2017-08-10 / Cuisine

Casual name belies The Warehouse’s serious approach to food, service

The Warehouse may sound like a place where you’d go for a rave — you know, those dance parties that seem to burst forth spontaneously in abandoned buildings. Instead, however, it’s a place you wind up raving about.

This sparkling new, well-designed establishment just east of Collier Boulevard and slightly north of Immokalee Road offers stellar service and an inventive menu that’s artfully executed and reasonably priced. The atmosphere is somewhat modern but in no way resembles a warehouse.

Start with the complimentary valet parking, which is the first thing you see when you pull into the ample parking lot of the standalone restaurant. The lot isn’t that large that most people can’t park and walk themselves, but it’s nice if you can’t or if it’s raining.

Inside, a smiling hostess is ready to greet you. No reservation? No problem, although they will insist on getting your name and phone number in case you leave your glasses or a credit card behind. (And who hasn’t done that at least once?)


Tim’s broccoli toast consisted of an unusual group of ingredients but was well worth trying. 
KAREN FELDMAN / FLORIDA WEEKLY Tim’s broccoli toast consisted of an unusual group of ingredients but was well worth trying. KAREN FELDMAN / FLORIDA WEEKLY We requested a booth and were led to a cozy one on one side of a wine chiller, which afforded us some privacy as well as comfort. The seats are nicely padded and, it turns out, so are the undersides of the tables, which helps absorb sound in a building that has few soft surfaces. It’s a clever way to tamp down the noise, which otherwise has a tendency to bounce unpleasantly from wall to wall making it difficult to converse.

Our server, Kaylee, greeted us swiftly and was happy to give us the brief intro to the restaurant. We learned that it opened about two months ago go, and everything is made from scratch. Then she went over the specials to help us in deciding what we wanted to drink.


Ravioli is an art form here. This version contained an assortment of wild mushrooms topped with a light Madeira cream sauce. Ravioli is an art form here. This version contained an assortment of wild mushrooms topped with a light Madeira cream sauce. The wine list isn’t extensive, but what’s there has clearly been chosen with care. There was nary a white zin to be seen, but those who like a light white will fare well with a pinot gris or sauvignon blanc.

We settled on a bottle of Ponzi pinot noir ($49) from Oregon’s Willamette Valley and were happy when it was delivered lightly chilled, as it should be, especially in the midst of this ungodly hot summer.

The wine was a fine accompaniment to my companion’s smoked shrimp cocktail ($14.50), a long plate of shrimp served with cocktail sauce and lemon, and my appetizer called Tim’s broccoli toast ($11).

The shrimp had a pleasantly smoky flavor, as did the cocktail sauce. A spritz of the lemon added a sweet citrus note to the dish.


A scrupulously fresh golden beet salad was big enough for two to share. A scrupulously fresh golden beet salad was big enough for two to share. The toast is somewhat difficult to describe. The toast was at the bottom of the bowl and had absorbed a fair amount of sauce, rendering it soggy. On top was sheep’s milk feta, white wine, broccoli rabe and a fried egg. The tender-crisp broccoli and the creamy cheese and egg were a good combination. I skipped the sogged-out toast, which served more as a foundation than an ingredient.

We split a beet salad ($12.50) and were happy we did when we saw the size of the half portion. Watercress, midnight moon goat cheese, pears, candied almonds, golden beets and a delicate lemon yogurt vinaigrette combined to form a fresh, flavorful salad.

While there are large-plate entrees, we were more interested in the smaller plates as that allowed room for sampling the appetizers and salad (and, of course, dessert).

From the Ravioli Revolution section of the menu (it appears chef Bobby Forget never met anything he didn’t want to stick into a ravioli) offered Buffalo chicken, Philly cheesesteak, four cheeses, crab cake or wild mushrooms tucked into house-made pillows of pasta.

The mushroom rendition — filled with enoki, shiitake, trumpet and oyster mushrooms along with ricotta, thyme and a light Madeira cream — might not have been as colorful as some of the other dishes, but the wonderful umami flavor of the mushrooms shone through. We left not a drop.

Also delicious was the duck confit flatbread ($14.50), a well-made crust topped with tender pieces of duck, roasted wild mushrooms, queso, caramelized figs, shaved onions and Pecorino Romano cheese.

We also enjoyed a side of the house-made pickles ($4), which started out sweet and ended with a subtle heat.

We were unable to agree on a dessert to share. I tried the espresso molten cake ($8) with a scoop of ice cream. The cake was warm with a soft, chocolatey interior that went well with the cool ice cream. My companion’s beignets ($6.50) were little fried nuggets of cinnamon-sugarcoated heaven, served with chocolate ganache for dipping.

After-dinner drinks of a tiramisu (Patron tequila café liqueur and Rumchata) and Larry’s espresso (espresso vodka, Godiva chocolate liqueur, grand Marnier and Cointreau) went splendidly with both desserts.

Service was exemplary from start to finish. Knowledgeable, friendly and attentive, our server kept an eye on us without hovering, kept our wine and water replenished, made sure we had what we needed and got rid of what we didn’t (dirty plates). She checked when we had a question about the menu she couldn’t answer. The server attendants and manager (who I think might be an owner) were equally gracious.

The Warehouse might not sound like the name of great restaurant. But in this case, it is. ¦

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