Captain Jim’s Seafood: How One of the Best Seafood Restaurants Came to Be

Captain Jim’s Seafood market began as just that – a place to buy fish. Most of the building was a processing center for fish that would go out to many of the seafood restaurants in and around town. In 1996 Jim Hanson had been asked to serve his fish on the premises so many times that he reluctantly added 3 tables in front of the fish case. 3 tables quickly became 5 and then 8 and then 12 and very soon Jim had to find another building there he could continue his wholesale seafood operation. Thus the restaurant was born.

Whole Fresh Yellowtail Snapper at Miami’s Freshest Seafood Restaurant


Jeffrey moved to Southern California from Boston in 1975 to do graduate work at the University of Southern California. He had earned spending money while in college in Boston as a union employee at the Last Hurrah restaurant in the Parker House Hotel.  After counseling elderly individuals in a hospital in Los Angles for a year, he submitted a few comedic spec scripts to a literary agent to see if his ability to find humor in everyday situations could be marketed. Two years later he was in a comedy development position with Harry Ackerman Productions, one of the most prolific companies producing comedies for Screen Gems, a company owned by Sony Pictures. In 1980, Mr. Ross was offered a chance to invest in and  co-own a seafood market restaurant in Belmont Shores, Ca. He and his childhood friend Marc Brenner, who he grew up with in West Hartford, Ct. owned and operated the Bayshore Fish Company together from 1980 thru 1989. After selling the restaurant Mr. Ross consulted for other restaurants until moving to Miami in 1994 where he was offered the job of managing the restaurants on property at the William’s Island residential resort. Having spent all of college working in restaurants beginning in 1970 back in Boston, and then for another 20 years, Mr. Ross again shifted gears and reinvented himself as as a trader of commodities and hard assets eventually owning an arbitrage company.…that is until, once again, he was approached with a seafood market restaurant for sale…Captain Jim’s Seafood Market Restaurant.

Mr. Ross did a complete renovation of the space and created a menu that included many of the favorites that customers had come to know and enjoy, but also adding a number of items from the Northeast where Mr. Ross grew up, in Connecticut. Since taking over the restaurant, Captain Jim’s has been featured on Anthony Bourdain’s CNN series Parts Unknown and has compiled a number of reviews and awards from various publications in the greater Miami area. They were awarded Trip Advisor’s 2015 and 2016 Award of Excellence and voted 2016 Best Seafood Market Miami by the New Times.

Mr. Ross is actively involved in local community projects and together with his son Lucas welcomes his clientele with warmth and gratitude.

“Still my favorite seafood restaurant and market after more that 15 years! New owner, updated decor but the same fresh great tasting food! The staff are all the same, still friendly, still courteous and still knowledgeable about all their regular customers!  Head over to Captain Jim’s, my favorites are the conch chowder, the shrimp and grits, the stuffed fish (no breadcrumbs here, stuffed with shrimps & scallops), shrimp marinara over linguine…it is all good…”                   Karen C. – Miami, FL – 10/28/2016



Wilfred hails from Haiti and divided his early childhood between there and the Dominican Republic. It was in those island nations that he learned the art of preparing and cooking seafood, along with the seasoning and sauces that make his creations so special. His first kitchen job was at the famed La Cantina in Sunny Isles, Fl. He was sous chef from 1982 thru 1988. In 1988 Wilfred accepted the position of sous chef at a Howard Johnson’s Hotel in NYC. He lasted 2 years until, “The cold weather almost killed me!” In 1990 he returned to warm and sunny Miami became the head chef at Ill Piccolo Cafe in North Miami. He remained there for 24 years turning out dishes that made him one of the most respected chefs in Miami. In 2014 the restaurant was sold and as luck would have it, after knowing and becoming a fan of chef Wilfred’s cooking for 20 years, I had opened a restaurant and brought him and his sous chef Victor Sessa to Captain Jim’s where they remain today. Every soup, sauce, dressing, side dish and our famous Key lime pie and Bread pudding are prepared by these two. I can honestly say that more than me, Wilfred and Victor are responsible for our notoriety and success.


Louis has been managing our Seafood Market for 6 years. He is responsible for maintaining the display cases and ensuring that the area remains clean and orderly. Additionally, Luis ensures that the seafood in our cooling area is rotated and maintained properly. He has been fishing since the age of 6 and at the age of 17 became a crew member on Jim Hanson’s commercial fishing boat. In addition to his management responsibilities, he is also called upon to cut and fillet fish when we get very busy. His favorite fish to fillet is Hog Snapper and he prides himself on his ability to butterfly any fish bone out! Luis has been married for 3 years and everyone is waiting for Luis Jr.

Our dedicated staff has made Captain Jim’s Seafood one of the best restaurants around Miami and Fort Lauderdale, FL. Ready to have a taste of the freshest seafood? Contact us today!