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For those of us who just skirt around Naples on 41, a trip to 5th Avenue or 3rd Street South can feel like an out of town getaway, when it’s actually Naples at its truest and some say finest.

On this Saturday evening my dining companion and I ventured to Mediterrano, in the heart of Naples. The Christmas decorations were still up and a multitude of expensive sports cars lined the streets.

We began our dining adventure with salad. I had the Caesar classico ($9), featuring hearts of romaine, shaved pecorino cheese and herb croutons. My partner in dine chose the namesake Mediterrano salad ($14), featuring artisan greens, tomatoes, pickled red onion, olives, cucumber, garbanzo BEANS, feta cheese, raisins, roasted flax seeds and fig champagne vinaigrette.

These were no wimpy side salads or even small before dinner salads. These were full on “could have been a meal” salads. Both were generous portions with an abundance of cheese and other ingredients. The raisins were the star of the Mediterrano salad. Likewise, the pecorino shavings shined in the classico.

My friend ordered the Mediterranean seabass (Branzino) ($38) for his main entrée. Oven baked and topped with figs, apricots and raisins, the dish featured a hint of lavender and Mediterranean spices. It was served over heavenly parmesan risotto, glazed with citrus saffron butter sauce; in addition to house roasted vegetables.

I personally don’t like dishes that bear a resemblance to what it did in life. If you feel the same, skip this dish. Otherwise, it’s a winner.

I went with the beef tagine (Mediterrano pot roast) ($29), hearty braised beef, topped with roasted vegetables, cumino, roasted garlic and natural jus. It’s served over roasted potatoes.

How to best describe this dish … It was like a brilliant base to the best stew you would ever make. Every bite was a party in my mouth. If you’re a beef lover; you can’t go wrong.  

Send your taste buds on an exotic vacation with Mediterrano.

More: ‘Watts for Dinner’: Dry-rubbed perfection at the Black Eyed Pig

More: ‘Watts for Dinner’: Capri Fish House when you’re in the mood for seafood

This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food.

If you go

Mediterrano

  • 336 13th Ave S., Naples.
  • 239-261-7498
  • mediterrano-naples.com
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