Fresh stone crabs sold by the pound, packed on ice and cracked to order.
Whenever I visit a place that is next to the ocean I crave fresh seafood that is minimally adorned, preferably with nothing fancier than butter and a little garlic or lemon. For this reason, Captain Kirk’s Stone Crabs is usually my first stop when in Florida. Kirk’s isn’t so much a restaurant as a few tables crowded into a tiny fish market off the main drag, but it’s a welcome antidote to the cluster of high-end touristy restaurants half a block away on 5th Ave. The food is delicious, the staff is friendly, and the fish is so fresh that it actually tastes better with less on it.
I first went to Kirk’s on the suggestion of a friend who raved about their simple but delicious fresh caught blackened grouper sandwich. Captain Kirk’s recently came under new ownership, and the last time I had the fish sandwich it was a little different from the one I first fell in love with–but it is still worth a stop. There is nowhere else that I know of in downtown Naples where you can grab a fresh fish sandwich so simply prepared and for (relatively) little money.
The real star at Kirk’s are the stone crabs that the establishment was originally named for, and which continue to be as fresh and incredible as ever. When they are in season, we like to pick up a couple pounds of these and bring them back to the apartment to eat for dinner with rice pilaf, asparagus, and melted butter with lemon for dipping. I can’t think of anything I would rather eat on my first night next to the ocean.
After 17 years of ownership at Captain Kirk’s Stone Crabs, Damas and Pat Kirk recently returned to nearby Goodland to open Kirk Fish Fresh Seafood Market. They don’t serve fish sandwiches, but they do offer delicious fresh stone crabs along with tons of other seafood fresh from the Pacific.