Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Yabba Island Grill Naples Florida

Yabba is the center of Naples 5th Avenus South to me, perched on 5th, with its' long patio broadside to the Sugden Theater’s plaza, marked by a colorful ‘gator statue. It’s the meeting place, especially on its’ covered patio. One of the Culinary Concepts, along with Pazzo, two Chops and Blue Water Bistro, it has had a steady, primarily touristic, clientele for years.

I ate there last night with a quartet, on the long patio, and we went straight for a nice Schug Pinot Noir, Carneros ' 04 bottle for ~$54-a great match for fish or meats. We were sorta in a rush , so we skipped the apps, and went for one salad, and the main courses.
A complimentary pair of small loaves of Oven Baked Cabana Corn Bread came, Flavored with mild Chiles and Cheddar Cheese ((3.2). Nice, but too dry, as they dry-crumbled when we tried to slice them-hope they get the next batch just right..
Inside Yabba's
The Warm goat Cheese Crusted with Macadamia Nuts Salad (10.20) had two hunks of warm tender, almost sweet goat cheese with a slightly crunchy Macadamia crust, on a bed of greens, with banana slices, strawberries, and a delicate banana vinaigrette and strawberry balsamic drizzle. Fresh, light and pretty.

Goat Cheese Salad
My seafood Trio of Spicy Blackened Salmon, crab cake, and shrimp in a fettucine style pasta (~$24) was a large portion, with spicy blackened salmon that was a little overcooked, and a crab cake with a crunchy crust, that contained only shredded claw meat, no lump crab at all, and way more filler than any “Maryland style” lump crab cakes we ever had. A disappointment. A let down. Boo. Guys, just call it like it is, please. The pasta though, was generous, properly cooked with a rich, creamy Alfredo white sauce, and had almost a dozen of the tenderest small shrimp hidden among the pasta strands. Bonus, there were bits of crab meat, as well as sun dried tomato and sliced green onion! Filling, and a good deal at this price.
Seafood Trio-Salmon, Crab Cake, Shrimp Pasta
Two people ordered the Barbados Style Baby Back Ribs (19.9), slow cooked in a sweet and spicy chipotle BBQ sauce, and served with a spicy and just sweet enough cornstarch thickened gooey sauce that clung to the big meaty ribs. This was no “wish I ordered another rack” deal, this had about a dozen very meaty ribs, that come from other than the back part of the rib, to be so large and meaty! I prefer it this way! This comes with crunchy mango slaw and crispy fries (the best!), or a baked potato instead. This is for a big appetite.
Barbados Style Ribs, Baked Potato
Barbados Style Ribs with Crisp Fries The order of two 5 ounce Maine Lobster Tails (~25) had two very tender tails, hot butter and broccolini.

Twin 5 Oz Lobster Tails
The Summer Special Surf and Turf , for $30, has a choice of the Yabba Salad or a Citrus Caesar Salad, followed by a Grilled Sirloin Steak, with one of the following: Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, Lobster Imperial, Shrimp Scampi, or King Crab. All Entrees are served with Island Vegetables and a choice of rice, fries, or smashed new potatoes.

For dessert, we shared the Melting Chocolate Rim cake with its tender liquid center, a pool of Coconut (Crème) Anglaise and a scoop of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (7.5), , with several slivers of mango. Our favorite was the luscious Raspberry and Mango sorbet with Fresh Berries and Cream (6.9), that had three large scoops each of rich fruit laden sorbets, which had all talking about the high quality. The seasonal berries-raspberry and blackberry, were hand selected and juicy.

Mango and Raspberry Sorbets
Whether you come to have drinks at the indoor/outdoor bar, or lunch or dinner inside or outside, this is a carefree spot with nice Caribbean music, and a funky relaxed Caribbean-esque atmosphere. Have a Red Stripe and some Jerk Chicken Wings or Crispy coconut Prawns.

Yabba Island Grill 711 5th Avenue South Naples, FL (239) 262-5787

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