I had been counting the days until the opening of The Continental, partly because Third Street South is one of my favorite spots in Naples, partly because I’m a sucker for anything new, and partly because I had heard the term “craft bar” thrown around (more on that later).
It’s the latest from D’Amico—the restaurant group behind Masa, Lurcat and Campiello, three of my all-time favorites—and it’s touted as steakhouse meets gastro pub in a fabulous indoor and outdoor setting. Accurate, I decided, within about a minute.
If you remember the space in its former incarnation, Handsome Harry’s, you won’t after you’ve been to The Continental. It’s completely transformed in the best way, with several separate areas that tie together so seamlessly, you wonder how they managed to fit all in the space without feeling cramped (which it doesn’t, at all). There’s a dramatic entrance, seating along the Third Street sidewalk, a beautifully lit, treed courtyard and several private cabanas, all in addition to an outdoor bar and inside seating.
Speaking of… the bar. The Continental calls it The Cocktail Lab; its bartenders, mixologists. Its focus is on classic, no-nonsense, Prohibition-era concoctions, made modern with house-made bitters, fresh juices, syrups and infusions. And the coolest part: They serve them “out of the orb,” which means they’re displayed in these insanely sleek-looking glass spheres. “A+ for presentation” really doesn’t cut it.
Their craft cocktail list is definitely worthy, as well. Jesse ordered the Search for Your Sol—Espolón Blanco tequila, Velvet Falernum, citrus, egg white, and orange bitters—and I, being a fan of all things bubbly, opted for the Wanna Shake Your Tree, a blend of Winter Park Distillery Genius vodka, sparkling wine, peach and basil, which our waiter aptly described as a bellini with a boost.
Predominantly a steakhouse, The Continental boasts a menu largely made up of Kobe and Wagyu cuts, prime selections and grass-fed beef. We, however, are predominantly pescetarian, and, as any good Naples restaurant does, The Continental also offers a good selection of seafood, centered around daily posted fresh catches of fish and shellfish.
On our first visit, we wanted to try a range of menu items, so we decided to go tapas style and order a few appetizers: the smoked salmon galette with spinach, fried egg and salmon roe; the shrimp cocktail with avocado, cucumber and gelée; and the yellowtail carpaccio with tomato, jalapeño and shallots—so much the standout that we ordered a second plate of it.
The Continental is a welcome, unique addition to Naples’ dining scene, with a feel that’s much more LA or Palm Beach than typical Southwest Florida. Plus, the setting is versatile enough to be a great date spot or a fun gathering place for a group of friends.
1205 Third St. S., Naples
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