Monday, June 9, 2008

Eurasia Restaurant - Naples Vietnamese and Italian Delight!

Eurasia is a very welcome breath of fresh air, or better yet, fresh herbs to the SW Florida dining scene. At a time when restauranteurs talk gloom and doom, and realtors get excited over a tiny uptick in home sales, a brave trio has opened up a great restaurant that serves, separately (no silly fusion here) great Vietnamese, and great Italian food. Chef Tom Tran, from Reno Nevada's Little Saigon Restaurant, handles the Vietnamese, and the quality and size of the portions, with his artistic touches, puts it as the best Vietnamese restaurant in SW Fla, hands down. .

Not to be outdone, he is matched by Ettore Mancini with Italian dishes that stand out with the taste of fresh, not dried, spices and herbs. Ettore is no novice here, he has quite a following from Naples to Marco Island, where is is well known as Chef Eddie” of Mancini’s Garden! Ably covering “the front” is Monique Tran Manicini, Ettore’s wife, whose warmth has made quite a few repeat customers, and they’ve only been open 3 ½ weeks! It truly is a marriage between East and West, that works very well, under one roof. Tom Marchese, Partner along with Monique and Ettore, keeps 'em entertained at the bar.

Tom Marchese Entertains at the Packed Bar
We started with “B10” the Grilled Shrimp, with pork, and delicate vermicelli noodles (Bun Tom Nyong) ($11). Tender shrimp, perfectly grilled, whetted our appetite!Next was the Summer Rolls (Goi Cuon Tom, Thit (5.75), two delicate rice paper wraps, each caressing rice noodles, fresh herbs, vermicelli noodles, shrimp and pork, with a homemade tasting peanut fusion sauce with a hoisin sauce base, and crumbled peanuts on top.My dining partner said “ This is like the freshest salad, in a hand roll!” A favorite is the A6 Vietnamese Crepe (Banh Xeo, 9.95) a huge crepe, tender yet crispy as it should be, filled with a very generous serving of tasty shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, mung beans. It is light, perfect for summer, and it didn’t last long!
The Quail is tasty, with two quail split, marinaded, and served on a salad with a tasty dipping sauce.Other diners raved about the C2 Curry Chicken (9.95) We finished our crispy Fried Calamari (10.95) with Marinara Sauce.
We came ready to take food home, so we could start on Ettore’s Bruschetta, which was heavenly, overflowing with fresh tomato, garlic, basil and extra virgin olive oil (5.95).
The nearby table raved about the Stuffed Mushrooms, filled with crabmeat, and topped with a delicate lobster sauce (10.95).
Next Clams Casino, (10.95), which could match any I’ve had at far more expensive restaurants, with tender clams on the opened shell, covered with spinach, red pepper, spinach, garlic and a delicate white wine sauce, topped with grilled prosciutto! WOW!!
We then had the Beef Pho House Special (12.50) with top round beef that is cooked in the steaming rich broth, that is the “litmus test” of “judging” a Vietnamese restaurant’s prowess. This passes with flying colors, with the broth bathing the House Specialty's Vietnamese tender yet also chewy meatballs, brisket and delicate noodles, to which the diner adds clearly garden fresh herbs such as basil, green onions, white onions and any “heat” as desired with the sriracha sauce. Sweetness is added with the hoisin style sauce. The portion is enough for 4 to share. We had ours split in half, and each bowl was more generous than served in other restaurants in the area-(take home!) The "meatball" Pho is also enough for three people! Just add the Thai basil, sprouts, chili peppers, lime juice,and enough hot sauce to your taste.
Wendy, just back from Vietnam, enjoys the Pho
I loved the tower of Eggplant Parmigiana, with generous slices of eggplant breaded, then sautéed with garlic and olive oil, then layered with with spinach, and topped with light cream sauce (a la vodka?)and a wonderful hunk of mozzarella cheese-the best!
You have to try Ettore's Tiramisu, it is light and rich, a pefect finish to a wonderful meal!
It’s well worth a trip to the East Trail for both Vietnamese and Italian specialties. This is food that puts some 5th Avenue spots to shame, and is quite kind to the wallet!

Chef Tom Tran, Alfonso Mancini, Mrs. Tran, Tom Marchese, Monica Tran Mancini, Chef Ettore Mancini (Left to Rightt) Eurasia has live entertainment on weekends. Currently there is a Cellist and a Harpist; a Pianist should be tickling the ivories in Season.

Eurasia-- St. Andrews Square, 8793 Tamiami Trail East, #120 (Just west of St. Andrew’s traffic light, in the strip mall on the north side of the East Trail), 239-352-0888

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is the real thing on the Vietnamese side.

My Husband is Vietnamese,and says they cook like the do in the better Vietnamese spots in Vietnam. THe portions are much bigger than in Vietnam, so he's happy-we get take home that is even better the next day.

We live in North Naples, and it is worth the drive. This was our second visit and we brought our neighbors who never had Vietnames food and they liked it.