Are there really any good dining deals in Naples anymore??
While there are lots and lots of deals available in newspapers, online and via other coupon offers, how do you know what is a really good bargain — and what you’ll regret later.
We at Foodie Naples are starting a new mission to find and report to you the best dining deals, in and out of season, at local Naples restaurants (and maybe a few in neighboring cities as well.)
If you have a deal you’d like for us to try out, please just contact us at [email protected]
Doing A Little Research
This is the message we posted on the Foodie Naples Facebook page not quite a week ago:
“Can you have date night on $50 on 5th Ave S.? We will try out how far our fist full of bills will take us tonight.”
Many responses said it couldn’t be done. Two people having a date night with happy hour and dinner for less than $50 on Fifth Avenue South?
No way was the resounding answer.
Fifth Avenue tends to be pricey and if you land in the wrong place, you’ll easily pay $50 per person (or more) for dinner and wine. But we were looking forward to the challenge.
I browsed through the Naples Daily News and found a coupon for bha! bha! Persian Bistro on Fifth. Some might be thinking, “Eww, coupons!” But they’re out there to be used. And when you do, you can not only get a great deal, but usually can order an extra glass of wine or two at happy hour with your savings.
Since we have enjoyed previous dinners at bha! bha! and always leave happy, we had to try this out. The offer was the “Kabob Feast” Platter for 2 & a bottle of wine for $33. “A generous offering of grilled lamb, beed, chicken, shrimp, vegetables and saffron basmati rice.”
The only catch — it’s only served from 8:30pm until closing. Which puts a bit of a time stretch between happy hour and dinner. But we figured we could make it work. Oh, and reservations are a must.
Our Date Night in Naples for Under $50
We started the night out in Avenue Wine Cafe, a very nice wine and beer bar on Fifth Avenue that has lots of great seating inside and out, and tons of beers to try out. It’s a nice place to gather with friends, and while it was a little quiet during happy hour when we were there (from 4-7pm daily) – it was packed as we walked by on our way back home at around 10:30pm.
The happy hour includes all beers priced $10.50 and under, and all wines priced $12.50 and under. We tried the Cypress Vineyards Chardonnay (California) which had a light, fruity bouquet and was not too dry.
After we enjoyed our wine, we had a little time to kill. bha! bha! is actually a few blocks away from Avenue Wine Cafe, we casually strolled down Fifth Avenue South and looked in a few of the shops. There’s always plenty to be seen there, and on a hot night, the air conditioned stores can be a nice reprieve.
The Florida Olive Oil Company (505 5TH Ave South, Unit D) caught our eye and we had to go try a few oils and vinegars. If you enjoy cooking and like to throw something new and interesting into your dishes, go check them out.
We arrived at bha! bha! at 8:30pm when we had reserved a table and presented them with our coupon. We were seated promptly and ordered the bottle of wine which was included with our dinner. We chose the house Chardonnay and soon had our bottle of wine in hand.
The wine was Pacific Bay Chardonnay and it was actually quite nice. A dry white wine with a flavor that was very complimentary to the food.
At first glance, it seemed like it could be a bit on the smallish side — but as we ate and drank, it turned out to be just about the perfect portion for two.
That is one thing that bha! bha! usually does beautifully — portioning. I would have liked to see a few more veggies on the plate but mostly because I didn’t like having to fight over them since they were delicious.
Up to this point, we’d been quite thrifty on our date night, and we had a glass of wine and a bit of space left in our bellies, so we ordered dessert. The chocolate cake at bha!bha! was just the perfect thing to seal things off. It came on a bit like fudge at first, with delicious mango and strawberry coulis. But in the middle, it was almost like mousse. Rich and very tasty.
Our grand total for the evening was $48.50 (plus tip)! And we were very happy at the end and had had a very nice evening.
- Happy Hour – 2 glasses of Chardonnay — $7.50
- Kebab Feast Dinner for 2 — $33.00
- Chocolate Cake — $8.00
While this total did not include tax or tip, we will be seeking out similar specials in the future which we can stay well under the $50 budget so all extra costs can be included. But tipping is always an arbitrary and personal thing.
We also have to note that we drank a bottle of sparkling water at dinner which we paid extra for. That was a personal choice, though, and they do bring regular ice water at no charge otherwise.
By the way, the bha! bha!! Persian Bistro coupon was found in the Thursday Naples Daily News in the Neopolitan section. I also saw them on Saturday. This offer is only running another week, so I suggest you try it out if you get the chance.
And when you go visit these places, don’t forget to tell them you read about them on Foodie Naples!
Note: This article written by Tiffany Muehlbauer, author and editor of No Ordinary Homestead, first appeared on FoodieNaples.com in 2014 and has been republished with permission.