Q: Being from Michigan, we were overjoyed when an acquaintance told us that a Tim Hortons restaurant was planned for Marco Island next to Joey’s Pizza. I have been unable to find any other information about this. Do you have any info? Enjoy your column. Thanks.
— Pat Newman, Naples and Rapid River, Mich.
A: This information is not true, said Brynn Burton, a U.S. spokeswoman for Tim Hortons, a Canadian-based coffee and doughnut shop chain that serves baked goods and a variety of breakfast and lunch options.
“We don’t have any plans in place now to expand in Florida,” Burton said.
Tim Hortons, however, recently opened its first Florida venue: a concession in Tampa Bay Times Forum, home of the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team.
Tim Hortons has a deep connection with hockey. The late Tim Horton, a professional hockey player, co-founded the chain in 1964.
The Ontario company merged with Wendy’s in 1995 and has its U.S. operations headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Tim Hortons has about 600 locations in the U.S., predominantly in 10 Northeast and Great Lakes states.
MORE LOCAL RESTAURANT NEWS
■ Veranda E opened Friday for dinner in the former location of Dish restaurant in The Escalante hotel, 290 Fifth Ave. S., in Old Naples. Featuring Asian-inspired cuisine with a French flair, the new local concept restaurant is a partnership between boutique villa hotel owner Mary Brandt and award-winning chef Michael Kang, who recently relocated to Naples from Southern California, according to a news release.
Kang formerly operated Five Feet restaurants in Laguna Beach, West Hollywood and Anaheim, Calif. Born in Taiwan and raised in California, he specializes in flavors from his native land, using nontraditional recipes and artful culinary presentations.
Veranda E’s menu features small plates such as Coca-Cola quail with jicama slaw, Kung pao calamari, and spicy coconut lobster bisque; and entrees such as crispy whole farmed catfish with citrus ginger sauce or yuz upon; hoisin barbecue beef short ribs with Maui onions and salsify purée; and an airline breast of chicken breast with braised Belgium endive, chanterelle and French onion jus.
The menu also has salads such as organic baby kale with sesame goat cheese and walnut tarragon vinaigrette; and sweets such as warm chocolate bread pudding with Jack Daniel’s crème anglaise, and chocolate chip macadamia creme brûlée.
Veranda E serves dinner nightly 5 to 10 p.m. Dine poolside on the small hotel’s tropical garden courtyard veranda. For reservations, call 239-659-3466.
Photo by TIM ATEN // Buy this photo
■ La Villa on 5th recently opened in the former location of Island Pizza & Dogs at 474 Fifth Ave. S. in downtown Naples. You probably already know owners Vincent and Frank Palmese, who formerly operated Il Posto Ristorante on Third Street South downtown, Wildside Café in Carillon Place and the original La Villa Pizzeria & Café, where NewsStand Café is today off Immokalee Road in North Naples.
Not only do the Palmese brothers create the perfect New York pizza, but they serve antipasto and salads, and authentic Italian dishes such as baked ziti, lasagna, manicotti, ravioli, panini, calzone and stromboli.
In addition to pasta favorites, they are most revered for their Italian desserts and pastries, including tiramisu, biscotti, cannoli, zeppoli and pignoli. Their daily creations are visible in a big display case.
The cafe also is a good place to get espresso, cappuccino, mochachino, lattes and other hot or iced coffee drinks. It also added beer and wine last week.
La Villa is open 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. everyday, for dining in or out, takeout and delivery, 239-263-5484.
■ Pollo Tropical is throwing a party next week to kick off the opening of its location in Gulf Coast Town Center in Lee County. A free "Taste of the Tropics Beach Party" is set for 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, March 8, at the new fast-casual restaurant, best known for its marinated flame-grilled chicken, said Carlye Ryan, a spokeswoman for the Miami-based restaurant chain.
The first 100 customers lined up for the restaurant to open that morning will receive certificates good for a "Create Your Own Family Meal" on their next visit, and will be entered to win free Pollo Tropical chicken for a year, Ryan said.
In addition to chicken, Pollo Tropical's menu includes guava barbecue riblets, roast pork, black beans and other Caribbean-inspired favorites, as well as beer, wine and sangria. Customers can dine in with complimentary Wi-Fi, or choose to take out or use its “Pollo on the Go” drive through.
The new Pollo Tropical is located at 17804 Ben Hill Griffin Parkway, in an outparcel next to McDonald’s at the regional mall. The restaurant is open 10:30 a.m. to midnight every day.
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"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.