‘Watts for Dinner’: CPK offers unique and healthy alternatives

Will Watts
Correspondent

Our next dining destination is California Pizza Kitchen in North Naples.

Things got off to an appetizing start with the “Dakota Smashed Pea + Barley” soup ($8.99, 340 calories). This is an amazing dish, featuring barley, carrots, onions, savory herbs and scallions, it’s unlike any split pea I’ve had before. I highly recommend this dish.

My dining companion had equal praise for the “Sedona Tortilla” ($8.99, 480 calories). It features vine-ripened tomatoes, tomatillos and corn with mild green chilies, Southwestern spices and crispy corn tortilla strips. A beautiful, delicious dish.

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I also had the small “Classic Caesar” ($9.29, 270 calories), featuring Romaine with shaved parmesan and house-made garlic butter croutons. You can add grilled chicken, shrimp or sautéed salmon.

The croutons were the star of this show. The amount of cheese was also a huge plus.

My partner in dine had the “Roasted Veggies” ($16.99, 730 calories) featuring warm artichoke hearts, asparagus, eggplant, red and yellow peppers, corn and sun-dried tomatoes served with cool Romaine, avocado and a house-made Dijon balsamic vinaigrette. You can add grilled chicken, shrimp or sautéed salmon. This dish is huge and looks amazing. It received rave reviews.

We also shared an “Avocado Super Green Pizza” ($16.49, 190 calories). It features cilantro pesto, smashed avocado, baby greens, cucumber, red onion, house-made salsa verde, fresh lime and toasted sesame seeds. This is perhaps the healthiest pizza I’ve ever eaten. And yet, it was still quite tasty.

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For dessert we had the butter cake ($7.99, 1090 calories), for a slight upcharge we added vanilla Häagen Dazs ($2.25, 280 calories). It’s also served with house-made whipped cream. My expectations were high for this dish, and while the ice cream lived up to its reputation, the cake was very dry. It looks great, and perhaps this was a one-time issue. I certainly hope so.

Except for the small misstep with dessert, this was a great meal with some unique offerings. We’ll definitely be back. Happy eating!

This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food. Not all dishes are featured in print, but you can find a gallery of all reviewed dishes online at marconews.com.

If you go

California Pizza Kitchen

  • 5555 Tamiami Trail N. Spc. G-16, Naples
  • 239-566-1900
  • cpk.com