Crispy Seafood & Wine Bar opened March 2 on Fifth Avenue South in downtown Naples. The small restaurant took over the former location of the Popcorn Cellar, located next to Roma Pizzeria just west of the Inn on Fifth.
The restaurant is owned by longtime local restaurateurs Feibi Gouda and Raf Bishai, who also operate Grouper Grille in Park Shore Plaza in Naples, and formerly owned the Falafel Grill restaurants in town.
“We do have baskets that we offer, but not everyone likes fried food, of course. We offer everything grilled or sautéed,” said interim executive chef Eric Mansour, who created the menu for the new restaurant. The Grouper Grille menu was used as the starting point for Crispy Seafood.
Of course, fresh grouper — one of the Gulf’s most popular fish — is prominent on the menu, which features grouper as a dinner entrée ($18), as well as a sandwich ($15) or basket ($14) for lunch.
“To get a nice piece of grouper at that price fresh is very, very hard to find,” Mansour said. “That’s our philosophy, too. We want to provide a good quality product, but we want it affordable. We want it for people to enjoy. So, fresh seafood brought in daily for that price, that’s what we are striving to do.”
Seafood is the specialty, of course, but the menu offers more choices, everything made from scratch.
The restaurant also offers draft and bottled beers, and red, white and sparkling wines. They complement the obvious time and talent in the kitchen used to present dishes that look appealing.
Next month, after the restaurant gets into the swing of things, expect the offering of a late-night menu starting about 10 p.m., Mansour said.
“What’s awesome about that and what sets us apart from the other restaurants on Fifth is we are going to serve food until two o’clock in the morning. It’s not going to be the whole menu, but it’s going to have five-dollar specials on it,” he said. “So you come in after having a couple of drinks, you want to get something to eat, five bucks until two in the morning and you’re covered.”
Daily specials will eventually be added, and expect a grand opening soon. “We’re going to have amazing happy hour specials,” said Mansour, a consultant with ERLO Consulting and Catering.
Crispy Seafood, 651 Fifth Ave. S., is open every day 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for lunch and 3:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. for dinner. For information, call 239-302-6446.