Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The French Brasserie Rustique in Naples- A Culinary Star, and Tops at Take Out

Now’s the time to enjoy restaurant home delivery or take out, and really support your favorite restaurants when it counts!

 Vincenzo Betulia , co-partner and Executive Chef at Naples’ The French Brasserie Rustique,  prepared the most luscious Cassoulet of my life-so flavorful, so rich with concentrated flavors, and served so hot! While your humble home setting  may not have the rustic  atmosphere of  the dining room at The French, your dining room would be honored to host  such a dish.
Chef Betulia  (photo from 2019)
Some restaurants are still open for take out or pick-up, staffed by skeleton crews ( ahem!..). Some others offer delivery within a few miles distance. The French offers both options.

Naples' 5th Avenue South, looking West to the Gulf
I placed my order for this and for fish ‘n chips easily online, just a few hours before my desired pick up time. It took no time to drive down Tamiami Trail North, as I caught nearly every green light. Naples’ 5th Avenue South looked more ready for a drag race-empty of cars. Bicycles ruled the road, along with skateboarders.  There was perhaps one car per 1-2 minutes; some came to marvel at the empty street, some to park and walk, and some to pick up  meals.

I arrived on time …only there was no “line” as people stayed in their cars, or walked within earshot of their name being called, until their order was ready, and their name was called out. Think more like 40 foot “social distancing”. 

As one approaches the take out station, there’s tape showing where to stand.  You could even call as you head down, to see if they are running early or later on your order.  Easy-peasy.  
Chef Betulia’s riff on Cassoulet de Toulouse ($38) is unique, with a plump duck thigh and leg baked till wonderfully crisp. If you like roast duck, you’ll love this presentation. 

Cassoulet de Toulouse

With just the touch of a fork’s tines, the skin shatters into flakes of avian goodness. The  overall  portion is large enough for two people. It has abundant meats;  sliced Toulouse sausage,  a shredded meat (duck rillette?) chunks of pork belly (pancetta or bacon),  garbanzo and other stewed beans, and is enriched with, onion, carrots, tomato, and herbs.  A signature dish from a top chef.  Highly Reccommended.

The Grouper “Fish & Chips” ($38)  has a crispy coating on the tender  fish; the tartar sauce is house-made.   Hmmmm…I might bring a picnic blanket and possibly find a secluded spot nearby, or bench to dine (I never said that).
Fish & Chips (there's far more chips than I placed here!)
The thin frites/ fries are also crisp at the restaurant, so don’t delay in eating them! The cole slaw is a very good side dish.

The separate box of sliced baguette, and a separate container of butter with cooked garlic and oil was an unexpected, and a very appreciated treat. I smeared the garlic butter on the slices, gave them a minute in a hot sauté pan, and had a wonderful  lightly browned toasted baguettes.
I am guessing that both orders come with the side of cole slaw, and sliced baguette with butter and baked garlic.
Other options at The French are caramelized Brussels sprouts, French-style mac & cheese, hanger steak & frites, creamy risotto, and roasted Faroe Island salmon. Desserts include The French éclair, and the baba au rhum.

You can also order batched cocktails, steaks, seafood, croissants, cheeses and fruits for one-stop shopping.
Certain wines are Buy one, Get one Free for a limited time.  Check it out!

365 5th Ave S, Naples;   (239) 315-4019,  www. thefrenchnaples.com

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