11 February 2012

Dinner at Sea Salt, Naples, FL

I recently attended a conference in Naples, FL. My wife came along to warm up a little from winter. It’s not that we’re having such a cold winter in MN. But it’s not Florida.

Each night of the conference, there was a reception at the end of the sessions. But a group of us usually felt like getting something a little more substantial despite noshing on reception food. So one night, we made our way into Old Naples to Sea Salt.SeaSalt1

There were 6 of us in the group, and we didn’t have a reservation when we arrived at about 7:30 p.m. Nevertheless, they were able to find us a table with only a short wait. We were sort of on a patio at the transition from the outdoor dining to the main door. They had a guitar soloist performing right at the entry. He was fairly aggressive, coming right up to people as they were waiting for a table and very obviously shilling for a tip. I tipped him early so that he’d leave us alone after that. Despite his brazenness, he was pretty entertaining, and he played from the minute we arrived and was still playing when we left. Not bad for a few dollars tip.

Everyone had eaten something at the reception, but some had eaten more than others. So there was quite a range in the kinds of food that was ordered. I think about half the table ordered an entrée but no starter. Others had either a salad or a starter without an entrée.

I chose cannelloni stuffed with roasted veal, spinach and ricotta, served with roast carrot ragu. I thought it was very creative and tasty. The cannelloni was house made, very tender and light. The filling was very flavorful, and the ragu provided a nice counterpoint to the veal, spinach and cheese. As you can see in the photo, it was a very generous portion. Considering what I ate at the reception, I should have asked if they’d give me a half portion. Still, I ate it all and loved it.SeaSalt2

My wife had swordfish with asparagus, sopressata, artichoke, and lobster sauce. She doesn’t particularly care for asparagus, so she asked if she could have another vegetable instead. They obliged without objection; I think they gave her a serving of broccolini.

Our server was very pleasant, attentive, and knowledgeable. The prices weren’t a bargain, but I also didn’t think they were out of line for the quality of the food and the ambiance.

I don’t know when I’ll ever return to Naples. But if I do, I’d definitely consider a return visit to sea salt.

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