Order this dessert and listen for the gasps from your fellow diners. They’ve never seen a dessert so huge! And from the expression on Andy’s face, he was having second thoughts about choosing a smaller slice of key lime pie.
Dig deep into a piece of carrot cake so extraordinary in taste, size and thickness of cream cheese frosting. Only at Doc Ford’s.
Everybody loves a party!
Case in point, the turnout for the recent grand opening of Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille’s new location was deemed a stand-up success! Plates overflowed with tasty Caribbean morsels, friends reacquainted over savory libations and not an empty seat was to be found.
The newly built restaurant and bar — across the street from Bailey’s at the intersection of Tarpon Bay Road and Island Inn Road — will showcase the best of Sanibel’s dining and social scene for island locals and visitors alike. So come on down, make a few friends and enjoy the tastes of the tropics!
For more information on their new location, visit their website or call 239-472-8311.
Enjoy the photographic “behind the scenes” tour of the expansive and beautiful new Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille, compliments of Andy. Hard hats are off and workers are putting on the finishing touches of what will be one of Sanibel’s most popular gathering spots. Be one of the first diners to be welcomed by the restaurant as it opens its doors for the first time in September—just around the corner, literally!
The Caribbean-themed cuisine will entice your appetite from mid-day lunch to late night imbibing. And as an added convenience, Ocean’s Reach guests will not have far to ride to the new location across from Bailey’s Center on Tarpon Bay Road.
A fun article from our friends at the Island Reporter, written by Brian Wierima:
Despite being located off the beaten path of Periwinkle Way, Pittsburgh native John Nader’s business venture 12 years ago in the form of the Great White Grill has prospered.
It’s also quite obvious to discover what NFL, MLB, NHL and college teams Nader loves, too, since they are plastered all over the walls, chairs and booths of the Great White Grill.
The color combo of black and gold dominates the theme of the Great White Grill, which obviously represent the colors of Nader’s hometown teams of Pittsburgh.
“I’ve always been a Pittsburgh fan. I had season tickets to the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates and the U of Pitt basketball team,” Nader said. “That’s all I did, that was my fun. I never figured I would ever leave Pittsburgh, but if I was, I was going to take as much of it with me as possible.”
That time came in 2004, when Nader and his family moved from the Steel City to Sanibel, after falling in love with it by vacationing the island all the way through the 1990s.
Nader arrived on Sanibel on July 22, 2004 and closed on his dream bar/restaurant (at 2440 Palm Ridge) July 28. And yes, it was literally a dream come true for Pitt native.
“My mom always said I wanted to own my own bar since I was 11 years old,” Nader said. “I always knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
But his venture into owning his own bar/restaurant had to be put on hold after he moved down to Sanibel. Unfortunately, 16 days after Nader closed on the future Great White Grill, Hurricane Charley ripped through Southwest Florida.
“(His daughter) Tess and I went down to Naples during Hurricane Charley and we figured we’d be there a couple of days, since we’ve never experienced a hurricane,” Nader said. “But we ended up living off island for six weeks and were not allowed back on the island for a week. So I didn’t know if I even had a place anymore.”
Although there was some damage to his new facility, it wasn’t extensive enough to deter his dream. So Nader “made good out of the bad” and built a new kitchen and remodeled the dining area to his liking – which meant a definite Pittsburgh feel to it.
On Dec. 21, 2004, the Great White Grill officially opened its doors.
“I was kicking around the idea of naming it after a Pittsburgh theme, but I didn’t think that would take,” Nader said. “I’ve always loved sharks and since we were on an island surrounded by salt water, I went with Great White Grill.”
But that’s about as much the Great White Grill resembles a Sanibel bar/restaurant. Nader created his own niche’ in the food community of Sanibel and serves “comfort food” such as burgers and fries, while not relying of seafood to carry the load.
Although Nader’s restaurant/bar work experience was limited to his days of bartending, he still went with what he knew.
“I feel at ease cooking with what I know and that’s cooking comfort foods,” Nader said. “I wanted a place in which I wanted to go to. The biggest compliments I receive from people is it’s like sitting in their own living room, it feels comfortable.”
And don’t forget the lavish displays of Steelers, Penguins and Pirates’ memorabilia. The black and gold is evident from the first step in the Great White Grill, with legendary uniforms on the back of three barstools of the Steelers’ Terry Bradshaw and Mel Blount and Penguin legend Sidney Crosby.
The Great White Grill is listed in Steeler books as a favorite Pittsburgh bar in the nation and is on the destination list of many Steel City sports fans when visiting Southwest Florida.
“We get a lot of Pittsburgh people through here, but you don’t have to be a Pittsburgh fan to enjoy the environment,” Nader said. “On Sundays, wear your favorite team’s jersey, it’s a fun atmosphere.
“One day, an older gentleman came up and asked for a picture with me. Here, he was a 94-year-old vet who served in World War II and was from Pittsburgh and served on the USS Pittsburgh. It was one of the biggest compliments I’ve had.”
One aspect Nader does not get to enjoy is much time off. He does over 70-percent of the cooking and also has a small, hard-working crew of three to four employees. The Great White Grill is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. so there’s not much time to take off.
He is also the proud father of a high school graduate, with Tess graduating from Fort Myers High School this past spring. She will be attending Florida Atlantic University this coming fall.
With the last 12 years going as well as another Steeler victory, Nader is happy to serve some great comfort food to his guests, along with a heavy dash of black and gold spirit.
Parisian born Chef Christian Vivet, along with his South Floridian wife and business partner Mari Vivet opened Bleu Rendez-Vous French Bistro on Sanibel Island in May 2015. Their previous bistro, Blue Windows French Bistro in Fort Myers, had a loyal following from the island. Frequent guests beckoned them to Sanibel, so they sold their bistro to come across the bridge with their existing menu and staff. With an established customer base on the island, the spot was a good fit for the veteran restaurateurs.
Christian came to the United States 30 plus years ago by way of Walt Disney World, Epcot’s French Pavilion. He fell in love with the U.S.A. and migrated to Fort Myers, Florida in the mid 1980s. A graduate of the H. Friant Culinary School in Poligny, France, he trained throughout France, Switzerland, England and Germany. He’s been in kitchens and dining rooms in San Francisco, Jean Paul’s French Corner on Sanibel, South Seas Plantation’s “The King’s Crown”, The University Club in Fort Myers and WCI’s Tarpon Cove in Naples.
Mari, the Floridian of the duo, decided to try the hospitality business as the two started an underground restaurant and wine club that led to their catering business after they wed in 2007. Her career was administrative, managing an HVAC firm in San Diego and returning back to her home town of Fort Myers to raise children while managing a national software company based in the area.
Mari and Chef Christian embrace their bistro clientele and strive to provide southern hospitality mixed with consistent fine dining French cuisine and service that discriminating diners have come to expect.
Highlights of the menu include Ris de Veau a la Creme, veal sweetbread with calvados cream, available as an appetizer or an entree; Coq au Vin; and Seafood Vol-Au-Vent, pastry filled with Maine lobster tail, grouper, shrimp, and a sherry lobster cream sauce. Desserts include Christian’s heavenly chocolate mousse, which is made with all cream (no egg whites), profiteroles with a dark Belgian chocolate sauce with a hint of orange liqueur, a rustic apple galette served a la mode, and creme brulee.
Two special menus are also available. A twilight menu is available ($30 per person) for diners seated 5-5:30 p.m. (orders must be placed by 5:45 p.m.) and a prix fixe menu is available daily ($45 per person). The prix fixe menu includes choice of three appetizers (escargot, grilled quail, or pate de campagne), dinner salad, choice of three entrees (Cassoulet au Confit le Canard, hanger steak-frites, roasted Chilean sea bass), and choice of two desserts (profiteroles au chocolat or rustic apple galette a la mode).
Reservations are suggested by calling 1-239-565-1608. See menu information online at www.bleurendezvous.com. Bleu Rendez-Vous French Bistro is located at 2430 Periwinkle Way, Suite A, across from Bailey’s.
Easter Weekend Church Services
Chapel by the Sea
Maundy Thursday(includes Holy Communion) 4:00pm
Good Friday 12:00pm
Easter Sunday 11:00am
Saint Isabel Catholic Church
Holy Thursday 5:00pm
Good Friday 3:00pm
Holy Saturday 8:00pm
Easter Sunday 7:00am 9:00am 11:00am
Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ
Good Friday 1:00pm
Easter Sunday 7:45am 9:00am 11:00am
Sanibel Community Church
Easter Sunday 6:30am (on the causeway next to bridge closest to Fort Myers)
At Sanibel Community Church Periwinkle Way 8:00am 9:00am 11:00am
Saint Michael & All Angels Episcopal
Good Friday 12:00pm
Holy Saturday 5:00pm
Easter Saturday Vigil 10:00pm
Easter Sunday 7:30am 9:30am 11:30am
First Church of Christ, Scientist
Easter Sunday 10:30am
Easter Events on the Islands
Get ready to try some world-class hibachi and world class sushi, perfectly orchestrated to delight your senses, as Sanibel Island welcomes Shima Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar, at the Sundial Beach Resort and Spa.
The upscale restaurant with a casual flair allows diners the opportunity to sit down at one of four hibachi grill top tables and experience true hibachi cooking from engaging and skillful hibachi chefs.
With high quality preparation, presentation and ingredients, guests not only experience the thrill of hibachi cooking but can also indulge in fresh hand rolled sushi. Sushi chefs create a daily specialty roll along with all the favorites, including California rolls and spicy tuna.
To view the full menu or to make a reservation at Shima, open Tuesday through Saturday from 5-10 pm, click here. The Sundial Beach Resort is located at 1451 Middle Gulf Drive, just a stone’s throw from Ocean’s Reach.
It’s not a McMansion on the beach; rather it’s the beginning of the new, relocated Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille scheduled to open late this year at the corner of Tarpon Bay Road and Island Inn Road, across the street from Bailey’s.
The new facility will feature more than 200 seats and 100 parking spaces, roughly similar in size to the space the restaurant is currently leasing on Rabbit Road.
Look for the Caribbean themed eatery’s grand opening come late 2016. We’ll keep you posted. Until then, dine out island style at any of their three locations located on Sanibel, Captiva and Fort Myers Beach.