The Turtle Club on Vanderbilt Beach

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It’s Jessica Shaffer again, the voice behind much of Toasty in Naples’s marketing and social media. This month I’m bringing you a restaurant review on a bit of a hidden gem in Naples along with some exciting news!

Recently my significant other, Paul, decided we were going on a surprise date. The only information I was given was to wear comfortable shoes which, of course, I paid no attention to. After much anticipation, we pulled up to The Turtle Club at Vanderbilt Beach Resort and were immediately led to a table directly on the turtleclub2beach. We enjoyed the bread for a few moments before the sky let loose with a torrential downpour.

Though the weather didn’t cooperate, it was still the perfect meal from inside their warm and inviting dining room. Paul and I both decided on the same entree: two cold water lobster tails with a chipotle white wine cream sauce. Let’s be honest, lobster is lobster and it is almost always wonderful. This, however, topped them all. It was the perfect melt-in-your-mouth consistency and, though I hate to say it, there were no leftovers.

The lobster came with delicious wilted greens and roasted fingerling potatoes with a corn and bacon hash. Those potatoes are still referenced nearly a month later and when they are, it is always in hushed, reverent tones. They will go down in history as “the best potatoes we ever had”.

After dinner, the rain had let up enough for us to walk through The Turtle Club’s courtyard where Paul popped the question! I said yes without hesitation and myengagement1 best friend (who surprised me and drove 5 hours to be there) captured the moment perfectly while hiding among the greenery. It turns out, Paul had been in contact with the staff at The Turtle Club the entire week to help plan and make the evening as special as possible from having our table be secluded, to the hostess calling my best friend when we were on our way out of the restaurant. Even the valets were in on the surprise. Not only did we have impeccable dinner service, but their service behind the scenes was equally as wonderful. They went above and beyond in every way.

Paul and I agreed to go to one of our first date spots on 5th Avenue for ice cream afterwards, but he asked if he could make a pit stop at my church to pick up some papers he needed. He was insistent that I go in with him instead of waiting in the car, and thankfully, I packed a second pair of shoes.

As we walked through the building, I could see the twinkle of lights coming from one of the windows on the other side. I thought that perhaps an event was going on that we didn’t know about. What I certainly didn’t imagine was a huge room full of 100 close friends and family, scattered with photos of Paul and I throughout our four-year relationship, ready to celebrate our engagement. There were long tables topped with every dessert imaginable along with a Starbucks coffee bar, which is enough to make any 20-something’s heart swoon.

Every single detail of that night right down to the color of the table cloths was taken into consideration. I am so incredibly grateful to all of the thoughtful, generous people, including the entire staff at The Turtle Club, that contributed to August 8th being the best night (and dinner) of our lives.

Remember, it’s always toasty in Naples and you deserve your piece of Naples sunshine and a fabulous dinner at The Turtle Club!

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