Thursday, September 21, 2017

Naples’ Newest Saloon: The New Orleans-inspired Whiskey Park

the whiskey park storefront

“naplesWhiskey Park is a new restaurant/bar which resembles a Wild West Saloon, and serves New Orleans-accented food. Its offerings are definitely a step or two up from bar food, and priced just as wallet friendly.

It’s fairly easy to find, at the southeast corner of Airport-Pulling Road and Mercantile Avenue, occupying  the  East end of  the same building that houses Sandy’s Cuban Cafe. Chef/co-owner Chris Prattini, born in New Orleans was the executive chef at Trulucks. Co-owner Larry Hoelzer owned Grumpy’s ale House at The Pavilion shopping center. You’re in experienced, good hands here.

Enter and let your eyes adjust to the light and decor. It has a tall ceiling with exposed HVAC ductwork that looks down on a brick wall, a large horseshoe-shaped bar in one corner, four top tables with whiskey barrels as bases, tall nicely padded booths,  and faux-weathered table tops.  Chill at the separate lounge,  rack ’em up at either of two pool tables, or watch a game on one of a half-dozen large screen TVs.  It’s easy to find your fit here.

Order a beer from nearby Naples Beach Brewery, sip a Stella Artois, Guinness,  Ballast Point, Delirium Tremens, or one of many IPAs; there are dozens on tap. Try a craft cocktail, shot of vodka, or choose from a couple dozen other spirits. Have a pour of on- tap Jameson Irish whiskey or Jack Daniels.  With a name like Whiskey Park, perhaps a flight of whiskey from over 50 whiskeys  is the ticket!

The service was tops! We were barely seated before a server brought water in chilled screw-top mugs with a twist of lime.  Not sure what to order? The one page menu makes it easy, with house specialties marked with whiskey barrels.  All burgers, sandwiches and warps are served with fries or coleslaw. For $1.50 more, a side of mac and cheese, onion rings, waffle cut sweet potato fries, garlic mashed potatoes or fruit can be subsituted.  Nice.

The shrimp poboy ($11), is enough for two people! A large soft sliced roll cradles a good number of golden-brown fried shrimp, a mild remoulade sauce, lettuce, delicious pickles and sliced tomato.  Given a choice of fries or cole slaw, the chosen cole slaw was a very welcome version, with just enough mayonnaise to do the trick.  Recommended.

My dining partner ordered the spicy shrimp wrap ($10) only to have it served sans wrap. The chef happily complied with a generous portion of cilantro and lime tossed Gulf shrimp with  iceberg lettuce,  a small cup of mildly spiced sambal aioli, and a touch of pico de gallo.

Her choice of waffle cut sweet potato fries instead of coleslaw was spot on. The hot, generously salted fries are a meal for one person!

Others recommend the Longhorn burger’s  beef patties topped with sliced brisket,, cheddar and BBQ sauce ($12).  Note: as of today, burgers may not be cooked less than medium.

Fried green tomatoes, sliced brisket, and the famed chicken and sausage jambalaya are on the list for my next visit. One person said the  bourbon bread pudding is a must.

There’s truly something for everyone. Lunch features daily specials that may include a $5.99 soup and salad combo. Try a Sunday brunch. Evenings features live music from popular bands such as The  Good Bad Kids,  the indie/rock Wilder Sons, or Karaoke. This could be your home, er, New Orleans saloon,  away from home!


Whiskey Park

3380 Mercantile Ave, Naples, FL 34104

Phone: (239) 263-6777

Menu: visit this link

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