The New Doc Ford’s


Bar scene at the new Doc Ford’s Captiva.

The third and newest Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille has debuted on Captiva Island outside of South Seas Island Resort entrance. It occupies the former Holy Smoke Heavenly Barbecue with seating for more than 300 people.

The menu pretty much mirrors those at Doc Ford’s original Sanibel location and the one on Fort Myers Beach. Like the first two restaurants, the third serves tropical cuisine and cocktails inspired by the Doc Ford series of murder mysteries by New York Times bestselling novelist and Sanibel resident Randy Wayne White.

Recently, owners Marty and Brenda Harrity shared recipes for two of my favorite Doc Ford dishes – Quinoa Veggie Salad and Yucatan Shrimp. Below are my home-kitchen adaptations.

The passionfruit vinaigrette makes the quinoa dish bright and addictive.

The Yucatan shrimp also rates highly with the New York Times, which wrote of it: “you could eat this meal tonight in Des Moines or Brooklyn, in Paris or Jakarta, and imagine yourself on a beach staring south, the moment holding perfect as a soap bubble that might never pop.” I think my friends who last shared it with me in Minnesota would agree.


4  tablespoons unsalted  butter

Yucatan shrimp from my kitchen

Yucatan shrimp from my kitchen

1  large clove garlic, mincedJuice of two large limes

1  tablespoon sambal oelek

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1  pound large, fresh, shell-on shrimp

1  teaspoon jalapeño, seeded and chopped

2  tablespoons chopped cilantro.

In a small saucepan set over low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 2 minutes.

Add remaining 3 tablespoons butter to saucepan. When it melts, stir in the lime juice, sambal, salt, and pepper. Turn off the heat and allow the sauce to rest.

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the shrimp, cover and remove from heat; cook for 2-3 minutes or until they are just firm and pink. Do not overcook. Drain into a colander and shake over the sink to remove excess moisture.

In a large bowl, toss the shrimp and chili sauce. Add jalapeño, sprinkle with cilantro, and toss again. Serves 4, messily.


2 cups each white and red quinoa, cooked according to package directions

1/2 cup brunoise-diced zucchini

Quinoa Salad. Pretty. Delicious.

Quinoa Salad. Pretty. Delicious.

1/2 cup brunoise-diced yellow squash

1/2 cup brunoise-diced carrot (peeled)

1 cup passionfruit vinaigrettte (recipe below)


1/2 cup passionfruit puree

1/4 cup honey

1/3 cup white balsamic

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots (1 large)

2 tablespoons diced garlic

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Combine all ingredients except olive oil, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in oil to emulsify. Season. Mix together with salad ingredients and refrigerate before serving.