Q: Has any Collier County restaurant ever been featured on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives”?
— Kathy Weber, Marco Island
A: No, the popular Food Network television program has not discovered a diner, drive-in or dive in Collier or Lee counties that meets its standards during its five-year run.
Host Guy Fieri and company have visited more than 25 locations in Florida over the years, but Alpine Steakhouse in Sarasota is the farthest south on the Gulf Coast the show has been, according to an interactive map for the TV show. The Florida eateries featured have all been clustered in Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, and on the southeast coast from Miami to Palm Beach County.
What greasy spoons do you recommend that Fieri visits here? You can tell Guy where to go by nominating your favorite local diner, drive-in or dive. Email suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course, we’d like it if you told us, too. Send your nomination to email@example.com with the subject “My favorite dive.”
Likewise, is your restaurant in need of a Chef Robert Irvine intervention? Let the producers of “Restaurant: Impossible” know about your struggling business and you might end up on this Food Network show. Nominate your restaurant by filling out the questionnaire at www.restaurantimpossible.com.
Q: What is the status of the empty former location of the Grillroom at Coconut Point mall? Its loss has changed the feeling of the restaurant area at the center of Coconut Point. Surprised the property has remained empty for two years. Anything happening?
— Jim Zaas, Bonita Springs
A: The space remains vacant at the former home of The Grillroom Chophouse & Wine Bar, which closed in June 2010 after operating for three years at Coconut Point. Mall management has yet to fill the void left by the Chicago- based steakhouse.
“We’re exploring a number of possibilities, but we don’t have an announcement at this time,” said Tara Beauchesne, a spokeswoman for the mall in Estero.
MORE LOCAL RESTAURANT NEWS
■ Osteria Tulia, 466 Fifth Ave. S., opened Jan. 11 for dinner. Lunch service begins Friday. The new local restaurant, made to resemble a rustic Italian farmhouse, was created and operated by Chef Vincenzo Betulia in the former downtown Naples location of Ristorante d’Angeli. The Sicilian-born chef invites guests to sample his homemade ancestral recipes prepared on wood-fired grills.
Tulia’s menu features a choice of small plates, antipasti, pizzas, salads, handmade pastas, entrees and sides. Daily and weekly blackboard specials feature local, seasonal specialties and classic Italian dishes, as well as signature cocktails and wines.
Seating options are available indoors at handcrafted pine tables, on the covered patio, or at the marble-top bar. Diners receive complimentary caponata — a Sicilian eggplant-based ratatouille, as well as oven-fresh bread and olive oil specially bottled for Tulia in Italy.
Osteria Tulia is open every day. Dinner hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Lunch is served 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., beginning Friday. 239-213-2073.
Photo by TIM ATEN // Buy this photo
■ The Wine Loft, 9115 Strada Place, Suite 8150, opened Jan. 7 next to AZN Azian Cuizine and beneath the Silverspot Cinema in Mercato of North Naples.
The Wine Loft is open every day for lunch, and features tapas-style dining at night. The menu features salads, sandwiches and flatbreads.
The wine bar has live entertainment, including a pianist, some nights. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to midnight weekdays, and 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. weekends. 239-598-5601
■ Scoopz ice cream parlor opened Friday in Ave Maria Town Center. The new local business offers 24 flavors of Ice Cream Club brand ice cream, as well as sodas, shakes, banana splits, floats and sundaes with a variety of toppings. Scoopz is open 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and is closed Sundays.
■ Burger King opened Jan. 4 in the former longtime location of McDonald’s in the Coastland Center mall food court. The new BK is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. This new location does not serve breakfast items.
Have a local question? Email it with your name and city of residence to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"In the Know" is published Mondays and Wednesdays in the Naples Daily News. Find a complete archive of "In the Know" columns at naplesnews.com/intheknow.