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Naples, Bonita Springs, Marco Island, and Sanibel/Captiva | 239-285-1086

Best value in Naples? JLB investigates a fancy steakhouse’s $28 deal

Diana Biederman | Naples Daily News

One of JLB’s highest priorities when recommending restaurants is the value factor. Does a restaurant’s pricing correlate with the overall experience and quality?

In Naples, spending $300 on disappointing mediocre dinners for two is, sadly, way too frequent.

But when a well-respected downtown restaurant owner says the best deal in town is Capital Grille’s lunch, my interest is piqued and warrants investigating.

My companion du jour was longtime resident Valerie Miller, whose name may ring a bell because, for the past 17 years, she’s been the author/publisher of the annual Naples Restaurant Guide, our local Zagat-like directory sans the sarcastic quotes.

Shameless plug: The new edition arrives at Paper Merchant and Bruno’s on Third Street South (the most fun, super high-end store in town if you’ve never been) in November.

She’s dined everywhere in town but seldom visits Capital Grille.

It was JLB’s first visit to the Naples location. I’ve not been inclined to go despite enjoying the Darden-owned chain’s sisters in New York City and Washington, D.C., seen as the backdrop for scenes in “Special Ops: Lioness” ― a must-watch ― and “Jason Bourne” (2016).

If JLB opened a hospitality college in Southwest Florida, one of her first hires as a distinguished professor would be Aldo Mazreku, Capital’s captain of gracious service who lends professional polish and old-school panache to a simple lunch outing between friends.

Aldo doesn’t hover.

Instead, with a sense of anticipation and intuition, he miraculously appears seconds before we even think of summoning him with various requests.

Since Friday was my day off, why not indulge in cocktails, request number one?

Read about the Capital Grille meal on

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