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Captain’s Table Launches New Bar Menu & Updates Lunch and Dinner Items

August 12, 2015

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PUNTA GORDA, Fla. – An iconic waterfront restaurant is rolling out an updated menu this summer that includes bison burgers, Asian nachos, Bahamian chicken—and more—making good on a pledge to embrace the “dynamic and bold,” company officials announced this week.

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The Captain’s Table, long considered the premier place for fine dining around Charlotte Harbor, is unveiling its first-ever bar menu and updated lunch and dinner menus throughout the summer, said General Manager Nate McKelvy and Chef Todd Stolpe in a joint announcement. Located in the top tier of Fishermen’s Village, the Captain’s Table is the flagship of Smuggler’s Enterprises, the local, family-owned restaurant network known throughout Southwest Florida for excellent food and service in a variety of settings.

“We are striving for a dynamic menu, one that’s bold and authentic,” Stolpe said. “The new items are a testament to our patrons’ interest in having exciting selections to choose from. The appetizers, main courses, and side items showcase Caribbean, Asian, and Old World Spanish influences on South Florida’s fresh seafood and locally grown, seasonal fruits and vegetables,” he said. Other innovations include a “Wild Game and Whiskey” dinner that marries full-course, table d’hôte specials—such as bison, boar, or rabbit—with specialty bourbons, whiskeys, and brandies, topped with a hand-rolled cigar on the sunset deck. Upcoming events include the “Hemingway Old Caribbean” dinner which will explore Caribbean food and old, aged Rum.

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The new Captain’s Table menu has been a team effort that began with water driven inspiration. That progressed to exploratory, kitchen-tasting sessions among the staff and then to his final recipe and presentation, Stolpe said. “Sous Chef Dustin Ferguson has been an amazing force in the kitchen,” Stolpe said. “Dustin is an excellent chef with a great palate. He can take an idea and turn it into an exciting dish where the flavors have depth and balance,” Stolpe said.

General Manager Nate McKelvy said the updated menu at the Captain’s Table simplifies and streamlines the a la carte in order to focus on what diners tell him they are looking for: “Locals and visitors alike say they want the freshest local products possible,” he said. “And everyone is keen on seasonal selections. Our new menu has the flexibility to showcase local products and incorporate preparations suited to each season,” he said.

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Diners can expect to see more salad selections on the menu and fewer “basket with fries” fare at lunch. In addition, McKelvy said, “We are expanding the chef’s dinner specials with a rotation of new dishes that, if the demand is there, will be promoted to the main menu.”

The first weeks of the new bar menu has been an especially big hit, McKelvy said, partly due to timing. The bar menu now offers selections throughout the entire day, and most importantly, bridging the two hours in the afternoon between lunch and dinner. “We had not offered specialty sandwiches, wraps, and appetizers at the bar before, but the demand is clearly there. We are delighted to be able to respond to that demand with both new items and old favorites,” McKelvy said. Complementing this new menu is a selection of craft cocktails and a list of over 30 single barrel bourbons and small batch whiskeys that McKelvy has carefully constructed.

The new menu at the Captain’s Table includes long-standing specialties of the house, such as the chef’s signature Chilean sea bass marinated in coconut—now kicked up a notch with a marinade of Thai sriracha. “Another emerging favorite is the lobster grilled-cheese sandwich,” McKelvy said. All in all, the new menu is fresher and brighter than ever before, he promised.

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The Captain’s Table is a 275-seat restaurant with magnificent views of Charlotte Harbor. It is open seven days a week, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch, and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for dinner on weekdays, and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Find the Captain’s Table on the upper deck of Fishermen’s Village, 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, Fla. 33950.
Telephone (941) 637-1177. Visit the website for news, menus, and on-line reservations at www.thecaptainstable.com

About the Team

Chef Todd Stolpe, a Sarasota native, has planned and implemented innovative menus throughout a distinguished 30-year career that began in the mid-1990’s. By 2009, he had risen to Executive Chef for a global hospitality firm. A few of his career highlights include creating a private dinner for the Prince of Monaco and accepting medals for culinary excellence from Presidents Obama and Clinton. He planned, produced, and coordinated menus and meals at major sporting events, including three Super bowls and five Orange Bowls – each requiring several thousand platings for executive and celebrity diners – and as culinary coordinator for the 2013 BCS college football championship. Stolpe is a graduate of Florida Culinary Institute where he earned a degree in the combined fields of culinary arts and business management. He has been with Smuggler’s Enterprises since 2014. “My family is here, and The Captain’s Table is the perfect venue for a chef like me, one who enjoys the challenge of catering to the full range of customers – from those who look forward to innovative cuisine, to those who expect nothing less than top quality in selection and preparation.”

General Manager Nate McKelvy joined Smuggler’s Enterprises in the fall of 2014 after seven years at the historic Gasparilla Inn on Boca Grande. Nate has assisted in planning & coordinating dining, private events and weddings for many celebrities and politicians, including the Bush family. He also holds a Level 1 in the Court of Master Sommeliers and has taken courses under Master Sommeliers in Colorado and Florida. Nate began working at a golf club dining room at age 15 and has spent the past ten years holding positions at fine dining restaurants and private country clubs in Orlando, FL, as well as, the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, CO. He graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2007. He lives with his wife and family in Punta Gorda.

For More Information:

General Manager Nate McKelvy (941) 637-1177 ext. 113
Chef Todd Stolpe (941) 637-1177

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Harpoon Harry’s Crab House wins Open Table’s 2015 Diner’s Choice Award

July 17, 2015

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We are pleased to announce that our newest restaurant, Harpoon Harry’s Crab House in Pigeon Forge, TN has been awarded the 2015 Open Table Diner’s Choice Award based on votes and reviews from our guests.  We’d like to thank our valued customers for your support!

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Laishley Crab House among Top 100 Outdoor Dining Restaurants in America

June 10, 2015

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11428135_10155681235230500_4113327167814506060_oWe’re excited that Laishley Crab House of Punta Gorda, Florida was included among the list of 100 winning restaurants for the Best Outdoor Dining Restaurants category, as rated by Open Table verified diners. Thank you for the support!

2015 Top 100 Al Fresco Dining Restaurants in America
As Rated by Verified OpenTable Diners

“With the weather getting warmer, it’s time to dine outdoors. Our Top 100 Al Fresco Dining list highlights restaurants that offer stunning views, unique cuisine and, above all, fabulous outdoor dining experiences. The list of honorees is determined after analyzing more than five million reviews of more than 20,000 restaurants across the nation – all submitted by verified diners.”

http://www.opentable.com/m/best-outdoor-dining-restaurants-in-america/

 

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Captain’s Table – Harbor’s Hottest “Best Waterfront Dining” Finalist

June 9, 2015

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Captain's Table Manager Nate McKelvy receives Harbor's Hottest recognition.The Captain’s Table was selected as a finalist for “Best Waterfront Dining” in Harbor Style’s Harbor’s Hottest for 2015.  Come enjoy the view!

 

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New seafood restaurant opens its doors in Pigeon Forge

May 21, 2015

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From Channel 8, Knoxville, TNPIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WVLT) – After two years of planning and construction, the newest seafood restaurant in Pigeon Forge is now open.The owner says he plans to offer something new and exciting for the area.

Harpoon Harry’s Crab House will offer fresh seafood daily, and it even has a deck for live entertainment.

The company already owns several restaurants in Florida and it has been in business for 35 years.

They say this will be something new for the area that they hope locals and visitors enjoy.

“Our executive chef has a ton of experience in seafood specifically the sushi chef is an outstanding addition to our team. We’re offering some stuff we think no one else in Pigeon Forge has,” says Wayne Ulum.

The company says the menu features all of the favorites from its other restaurants, like seafood, steak, and sushi.

Source: http://www.local8now.com/home/headlines/New-seafood-restaurant-opens-its-doors-in-Pigeon-Forge-304664691.html

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Harpoon Harry’s Crab House – Pigeon Forge, TN

December 29, 2014

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Smuggler’s Enterprises is expanding!  Harpoon Harry’s Crab House is currently under construction in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and will open in April 2015. Visit www.harpoonharryscrabhouse.com for photos and updates.  More information will be posted in the coming months.

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Harpoon Harry’s to bring more than 120 jobs to Pigeon Forge

December 25, 2014

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From The Tennessee Star Journal article by Michael Williams, December 25, 2014A unique new restaurant will open in April 2015 in Pigeon Forge that will bring 120 or more jobs to the area. The new restaurant, Harpoon Harry’s Crab House, is unique in that the interior is entirely custom built using rough cut red cedar, black walnut and cherry wood that was grown on a property in Pigeon Forge.

Harpoon Harry’s is being located in the former Mandarin House which closed four years ago. Transforming the old Chinese restaurant into a world class seafood restaurant was no easy undertaking and an expensive venture.

“By the time we remodel the restaurant and build on the addition, we will invest more than $3 million,” said Ron Evans, a partner in the new enterprise.

The wood used on the interior is cut from Evans’ property on Walden’s Creek Road in Pigeon Forge. The uncut timbers are brought to the restaurant construction site on Community Center Road.

The pleasant scent of cedar hangs in the air of the restaurant. The walls are covered with rough cut wooden planks hewn here on the property with a portable sawmill and cured with a portable kiln which dries out the wood. Professional carver Randy Boni has crafted out more than 60 wood carvings that adorn the interior of the restaurant. Boni has completed sculptures of dolphins, an eagle and bear, mermaids, crabs and many others.

The tables are custom made by Billy Wickey who used thick planks and joined them together to create a table top that sits atop wooden logs in keeping with the local mountain theme.

Contractors are busy installing a large wooden crab above the entrance and removing the Oriental themed façade which featured dragons. Once completed the restaurant will seat 650 diners. The restaurant will feature a bar, a wine room, a sushi bar, dance floor and a stage where local live acts will perform three times a week. Evans said he plans to hire bands that will play country or classic rock tunes. The restaurant will have more than 26,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor dining space once construction is completed.

The biggest addition to the restaurant is the deck and the second floor. The outside deck, which will overlook the Little Pigeon River, will have a stairwell that will take diners to another dining room upstairs. A construction crew is making plans to install an elevator that will take diners to the upper deck. The second floor will have an upstairs bar as well as the same rough cut motif as the downstairs. The menu will include steaks, fresh seafood, spirits and sushi as well as the catch of the day.

The location for the new restaurant has had a history of failure for other restaurateurs. Since 2007, four restaurants have failed at the same location. Evans, a Vietnam War veteran, has 35 years of success in the restaurant business and is confident of success.

Evans has developed a business model for success over the years that he said will make his current venture a triumph.

“I built our company on the principles of good food at a fair price, quality service in a clean and well-maintained environment,” said Evans. “We are building this restaurant for the locals. We want the business of the tourists but we want the locals to be happy first and foremost and we are making great strides to cater to them.”

Evans is expecting the new venture to generate as much as $10-12 million per year in revenues. The grand opening will be held in April.

Source: http://tnsjournal.com/local/harpoon-harrys-bring-120-jobs-pigeon-forge/

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2014 Haunting on the Harbor

September 18, 2014

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haunting-logoPRESS RELEASE

The 5th Annual Haunting on the Harbor Halloween Festival and Haunted House NOW IN DOWNTOWN PUNTA GORDA!

Be prepared to be scared at the 5th Annual Smuggler’s Haunting on the Harbor Halloween Festival and Haunted House. FIVE scary nights – October 24-28, 30-31, 2014, City Marketplace in downtown Punta Gorda will be transformed into an autumn showcase of pumpkin patches, hay rides, kid’s carnival games, fair food, live music, and the largest haunted house in Charlotte County.

The festival opens on Friday October 24th at 6:00pm; Saturday, October 25th and Sunday, October 26th at 1:00pm. There is a full slate of activities for both young and old. Kids of all ages will enjoy the variety of fun carnival games where everyone is a winner. There will also be a large kid’s play area with bounce houses, slides, rides, and more! Returning this year, and one of the crowd favorites, the old fashioned hayride will take a leisurely trip through the historic district of downtown Punta Gorda to view all of the Halloween-themed decorated houses! A beautifully decorated Pumpkin Patch with a professional photographer to capture your visit or memory of an outstanding costume.

Costume contests will be held throughout the weekend. The Kid’s Costume Contest will be held on Saturday, October 25th at 3:00pm- the Kid’s Contest is divided into 3 age groups-0-3, 4-7, and 8-14 years old. The Adult Contest will be held on October 25th at 9:00pm and is divided into male, female, and group categories. Our canine friends get their chance on Sunday, October 26th at 3:00pm when our Doggie Costume contest hits the Stage. There is no charge to enter any of the costume contests.

Come enjoy live entertainment each day with Zombie University kicking off the party on Friday night, Oct 24th at 8pm, On Saturday evening, world renowned hypnotist Richard Barker returns to the Haunting stage for a performance you don’t want to miss! The Jack Michael Band will finish out the night with a special high energy concert you won’t want to miss! A complete list of entertainment is available at www.puntagordahaunting.com. All live entertainment is included in the $3 gate admission.

There will be plenty to feast on at the festival too with all your carnival and Halloween favorites on hand for young and old, as well as adult beverages.

The highlight of the festival is the Haunting on the Harbor Haunted House. The largest anywhere in Charlotte County and one of the largest in Southwest Florida, enter if you dare! With over 5000 square feet of twists and turns with a different fright around every corner, it’s sure to make you heart race and you knees weak. This year, the haunted house will be even better with new special effects never seen in Charlotte County, and it’s Air conditioned too! For the younger children (10 and under) The Not-So-Scary Fun House will be available.

The Haunted House will be open throughout the weekend festival and the Haunted House ONLY will be open for special encore performances on Oct 30th and 31st, Halloween night starting at 6:00pm!

Halloween Night, make sure to include the Haunting on the Harbor in downtown Punta Gorda in your plans. The Haunted House will be open for an encore performance, in addition we will have live entertainment on stage as well as food booths and beverages available. The Haunted House opens at 7:00pm with the live music kicking off at 8:00pm, a special adult costume contest will be held at 9:00pm on stage with great prizes! There will be no gate admission on Halloween night and plenty of free parking.

So mark your calendars for October 24-31, The Haunting on the Harbor Halloween Festival and Haunted House in Punta Gorda- scary fun for all ages. Gate Admission is $3, kids under 12- free gate admission.

Haunted House admission is $9.00, Thursday Oct 30th is student night, any student with an ID receives a $2.00 discount. Additional fees charged for rides, games, food, beverages. For more information visit www.puntagordahaunting.com or call 941-637-5953.

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August 16, 2014 – 5th Anniversary Crab Fest Party at Laishley Crab House

August 2, 2014

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Laishley Crab House and Smugglers Enterprises, Inc. are excited to celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the Crab House on August 16th, 2014.

After Hurricane Charley severely damaged most of the Punta Gorda waterfront, a group of local businessmen working together as Smugglers Enterprises created a concept for a new waterfront dining location in the heart of Punta Gorda. In 2009 their concept became a reality as the Laishley Crab House opened at the newly renovated Laishley Park Municipal Marina.

Focusing on fresh seafood, flown-in crabs from Alaska, an exciting sushi bar, and great steaks, the Laishley Crab House has become the premier waterfront dining location in Charlotte County. The interior of the Crab House is no less remarkable as rustic hand cut boards and hundreds of fish, animal, and bird carvings adorn the posts, mantles, and beams of the main bar area.

5 years later the Laishley Crab House still remains the dining destination on Punta Gorda’s waterfront. In celebration of the 5 year anniversary, the Crab House is throwing a party! Actually a Crab-Fest and Street Party, to be held adjacent to the restaurant in the Laishley Park Courtyard and on Laishley Court on August 16th, 2014.

The “Crab-Fest” will feature a great selection of seafood including Alaskan King Crab, Snow Crab, Shrimp, Scallops, Mahi-Mahi, Southern Fried Catfish, and special dishes such as a Seafood Boil and Seafood Rice. Fresh Sushi will also be available. In addition to the great food and beverages available, there will also be a vendor area with lots of great shopping options. Throughout the day there will be raffles with all of the proceeds earmarked for the Vietnam Wall Memorial Fund for the Laishley Park Memorial Wall.

The festivities will kick off at 3:00pm with the REEL Ladies Fishing Tournament Weigh-In, which benefits the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Live Music begins at 3:30pm with Jersey Vic, The Jack Michael Band takes the stage at 5:30 with an acoustic show, and then Cecilia Lauren and the Ocoee River Band will headline the night with a great performance at 8:00pm. There will be a special appearance by the Jack Daniels Honey Girls from 7:00 to 9:00 with free sampling and lots of giveaways!

For more information regarding the Crab-Fest, 5th Anniversary Celebration of the Laishley Crab House please call 941.637.5953 or click on the flyer below.

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Letter from Philip F. Wilson – 2014 Riley Award Winner

August 1, 2014

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The below thank you letter was received from our 2014 Riley Award winner, Philip F. Wilson.

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