‘Watts for Dinner’: Yard House – The future of the sports bar

Will Watts
The lobster, crab and artichoke dip with pita and corn chips from Yard House, Naples.

Yard House is the evolution of the sports bar. The music was loud, but it was clear. It didn’t take up residence inside your head forcing you to plot an escape route. And there was something in rotation for everyone … ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s.

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The weird thing was, I don’t remember those songs sounding so good as they did over Yard House’s fancy entertainment system. Were they remixed? Remastered? Both?

Things got off to an appetizing start with the lobster, crab and artichoke dip. The dish is served with warm pita and multi-colored corn chips and features four cheeses in the mix. We did everything except lick the bowl.

The sesame chicken and noodles from Yard House, Naples.
The porcini-crusted halibut from Yard House, Naples.

For my main course, I picked the sesame chicken and noodles. Here’s where it gets weird, and I kid you not. On my way in, I spied the sesame chicken at another table. Just how you expect it to be, deep fried, sauce and seeds attached. Now anybody who knows me is aware that I don’t eat fried meets. Ok, I rarely eat fried meats. But today was going to be the exception.

Here’s the thing, when my plate arrived, it was chucks of grilled chicken over lo mein.  What?! Did I get the wrong order? No, my dining companion said. See! There’s sesame seeds. It was all there, the spinach, asparagus, edamame, shiitake mushrooms and green onions.

At this point, the waiter has noticed my puzzlement. I explained that this is a happy accident, as I was unaware you could order it this way. Folks, this is brilliant! I have rarely enjoyed sesame chicken more. And perhaps all the guilt wasn’t MIA – the noodles were still there. But the shame was lessened, and there were no after dinner fried meat sweats to contend with.

My partner in dine picked the porcini crusted halibut. This amazingly and perfectly blackened fillet rested atop parmesan mashed potatoes, asparagus and bok choy and featured a wonderfully amazing porcini cream sauce with white truffle oil. It’s making me hungry just typing that.

For dessert, my dining companion had the bread pudding with crème anglaise which features a vanilla bean cream sauce and powdered sugar. As desserts go, he liked it. As bread puddings go, it was sub par.

The mini cheesecake brûlée from Yard House, Naples.
The bread pudding with crème anglaise from Yard House, Naples.

I, on the other hand, discovered an exceptional dessert: mini cheesecake brûlée. Coming it at just 400 calories, this cheesecake with the caramelized crispy sugar topping scratched an itch without turning it into diabetes. I highly recommend it.

This upscale sports bar outdid some of the fine eating establishments we have encountered. Yard House, you can see the game, have a beer (there’s several to choose from) and have a nice meal.

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If you go

Yard House

  • In Park Shore Plaza, 4251 Tamiami Trail N, Naples
  • 239-263-3773
  • yardhouse.com