Thursday, September 21, 2017

Three Times a Charm at Naples’ Coastal Peruvian Seafood & Grill

coastal peruvian storefront
coastal peruvian owners with guy clarke
seafood dish
lomo saltado
beer and corn kernels
coastal peruvian menu
coastal peruvian appetizer
Chef Albert Santos and his wife, Fabiola Rivera.

“naplesThree times I’ve been to Coastal Peruvian Seafood & Grill, and each time, the food and service have been consistently spot on.  Attentive owner/Chef Christopher Albert Santos and his wife, Fabiola Rivera at front of house, truly put you, the customer first.

While open for dinner, Chef Santos offered a one day “pop up” lunch special of $15.95 for choice of three appetizers, three entrées, wine/beer/soda and… a surprise!

Well, surprise for him, twenty people showed up for the offer, who had gotten the word from Paradise Coast Foodies and Chef Santos‘s respective Facebook pages.

Cebiche and other sea foods are the litmus test of a great Peruvian restaurant, and Coastal has eight cebiches to sample.  I ordered the cebiche natural, a traditional dish with fresh fish, calamari, green onion, red onion, sweet potato, and large corn kernels, all bathed with leche de tigre. The sharp citrus juice, salt and pepper lightly “cooks” the seafood and wakes up the palate!

Less adventurous souls were delighted with the chicken causa, a cooked potato dough seasoned with mild aji amarillo, and topped with chicken, hard-boiled egg, tobiko caviar and tomato wedges.

I am partial to two breweries-Fort Myers Brewing Company, and Fort Lauderdale’s Funky Buddha Brewery.  An IPA from Funky Buddha was on tap, and that perfectly quenched the thirst of quite a few other diners! Beer goes great with complementary toasted corn kernels and a mild dipping sauce.

Most diners chose the lomo saltado, the classic Peruvian-Asian fusion dish, combining stir-fried/wok- sautéed beef tenderloin and a dash of soy sauce with tomatoes, onions, spices, a side of white rice,  and fat French fries. What, fat fries?  Yes, crisp, chunky French fries are added to the periphery of the dish, to dunk in the sauce or eat them with, well, hot sauce, ketchup, or whatever you fancy!

I was in the definite minority that ordered the Coastal tacu tacu, a canary beans and rice patty topped with oodles of baked fish, prawns, calamari, octopus, and mussels, accented with rocoto tiger milk, parsley and sliced radish. This is most similar to the “cebiche 200 miles” dish on the menu.

I suddenly became the envy of the table, as others exclaimed, “Wish I ordered that!”  Well, you can’t go wrong with beef tenderloin or seafood in Chef Santos’ capable hands.

My table mates agreed; we had very large portions of our appetizers and entrées, and the glasses of beer, wine and water were nearly empty. Folks who never had any Peruvian cuisine were beaming over how delicious the food was, and wallets were coming out to settle the bills. Suddenly, servers arrived with surprises…long plates of more delicious seafood!

First came the cebiche Nikkei, with tuna, avocado, and a soy-based light sauce.

Then came cebiche mixto’s assortment of fish, calamari, octopus rocoto tiger’s milk, just like the cibiche 200 mile, so those who coveted my appetizer now had their chance to try the grand slam of cebiches. They tried it…and loved it!

Then, a combo of fresh corvina fish, octopus. What a feast for the newly initiated cebiche lovers!

Check online or Facebook for other lunch specials for a similar price, the daily choice may vary.

I recommend coming also for dinner to try my favorite dish, the Poseidon Fest’s delicious blend of seafood marinated in a mild chili panca sauce with confit mushrooms, sautéed sweet peppers and asparagus.  Check out the menu online!


5447 Airport Pulling rd. Naples, FL (Located in the Bed Bath & Beyond Plaza, next to Skillets)


Images courtesy of Ivan Seligman. 

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