Cuisine & Cocktails
Hidden away in the Northern suburbs of Naples you might miss The Warehouse Cuisine & Cocktails amongst the growing number of stores at Cameron Place on the corner of Immokalee Road and Collier Boulevard. Recommended by Jenny Provost, a lady who recognizes good food, my culinary adventure started on a Saturday evening when a friend and I ventured out to try this year-old family owned and operated restaurant.
The back story to The Warehouse is impressive. Executive Chef Bobby Forgét has been seriously involved in the food industry since he was ten years old. At college his friends paid him to cook for them so it was no surprise to his family when he enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa, the Culinary Arts Institute in Canada. Bobby first thought to open a food truck specializing in his incredible ravioli but his father and uncle encouraged him to start the restaurant instead. The family’s involvement includes his brother and cousin who work front of house, and during extra busy times you can expect the whole family to chip in. Bobby prefers to work alongside Sous-Chef Pablo Esteva creating dishes “using the freshest, most local ingredients all prepared from scratch!” In the kitchen is where Bobby is happiest, “I love to cook and most of the time you will find me working the line.”
The Warehouse invites you to be seated in the clean, contemporary interior with comfortable seating and a spacious layout. You may not notice the attention to detail but when it was discovered that the combination of concrete floors and high ceilings created a noise problem, a noise abatement team was brought in – problem solved! There is a choice of seating; regular tables, high-top or at the large bar. The staff are respectful and friendly, trained to answer the many questions you may have about food that is sometimes unusual.
I had browsed the menu online to get an idea of what to expect as I have food allergies and eating out can be difficult. I was pleasantly surprised that there were only two items I couldn’t eat, and later Bobby explained that his sister also has food allergies so he has been sensitive with his menu choices. It is certainly a restaurant where the owners are sympathetic to their clientele.
You can start your epicurean voyage with one of the exciting signature martinis or cocktails. Try the Old Man’s Margarita, a mix of Jose Cuervo Gold, Amaretto, Sour Mix and Orange Juice, a tasty nod to Bobby’s Grandfather. Taste a wine from the famous Robertson winery in the Western Cape of South Africa, birthplace of Bobby’s wife. Wherever you look, the family has been incorporated into this young, vibrant restaurant.
When you’re reading the inventive menu, look out for the ravioli. Who would think of a Philly Cheese Steak ravioli? I had the Lobster Thermador ravioli filled with Maine lobster, whole milk ricotta (made in-house), wild mushrooms, and cognac served with a toasted baguette. This dish is a meal in itself, full of flavor with a taste you cannot forget. My companion would have preferred to try all six ravioli and suggests an additional dish be added to the menu called “Ravioli Flight.”
A favorite on the menu is the House Made Linguine, a creamy dish of Tiger shrimp, pancetta, exotic mushrooms, butternut and white wine. But read the entire menu because everyone will find something to love. For the more traditional palate there are steaks, duck, chicken and salmon, each lovingly cooked in a kitchen where the philosophy is to “use known ingredients in a different way.”
As a starter try Tim’s Brocolli Toast, another family creation on the Snack Menu; for dessert try the Chocolate Cream Pie, a decadent end to the meal courtesy of Bobby’s Grandmother.
I asked Executive Chef Bobby Forgét how he would describe his restaurant. He hesitated, and said “it’s not fine dining, but it’s not casual either. For me it’s about the flavors, the combination of acidity and fat, using traditional methods in new ways. I want people to come with an open mind and get out of their comfort zone.”
This is a restaurant for all occasions – a special birthday or anniversary, a meal for two, or a family dinner. Everyone is welcome. The Warehouse is open for lunch, Sunday brunch, Happy Hour and dinner. You too can join the growing number of Rewards Members at this popular venue. Find out more at www.thewarehousenaples.com.
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. — Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own