Dorona Italian Steakhouse (Dorona) is a steakhouse in Naples, Florida. The owner’s vision is to have premium, aged meats that are simply prepared and mostly complemented by the establishment’s interpretation of Italian cuisine. The meats are aged for any number of weeks depending on the cut at about 35 degrees and around 20% humidity.
The proprietors have a very long and successful culinary provenance stretching from Washington, DC to St. Petersburg, FL and Naples, FL. The restaurant has been open less than a month and having sampled wares from the owners other brands, my dining companion (DC) and I were anxious to try this new addition.
Here is establishment’s lunch menu.
All of it looked really good, and here is what DC and I ordered from the menu.
We started with the fig and black truffle pizza topped with prosciutto and arugula. This dish was excellent and DC and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
We also sampled the wagyu stuffed olives; breaded and fried and served in a sort of deconstructed burrata sauce. This was not for DC and I. Recognizing our less than unbridled enthusiasm for this starter our server brought it back to the kitchen and took it off our tab. I thought this was great and customer service such as this will keep me coming back.
After our server’s recommendation, we sampled the meatballs “affogato” in a tomato/parmesan gratin.
As one of the owners explained to us, meatballs are very common in Venice but are mostly served plain; you get your meatballs there with a toothpick. The interpretation at Darona is affogato, or smothered in Italian. You then have these meatballs served topped in a very nice sauce. Although the meat portion of this dish is small it still is most recommended.
As DC and I were waiting for our mains, we noticed that the table next to us ordered a Caesar salad. Refreshingly prepared table side, I was glad to see this mostly forgotten bit of restaurant showmanship brought back to life here.
DC and I ordered our main course from the reinvented sandwiches and burgers portion of the lunch menu. DC opted for the beef brisket sandwich.
This sandwich was excellent, with ample amounts of hot/sweet brisket. It was topped with inoki mushroom tempura and cabbage slaw with a vinegar dressing. The vinegar note from the slaw was the perfect accompaniment to this exceptional menu item.
I settled on the dry aged beef burger. This was another exceptional menu item. The burger was topped with sopressata, caramelized onions, bourbon sauce and fried egg. The egg yolk drizzling over this wonderful aged beef patty after my first bite was incredible and a perfect foil for this dish. Most highly recommended.
The fries served with both of these items were very good. We were told this was due to a frequent oil change in their fryers. I wish more restaurants would do this as something so simple can make a big difference on the finished product.
At DC’s suggestion, I took a bit of a closer look at Dorona’s dry aging locker. One of their signature dinner items is a dry aged bone-in 140 oz. chateaubriand that served four.
From what was ordered for lunch, the food at Dorona is, for the most part, excellent. The service was also very good, our server being as accommodating as a server possibly could be.
Our lunch experience here is highly recommended and was almost flawless. I think Dorona is a wonderful addition to the local culinary scene and a breath of fresh air from the luxury steak establishment status quo.
It’s a wrap for another post on Forks.
2110 9th St. N.
Naples, FL 34103
Monday-Wednesday: Open 1130-230 for lunch, 3-10 PM for dinner; Thursday-Saturday: Open 1130-230 for lunch, 3-1030 PM for dinner; Sunday: 5-9 PM for dinner; No valet parking; All major credit cards accepted; Kid’s meals by request.
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