The Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce officially welcomed The Jac Island Grille and Rum Bar, Sanibel’s newest eatery, on July 11 at the restaurant’s location,1223 Periwinkle Way. Nearly 30 Jac staffers and Chamber members, led by Chamber President John Lai, joined Jac owner Eve Alves to watch the ribbon fly.
“We are really excited to be part of The Jac’s grand opening,” Lai said. “The restaurant fits so well with Island living. The menu is diverse, the food is fresh, and I love its farmhouse feel,” he added.
Occupying the site of the old Jacaranda, the new Jac has retained the former restaurant’s iconic exterior, “but we have completed transformed the interior,” Alves said. “Our Jac has new floors, new walls, and new tables and chairs. We have also brought in state-of-the-art kitchen equipment,” she added.
The restaurant, which comfortably seats 200 diners, includes a large dining area, the Sanibel Room, the smaller Captiva Room, and a bar that connects the two. The Jac also has an intimate dining space, the Captain’s Quarters, and a soon-to-be-opened Rum Bar, to be located in the back of the property. An outdoor seating area is also available, weather permitting.
The Jac boasts 10 kitchen staff to assist executive chef Philipe Schroeder. Schroeder, who trained at Le Cordon Bleu, worked for eight years at a five-star restaurant in Texas before migrating to Sanibel.
Schroeder has designed “a truly scratch kitchen.” All items, including soups, salads, dressings, pastas and breads, are made in house. “Even steak is hand cut on site,” he said.
“Our vision is farm to table,” Schroeder added. “Everything is delivered fresh. Nothing is frozen, except for ice cream and frozen desserts, and nothing in our kitchen comes from a can. Freshness is our most important ingredient.”
Alves is particularly proud of the Jac’s Sunday brunch menu, which includes such delectable items as eggs benedict, steel cut oatmeal and steak and eggs. “Philipe and our staff make our English muffins and biscuits from scratch,” she said, “and banana bread pudding is the basis for our French toast.”
Schroeder has made a point of customizing his menu to customer tastes. “We have vegetarian entrées, we make adjustments for allergies,” he said, “and almost any of our menu items can be converted to gluten-free.”
The Jac Island Grille and Rum Bar restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., with the bar remaining open until 2 a.m. Happy Hour is from noon to 6 p.m., and Sunday Brunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information on the Jac Island Grille and Rum Bar, navigate to its Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/thejacislandbarandgrille/ or phone 239 472 1771.
This article was originally published in the Santiva Chronicle.