387 Capri Blvd, Naples, FL
Something old is new again as the venerable Blue Heron Inn unfolds its wings, after a brief summer break, and officially opens Wednesday, for its 35th season of delighting discriminating diners on the Isles of Capri and across Southwest Florida.
“We did have a soft opening last week, Thursday, Sept. 25, a sort of dress rehearsal for us because the restaurant was closed several weeks for general maintenance,” explained Blue Heron Inn proprietress Norvella Adkins, noting that the restaurant business office returned all calls and phone lines were being answered during that period to answer questions and accept reservations. “Some of our guests call far ahead to reserve tables for the holidays, while several of our knowledgeable, longtime local patrons will usually call to see if they can make dinner reservations during our customary soft opening.”
Gail Reynolds and her friends were among the local patrons who had made advance reservations for dinner that Thursday at the Blue Heron Inn. Norvella introduced us to Gail Reynolds.
“We lived on Capri for 22 years before my husband passed away, and I’ve been coming here for 30 years this year,” said Reynolds, adding that she now lives in Naples but works for Harborview Realty Inc. on Marco Island. “When people come in and ask for a good restaurant I always recommend the Blue Heron.”
The Blue Heron dining room’s wide picture window wall frames views of a pristine Johnson Bay that appears untouched by passing years.
“Coming to the Blue Heron is like borrowing time from the past,” Norvella said, “We have always been known as the romantic restaurant, the one people think of visiting for special occasions like Valentine’s Day as well as birthdays and anniversaries. We may be small but we can accommodate up to 60 guests for special events and group gatherings such as family or school reunions.
“We are one of the first in fine dining and that’s our claim to fame — quality, service and consistency. Because of our guests favorites (main courses) we’re totally consistent. Our dining program may occasionally be tweaked but never totally changed,” she explained.
For instance, the original chef/owner’s menu featured stuffed lobster. However, the Blue Heron’s recent introduction to the restaurant’s menu — a refined version Lobster Thermidor — is described as tender Maine lobster removed from the shell, cooked with shitake mushrooms in a lobster sauce, placed back in the shell and topped with hollandaise and Parmesan cheese and broiled until golden.
“We try to have some variety while retaining our guests’ favorites. There are 15 main courses on our menu, starting with our signature roast rack of lamb that can be ordered as three, five or eight bone serving including oven roasted potatoes and onions with rosemary flavored lamb stock. Our seafood offerings, including signature crab cakes or Crab Imperial are incomparable.”
The Blue Heron Inn is equally unique for its inclusive menu — the main course price determines the cost of a multi-course meal that starts with the little ramekins filled with pate, salmon mousse and true butter served with the rolls. Then, the soup of the day is served followed by salad and entrees with vegetable and potatoes, concluding with a choice of homemade desserts, and tea or coffee.
The Blue Heron Inn is located at 387 Capri Boulevard on Isles of Capri and opens for dinner 5 p.m. to closing, Monday through Saturday. Reservations can be made by calling 394-6248.