Originally opened as Gabriello’s Manhattan Bar & Grill, Table 82 of Naples has undergone a metamorphosis of owners, but not of style.
Even though a wall has been removed to afford diners a view of the piano and beyond that, the bar, the décor remains consistent with that of the quintessential Manhattan supper club, where casually smart patrons sip cosmopolitans, Manhattans and martinis. The restaurant seats 153 indoors with a half-dozen tables outdoors under cover for those who prefer dining al fresco.
Current owners Mike and Judy Gardner greet customers with a warm welcome and friendliness that’s hard to come by at most chain and private eateries.
Even though they have kept the restaurant’s name, inherited from the former owners, the Gardners have put their own twist on its meaning.
“We are located on the corner of U.S. 41 and Old 41, and if you add the two numbers, you get 82, so Table 82 makes sense,” Judy Gardner said.
“We’re like a hidden gem in a strip mall. Folks are so surprised when they walk in to see how beautiful the restaurant is. We love to visit each table and get to know our guests. When they are at Table 82, we treat them as if they were in our home.”
Table 82 of Naples
Hours: 5 p.m. to close Tuesday-Saturday; 5 to 8 p.m. happy hour
Cost: $4-$23 starters; $16-$35 entrees; $11-$21 pizza; $3-$6 desserts
Information: 239-431-6482 or table82ofnaples.com
Something else: Take-out service available through GoWaiter.com ($10 minimum food order for lunch, $15 minimum for dinner. Deliveries start at $3.99 for online orders depending on distance, $4.99 for phone orders)
And with house-made Italian dishes expertly prepared by Chef Justin Yandle, who learned his craft under the tutelage of a New York Italian and a French chef, each dish smacks of authentic home cooking made fresh and to order.
For those who have not yet visited what can be called a nice hideaway dining spot, now is the time to stop in for either the fab happy hour or to make a reservation for a cozy dinner for two.
Pick a spot at the 20-seat mahogany bar anytime between 5 and 8 p.m. and order $1.60 draft beers, wines at $4.50 or well drinks that start at $3. Pair your libation with a selection from the light-plate menu that offers down-sized dinner portions priced at $10 each.
A summer special is buy two entrees and two beverages and get the second entree free (up to a $20 value). On Taco Tuesdays, get two grilled mahi mahi tacos served with coleslaw and onions, a zucchini spear and salsa and chips ($4.50). On Wednesday and Fridays, pizza is 50 percent off.
Making a reservation for dinner is the ultimate treat, however, especially for local residents who hail from the Midwest and enjoy walleye, a fish common to Northern waters ($26).
Make a selection from the wine list priced from $25 to $150, with the average bottle going for a comfortable $40, and you have the start of a meal to remember.
“It’s hard to find a place to dine and dance, but on Saturday nights from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., entertainer Rick Valentine puts on an excellent show, performing the tunes of Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Dean Martin and more. He has a great sense of humor and gets our guests up on the dance floors,” Gardner said.
The couple relocated to Southwest Florida in 2009 to enjoy leisure time and golf. Soon afterward, they got the bug to go back to work and found the restaurant on the market.
Mike Gardner has a family history in the restaurant business in ventures such as a pub, fine-dining restaurant and a large nightclub. He oversees daily operations, while his wife serves as hostess and manages the front of house.