SANIBEL, Fla. (December 15, 2020) — The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) announced the winners of the 39th Taste of the Islands.  This year’s “Reimagined” event featured 31 restaurants from Sanibel and Captiva that diners visited throughout the month of November.  Local judges Harold Balink, Gina Birch, Karen Feldman, Jarred Harris, Gloria Jordan, Norman Love, Patrick Nolan, and Geoff and Robbie Roepstorff along with surprise celebrity guest judge Keegen Gerhard of Food Network rated the restaurants’ offerings in a variety of categories while Passport holders voted for the ‘People’s Choice’ award sponsored by Rosier Insurance.

Taste of the Islands Winners:

Best Appetizer: Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant – Lime Zest and Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna

Best Meat: The Timbers Restaurant & Fish Market – Lamb Lollipops

Best Seafood: Old Captiva House – Cioppino

Best Vegetarian: Sanibel Fresh – Vegetarian Burger

Best Dessert: Spoondrift Islands Bowls – Coconut Tres Leche Cake

Best Adult Beverage (tie): Doc Ford’s – Toasted Coconut Colada AND Tipsy Turtle Restaurant & Bar – Shellshock Punch

Taste of Taste:  Old Captiva House – Cioppino

People’s Choice:  MudBugs Cajun Kitchen


“We really wanted Taste to be successful for both CROW and our restaurant partners and I think we can say it has been.”, says Alison Charney Hussey, Executive Director for CROW. “It took a little getting used to the new format but I think the community really embraced it and enjoyed exploring the restaurants throughout the month.  We are so blessed to have the support of such amazing sponsors, restaurants and patrons!”


The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife would like to thank Bank of the Islands/Edison National Bank for returning as this year’s Presenting Sponsor. This is the eleventh year in a row that the bank has led the sponsorship for CROW’s signature fundraiser. CROW would also like to thank the event sponsors which include FOX 4 as Lead Media Sponsor, The Silverman Organization and VCA Sanibel Animal Hospital as Executive Chef Sponsors, Jensen’s Marina & Cottages, The Inns of Sanibel, Rapid Response Team of Fort Myers and Royal Shell as Sous Chef Sponsors, and The News-Press, Naples Daily News and LOCALiQ, Happenings Magazine, Island Sun & River Weekly Newspapers, The Sanibel Islander/Island Reporter, and Santiva Chronicle as Supporting Media Sponsors.


About Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW)

Established in 1968, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) is a teaching hospital saving the sick, injured and orphaned native and migratory wildlife of Southwest Florida and beyond.  Through state-of-the-art veterinary care, public education programs and an engaging visitor center, CROW works to improve the health of the environment, humans and our animals through wildlife medicine. For more information, or to plan your visit, go to If you find an animal that is in need of help, call (239) 472-3644 ext. #222.