In the Know: Which Naples area restaurants have walleye on the menu?

TIM ATEN

Q: There used to be sev­eral restaurants — Gre­cian Gardens, Parkshore Grille, Maximo’s, to name a few — that served fresh walleye in Naples. Are there any currently serv­ing walleye? I would love to know! Thanks!

— Anne, Naples

A: With so many trans­plants from Ohio, Michi­gan and other Great Lakes states settling in South­west Florida, walleye re­mains a staple on many local restaurant menus.

One of the reasons walleye is so popular here is because area chefs are preparing the freshwater fish in delicious ways. The delicate white fish is mild and a little flaky, and is un­like any caught in local wa­ters, said Pedro Nolasco, owner of Cibao Grille, off Neapolitan Way in Naples.

Walleye pike Key West style, a sauteed fil­let topped with artichoke and tomato slices and Bé­arnaise sauce, is the sig­nature dish on the dinner menu at Cibao Grille.

“That is the No. 1 seller on the menu,” Nolasco said.

Located in Neapoli­tan Way off U.S. 41 for the past six years, Cibao Grille relocated Thursday to another location within the shopping center. The restaurant moved 150 feet west to the former space of Parkshore Grill, 814 Nea­politan Way.

Walleye also continues to be a popular item on the dinner menu of M Water­front Grill in the Village on Venetian Bay, 4300 Gulf Shore Blvd. N., Naples. Executive Chef Brian Ro­land has created “Water­side herb”-Panko-crusted walleye with roasted fen­nel and caramelized onion risotto, and a tomato-lem­on-caper sauce. Walleye is an option in M’s “Fresh Fish Simply Done” menu section, as well, where the Great Lakes fish is simply grilled or pan-seared with grilled asparagus and lem­on butter sauce.

During season, wall­eye also is one of the most popular entrees at Wylds Café on Bonita Beach Road in Bonita Springs. Wylds’ Parmesan-encrusted walleye pike is topped with tomato basil buerre blanc and served with roasted shallot risotto. Unfortunately, Wylds is closed now and through the summer months. The café is scheduled to reopen the first week in October.

It’s not just the way the fish is prepared that makes it so popular, nor is it a coincidence that walleye plays well to many visi­tors and local transplants. Walleye is a native to Canada and the northern U.S. and is the state fish of Minnesota.

The above mentioned are just a few of the local restaurants serving wall­eye. Which others are your favorites and why? Please comment below or email intheknow@naplesnews.com.

Alia's Cafe, 3400 Radio Road, recently closed in April in East Naples. Sweet Pea's, a breakfast-lunch cafe  operated by husband-and-wife restaurateurs Fadi Rabil and Chrissy Bianchi-Rabil, is now open at that location.

Photo by TIM ATEN

Alia's Cafe, 3400 Radio Road, recently closed in April in East Naples. Sweet Pea's, a breakfast-lunch cafe operated by husband-and-wife restaurateurs Fadi Rabil and Chrissy Bianchi-Rabil, is now open at that location.

MORE AREA RESTAURANT NEWS

Alia’s Cafe, 3400 Radio Road, closed as of April 30 to make way for Sweet Pea’s, a new breakfast­-lunch cafe being operated by husband-and-wife res­taurateurs Fadi Rabil and Chrissy Bianchi-Rabil, who also operate Chrissy’s Courthouse Tavern in East Naples and Chrissy B’s in North Naples. This marks the third time the local couple has operated a res­taurant at that East Naples location in the Commerce Centers. It was the origi­nal Chrissy’s from 1991 to 2005, and reopened from 2008 to 2010.

For a short time, it also has been Tastebuds of Naples and the Baker’s Bistro. Sweet Pea’s, open 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. every day, spices up Chrissy’s classic cooking with some Creole cuisine, Rabil said. 239-331-2955.

SweetFrog self-serve frozen yogurt café is set to open its first Naples-area store, right, on June 1 next to Sunburst Cafe in Pine Ridge Crossing.

Photo by TIM ATEN

SweetFrog self-serve frozen yogurt café is set to open its first Naples-area store, right, on June 1 next to Sunburst Cafe in Pine Ridge Crossing.

SweetFrog, a Rich­mond, Va.-based self-serve frozen yogurt café, is set to open its first Naples-area store June 1 next to Party City in Pine Ridge Cross­ing. SweetFrog, 2338 Pine Ridge Road, is opening in the space formerly occu­pied by Smoothie King and Love Me, Love My Dog Pet Salon and Spa. SweetFrog fosters a bright, positive, family-friendly environ­ment, according to com­pany information on its website, sweetfrogyogurt. com.

“SweetFrog was found­ed on the principles of Christianity and our belief in bringing happiness and a positive attitude into the lives of our consumers,” according to its website. “At SweetFrog, F.R.O.G stands for Fully Rely On God — and we hope to be an example of that in every community!”

The store’s nearly 40 yo­gurt flavors include takes on baked goods (apple pie, carrot cake, gingerbread, snickerdoodle), candy (Bubble Yum bubble gum, peppermint stick, Hershey kisses chocolate), fruits (mountain blackberry, island banana, Geor­gia peach), nuts (pecan praline, pistachio, white chocolate macadamia) and beverages (root beer float, cappuccino, eggnog).

Photo with no caption

Baskin-Robbins is plan­ning a comeback in Collier County, where the nation­al ice cream chain shared space with some local Dunkin’ Donuts franchises until a few years ago. Now, the company has expan­sion plans for Collier and Lee counties.

“We look forward to growing our presence throughout Florida in the coming years,” said Grant Benson, vice president of franchising and mar­ket planning for Dunkin’ Brands Inc.

The company looks to add more than 15 stores in the next several years in South Florida. For franchise informa­tion, go to BaskinRob­bins.com. Florida now has 138 Baskin-Robbins loca­tions.

Sweet Tomatoes opened in March 2010 in the former location of Romano's Macaroni Grill in the Granada Shoppes in North Naples.

Photo by TIM ATEN

Sweet Tomatoes opened in March 2010 in the former location of Romano's Macaroni Grill in the Granada Shoppes in North Naples.

Sweet Tomatoes on the corner of U.S. 41 North and Immokalee Road is still open. It seems the recent clos­ing of Naples Tomato near­by has some Sweet Toma­toes restaurant customers confused.

“We have received many phone calls from customers the past week on this, ask­ing why we have closed,” said Tracy Marks, a spokes­woman for the California­-based chain.

While we are counting tomatoes, Stevie Tomato’s Sports Page also remains open in Pebblebrooke Center near the corner of Collier Boulevard and Im­mokalee Road.

___

Have a local question? Email it with your name and city of residence to intheknow@naplesnews.com.

"In the Know" is published Mondays and Wednesdays in the Naples Daily News. Find a complete archive of "In the Know" columns at naplesnews.com/intheknow.

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 43

Beachtowel writes:

Walleye doesn't need any sauces or funky seasoning. It's that good.

Here4Now writes:

The Rabils, again?? These guys open restaurants as often as I change underwear. Geeesh!

Here4Now writes:

Any places that don't cost an arm and a leg that serve walleye? Or Lake Erie perch?

babbas writes:

in response to Here4Now:

The Rabils, again?? These guys open restaurants as often as I change underwear. Geeesh!

Twice a year? Ewww.

jt1120 writes:

Speaking of seafood, did Real Seafood close? I drove by on Sunday afternoon and there wasn't a soul in sight. I figured that they would be open for Mother's Day in the afternoon, but maybe I'm wrong.

HarryNuts writes:

Who cares. I'll be happy to not hear people wondering if their $13 Grouper sandwich from XYZ restaurant was really tilapia.

Can we just PLEASE bring more life and culture here, instead of yet another Mexican restaurant?

anne writes:

Real Seafood Company serves Lake erie Perch,regularly.It's about $27.95,which isn't cheap,but well worth it! I agree with Beachtowel,walleye is sooooooooooo good,it stands alone without fennel,which has such a strong licorice taste,it would over power the walleye!

per826 writes:

Maximo's did have walleye and it was to die for.  Luckily Vinnie, the owner, now owns Little Italy Restaurant on the east trail.  It's between Davis and Airport so it's not too far out. He still serves the same walleye there.  Check it out!  And Don, the bartender, makes awesome drinks!  Pizza is great too!  Matter of fact, it's all great!!!!!!

Here4Now writes:

in response to anne:

Real Seafood Company serves Lake erie Perch,regularly.It's about $27.95,which isn't cheap,but well worth it! I agree with Beachtowel,walleye is sooooooooooo good,it stands alone without fennel,which has such a strong licorice taste,it would over power the walleye!

Thanks. I always get the Lake Erie perch whenever I'm at Real Seafood, and it is indeed delicious. It is also ridiculous to charge $28-$29 for 5 tiny (and I do mean tiny) fried pieces of fish. But, it's a taste from my childhood, and there's nothing cheaper on the menu anyway, so ...

Iggy writes:

Hey how about looking into St George and the Dragon's status?? I hear they may have finally sold to someone else.. Sure hope so, I think a lot of people were getting pretty tired of how that owner did business!!

seaguy writes:

wow chrissy and her husband have another place that they can close in 6 months.

wolfgang1 writes:

I'm going to post a clock on US 41, just like the Times Square Debt Clock, which shows how many restaurants Chrissy's is opening and closing! Ridiculous!

JunkYardDog_1 (Inactive) writes:

The bass in the largest rock mine in Collier County just down the road from home has the best deep water clean, fresh and cheap freshwater fillets that there is anywhere in SWFL.

$29 for Lake Erie perch or Walleye ? No thanks...

Notthesame writes:

Tilapia tatses like dirt, no matter where you get it.

roadhouse writes:

“At SweetFrog, F.R.O.G stands for Fully Rely On God — and we hope to be an example of that in every community!”

Nothing is a bigger turnoff than businesses that rely on religion as a marketing tool......

JunkYardDog_1 (Inactive) writes:

suggestion: Haul your downtrodden caboose back to New York and wait for the 6 months of freezing Lake Erie weather. Don't call us, we'll call you.

Arrivederci

RayPray writes:

"F.R.O.G stands for Fully Rely On God"

“SweetFrog was found­ed on the principles of Christianity"

Wise decision since the Gospels tell us how much Jesus & the Apostles enjoyed scarfing down frozen yogurt during their peregrinations around Palestine.

Bigkondorsback (Inactive) writes:

If you need your walleye so bad there are several choices in Naples. Exit 101 to 111, head North for a day, and park your butt back on the shores of Lake Erie where you were hatched.

cgbexec writes:

Walleye is ok, but we have so many of the world’s best fish right here in our local waters, why would you want to bring in frozen fish from somewhere else? If you are northerner, do yourself a favor and try some of the following: (Make sure they are fresh and not frozen!)
1) Dolphin (Mahi Mahi) – This is a mild white flakey fish with a richer flavor than any fresh water fish, but not fishy. Freezing ruins the flavor however, so make sure its fresh and you will fall in love. If you like spicy, try it blackened, but it will mask some of the awesome natural flavor. Macadamia Nut encrusted broiled is one of my favorites!
2) Yellow Tail Snapper – This is another white mild flakey fish with a unique flavor and is unlike others in the snapper family. It is great grilled, sautéed or a Bahamian favorite is fried with American cheese on Bahamian bread. Freezing turns the flesh mushy however.
3) Black Grouper – This fish has a very rich flavor unlike any other grouper. Sautéed in a white wine sauce is divine! Again, it must be fresh.
4) Permit – If you like, white, flaky and mild with great texture, permit is awesome when fresh. Baked or sautéed is best.
5) King Fish – King fish is not a good eating fish, but when smoked and made into a fish dip, it is amazing! I have had fish dip made from tuna, snapper, mackerel and numerous other fish, but dip made from king fish is the best I have found in terms of flavor and texture.
6) Yellowfin Tuna – Try a tuna steak medium rare with a teriyaki sauce! You will love it.

Beachtowel writes:

in response to Bigkondorsback:

If you need your walleye so bad there are several choices in Naples. Exit 101 to 111, head North for a day, and park your butt back on the shores of Lake Erie where you were hatched.

Can't someone like a fish that doesn't come from here? I've had just about every fresh & salt water fish in the U.S. & to me fresh walleye still reigns supreme.

Davidh239 writes:

in response to Beachtowel:

Walleye doesn't need any sauces or funky seasoning. It's that good.

You are oh so right, if you need to cover it with sauces and/or spices you might as well eat the crap that passes for anything caught in salt water.

Next to a fresh caught brook trout from a cold mountain stream (cooked stream side), walleye can't be beat.

bananas8187 writes:

Fresh water fish tastes like feet, and it's full of bones.

Yellowtail, Mahi Mahi, shark, skate, king mackerel, sea bass, swordfish, redfish, pompano, ad infinitum, are great.

If you really love an imported pincushion from "up north," bless your hearts.

OP writes:

in response to cgbexec:

Walleye is ok, but we have so many of the world’s best fish right here in our local waters, why would you want to bring in frozen fish from somewhere else? If you are northerner, do yourself a favor and try some of the following: (Make sure they are fresh and not frozen!)
1) Dolphin (Mahi Mahi) – This is a mild white flakey fish with a richer flavor than any fresh water fish, but not fishy. Freezing ruins the flavor however, so make sure its fresh and you will fall in love. If you like spicy, try it blackened, but it will mask some of the awesome natural flavor. Macadamia Nut encrusted broiled is one of my favorites!
2) Yellow Tail Snapper – This is another white mild flakey fish with a unique flavor and is unlike others in the snapper family. It is great grilled, sautéed or a Bahamian favorite is fried with American cheese on Bahamian bread. Freezing turns the flesh mushy however.
3) Black Grouper – This fish has a very rich flavor unlike any other grouper. Sautéed in a white wine sauce is divine! Again, it must be fresh.
4) Permit – If you like, white, flaky and mild with great texture, permit is awesome when fresh. Baked or sautéed is best.
5) King Fish – King fish is not a good eating fish, but when smoked and made into a fish dip, it is amazing! I have had fish dip made from tuna, snapper, mackerel and numerous other fish, but dip made from king fish is the best I have found in terms of flavor and texture.
6) Yellowfin Tuna – Try a tuna steak medium rare with a teriyaki sauce! You will love it.

How about Jack Crevalle for a fish dip? I saw someone keep one recently, renewed my decades old curiosity if there is a food use for them.

FreshFace writes:

“SweetFrog was found­ed on the principles of Christianity and our belief in bringing happiness and a positive attitude into the lives of our consumers,” according to its website. “At SweetFrog, F.R.O.G stands for Fully Rely On God — and we hope to be an example of that in every community!”

Really? Well now I won't be heading there. I'm a God lover myself, but that's just sickening.

streetrodder writes:

I had Grouper at Capri Fish House on the Isle Of Capri. I was served a Grouper sandwich that was really Tilapia. When I talked to the waiter about it he looked like a deer in headlights and didn't deny it. The place is filthy and over priced...

Patton writes:

in response to JunkYardDog_1:

The bass in the largest rock mine in Collier County just down the road from home has the best deep water clean, fresh and cheap freshwater fillets that there is anywhere in SWFL.

$29 for Lake Erie perch or Walleye ? No thanks...

Don't be such a tightwad.

Patton writes:

in response to bananas8187:

Fresh water fish tastes like feet, and it's full of bones.

Yellowtail, Mahi Mahi, shark, skate, king mackerel, sea bass, swordfish, redfish, pompano, ad infinitum, are great.

If you really love an imported pincushion from "up north," bless your hearts.

It is filleted, there are no bones.

Patton writes:

in response to Red2020:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I thought the remarks were funny.

Patton writes:

in response to Beachtowel:

Can't someone like a fish that doesn't come from here? I've had just about every fresh & salt water fish in the U.S. & to me fresh walleye still reigns supreme.

I agree completely.

babbas writes:

in response to Notthesame:

Tilapia tatses like dirt, no matter where you get it.

Wow! I used to say that too. I won't touch it anymore. Farm-raised fish is fed pellets of whatever-they-want-to-feed-them. Yuck. It really does taste like dirt and you are the first to say what I've always said!

babbas writes:

I love walleye! I think snook has a close resemblance.

Beachtowel writes:

in response to cgbexec:

Walleye is ok, but we have so many of the world’s best fish right here in our local waters, why would you want to bring in frozen fish from somewhere else? If you are northerner, do yourself a favor and try some of the following: (Make sure they are fresh and not frozen!)
1) Dolphin (Mahi Mahi) – This is a mild white flakey fish with a richer flavor than any fresh water fish, but not fishy. Freezing ruins the flavor however, so make sure its fresh and you will fall in love. If you like spicy, try it blackened, but it will mask some of the awesome natural flavor. Macadamia Nut encrusted broiled is one of my favorites!
2) Yellow Tail Snapper – This is another white mild flakey fish with a unique flavor and is unlike others in the snapper family. It is great grilled, sautéed or a Bahamian favorite is fried with American cheese on Bahamian bread. Freezing turns the flesh mushy however.
3) Black Grouper – This fish has a very rich flavor unlike any other grouper. Sautéed in a white wine sauce is divine! Again, it must be fresh.
4) Permit – If you like, white, flaky and mild with great texture, permit is awesome when fresh. Baked or sautéed is best.
5) King Fish – King fish is not a good eating fish, but when smoked and made into a fish dip, it is amazing! I have had fish dip made from tuna, snapper, mackerel and numerous other fish, but dip made from king fish is the best I have found in terms of flavor and texture.
6) Yellowfin Tuna – Try a tuna steak medium rare with a teriyaki sauce! You will love it.

Those fish are all great but not better than freshly caught walleye.

Beachtowel writes:

in response to bananas8187:

Fresh water fish tastes like feet, and it's full of bones.

Yellowtail, Mahi Mahi, shark, skate, king mackerel, sea bass, swordfish, redfish, pompano, ad infinitum, are great.

If you really love an imported pincushion from "up north," bless your hearts.

You've obviously have not caught your own cold water walleye or perch from a Canadian or Minnesota lake.

Here4Now writes:

in response to firedragon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yup. I envy you. Someday ....

Gosh writes:

I prefer ribeye to walleye.

volochine writes:

in response to Beachtowel:

Walleye doesn't need any sauces or funky seasoning. It's that good.

Totally agree! Walleye covered in a bearnaise sauce probably isn't walleye.

I do not mean to infer that specific establishments might try and mislead their customers. Cause that's never happened in SouthWest Florida.

OP writes:

in response to babbas:

Wow! I used to say that too. I won't touch it anymore. Farm-raised fish is fed pellets of whatever-they-want-to-feed-them. Yuck. It really does taste like dirt and you are the first to say what I've always said!

I've always loved fish, and Tilapia is the first breed that I can not stand to eat. I always ask what fish is on the menu, and sometimes they actually tell me the truth. Bamz is one that did not, served me Tilapia and claimed it was Grouper, so I'll never go back there again.

There needs to be a law, (I can hardly believe I am saying that), and whatever punishment is enough to put an end to the false presentation. If you serve Grouper, it must be Grouper. If you serve Walleye, it must be Walleye. The current bait and switch situation is not acceptable.

HadYourPhil writes:

I had no idea that a Baskin-Robbins was a restaurant...

bananas8187 writes:

in response to Beachtowel:

You've obviously have not caught your own cold water walleye or perch from a Canadian or Minnesota lake.

Some folks like Coke, Some like 7up.

I've had plenty of freshwater fish - does Lake Superior count?

I just prefer salt water on the whole. I was just joshin' about the pincushion part.

cgbexec writes:

in response to OP:

How about Jack Crevalle for a fish dip? I saw someone keep one recently, renewed my decades old curiosity if there is a food use for them.

Jack Crevalle is too oily with a very strong flavor, but it may be ok smoked. I've never bothered to smoke it. Hmmm, I may have to try it see what happens.

I've had some really good fish over the years that most never get to try.

Snook – It is ok. It has a mushy texture that the flavor cannot overcome in my opinion. I know many that love it however.

Salt Water Trout (AKA – Weakfish) – It is rich and flakey with an excellent flavor, however the meat is delicate and easily destroyed if the preparation and cooking is not perfect.

Barracuda – I do not recommend eating these unless you are savvy about the toxin “Ciguatera”. Barracuda flesh while foul smelling and slimy when raw, is absolutely delicious. The problem lies with knowing where the fish comes from and where it has been feeding. Cudas on coral reefs build up toxins in their flesh and can be very dangerous to eat. I have some Bahamian friends that eat them regularly, but they only eat them up to a certain size and only those caught in areas away from coral reefs. They do make Ciguatera toxin test kits, but I have never tried that. I only eat it when caught and prepared by my Bahamian friends.

Lemon Shark – I’ve eaten this in the Bahamas and it was very delicious. This is another fish I would not try to clean and prepare on my own.

Bone Fish – I would never try this on my own, but again my Bahamian friends know how to clean and prepare these. The flesh is tender, firm, flakey with an excellent flavor. The fish is cooked whole and the flesh is flaked off the bone. It can also be prepared like a crab cake and is even better in my opinion.

Wahoo – Cut into Steaks and grilled it is excellent!

fritobandito writes:

"SweetFrog was found­ed on the principles of Christianity and our belief in bringing happiness and a positive attitude into the lives of our consumers,” according to its website. “At SweetFrog, F.R.O.G stands for Fully Rely On God — and we hope to be an example of that in every community!"

Pass.

fritobandito writes:

...and can these "Chrissy's" owners please open a restaurant and just stick with it? FFS. They should get their own section in the newspaper so people can track which one's closing/opening next.

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