Lunch with a View at M Waterfront Grille in Naples

M Waterfront Grille

M Waterfront Grille (M) is a restaurant on Venetian Bay in Naples serving lunch and dinner. It is located in The Village Shops of Venetian Bay and was one of the first tenants opening as Maxwell’s on the Bay in 1988.

Twenty years later, the restaurant was renovated and rebranded as M in 2008. I have lived in Naples since 1999. For some reason, I had never dined here until recently.
There are many things about a restaurant that are suggestive of a good dining experience, one of those being longevity. M has been open for over 30 years under the same ownership; a very good sign.

Indoor dining area

The restaurant is very pleasing aesthetically though somewhat old school, probably reflective of its most recent renovation in 2008. There are a number of dining options. There is indoor dining either in the main dining area or in an enclosed adjacent area that overlooks Venetian Bay. Similar options are available for dining al fresco, either on their covered front dining area or towards the back of the restaurant overlooking the bay.

Bread with condiments

My dining companion, (DC) and I went for Lunch. The menu, as the restaurant, is somewhat old school. Before ordering, we were brought a portion of freshly baked bread with Kalamata olive tapenade and butter sprinkled with coarse grain sea salt.

I loved both of these condiments, the butter/sea salt combination making it that much more than butter.
We ordered a few things off the lunch menu, the first being the clam chowder.

The chowder was very good, expected from

Clam chowder

an establishment’s Rhode Island mothership in “clam country”. The chowder is made from quahogs, potatoes, clam stock, dill, thyme, a few other things and garnished with Littleneck clams. What is the difference between quahogs and Littleneck clams you may ask? Here is a Northeastern seaboard Clam Primer.

We followed with another seemingly old school item on the menu, the wedge salad.

Wedge salad with steak

For those that do not know, a wedge salad is a classic steakhouse menu item of iceberg lettuce, bacon crumbles, tomatoes and blue cheese dressing. The optional steak addition really brings this salad into classic status at M, especially with the use of prime meats. This salad was great and highly recommended. I am really a blue cheese aficionado and there was not enough dressing in the initial presentation. This was easily remedied by a request for more dressing from our server.

We finished with a fried cod sandwich. This was an extremely large portion of breaded,

Fried cod sandwich with fresh fruit

fried cod which overlapped the molasses jerk spice bun on which it was served by about two inches on each side. The sandwich is served with onion, lettuce and tomato and topped with a cajun remoulade.

Besides the usual remoulade suspects of mayo, creole mustard and a vinegar note, Paul Prudomme’s blackening spice and Tobasco are added to the mix. This was a perfect flavor combination, the richness and spiciness of the remoulade melding perfectly with the molasses and jerk spice in the sandwich roll. Most highly recommended.

Bayside dining area

As DC and I split this, the only difficulty was keeping the sandwich together when eating. No matter, I would not even take the crumbs of this dish to task as it was so good.

The food at M was excellent as was the aesthetic of the restaurant. Excellent food and ambiance do not come without a price. Lunch was $60.00 with tip without any beverage but Naples Tap. Was it worth it? Yes, most definitely. Would I go back? Most definitely. The food and views are superb here and well worth the price.
It’s a wrap for another post on Forks.

M Waterfront Grille
4300 Gulf Shore Blvd.
Naples, FL 34103
(239)263-4421
M Waterfront Grille Website

Open Monday-Saturday, 1130AM-10PM, Sunday, 10AM-9PM; All major credit cards accepted; Complimentary valet parking after 5PM