Naming restaurants can be tricky business, and that may be true in the case of Guy and Lisa Verdi’s successful new Marco eatery, Guy& Lisa’s Philly Grille.
In this case, the name says a lot but it doesn’t say it all.
If you’ve not been to the Philly Grille since it opened in mid January in Heritage Square at 1000 N. Collier, you might expect to see lots of customers clamoring to order cheese steak sandwiches. And they’ll be doing that for sure.
The Philly cheesesteaks here are authentic, reflecting a family tradition. But there’s more to like about the Verdi’s new place.
Guy grew up around a family-owned deli and sandwich shop in Philadelphia. He lived a couple of blocks from the famous Geno’s Steaks.
But some first time customers might be surprised at the variety of other treats on the menu.
“Our first season was what we expected, a nice reunion with a lot of the people we had met through the years at Verdi’s restaurant and they were very glad to see us and to see us back in business. It was a nice welcome back from everyone, the local business community, giving us a try and friends and former patrons.
“We got good feedback on the concept. A lot of people liked it and are enjoying the atmosphere and the food. They like that they can get a nice salad for dinner and flat bread, not being a kids environment, more of an adult environment, a quality product. It was well received. We feel we did fill a niche on Marco.”
Some menu surprises for first-time patrons include a variety of quality salads. To mention a few, the cornbread, black bean and roasted corn salad, a turkey Waldorf salad, the roasted vegetable and breaded eggplant salad and on and on into the realm of healthy food done right.
The list of sandwiches is equally impressive and innovative, such as hoagies done up traditionally, a scrapple, potatoes and egg sandwich, Philadelphia style, a sandwich created by Guy’s mom, “Marci’s Meatballs” on a hoagie roll and more.
Flat breads also fill the menu, grilled with a rustic char flavor. One favorite is the grilled Ahi tuna, red pepper, ginger and onion flatbread with onion slaw and jalapeno ginger aioli.
We asked Guy whether he and Lisa are glad they made their new venue so different from the Verdi’s restaurant they owned and operated for years further south on Collier Blvd.
“I’m extremely glad we did it. It was something I had wanted to do for sometime, more laid back, casual, but still with the quality we’ve always produced. And something where I don’t have to be there all the time and the quality will still be the same.
“We’ll be open through August, then close for September and then gear up for season.”
Hours right now are Monday-Saturday for lunch 11-2 and dinner 5 until closing, closed Sunday.
One more thing. They offer all their goodies as takeout items. Call 394-2221.
Chris Curle is a former news anchor for CNN and for ABC-TV stations in Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Houston. E-mail email@example.com.
Don is a former ABC News correspondent and bureau chief and a former news anchor for CNN and ABC-TV, in Atlanta. His Farmer File column appears Fridays in the Naples Daily News. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.