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Monday, July 24, 2017

Dinner at Martin Fierro Restaurant

Martin Fierro Restaurant, Naples, FL

Martin Fierro is an epic Argentine poem describing the contribution of the gaucho, or the cowboy, to the development of Argentina in the late 19th century. The gauchos in this era were apparently instrumental in Argentina's secession and independence from Spain. In contemporary Naples, FL, Martin Fierro is an Argentine steak house.

Maestro de parrilla, Martin Fierro restaurant, Naples, FL


Martin Fierro is primarily a parrilla, or barbecue restaurant. It is different in a sense that they use wood, and very different wood than most to grill their meats. Besides the usual Florida Oak, they combined this with wood from the Quebracho tree, an extremely hard Spanish wood that imparts a very unique flavor. Quebracho is derived from the term "axe-breaker".

The interior of the restaurant is long, narrow and humble, but very accommodating. There are outside dining options as well.

My dining companion and I decided to try the sample approach here, and were pleased to find out there was no split charge. After a nice basket of bread and Chimichurri sauce, which is a very pleasant amalgam of parsley, garlic, oil, oregano and vinegar, we wanted to sample their ham and cheese empanada. It was unremarkable, but served with a homogenized Chimichurri sauce which was this dish's saving grace.


Grilled watermelon salad

We then moved onto the grilled watermelon salad. It was incredible. Grilled watermelon from the parrilla was served with arugula, almonds, cherry tomatoes, Feta cheese and a balsamic glaze. This was fantastic and definitely not one of those "do not try at home dishes". It's a priority now to experiment with grilled watermelon.


Meat lover's parrilladas plate


We finished with the parrilladas portion of the menu, de rigueur for the carnivore and/or the Argentine diner. We ordered the meat lover portion consisting of Churrasco steak, short rib, pork chop, chicken breast and chorizo. It was excellent and served with mixed vegetables in a balsamic glaze with fried yucca. The yucca was the best I have ever had; crispy on the outside but soft and starchy as a potato on the inside and served with a basal aioli. The mixed vegetables were green beans, asparagus, red onion, mushrooms and grape tomatoes sauteed with a mixture of soy sauce, garlic and vinegar then finished with a balsamic reduction. They love balsamic reductions here and they work well; the mixed vegetables were one of the best parts of the meal. The portions in the meat lover's plate, in addition to the 2 sides, are easily enough for two if not three. We even had leftovers which in my dining experiences is unheard of.

The food at Martin Fierro restaurant is for the most part, excellent. The service was great, the portions generous and the prices, for what you get, kind. If you haven't been here, go. There is a reason they have been in business for almost 20 years.

That's that for another post on Forks.

Martin Fierro Restaurant
13040 Livingston Rd.
Naples, FL 34105
(239)300-4777

All major credit cards accepted; Open Monday-Saturday 11 AM-10 PM, Sunday 12-10 PM; Kid's meals available; Self-parking available.

Outside dining area
Indoor dining area
Bread with Chimichurri sauce
Ham and Mozzarella empanada
Mixed vegetables and fried yucca


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