Cool Drinks and Light Eats to Make Summertime Livin’ Easy

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Cool Drinks and Light Eats to Make Summertime Livin' Easy

By J.C. Amodea

What could be better to cool off during the sub-tropical heat than to minimize your time in the kitchen with quick, cool recipes that keep palettes satisfied? What a great way to use up some of the summer’s bounty of corn with a bowl of refreshing chilled corn soup. Sourced from the Food Network, chef Alex Guarnaschelli tells us how to make it and says to be sure to chill it in the refrigerator at least four hours before serving.

We also canvassed a Naples restaurant, The Bevy, whose tagline, “Eat+Sip+Socialize” is an outright invitation not to be passed up. We asked if they’d share a few recipes, and they obliged with a few sure to please both the seasoned, as well as novice, home cook.

With summer’s heat bearing down, a visit for dinner should begin with a Bevy fresh, sweet watermelon salad made with seasonal watermelon, feta cheese, baby heirloom tomatoes and Serrano peppers, finished with a tangy pomegranate dressing. Follow that with their octopus ceviche, and dinner is made. Octopus, along with fresh local catch (for clean crisp flavor, the fresher the better) melds with the citrusy flavors of mango and orange to make a light summery repast.

And to properly chill during your own home happy hour, the recipe for their summer sensation, The Bevy’s Watermelon Cooler, a yummy combination of watermelon, rum and mint will solidify your standing as true sub-tropical climate residents.

"Watermelon Cooler"
“Watermelon Cooler”

For those who are not afraid of the heat, in temperature or libation, the famous “Cedar Fire Old Fashioned” is a cocktail not to be passed up. Described as an elevated old fashioned cocktail, its flavors are subtly infused with smoke that emphasizes the woodiness of their Mitchell bourbon. And, when added to muddled orange bitters, maple syrup and the addition of a secret ingredient – candied bacon – the result is a new life to an old beverage favorite. Invented in the early 1800s in Louisville, Kentucky, the old fashioned is equally pleasing made with good rye as the base.

“Cedar Fire Old Fashioned” from The Bevy

Now under new ownership, The Bevy has a new chef on board ready to serve the community with fresh, clean flavor profiles. Mickey Volic, the open-air restaurant’s new manager, assures that the “new” Bevy is focused on depth of flavor and in creating lifetime guests.

“The atmosphere and layout of The Bevy create an ambiance of excitement. With our new air conditioning systems, oscillating misting fans, and safety protocols, you hardly realize you are outdoors as you dine with the flourishing ‘live wall,'” Volic says.

“A well-known Bevy feature, the live wall is adorned with fresh plants and greenery that line the walls of the restaurant’s perimeter; it’s the place to be seen and to celebrate.” 

The Bevy’s “live wall”.

Chef Sandy Rodriguez, a Miami flavor creator from the award-winning The Betsy Hotel and chef de cuisine at its modern trattoria, The Alley, holds court at The Bevy and has introduced a new, healthy lifestyle menu, featuring crisp, organic ingredients and bold flavor. Rodriguez has breathed new life into the Bevy’s kitchen and has upped the ante by creating menus that are Instagram worthy, with no bites left behind.

Nightly, Chef Rodriguez serves up savory entrees, extravagant desserts and multi-tiered sweets. Every Saturday and Sunday at the Bevy Brunch, from 10 am to 2 pm, patrons enjoy double-decker French Toast and Bananas Foster pancakes along with $5 Mimosas and Bloody Marys. On Sundays, guests can also enjoy the tunes of a live DJ.

The Bevy’s Octopus Ceviche

  • 2 ounces fresh octopus (sliced and cooked)
  • 2 ounces fresh fish
  • 2 ounces cooked shrimp
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • chopped scallions, finely sliced
  • 1 diced mango
  • 1 full, segmented orange
  • 2 tablespoon citrus juice
  • 2 baby yellow tomatoes diced
  • 3 serrano peppers (seeded and diced, optional)

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper, and finish with tomato juice.

The Bevy’s Watermelon Cooler

  • 1 ½ ounces dark rum
  • 1-ounce watermelon puree
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 2 cucumber slices
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • 5 mint leaves
  • 1 orange slice for garnish (optional)

In a shaker, muddle the cucumber, mint, and simple syrup. Add dark rum, watermelon puree, and lime juice. Shake and strain into a glass with ice. Garnish with a slice of cucumber or orange. 

Chilled Corn Soup

Alex Guarnaschelli; The Food Network

  • 8 ears (about 2 pounds) fresh corn, shucked and wiped clean
  • 4 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 TBS dark brown sugar
  • 3 – 3 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 TB Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • Cut the corn from each cob into a bowl. Reserve the cobs.

Start the soup: Combine half the olive oil and the scallions with a generous pinch of salt and 1/4 cup water in a large sauté pan. Cook over medium-low heat until they are translucent and tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove scallions from the pan and set aside.

Cook the corn: Heat the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in the same sauté pan and add the corn kernels. Season with salt, then stir in the brown sugar and a generous pinch black pepper. Cook over medium heat until the corn becomes tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Finish: In a medium pot over medium heat, bring the half-and-half and 1 cup water to a gentle simmer, and add the cobs. Simmer the cobs gently on low heat, 12 to 15 minutes. Discard the cobs.

Add the Worcestershire and hot sauce and stir to combine. Add the cooked corn and scallions to the pot and simmer on low heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

Puree half of the liquid and corn in the blender until smooth, then pour back into the rest of the soup. Refrigerate until fully chilled, at least four hours and up to 24 hours.

Serve: Whisk to blend so some of the remaining corn lands in each bowl as you serve the soup.

Taste for seasoning.

Cook’s Note: To clean the corn of its silk, use a damp, sturdy kitchen towel to wipe the cobs clean.

If you go…

The Bevy

Where: 360 12th Ave. S., Naples (near Third Street South)

Hours: 4 p.m. until close, daily; 4-6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. to close, happy hour with drink specials and 50% off dining specials.

Information: Reservations suggested; call (239) 228-4220. Visit www.naplesbevy.com.

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