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A Classic is Reborn: The New Old Captiva House Officially Welcomes You.

It stands on the site of Captiva Island’s very first schoolhouse that opened its doors in 1908 to a few pioneering students and families. In 1931, when the first overnight guests to Captiva Island checked in at the new ‘Tween Waters Inn, Grace Price treated guests to homemade meals at Old Captiva House while husband F. Bowman Price tended to their fishing excursions.

Across the many years since, Old Captiva House has welcomed tens of thousands of guests to its tables — notable names like Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, J.N. “Ding” Darling, Roger Tory Peterson and more, as well as equally notable names like you.

Today, May 14, 2019, a new chapter of Old Captiva House has officially been written. After more than a year in the works and one-million-dollars-plus of investment, Old Captiva House has been re-envisioned and re-created to once again stand as the top island dining destination for its classic styling, contemporary design, breathtaking beauty and mouthwatering cuisine. And this National Registry of Historic Places landmark is ready to welcome you and your family to experience it all, for breakfast or dinner.

Chief Executive Officer Tony Lapi is excited. “Old Captiva House has a long tradition as a top-rated TripAdvisor Captiva Island restaurant,” he explains. “The time had come to ‘up our game’ and over-deliver to our guests with a new Old Captiva House that combines its classic style and feel with bright and beautiful additions.”

Laurent Bosc serves as Food & Beverage Director of Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts, and has led a team of highly talented foodservice professionals — including Executive Chef Greg Nelson, sous chefs, servers and attendants — in creating an exciting new menu of Florida-fresh favorites, along with the highest standard of service to be enjoyed on the islands. Bonus: this talented team gets to perform their magic in a sparkling all-new kitchen that rivals any in Southwest Florida for state-of-the-art preparation and presentation.

Chief Operating Officer Doug Babcock anticipates that guests — both those who’ve visited the resort in years past as well as local residents — will be wowed. “The new Old Captiva House is simply remarkable, the moment you walk through those famous doors that front the Gulf of Mexico,” he says. “Your eyes literally wander from here to here to there, with so many ‘wow moments’ as you take it all in.”

Drawing from its historic past, Old Captiva House features a delightful “Darling Gallery,” a collection of original J.N. “Ding” Darling illustrations that — over his many years as guest — he would sketch in ‘Tween Waters Inn’s registration book. The illustrations are sometimes fun, sometimes silly, but altogether fascinating in their “slice of life” in the 1940s and 50s.

Open to the public (breakfast and dinner) and available for weddings, Old Captiva House has indeed embarked on a new chapter in its remarkable history. Be a part of it — make your reservations now to see, taste and experience the best dining on Captiva Island, with a Gulf-front view of Captiva’s romantic and beautiful sunsets, no extra charge.

Visit OldCaptivaHouse.com or call 239.472.5161 (Extension 421) for reservations.

 

Old Captiva House
Old Captiva House
Old Captiva House
Old Captiva House
Old Captiva House
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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: https://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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Dinner, Dancing and Date Night on Captiva Island

Crow's Nest Captiva Island Dinner Dancing Live Music

Friday night is date night. This means Mathew and I pick a great place to eat — casual or formal, it makes no difference — and something to keep us entertained for a few hours.

We’ve had some stressful weeks at work and with summer in full bloom, it seems there’s not a whole lot of time to prep and plan, make reservations or reseach. So when I found out that the Crow’s Nest Beach Bar & Grille had us covered for this week’s “date night,” dining and entertainment included, I was thrilled to let go of the decision making and just let it happen!

Fun Fact: In 1982, the Crow’s Nest started the island’s first “happy hour,” called the 5.05 club.

‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort & Spa has two on-property restaurants open in the evening, Captiva House and Crow’s Nest Beach Bar & Grille. The Crow’s Nest is a great casual dining option and also home to nightly specials and entertainment, which made our decisions easy for this date night.

The new menu boasts funny and quirky food descriptions that made me giggle and Mathew’s stomach growl, and settled on a Lobster Quesadilla to start, followed by two “Captiva Favorites” — the beach burger and drunken shrimp tacos (because really, who could resist a description like, “We never let drunken shrimp drive, so you’ll have to eat ‘em up!”?).

While we ate, the band started warming up for a fun night of live music. With a name like Bad Banditos and a quiet island like Captiva, I wasn’t certain what to expect — but was blown away by the talent brought to this location! The band covered everything from The Police to Sublime and had us out of our chairs and dancing all night.

After all that dancing, we needed refreshments to keep us going — so I sidled up to the bar and asked for bartender to “surprise me.” To say the least, I was pleasantly surprised by the drink, but not the least bit surprised the quality. Rumor has it that the Crow’s Nest has some of the best mixologists in the area.

Overall, date night at the Crow’s Nest was such a success, we’ll probably be back next week for another live band.

 

 

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