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New venue and mouthwatering fare at 2013 Taste of the Island

By Staff | Nov 6, 2013

The Taste of the Island is on Sunday, Nov. 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. PHOTO PROVIDED.

Islanders will be able to taste food from top restaurants at the 2013 Taste of the Island festival.

The event has been highlighting the best of local food for the last 32 years with entertainment and refreshments to benefit the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW). Twenty-three island restaurants will cook up some of their specialty dishes to taste.

In previous years, Taste of the Island was hosted at The Community House, but as the event grew in size organizers decided to move it to The Dunes Golf and Tennis Club for Sunday, Nov. 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Steve Calabro, executive director of CROW, said holding the Taste of the Island at The Dunes will provide more space for the crowds, and the parking situation will improve with multiple lots.

“It’s going to be more comfortable for guests who bring lawn chairs, relax, enjoy good food, music, and entertainment,” said Calabro. “I think that’s what people are going to enjoy the most, the space and not feeling crowded.”

Area bands "Rocker" and "Late Night Brass" will perform during Taste of the Island. PHOTO PROVIDED.

Similar to the Fourth of July Fireworks at The Dunes, the event will be scattered across the grass at the clubhouse.

Throughout the afternoon, guests will vote on their favorite restaurants and by the day’s end a “People’s Choice Award” winner will be named. Calabro said all of the participating restaurants vie for that award. Other awards include Best Appetizer, Best Dessert, Best Meat, Best Seafood, Best Take-Out, Best Vegetarian, and the Taste of the Taste Award.

Not only will guests be tasting each of the unique restaurants on the island, but they will be supporting CROW because all of the proceeds from the event benefit their mission of caring for and rehabilitating wildlife.

Organizers also announced this year’s musical guests. “Rocker,” a Fort Myers classic and contemporary rock band, and “Late Night Brass,” an 11-piece, horn-driven Tampa Bay band that plays a range of music from blues to smooth jazz, will perform all day.

The Dunes Golf and Tennis Club is located at 949 Sand Castle Road. Tickets for Taste of the Island are $5 at the gate for adults and children 12 or younger are free. Food and beverage tickets are available onsite.

Bank of the Islands/Edison National Bank is the 2013 Taste of the Islands Presenting Sponsor.

Participating restaurants include Bailey’s General Store Catering, Blue Giraffe, Cip’s Place Island Restaurant, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille, East End Deli/Sanibel Oasis Cafe, Fresh Taqueria, George and Wendy’s Sanibel Seafood Grille, Gramma Dot’s Seaside Saloon, Island BBQ, Lazy Flamingo, Matzaluna Italian Restaurant, Rosie’s Cafe & Grill, Sanibel Deli and Coffee Factory, Sanibel Fish House, Starfish Grille, Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, Sunshine Seafood Cafe and Wine Bar, The Island Cow, The Jacaranda, The Sangria Grill, The Timbers Restaurant & Fish Market, Thistle Lodge Restaurant, and Traders Cafe & Store.

For more information, visit tastesanibelcaptiva.com.