Food for Thought: Southern Comforts

The Rooster Food + Drink is a Naples restaurant with simple dishes and quality ingredients.

WHY WE LOVE IT: It started off last December as a place to rise and shine, but now you can end your day on a high note there, too. Delectable Southern comforts are churned out for breakfast and lunch—and, since the middle of the year, twice a week for dinner (Tuesdays and Fridays). Its kitchen is the creative coop for two noted Naples chefs, Bryan Sutton, previously of Veranda E, and Lisa Resch, who still runs her chic Carolina Catering Co. Over the summer, they spread their wings and expanded the patio to fit an extra 20-plus guests, a welcome change as the dining room is close quarters with space for about 30 folks.

IDEAL MEAL: Simple dishes are elevated by quality ingredients, such as free-range eggs and cheeses from Florida farms, and unexpected touches are the norm, like a BLT made with pork belly smothered in Sriracha aioli. But really, you must try their grits, swirled with love and often heaps of Gruyère.

Even if you profess to not be a grit person, something is bound to click, from grit croutons to cherry-shallot grits to pink-hued “unicorn” grits. Beyond that, you can throw a dart at the menus and not be disappointed with banana brûléed French toast coated in caramelized Cap’n Crunch, short ribs that fall apart with a fork, the crispiest buttermilk fried chicken with peppery maple jelly and more.

VIBE: You could mistake it for your aunt and uncle’s kitchen: Domed glassware covers freshly baked cakes, and tables are outfitted with enamelware mugs reminiscent of camping trips (you even have to brush past the cooks to reach the loo). Most importantly, though, time-honored family recipes abound, like a sweet vinegar pie chef Bryan was raised on that can lead anyone on a trip down memory lane.

The Rooster Food + Drink, 600 Goodlette-Frank Road N., Naples, (239) 228-5973, theroosternaples.com