With the high season upon us, and the challenge to find great food, good prices and a secluded restaurant off the beaten trail, The Capri Fish House on Isles of Capri is an excellent choice for seafood, steaks and poultry with an Old Florida feel and great hospitality.
Imagine a Seminole chickee hut on a quiet little beach. Now imagine wavelets breaking on the beach as a fleet of fishing and pleasure boats tug at their moorings. Located at 203 Isles of Capri Blvd., and settled on the shore of Johnson Bay, The Isles of Capri Fish House offers an awesome waterfront sunset, early bird specials and great seafood with excellent service and an indoor-outdoor atmosphere with something for everyone.
With one our most recent balmy days winding down behind the mangroves, the culinary adventuress and I were greeted by the tangy saltwater breeze flowing in from Johnson Bay. After choosing the waterfront and beachside chickee-hut dining option, (there is also a wonderful and cozy indoor dining room,) we were graciously welcomed by Tatiana. Our host and server is from Poland and her hospitality skills certainly reflect a more formal and personalized service than one would expect from a charming but rustic chickee hut dining room with dock-wood floors and Key West character.
After nestling in to a beachside table, Tatiana offered beer and wine selections as the lure of the waterfront worked its magic. The Capri Fish House just might be one of the best waterside dining options available in Collier County.
With a pair of ice-cold Amstel lights pearling the dewdrops nicely, we ordered the Oriental Scallops for an appetizer. For $ 9.95, this generous serving of large scallops has a real Asian-fusion zing with a pan-sautéed-flambéed flair as garlic, ginger, and chili peppers; mingle with soy, sherry, and a touch of Worcestershire sauce.
After a few questions and Tatiana explaining that all the entrees and appetizers are fresh, we decided upon the Grilled Tilapia with rice pilaf and mixed vegetables for $ 14.00. We also chose the Seafood Mixed Grill for $ 26.00.
At The Capri Fish House, salads are included with the entrees and the homemade salad dressings are excellent. I chose the blue cheese and Vicki Lynn chose the balsamic vinaigrette. She described the salads as crispy fresh, with watercress, mixed greens, and obvious homemade dressings.
With the soft lights of Naples rising over the mangroves, Tatiana served diner and we were immersed in the senses. With a sprig of fresh rosemary rising from the center of each entrée, a great scent of seasoning introduced the dining experience.
The Tilapia was an excellent example of a mild but wonderful fish that carried a gentle herb flavor that was truly exceptional. The accompanying mixed vegetables included asparagus, cauliflower, green beans, and red and green peppers. The veggies were fresh and crisp and perfectly prepared.
The Seafood Mixed Grill was an awesome combination of Florida lobster, shrimp, grouper, and scallops marinated with fresh herbs and extra virgin olive oil. The petit Florida lobster tail was grilled and succulent, with a perfect touch of herb-infused flavor. The grouper was moist and savory, with just the right hint of herbs, and the shrimp and scallops were perfectly paired with a rice pilaf and the same great combination of colorful peppers, cauliflower, and green vegetables.
The entrees were as good as the appetizers and after speaking to Jerry (a two-month visitor to Isles of Capri,) he confessed the Capri Fish House was his favorite and after sampling almost everything on the menu, he declared that all entrees from the Capri kitchen were awesome. Our compliments to Chef Jean Luis: a true culinary journeyman with a passion for seafood, a gift for presentation, and a flair for bringing Old Florida into the present.
For dessert, Tatiana suggested the Chef Jean’s homemade Key Lime Pie for $4.95. With a garnish of fresh strawberries, lime slices, and whipped cream, the homemade graham-cracker crust of this island tradition will offer a perfect finish to any Capri Fish House meal.
The Capri Fish house is open Monday thru Saturday from 11:00 am until 9:30 pm, and is open for Sunday Brunch buffet from 11:00 am until 9:00 pm. Information and early bird specials are available by calling (239) 389-5555.
Whenever searching for a unique, waterside dining experience, immersed in island tradition, visit Tatiana (who might be mistaken for a young Ingrid Bergman) and the friendly staff at The Capri Fish House: an extraordinary restaurant with a gifted chef and an amazing location.