Going Through Customs in Cortez: Passports and Tapas

Todays News


Whether by land or sea, foodies and fun-seekers set a course for Cortez Village and Seafood Shack this weekend, as the community launches its Cortez Passport Program today at the Florida Maritime Museum and the restaurant prepares to unveil a special World Oceans Day celebration and kick off its “Rock the Docks” summer music series this Saturday.

A community-wide endeavor, the Cortez Passport Program unites 27 Cortez Village businesses and nonprofits in an initiative to encourage locals and visitors to explore all the area has to offer. Through the creation of a 30-page, pocket-sized “passport,” which contains information about participating locations and their offerings, the program hopes to transform its bearers into “Cortez Explorers,” earning stamps as they visit each stop. When an explorer collects 12 stamps, they can stop by the Florida Maritime Museum for a Cortez Explorer t-shirt keepsake. I am terrifically excited for the debut of the Cortez Passport,” says Seafood Shack’s Liza Kubik, “which will turn visitors to our historic village into Cortez Explorers. This cooperative neighborhood initiative brings together a diverse group in a common effort.” The official launch takes place today at the Coastal Community Celebration at the Florida Maritime Museum. Passports are free.

But while the Passport Program will be around for the foreseeable future, Seafood Shack’s Sustainable Seafood Tapas plates give diners only three days to try out the latest creations from Chef Gerard Jesse. Debuting on World Oceans Day, June 8, the plates will be available through June 10. Including a range of seafood, from Gulf Shrimp and Blue Crab Croquettes with Creole Mustard to French Escargot or Cajun-Style Boiled Louisiana Crawfish, Smoked New Zealand Green Lip Mussels or Gulf Mahi Mahi fish spread, every item on these sharable plates has been fished sustainably and harvested responsibly, certified by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. Designed for two, Jesse hopes diners will not only enjoy the flavors, but perhaps talk a bit about what’s on their plate and why.

This Saturday also marks the beginning of Seafood Shack’s “Rock the Docks” summer music series, with performance by Trevor Bystrom and a visit from the Heineken Light Boat. Bystrom plays from 3pm to 6pm, and diners get a sneak peek at the new Summer Happy Hour offerings. And between the passport, the neighborhood celebrations and regular live music on the weekends, Jesse takes a rising-tide-lifts-all-boats mentality, looking for others to join in. “We hope this will really bring Cortez together,” he says.

Pictured: Tapas plate from Seafood Shack, available June 810. Photo courtesy of Seafood Shack.

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