Nearly at the end of North Road, behind the Naples Airport and its many Learjets, you will find a lovely place called Naples Harbor. Home to two very different restaurants and an amazing full-service marina, this is one corner of Naples that you don’t want to pass by. We have been a fan of Jack’s River Bar since the first time we set foot inside. If you’ve never been there, it’s well worth checking out. It’s a HUGE hit with the kids because there’s a pool outside, which means the adults can sit by the pool and relax with food and a beer while the youth play nearby.
While Jack’s is a more low key dining experience, Gordon’s on the River is it’s mirror opposite. With a focus on finer dining in a more upscale environment, Gordon’s serves up American bistro dishes such as Kobe Beef Sliders, Lobster Mac & Cheese, Pork Osso Bucco and Stuffed Flounder.
We recently had the chance to steal the Naples Harbor executive chef, Neville Ebanks, away from the kitchen for a few moments and got to learn a lot about the new menu just launched at Gordon’s on the River, his take on the importance of customer service and hospitality and the exciting world of bootleg micro greens.
When Chef Neville took over as Executive Chef about 6 months ago, he introduced new menus at Naples Harbor. At Gordon’s, the menu has been cut back considerably and now only contains a few constants on the menu (currently 6 starters and 5 mains) with several weekly specials. But the same Sunday Brunch menu that so many people know and love is the same — albeit at a steal during the summer for just $14.99 per person!!
The menus at both restaurants are now featuring more healthy, clean options, and simple, lighter dishes to beat the Florida heat. Chef Neville, a fifth generation chef, knows that the passion in the food has to start in the kitchen.
“People eat with the eye first. So we want to take that extra time to make it look incredible,” explained Chef Neville. Amazed and inspired by Naples and all it has to offer, the chef draws inspiration in his dishes from the wildlife, nature, weather and more that surround us every day.
We had the chance to taste several of the new items at the Naples Harbor Membership Appreciation night last week which was a very lovely event and a great perk of being a member. We sampled a little bit of everything, which were highlights from the “After 5” Bar Menu.
The Kobe Beef Sliders were tender and well balanced, and the Lobster Mac & Cheese with lots Maine lobster had a light cheese sauce. The food was simple and straight forward food with great flavor and texture. The Blue Crab Spinach Dip and Bacon-Wrapped BBQ Shrimp should also not be overlooked.
We were really impressed with Chef Neville and the food. It’s clear that the kitchen staff and the chef work very fluidly together. They have gone back to their roots, creating everything from scratch to make sure that the high quality is consistently there every time and it always tastes just right. Quality ingredients and farm-to-table practices with partners like Oakes Farms and other local producers mean that you get the freshest produce on your plate, creating great meals.
If you’re thinking about visiting Gordon’s on the River, keep in mind that it is a private club and reservations are suggested. Yearly social memberships are available with or without marina services, at a price we found to be very reasonable. If you’d like to visit Jack’s or Gordon’s to check it out, just request a two-week trial membership when you visit the first time. Or call ahead and they’ll arrange a private tour of the facilities.
Gordon’s on the River
475 North Road
Naples, FL 34104