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Captiva House Restaurant’s Secret Recipe

Captiva House Restaurant Recipe

I can’t cook. I don’t state this mildly or even humbly, I seriously can’t cook. We eat out a lot. A lot.

The closest thing I’ve made to an actual meal might be grilled cheese — and I’m not exaggerating. And while my partner Mathew is a Food Network junkie, I hate to have him cook for me every day, so we end up eating out quite a bit. But just because I don’t cook, doesn’t mean I don’t love to eat.

I have particular and wide tastes. I can’t stand cheap, generic food. Instead, I live for a spicy, exotic meal, a fantastically prepared seafood dish, a gooey handmade pasta or…an flakey wrap. And the only place on the islands to find any or all of the above, is Captiva House restaurant at ‘Tween Waters Inn.

Innsider Tip: You can now buy a $120 dining gift card for $100 (a $20 savings!) online! The card is sent to your house and then you can use it throughout the year! Buy yours now: http://tween-waters.com/shop/

The island snapper wrap isn’t just any ‘ole wrap. The name sounds casual, but once you sink your teeth into delicately cooked asparagus, savory crimini mushrooms, perfectly roasted peppers and face-melting snapper, all wrapped in a flakey filo dough, you’ll basically be living in elegant ecstasy for the next hour. Oh! And I forgot to mention this dish comes with pesto cream and goat cheese polenta all drizzled with aged balsamic glaze. When I die, you can drizzle me with all of the above.

So what good would being an INNSIDER be, if I couldn’t get the super secret “innsider” recipe for the snapper wrap, and share it with you?! After a little begging and pleading, the amazing Jason Miller, Executive Chef and Food and Beverage Director at ‘Tween Waters Inn, was kind enough to share the recipe. So grab your apron and your best Emeril Lagasse (as he is a Florida native) mindset, and I’ll grab my wine so I can watch, and get cooking! Here are the deets:

For wrap:
1/6 One roasted red pepper, chopped
1 oz Red snapper
½ Stalk of asparagus
2 oz Sliced crimini mushrooms
Filo dough
A spoonful of pesto cream

For polenta:
2 Cups water
2 Cups milk
1 Cup medium polenta
1 Package of goat cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Begin with the Snapper:
1. Cut each snapper fillet in half crosswise. Season per taste.
2. Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat until hot. Place snapper skin sides down, in skillet. Make certain to press on snapper with a spatula for occasionally to prevent curling. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Flip, and cook until opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes more.

Prepare the vegatables:
1. Chop red pepper and roast sauce pan until beginning to soften. Use only 1/6 of full red pepper.
2. Sautee asparagus until “crunch” is gone. Chop into small pieces.
3. Chop crimini mushrooms and sauté until soft.

Combining the veggies and snapper:
1. Combine the snapper with roasted vegetables, and roll in one filo dough slice.
2. Place on nonstick baking sheet in oven. Cook for 25 minutes, or until filo dough is flakey.

While baking the wrap, prepare polenta:
1. In medium pot with high sides combine the water, milk and bring to a boil over high heat.
2. Reduce the heat to low and slowly pour in the polenta while whisking constantly.
3. Cook the mixture for at least 5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon until thickened and cooked.
4. Stir in goat cheese until thoroughly mixed.

Final plating:
1. Places pesto cream on plate, followed by a few spoonfuls of goat cheese polenta.
2. Bias cut snapper wrap and place on polenta.
3. Drizzle balsamic glaze over the top and garnish with micro pea shoots.
4. Devour!

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Family Dining at ‘Tween Waters Inn

If you have a picky eater in your group, we have something in common. My youngest son could live on chicken fingers and Cheerios, so that’s another reason why we love the ‘Tween Waters Inn.

For starters, breakfast is free for resort guests (score!) — just head to Captiva House for an all-you-can-eat buffet. Feast on homemade pastries (made onsite), bowls of whole and sliced fruit, assorted cold cereals, breads and bagels, yogurts, hot cereals and cheeses. A separate menu is available with omelets, huevos rancheros, pancakes and French toast, for a nominal fee. I happen to be a big fan of the oatmeal.

For lunch, no shirt, no shoes, no problem! The Oasis Pool Bar and Grill is open 11:30 am to 5 pm and the smoke from the grills will make your mouth water. Order at the counter or grab an open table. The menu offers sandwiches, wraps, gyros, hot dogs, burgers, and salads. The Char Broiled Grouper sandwich scores high marks with my teenager.

Dinner is a toss up between Captiva House and Crow’s Nest. Both offer a kid’s menu, but Mondays and Thursdays, we choose the Crow so we can participate in their famous Crab Races. “It’s the stupidest thing you’ll ever see,” but the 6pm show is family friendly and has raised over $225,000 for the United Way. They serve a buffet on these nights; every other night they offer a large menu. Our fav is the chicken barbecue pizza and ice cream sundaes but their ‘Gulf Shrimp and Grits’ is SO good, with shrimp, chorizo sausage and cheese grits. Yum!

Your kids will love the sundaes at Crow's Nest.
Your kids will love the sundaes at Crow’s Nest.

Captiva House is the top rated restaurant on Captiva by TripAdvisor but don’t let that scare you from dining here with kids. By day’s end, my little one can be crabby, but we LOVE the food here, so we make reservations early, before the meltdown. Many times, there several other families dining right alongside us. Blue crab bisque, bouillabaisse, twin lobster tails…oh my. Instead of dessert, we have Devon (my youngest) throw a few dollars in the piano player’s tip jar. It’s a nice way to end the evening.

I hope you’ll try these onsite restaurants on your next visit. Let me know what your favorite dish was!

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Unpack and Unwind: Take a Walk Around the Resort

Carefree Couples Innsider Walk on the Beach

You and your ‘other half’ have arrived and it’s finally time to relax. With hours of enjoyment ahead of you take off your watches because now is the time to chill and get familiar or reacquainted with the unique, ‘Tween Waters Inn you are delighted to call home while you spend time on Captiva Island.

Begin by taking a carefree stroll together around the property that stretches famously from the Gulf of Mexico to the Bay. Get some sun on your faces and a little wind in your hair while discovering the places you both want to locate and return to during your visit.

  • Head to the Oasis Pool Bar on the south side of the resort, meet the bartender, order a fruit drink, take a peak at the Bar’s restaurant menu, and spend a few moments taking in the sights.
  • Across the pool deck you’ll see the children’s area, hot tubs and the poolside Tween’s Beans shop where specialty coffee and frozen treats are served all day. Visit here also to pickup the most popular and necessary pool items ranging from cotton t-shirts to a new pair of water wings.
  • Look up to the 2nd floor to find the Spa At ’Tween Waters. Take the stairs to enter the Spa or the Resort’s Fitness Center. Make appointments if you like, and also look for the quiet lanai located beside the Spa. It’s an out of the way place where you can relax for a few minutes protected from the sun almost anytime during the day.
  • As you leave the Spa go west and you’ll be walking by the Shuffleboard and Bocce Courts, as well as directly toward the resort’s Private Beach on the Gulf of Mexico. Go all the way to the beach now or save this promising adventure for another carefree walk.
  • From the entrance of the resort off Captiva Drive, look for Captiva House restaurant. This is where guests dine graciously for breakfast, and again during the evenings in gourmet-style. Step inside to make dinner reservations and browse the gift shop. Make a note of the outside seating area here that offers a place to share a meal or simply take it easy in the shade under cover. 
    INNSIDER TIP: Guests who stay two or more nights receive a $100-value resort coupon book, where they enjoy $5 off a $30 purchase or more at both T.H. Osprey Gift Shop and the Pelican’s Roost — ‘Tween Waters Inn’s on-property gift shops.
  • You have also arrived at the famous Crow’s Nest Beach Bar & Grille located right next door. This is ‘the place’ for enjoying happy hour in the late afternoon or to take in early evening and late night entertainment along with lots of fun.
  • From the Crow’s Nest walk to the east side of the property to savor a view of the ‘Tween Waters Marina and the resort’s beautiful Bay view. Find the Canoe & Kayak Club near the Boat Ramp, then the bayside Snack Center and the Pelican’s Roost Boutique near the water offering the finest, tropical fashions you’ll want to wear.
  • The last thing to sight on this unwind tour is the picnic table with a thatched roof. This special spot overlooks the ’Tween Waters Inn view of the Bay, and is located near a charcoal grill guests may use during their visit.

You’ve now strolled past all the various buildings and secluded cottages on the property. It was a relaxing walk you will likely call on for quick reference during your ‘Tween Waters Inn visit. Best of all you are a short distance from the pool, again. This will work out great if one of you thinks it’s time for a snack or to take a carefree swim. Have fun!

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