Food & Thought 2 launches an organic restaurant in North Naples –
After months of anticipation, organic restaurant Food & Thought 2 launched today on Airport-Pulling Road, north of Naples.
The distant relative of The organic general store Food & Thought, which has been operating since 2005 in Naples, has moved to a longtime restaurant in Fountain Park that was formerly Founders Bistro, The Original Pancake House and the first Calistoga Bakery Cafe. The new restaurant, belonging to Alfie Oakes of Oakes Farms, Anthony High from Marjon Specialty Foods and Randy Johns from Phoenix Associates of Florida, will be to be accompanied by a neighbor an entirely organic market scheduled to open in late summer or early fall. The restaurant and the market are each approximately 7,000 square feet.
“We are incredibly pleased with what we have created at the restaurant. It’s really something different“, Oakes said. “The food is white-tablecloth quality, top of the line preparations made from nothing. There is so much thought in every dish and so much quality.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Dan Kniola, who was recently executive chef at Players Club & Spa at Lely Resort, leads a culinary team that includes five people who have worked as executive chefs at other restaurants or country clubs in the area. “We just have this incredible amount of talent“, Oakes said.
Although named Food & Thought 2 and serving all-organic foods, the new full-service restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner is different from the original location at US 41 and Golden Gate Parkway, said Oakes, owner of the first Food & Thought. “All our stores are different brothers and sisters. They have the same DNA but they have differences personalities,” he said. “The market will be very similar at Food & Thought. It will have some of the same characteristics. Restaurant is next level.”
A full bar with its own pizza oven at the new restaurant is also a noticeable difference from the original location. “We have an amazing bar there full of organic alcohol,” Oakes said.
Oakes Organic Farm, based in Naples, will provide organic produce for the dishes featured on the menu. Dinner entrees include filet mignon, sea scallops, strip loin, Gulf grouper, pork loin, and meatloaf. The lunch menu features sandwiches and entrees such as salmon cakes, turkey meatballs, and chicken enchiladas. Variety of soups and salads are also available for lunch and dinner. Appetizers include pork spare ribs, bacon-wrapped shrimp, grouper bites, and stuffed mushrooms. Small plates and Neapolitan-style pizzas made with four-day-old fermented dough complete the bar menu.
The breakfast menu, created by former Meridian Café Executive Chef Raena Main characteristics unique dishes such as banana French toast, vanilla egg breaded banana bread topped with peanut butter mousse and applewood bacon with a drizzle of maple syrup; and seasonal sprouted buttermilk pancakes with fresh strawberries, lemon curd and toasted pistachios. Gluten-free dessert options include chocolate avocado mousse, chocolate cake, banana bread, and apple fritters.
Outdoor seating and a live entertainment venue will fill a large courtyard between the new restaurant and the future market. Some of the restaurant’s items will be available at the retail market, which will have a juice and coffee bar. “You can come here and have an outstanding cup of soup and then go to the market and buy a liter to take home,” Kniola said.
Originally slated to launch last fall, the local restaurant project has experienced construction delays due to supply chain issues and required numerous job fairs to hire its approximately 120 employees. “It finally fell into place,” Kniola said.
The kitchen of the Food & Thought 2 restaurant, 7941 Airport-Pulling Road, is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and the bar is open until 10 p.m.