Towards the far end of the Sanibel/Captiva Island Peninsula lies Historic Captiva Village. This is a collection of unique art galleries, boutiques, shops, and restaurants. Parking around here is very tricky. Most restaurants have designated parking for patrons only. RC Otters has a parking lot right in front. Stalk someone for their spot.
This charming little outdoor/indoor dining establishment features Live Entertainment, an enormous menu, ample seating indoor/patio/shaded/or unshaded tables, free flowing libations and it is very dog friendly. The moment you walk in there with dog in tow, there is a cold bowl of water set out. Outdoor seating to the right is smack dab in front of live music or for a not so music blasting experience the left side offers nice shaded tables. If the Florida sunshine is too hot for your vacationing body cool off indoor. This is beach restaurant with all the charms of beach activities. Try your hand at “Slinging the ring over the nail”. It is a “game” right by the greeter area. Probably, for waiting patrons or to fuel drunken brawls. Whichever, it seems like a fun way to show off. Some of the seasoned staff will lasso the nail in one try and put you to shame. Wonder if there is free booze if you make the nail?
The menu is typical island/beach with a host of breakfast, lunch, and dinner items. I’ve noticed that Breakfast is a big activity in these parts. I wonder if the distinguished population has anything to do with that? This being a family friendly restaurant there is also a kids menu. Breakfast items are eggs, waffle, toast, omelets, pancakes, and fruits. Lunch and Dinner offers Salads, Seafood shucked, steamed, grilled, blackened, baskets, stews, Steaks, sandwiches, platters and pasta. Is there any item this restaurant does not carry? They boast over 100 items, holy molly. After searching and haggling for parking, driving all the way to the end of the island or frolicking in the crystal clear Gulf of Mexico, this is the one stop that caters for all your dining needs.
FAMOUS CAPTIVA FISH CHOWDER Tasty tomato based recipe overloaded with savory fresh seafood. Thick, brothy, chunks of seafood. A real treat!
FAMOUS BLACK BEANS ‘N’ RICE An Islander favorite – sided with sour cream, topped with sweet onion bits, salsa and cheese. Rich tomato base, very flavorful.
OYSTER ON THE HALF SHELL Half dozen – Fresh, plumb, succulent. No trip to the beach is complete without slurping down a few of these.
STEAM ‘N’ AWAY – Shrimp, oyster, clams, veggies, potato, steamed in a broth. Although this mixed pot was not listed on the menu, the staff accommodated. I would have liked a greater ratio of seafood to veggies, but that is because I am not too keen on my veggies. Yes, I know, got into trouble a lot as a kid for not eating my veggies.
CRAZY CRAB CAKE Our famous jumbo delicacy served with a tropical mango dip. Nice filler to crab ratio, real chunks of crab in every bite. Mango Dip was heavenly.
ANY FISH YOU WISH PLATTER Fresh catch of the day, (Grouper) just the way you like it! (Grilled), bronzed or blackened. See the size of that piece of fish? That is a portion to fill up any cravings. It does not get any fresher than this. The simple grilling allowed the full fish flavors and textures to shine, no frills, no fancy cooking techniques, no manipulation of taste, just straight forward food. Love it! The mash potato and rice held their own.
This is the epitomy of island dining. Great food served open air, great music, dog lying in your lap or on the sand, sand in your toes, cold brews, great festive staff, food that speaks for itself, and sun kisses from the Gulf of Mexico. Is there anything better than this?