There is always a throng of hopeful patrons on the sidewalk in front of The French, Brasserie Rustique, in Naples, Florida, patiently waiting to enter the mirrored dining room with antiqued accents throughout—mosaic tile floors, bistro style tables, and vibrant French-inspired scenes splashed on the walls, hand painted by local muralist, Megan Young. The award-winning chef and restaurateur, Vincenzo Betulia, first dreamt of opening a restaurant in the 5th Avenue building soon after moving to Naples in 2000, but it wasn’t until 14 years later that he made the rustic restaurant and its romantic street-side patio his reality. Since opening, Betulia has garnered abundant praise, as he revisits dishes from his days as a young, classically trained sous chef with renowned Chef Paul Bartolotta in Wisconsin and dives head first into this modern-day Parisian eatery. Conjuring up likenesses to that of a 19th-century brasserie, Betulia is a man on a mission: he brings robust, authentic fare to the beachfront town, transporting diners to Paris. Once inside, diners instantly feel at home where it feels at once sophisticated, yet buzzy with the parade of waiters going to and from the tables. Do as the French do, and start the morning with a sweet and buttery Boulangerie Basket. Cheers to a wonderful night with great company and sip on a glass of Vin Rouge, paired with compulsively rich dishes that could be eaten daily. Diners eagerly stare down a plate of savory choices such as the Assiette de Charcuterie – a generous spread of Cured French Salumi, Pâté de Campagne, Pickled Vegetables and Grain Mustard or the Cuisine de Canard aux Cerises of Crisp Duck Leg Confit, with Locally Grown Kale, and Sour Cherry Gastrique. One will discover for themself – a morning, afternoon, or night spent at The French is so much more than an experience: it’s a journey.
365 5th Avenue S, Naples, FL 34102