French twist. The classic French cuisine will incorporate fresh and natural ingredients that come from local waters and nearby farms.

“Marc is spending a lot of time trying to find sources for local ingredients,” Trish Berruet said. “It really works out well for us and makes our food so much more interesting, and it’s the right thing to do.”

The Berruets began connecting with local resources last year when they talked to farmers in Immokalee about raising special herbs and went on a charter fishing boat and talked to Gulf shrimpers.

“We tapped into the resources here. It’s been amazing. We started doing business with the fishermen and the farmers and it kept spreading. It’s blossomed from there. It’s been unbelievable,” Marc-Jean said. “You have the biggest fish market right here in your backyard. I don’t foresee importing anything unless it’s really special, such as langostino from the Mediterranean.”

“When I tell you people bring you live fish to the back door, it’s not an exaggeration,” the chef said, referring to the Pearl restaurant.

Even in North Carolina, Berruet is familiar with Florida fish such as Spanish mackerel, pompano, amberjack and cobia.

“Most of the species we get here are Florida species,” he said. “This is about as far north as the Florida fish come.”

Even though some of the fish are different in the mid-Atlantic, Marc-Jean plans to use Florida fish here with the same preparation.

“It’s all classic preparations. It’s not nouveau at all,” he said. “I do think there is a need for (classic French cuisine) in North Naples.”

In addition to local seafood, roast duck will be a menu staple, as will foie gras, lobster bisque, French onion soup, Seafood Napoléon, crab cakes, crepes and soufflés. The dinner-only restaurant will be closed on Sundays.

© 2011 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 34

PeopleSpeak writes:

Glad to see another attempt at this location with a concept other than Italian.

Too bad they preemptively plan to give us locals the shaft by closing May-November.

Rugers writes:

Good Luck, the place just is a tough location. Maybe this closing May-Novemeber should work for all of Naples. Just pack up and EVERYONE leave. See how long it takes for the Commissioners to see the town really dry up.

bigloo writes:

Hey, it must be nice to be able to pay rent for 12 months and do business for 5! This tells me the menu pricing will be out of sight. It better be good because most people I know have been cutting coupons for a long time and many of them are just plain cutting back! I wish them luck however and will give them a shot or two when they open, coupons or no coupons.

BBGobserver writes:

North Naples and Naples always can use a restaurant with excellent cuisine. If truly excellent, this restaurant will be packed taking market share from other French themed restaurants that really are nice but no where near the level of a truly top French one. You pay for what you get, be it a car, boat, or meal. Still cheaper than a trip to France!

dottie99 writes:

Sounds great. I'm looking forward to the opening and hope to support this new locally owned (non-chain) restaurant.

swfl_ff writes:

in response to Rugers:

Good Luck, the place just is a tough location. Maybe this closing May-Novemeber should work for all of Naples. Just pack up and EVERYONE leave. See how long it takes for the Commissioners to see the town really dry up.

That use to be very common here back in the 70's. Many of the restaurants use to close during the summer time. You could get away with it back then but I don't see how they will be able to afford the rents etc just running 5-6 months a year.

I wish them well because they are going to need it.

northnaples61 writes:

in response to PeopleSpeak:

Glad to see another attempt at this location with a concept other than Italian.

Too bad they preemptively plan to give us locals the shaft by closing May-November.

There is a local jewelery store in town that closes at 5 during the week and closed on weekends off season. I work til 5. I did manage to have time to run over there one afternoon and asked them about their hours and commented, "I take it you don't like locals."

BillBrasky writes:

Boycott businesses that shut down in the summer. If they don't care about the locals the locals shouldn't keep them in business.

If you want authentic traditional French food go to Escargot-41 in the Park Shore Plaza. Award wining food and they care enough to be open all year, creating stable full time jobs for the local economy.

HadYourPhil writes:

Closed May to November? They've lost my business before they even open.

Trexler writes:

Best wishes...the air conditioning in that bldg never worked well, may want to examine...customers always complained...

HarryNuts writes:

in response to HadYourPhil:

Closed May to November? They've lost my business before they even open.

Yeah thats pretty arrogant. Good luck to them trying to please the bored rich geriatrics that clog our streets and think they rule the place half the year.

terrysue writes:

I checked out their menu for their N.C. restaurant. They also have a Sunday brunch there. I wonder if they'll have one here. It wasn't mentioned in the article. They have a huge wine list there.

NotTheLissack writes:

bigloo vomits:

Hey, it must be nice to be able to pay rent for 12 months and do business for 5!
===============================================
You can always tell when someone has never run or owned a business. They have zero clue how a cash flow projection works. <sigh>

anicou writes:

in response to BillBrasky:

Boycott businesses that shut down in the summer. If they don't care about the locals the locals shouldn't keep them in business.

If you want authentic traditional French food go to Escargot-41 in the Park Shore Plaza. Award wining food and they care enough to be open all year, creating stable full time jobs for the local economy.

Are you kidding? We, and all the Europeans people we know, used to have diner at Escargot restaurant. After few times, we never went back.
The food was not the greatest, but the worst was the female owner. What a bully she was!

northnaples61 writes:

in response to HadYourPhil:

Closed May to November? They've lost my business before they even open.

I will not dine there either. Let them live off the seasonal "residents." I will patronize establishments that also cater to the locals. Stating before they even opened that they do not care about loyal, local customers was not a very wise marketing move...

HomeAgain writes:

Not sure why this restaurant would be any different from the others that failed in this location. Not to mention, they're using our city to capitalize on season and not catering to people that live here. AND, a restaurant closed for dinner on Sunday? Get real! Sounds like a bad plan!

HarryNuts writes:

in response to HomeAgain:

Not sure why this restaurant would be any different from the others that failed in this location. Not to mention, they're using our city to capitalize on season and not catering to people that live here. AND, a restaurant closed for dinner on Sunday? Get real! Sounds like a bad plan!

Thats okay.

If they don't want our money, they can sit and wait for the snowbirds to come in and complain about how much the food sucks and cry when the rent is 'too high' to afford.

RainMan writes:

... sounds like a bunch of PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL beaching complainers posting here.

"They should all use their own money and keep the place open all year even though there are no customers or profits in the off season."
________________________________________

Good luck to you on your new venture, I hope you find it welcomeing.

HarryNuts writes:

in response to RainMan:

... sounds like a bunch of PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL beaching complainers posting here.

"They should all use their own money and keep the place open all year even though there are no customers or profits in the off season."
________________________________________

Good luck to you on your new venture, I hope you find it welcomeing.

Typical republican trash: arrogance and stupidity

SandnSurf writes:

in response to NotTheLissack:

bigloo vomits:

Hey, it must be nice to be able to pay rent for 12 months and do business for 5!
===============================================
You can always tell when someone has never run or owned a business. They have zero clue how a cash flow projection works. <sigh>

Then why dont you explain it instead of creating more vomit on this blog?

BillBrasky writes:

“sounds like a bunch of PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL beaching complainers posting here.
"They should all use their own money and keep the place open all year even though there are no customers or profits in the off season."
--------------------------------------------
Rain Man a well-run business will make money in the summer, building a local clientele who come in all year is the key to success in a seasonal area like Naples. Season is great but when you’re at capacity take care of the locals who keep you in business first and the visitors second.

Anicou- I have only eaten at Escargot41 a few times but it has been fine when I went. Maybe they were having an off night?

Naplestango writes:

Wasn't that Cafe Saigon in the early 90's?

Naplestango writes:

in response to BillBrasky:

“sounds like a bunch of PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL beaching complainers posting here.
"They should all use their own money and keep the place open all year even though there are no customers or profits in the off season."
--------------------------------------------
Rain Man a well-run business will make money in the summer, building a local clientele who come in all year is the key to success in a seasonal area like Naples. Season is great but when you’re at capacity take care of the locals who keep you in business first and the visitors second.

Anicou- I have only eaten at Escargot41 a few times but it has been fine when I went. Maybe they were having an off night?

Could there be enough froglegs-snail-duck-rabbit-eating locals willing to drop $150 for dinner for 2 often enough to keep a place open off-season?
Sacrebleu, je ne crois pas!

doglover123 writes:

I am a full-time resident and looking forward to having a French establishment in my area. North Naples is slowing becoming the new 5th avenue...I just hope they have something affordable for us working folk...

Iseeyouon41 writes:

I shall also attend its closing

anicou writes:

in response to BillBrasky:

“sounds like a bunch of PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL beaching complainers posting here.
"They should all use their own money and keep the place open all year even though there are no customers or profits in the off season."
--------------------------------------------
Rain Man a well-run business will make money in the summer, building a local clientele who come in all year is the key to success in a seasonal area like Naples. Season is great but when you’re at capacity take care of the locals who keep you in business first and the visitors second.

Anicou- I have only eaten at Escargot41 a few times but it has been fine when I went. Maybe they were having an off night?

I don't think so BillBrasky. We went many times to eat at Escargot 41, so our European friends and we never want to go back there.
Kind of a rip off!
We are very happy with the French restaurant "Cote D'Azur" they have excellent Provencale food with a friendly atmosphere and service.
No pushy BS there.

bbriggs300 writes:

I have been to his other restaurant in N.C. and his food is incredible and very resonable in cost. His food will do all the talking. I cant wait for him to open. Better start making reservations! Yes its that good!

joeblow writes:

Should call it "The Cornball"...

lovemycat writes:

I'll be there!
LOVE French cuisine.
Tres bien.

jt1120 writes:

in response to dottie99:

Sounds great. I'm looking forward to the opening and hope to support this new locally owned (non-chain) restaurant.

You beat me to it, Dottie. I, too, only support locally owned (non-chain) restaurants. The only problem is, I doubt I will be able to support this one since it will probably be difficult to get a seat during season, and they'll be closed when us locals will be able to go. Very sad that they are choosing this business plan, and I'm not sure this one will be worth my support.

Still, I offer them one bit of advice: if you want that location to work, tear down the wall that is in front of the restaurant facing 41. If you don't know the place is there, it's easy to drive right by.

HarryNuts writes:

in response to bbriggs300:

I have been to his other restaurant in N.C. and his food is incredible and very resonable in cost. His food will do all the talking. I cant wait for him to open. Better start making reservations! Yes its that good!

whatever
Nice plug

bigloo writes:

in response to NotTheLissack:

bigloo vomits:

Hey, it must be nice to be able to pay rent for 12 months and do business for 5!
===============================================
You can always tell when someone has never run or owned a business. They have zero clue how a cash flow projection works. <sigh>

I've run several successful businesses in my lifetime and still do. Although I haven't seen their menu pricing, it will have to be at the high end and I'm happy that a 'schmuck' like you will find pleasure in being ripped off!

keb2482 writes:

in response to PeopleSpeak:

Glad to see another attempt at this location with a concept other than Italian.

Too bad they preemptively plan to give us locals the shaft by closing May-November.

Additionally, this couple has not renewed their rental contract for the Pearl Restaurant in the Outer Banks, NC. Leaving MANY brides to deal with the new management of the place. I know of several brides who can't seem to get a hold of this couple to get their $1000 deposits back for their weddings....

Sounds like great business practices...

JohnnyT writes:

Like any new restaurant the food, price and ambiance is key. If the owners wish to stay open for season
And close in the off season that there choice. I believe they may close for 3-4 weeks if what I heard from the
Owners is correct. As far as the locals are concerned most of us have so many places to choose from that
are so cheap that we most likely would not visit this restaurant from May till October anyway.
People do not realize how expensive it is to run a restaurant. It is one of the toughest business to own.
I know I had one and it cost me a fortune. Aside from the food commentary here is a plus for locals and visitors during season. I will be performing my “Voices of Legends” show on Wednesday Evenings.
For all those who dine the 7pm show is complimentary. For all those who attend the 9pm show there is only a $10 entertainment charge but drinks are half price for everyone!!! Hope to see everyone in January.

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