Wednesday, January 28, 2009

MiraMare Naples Florida Review

An angel must sit on Sal Sinsieri's shoulder, letting him get this beautiful restaurant site, and the permitting done on schedule. MiraMare, Italian for “looking at the water”, has just opened at the site of former Marie-Michelle’s at Naples’ Venetian Village, on Venetian Bay. The view is breathtakingly beautiful by day, magical and romantic by night. Enter via MiraMare's colorful arch, and relax and smile during your meal, savoring the waterside setting. Have a drink at the open windowed bar. Don’t let your jaw drop at the expansive Venetian Bay view. Have a seat by the water (first come, first served.) As I write this, snow and blizzards have shut off power to almost a million folks “up North”. Pelicans and small white boats are happily bobbing on Venetian Bay.

Owners Sal Sinzieri, former managing partner at Naples 5th Ave Bice, and wife Alyce, have created an elegantly Northern Italy style restaurant, complete with very friendly and helpful Italian and European wait staff, Italian chefs, cooks, and even an Italian wood burning pizza oven.
Marie-Michelle wearied of running her eponymous restaurant for years, and closed. Sal and Alyce are gung-ho enthusiastic. Their attention to detail shows, from the menus to the fresh attractively plated food.

The key to any restaurant is the chef, and Chef Giovanni Scamardella, who hails from Naples, Italy, is no stranger to Naples, Florida. He opened Vergina on 5th Ave South, Naples Tomato, and opened Bice on 5th Ave South, where he met Sal. His welcome cooking style is elegantly simple, cooking primarily fresh seafood to order, with a northern Italian/Mediterranean style. He also braises a mean osso buco special.

Local competition? Nah! Cloyds seems like a 1973 time capsule; Bayside; and M Waterfront Grille. None share the northern Italian niche.

The dinner appetizers include Crispy fried calamari and vegetables, served with a spicy tomato marinara sauce ($12).
The, Tuna tartar (16) is delicious, with greens, red onions and capers. There’s four salads, from a mixed salad for $7, to a baby spinach salad with green apple, almonds and goat cheese for $10. If they offer the special rich Butternut squash soup with crispy bacon and Ricotta cheese- it’s a must have! The lunch time Octopus salad (12), is wonderful, with tender baby octopus, celery, olives, tomatoes, capers potatoes and a lemon dressing.

The first course menu dinner items include seven pasta dishes, ranging from plain Penne pasta with spicy tomato sauce (14), up to Spaghetti with Maine lobster (20). The special of Butternut squash ravioli in a butter and sage sauce, topped with amaretto cookie dust, is delightful.

Entrée favorites include Sauteed tender veal scaloppini (26) with lemon and capers, or the pounded Chicken breast (16) with mozzarella and tomato sauce. There’s the NY grilled steak with arugula and mashed potatoes for $30 as the priciest on the menu- not pricey in this town! Seafood lovers may try the Pan seared salmon (22), Seared ahi tuna for 26, and the Mixed seafood soup (19). As a special, Chef Scamardella cooks the Chilean sea bass on sautéed spinach, to perfection.We enjoyed the light Tiramisu, (6) the perfect dessert to top off a magical evening on Venetian Bay.

This is a slam dunk success for owners and patrons alike. The prices are very reasonable for the quantity and quality of the food, and the view, especially at night, just can not be beat. The service is attentive. Corkage fee is $15 per bottle, ranging from $8 to 20 elsewhere. I enjoyed their wines. I see a long and prosperous time for MiraMare Ristorante, as Napoli, Italy visits Naples, Florida.
Sal (3rd from Left) and Alyse (2nd from Right) Sinzieri
MiraMare Ristorante, 4236 Gulf Shore Blvd, Naples, Fl 430-6273


Anonymous said...

I had pizza there a few days ago and thought it was amazing!
And what a beautiful view...

Anonymous said...

The place looks amazing and I am sure that, knowing Sal, everyone will enjoy the experience as well as the view. Best of luck with your new place, my old friend, and I hope to see you soon - in New York - - Christine (De La Rosa)

Unknown said...

Great food - poor service. If advice is to find another restaurant. The food and view are definitely worth a visit. At a recent dinner, when there was a full house, the salad took 45min to arrive and the pasta dish took an additional 40 minutes. The owner delivered the meals and merely stated that the service would be better the next night when they would be fully staffed. No apology was even offered. Naples residents and snowbirds will not accept this level of service when so many alternatives exist. When not crowed, the kitchen and wait staff operate at a much higher level of efficiency.

Anonymous said...

The appetizers and pizzas here are great, the pasta dishes with red sauce need improvement, as does the service when the restaurant is operating at near capacity. John Paul is the worst server I have ever had , the only reason I feel he still works here is that he is the owner's son. Everything took longer than 3o minutes to arrive to table after it was cleared for next course. The only saving grace was the view, as the staff apologizes for nothing.

Anonymous said...

I was looking through your blog, because I love to read about your opinion and your suggestions. I read this last comment and I had to respond. Me and my wife had dinner at the Miramare a few days ago with some friends.

The restaurant was packed, but the service was still very good. The appetizers were delicious, and our entrees were even better. We were all very pleased with the evening and we will be back there for sure.

Mike Sweeny

Ivan Seligman said...

Hi Mike,

I've dined here quite a few times, and had good service and meals each time.(Some evenings, the view is breathtaking!)
Sure, some places may be "in the weeds" during season, and I cut everyone a break for that.
Not eveyone does.

Nearly all criticism can be turned into a chance to let someone do even better, and it sounds like your experience proves that.


kind2allbeings said...

Fantastic Italian Fare-Veg Friendly

This is a real Italian Restaurant in a beautuful setting. Italian hospitality, mangia -mangia, amenable to catering for vegans and healthy eaters. All in all, a beautiful experience. Sal the owner i a real gem.

Anonymous said...

I stopped at the resturant on Saturday and as soon as I walked down the path, past the fountain, I was a fan. The view was beautiful and the sunset left me breathless. The food was the best I have had since I left New York and the service was fantastic. I was treated like I was special from the beginning to the end of my wonderful dining experience. We were a party of 6 and each one of us felt like we were treated as if we were a member of the MiraMare family, not just a customer. Bravo to the entire staff, I will be back many times.