Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille and Dixie Fish Company ring in 2024 with fresh-from-Florida flavors for the new year. Sun-kissed citrus and fresh Florida seafood shine in old-fashioned shrimp and grits, banana leaf grouper and other exciting new menu items at the popular restaurants.

“A new year is a great time for exploring new experiences, and our culinary team really wanted to highlight the tastes of the Sunshine State,” said Joe Harrity, a partner with HM Restaurant Group, the parent company of Doc Ford’s and Dixie Fish Company. “These new dishes showcase the best of Florida while also introducing other mouthwatering flavor combinations our winter visitors and regular customers will love.”

Diners will enjoy several new appetizer and entree selections at Doc Ford’s four locations, including the No. 1 restaurant in the U.S. – the St. Pete Pier, Tripadvisor’s 2023 Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Restaurants for Everyday Eats.

Succulent Florida grouper is the star ingredient of the new banana leaf grouper and chimichurri grouper tacos. The leaf-wrapped entree features roasted pepper cilantro lime pesto and fresh corn salsa and is served with black beans and rice. For the tacos, sauteed blackened grouper and lime cilantro cabbage slaw are stuffed into two toasted flour tortillas and complemented by a savory chimichurri aioli drizzle and topped with queso fresco and avocado slices.

A half pound of jumbo shrimp is roasted with a vibrant melange of orange juice, ginger, mild peppers and spices for Doc Ford’s new Florida orange ginger shrimp. Coconut jasmine rice tossed with red bell pepper and buttered green beans provide the perfect accompaniment for the entree. Customers will also love the chicken taquitos, featuring slow-cooked shredded chicken breast tossed in sweet and spicy barbacoa sauce, hand-rolled into corn tortillas, fried golden brown and served with cilantro lime aioli dipping sauce.

Fig flatbread, pairing house-made fig jam with red onion rings, blue cheese crumbles, crispy prosciutto, arugula and jalapeño vinaigrette, joins Doc Ford’s popular flatbread appetizer menu.

Dixie Fish Company on Fort Myers Beach, a 2023 Yelp Top 100 Florida Restaurant based on community ratings and reviews, offers a modern twist on traditional Florida shrimp and grits for the new year. Roasted corn and spinach add nuance to the comfort food, prepared with a half-pound of jumbo shrimp sauteed with fresh chorizo and the restaurant’s buttery special recipe grits with sweet red peppers and topped with crispy homemade fried julienne potatoes.

HM Restaurant Group owns and operates Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille and Dixie Fish Company. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., the restaurants are renowned for delivering a legendary guest experience.

Award-winning Doc Ford’s offers food with a unique balance of flavors inspired by the Caribbean Rim. Known for its sauces, spices and passion, Doc Ford’s is beloved by locals and visitors alike as a spectacular seafood restaurant serving up its signature Yucatan shrimp daily. Established on Sanibel in 2003, Doc Ford’s has expanded from its original location to three others: Fort Myers Beach and two in St. Petersburg, on the St. Petersburg Pier and in Jungle Terrace. Visit for menus and locations.

An original Florida fishhouse, Dixie Fish Company’s origins date back to 1937 when it was primarily a fish market. Today, the award-winning waterfront restaurant on Fort Myers Beach serves delicious, fresh food in an ideal location complemented by a beach atmosphere, complete with live music and picturesque views. Overlooking Matanzas Pass, Dixie Fish Company is located at 714 Fishermans Wharf. For more information, visit or call 239-233-8837.