Alright guys, it's time for part 2 of my Naples, FL travel diary! I know this is kind of belated, but I wanted to post other content first soooo that's why I'm sharing this late. Anywho, if you missed part 1, no worries - simply click here. Now, without further ado, let's tackle days 3 & 4.
I spent the entire morning + afternoon at the Waterside Shops with my mom. This place is like the Rodeo Drive of Naples, FL. It's an outdoor mall with designer stores that'll tickle every fashionista's fancy. I spent the majority of my time at Saks Fifth sifting through their sales racks. The Saks in PGH closed a few years back so I was indulging hardcore. They had ALL of my favorite brands, and I ended up purchasing two fabulous pieces from Alexis: a stunning B&W dress and a fancy lace top. I can't wait to feature them both on here!
After our shopathon, we went to the fitness center to got our sweat on before heading to dinner at HobNob. Man, I can't even begin to tell you guys how awesome their food was. Naples equals foodie heaven for sure! We started with the most amazing seafood app. OH, and I almost forgot to talk about the bread. The waiter brought out a basket of house made cornbread, and I'm convinced it was blessed by Dumbledore's wand or something. Oh my GOD, it was seriously magical. I'd go back just to eat that! And the honey butter that came with it? Um, yes x 100000. What an amazing flavor combo!
Ok, I'm done. I've gushed about the bread enough so it's time to move on to the appetizer. We decided to split the octopus + white beans dish because our fabulous waiter recommended it. We also got a cup of the crab & roasted corn chowder. Both starters were absolutely phenomenal. I was worried that the octopus would be tough, but it was the most tender octopus I've ever had. The soup's flavor profile was also spot on. It was just the right amount of rich and creamy.
For my entree, I went with the two way duck - it came with corn bread stuffing, watercress, and peaches. The leg melted in my mouth, but the breast was a bit tough for my taste. I really enjoyed all the different flavors though! It was definitely an enjoyable meal from start to finish. My dad ordered the sea bass pictured above. It was drizzled with coconut pesto, garnished with butternut squash, and came with a side of jasmine rice. I didn't get to sample his dish, but he said it was quite tasty! I think he preferred the USS Nemo preparation of it overall though. My mom got the crispy grouper, and it came with fries and coleslaw. I didn't get to try hers either, but she said it was cooked to perfection.
My parents and I were totally stuffed, but we wanted to try their dessert menu so we ordered a slice of carrot cake. It came with walnut brittle and house made vanilla ice cream. I don't know what it was, but the ice cream tasted really unique, in a good way, of course! I kind of wanted to order another bowl of it, but I refrained since I inhaled WAY too much food already. Anwyho, I really can't recommend this place enough! If you're in the area, make sure you check HobNob out. Your tastebuds will seriously thank you.
Since it was my last day in Naples, I decided to spend the day frolicking on the beach! I ate breakfast & lunch at Baleen and then hit up Bistro 821 for dinner with my parents. The evening started off well - we ordered two delicious appetizers: Mussels (sautéed with root veggies and spinach in a lemon sake sauce) and a Chile Relleño (stuffed with garlic shrimp, spiced beef, and mozzarella cheese in a roasted tomato-chipotle sauce). I absolutely loved the mussel's broth, and the chile was super flavorful. The bread here was delish, too. It was warm because it came straight out of the oven, and the accompanying oil dip was nomtastic.
Entrees, however, were just ok. I ordered duck, and it came with a roasted breast and a braised leg in a honey mustard glaze. Sides were included as well: mashed taters & grilled asparagus. The duck here was actually way more tender than the meat I had at HobNob, but the flavor there was superior (for my taste at least).
My dad got the snapper, and he thought it was way too sweet. His fish was encrusted with coconut, lemongrass and ginger and came with jasmine rice and stir-fry veggies topped with a sweet and spicy thai chili sauce + crushed peanuts (pictured below). I think he would've enjoyed it much more if the sauce came on the side! My mom decided to try their sea bass because it was their no. 1 best seller. It came glazed in a miso-sake marinade and was topped off with a lemon beurre blanc sauce. Like my dish, it came with mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus. She actually really enjoyed the dish so I recommend trying it out if you decide to come here!
We finished our meal with a cup of creme brulee. This was probably the weakest part of the meal because it tasted kind of burnt! I do have to give this joint props for its service though - our waiter was a total boss! He was very attentive and helpful.
So that's it, guys! That pretty much wraps up my Naples trip - lots of shopping, food adventures, and beach time. Have you traveled anywhere recently? If yes, let me know where in the comment section below. I'm always looking to check out cool new places so I'd appreciate the recommendation.