Home Resturants The opening of El Gaucho’s Argentine-Italian eatery in North Naples

The opening of El Gaucho’s Argentine-Italian eatery in North Naples

The opening of El Gaucho’s Argentine-Italian eatery in North Naples

Why debut a brand new restaurant post-season?

It’s a method that has worked prior to now for the husband-wife team Mariano Maldonado and Rocio Navarrete’s other sophisticated South American restaurants, which emphasize Peruvian and Argentine cuisine.

She’s the cosmopolitan Inca from Lima; he’s a gourmet gaucho from Argentina.

Recent bistro in North Naples from same couple

While sitting down with the eager-to-open Navarrete last Thursday afternoon, she refreshed her phone every jiffy to see if their liquor license had been processed.

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She received the excellent news late Friday and El Gaucho Trattoria opened May 7.

The couple’s other popular bistros include El Gaucho Inca, a Peruvian-Argentine concept in Fort Myers and Estero, where additionally they have a neighboring deli café. In 2021, JLB awarded the Estero location amongst its best recent restaurants.

Several years ago, their Naples location on Immokalee Road was sold following Maldonado’s heart attack.

Recent restaurant near North Naples-Bonita Springs border

They’re back near the Naples-Bonita border because Navarrete said many purchasers at her Lee County restaurants drive up from Naples.

This time, 13 years later, they’re doing something different, with a menu focus that pays homage to Maldonado’s Italian-by-way-of-Argentina family heritage.

Inside El Gaucho Trattoria in North Naples.

She shared the story of how her husband’s family left Europe in 1920, when his great-great-great grandfather, a decorated Italian war hero, moved his family to Argentina. A wall of family photos illuminates their journey.

A photo wall featuring the Maldonado and Navarrete families at El Gaucho Trattoria.

“That is why my husband knows learn how to prepare every thing from scratch, from pizza and pasta to gnocchi,” spelled gnoqui on the menu.

I asked her how they could possibly be in 4 places without delay.

“Each time we open a restaurant, we spend several years training chefs and staff. Then I start serious about opening one other location.”

What to know:Naples restaurant named amongst top brunch spots in Florida

What to know

Address/phone/website: 14700 Tamiami Trail N., Naples; 239-591-5157; elgauchotrattoria.com

El Gaucho Trattoria's bar and wine room.
  • The bar is small but stunning. The covered patio faces east.
  • Reservations via OpenTable.
  • Hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m. Sunday from 1 to eight p.m. Closed Monday.
  • Menu: Five Milanesas, an Argentine mainstay, are offered and priced from $25 to $36. A dozen pizzas, including an onion fugazetta, are $15 to $19. Greater than 20 pasta dishes, too, from $20 to $34. Specialty entrees range from $45 for salmon with burrata to Angus filet mignon with lobster at $80.
  • Etc.: House wines by the glass are $12. Kids entrees top out at $15. Ample parking.


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