Celebrating the storied fishing history of Naples, Florida
Minto’s award-winning community of The Isles of Collier Preserve in Naples, Florida is inspired by nature and informed by the unique history and timeless architecture and traditions of Old Naples. Inside its gates, residents embrace the community’s incredible close-to-nature lifestyle.
Just four miles east of world-famous 5th Avenue in downtown Naples, The Isles of Collier Preserve is a private retreat bordered by the beautiful lands and waters of Naples Botanical Garden, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and Dollar Bay. More than half of the community’s 2,400 acres are dedicated to natural habitat and preservation areas connected by a network of recreational trails, nature observation stations, bike paths and blueways for kayaking, paddleboarding and exploring nature.
Step back in time at The Overlook Bar & Grill
Among the many unique aspects of the area’s history is its long-time reputation for great fishing. Tales of the “big ones that got away” as well as incredible catches continue to be passed down from generation to generation. It should be no surprise then that a favorite gathering place for The Isles of Collier Preserve residents and their guests is something that very few gated communities offer — a free-standing waterfront restaurant of their very own.
The community’s rustic Overlook Bar & Grill is designed to pay tribute to the waterfront bars that dotted the shores of Florida’s waterways in the past. The Overlook Bar & Grill graces the shore of the picturesque Cypress Waterway at The Isles of Collier Preserve. It offers indoor and outdoor dining. A screened deck for outdoor dining provides spectacular views of the Cypress Waterway and Florida’s stunning sunsets.
Diners step back in time as they view historic seafaring memorabilia and photographs of early fishermen and their catches. A huge wooden u-shaped bar at the restaurant’s center is a popular gathering spot where — as the saying goes — everybody knows your name. Hand crafted beers and cocktails are available as well as a full wine list.
Tasty Coastal Cuisine Favorites
Overlook Bar & Grill Executive Chef Tony Ventura’s impressive culinary career includes working with Marriott International’s San Souci, JW Marriott Marco Island, Dolce pane e vino in Rancho Santa Fe, California and more. He also has been a personal chef to well-known celebrities.
Chef Tony emphasizes coastal cuisine, using wonderful locally sourced fresh seafood and other ingredients of the coast. He also includes classic French and Mediterranean flavors in his dishes.
“Because our ingredients are locally sourced, it is possible to change our seafood offerings daily, and to be very flexible with the type of fish we present,” says Chef Tony. “We offer a fishermen’s selection catch of the day with chef’s pairings, and make sure we always have fresh seafood on hand.”
Other favorites include the Confit Jumbo Wings and New Naples Calamari. “Our wings are unique and incredibly flavorful. They are cured for 24 hours before being flash fried and are tossed in a local orange maple sauce or our famous stout barbeque. And the calamari is to die for. It’s lightly breaded and flavored with cashew, mango, and green onion with a sweet chili sauce. Even though our burger is the crowd favorite, grouper and fish tacos are just as popular,” says Chef Tony. There also are daily specials to keep things interesting. And, of course, there are the desserts. A Chef Tony signature sweet treat is his personal recipe for Cinnamon Bread Pudding.
Residents of The isles of Collier Preserve have a voice in developing their restaurant’s enticing menus. According to Vice President of Community Hospitality and Lifestyle, Scott Gambone, “A unique ingredient in our menu design is that we periodically issue a menu survey to all residents asking them questions like what they like to eat and drink and special qualities about their favorite restaurants. We then review the surveys and Chef Tony applies his culinary talents to develop the recipes, which are then tested and tasted for final selections. Our staff members also taste every dish so that they can accurately describe menu selections to our diners.”
What the residents are saying
Residents Tammy and Tom Poliseno lived in Naples for five years before moving to The Isles of Collier Preserve. “The thing that drew us was that it’s just so pretty here,” says Tammy. “We go out for a walk and see all of the nature, the native grasses, the birds. It’s a great place to live!”
The Polisenos dine at the Overlook Bar & Grill about once a week. “We’ve eaten at a lot of restaurants in Naples,” says Tammy. “The Overlook has one of the prettiest views of all, and the staff is great.” Tom enjoys the casual atmosphere and water views. “The ambiance is great. If you look at what’s available in the area, there are very few places where you can have a nice casual meal on the water. It’s very relaxed, and I find the food very good. I’ve had grouper in at least 20 restaurants in Naples, and the grouper at The Overlook is the best in Naples,” he adds.
When asked about some special moments at the Overlook, Tammy recalls Chef Tony personally delivering his signature dessert to their table — his Cinnamon Bread Pudding. “Believe me, it is wonderful,” exclaims Tammy.