Calypso Restaurant & Raw Bar: A Pompano Beach Mainstay for Fresh Seafood and Caribbean Flavors

Calypso Restaurant & Raw Bar

There's nothing lavish about Calypso Restaurant & Raw Bar — this quirky neighborhood eatery in a Pompano Beach strip mall has no outdoor waterfront dining, no signature cocktails adorned with cutesy umbrellas. Still, I can't remember the last time I walked into a restaurant with such a relaxed, laid-back island vibe that it caused a visceral "Ah, that's better" reaction. Once I stepped through the front door, I felt protected. The evil stresses of the day were left out in the hot parking lot, like leering scumbags kept away from the girl at a nightclub by a bouncer dropping a velvet rope. During a weekday lunch of Caribbean cuisine — Calypso sells jerked fresh fish "cutters" (sandwiches) and West Indian curries — island culture gave all my tensions a smack in the face.

A waitress nearly put her arm around me as I walked into the crowded restaurant for a Wednesday lunch. "Is it just you, honey?" she offered in a soothing tone. "You sit right here with me so I can take care of you." And she did just that as I enjoyed a lunch special of a crusty blue crab-cake cutter ($10.95) served with a side of roasted red pepper tartar sauce and crispy steak fries. The more-crab-than-cake was fried to a deep golden brown and packed a punch with island seasonings and bits of peppers. Just a small amount of cracker bound the crab together, and although the homemade roasted pepper sauce was tasty, this sandwich didn't need it. If only I'd had a beach chair to sprawl on the blue-and-white checkered floor, I could have stayed right there all afternoon instead of returning to the office.

I'd first heard of Calypso from a foodie friend who said she loved dining there for the fresh seafood. "I come for fisherman favorites such as wahoo or hog snapper," she said. She spoke adoringly of the restaurant's old Florida charm and unpretentious décor. Daily offerings are etched on the green chalkboard in the dining room; it's typical to see upward of five different warm-water species listed, all from a local wholesaler.

Calypso's tasty shrimp bruschetta.
Candace West
Calypso's tasty shrimp bruschetta.

Location Info

Map

Calypso Restaurant & Raw Bar

460 S. Cypress Road
Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Category: Restaurant > Caribbean

Region: Pompano Beach

Calypso Restaurant & Raw Bar

460 S. Cypress Road
Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Category: Restaurant > Caribbean

Region: Pompano Beach

Details

Calypso Restaurant & Raw Bar, 460 S. Cypress Road, Pompano Beach. Call 954-942-1633, or click here.

Related Stories

More About

On a second visit, while waiting for my very late dining companion to arrive, I dulled my frustration with a glass of wine at the bar and made small talk with a friendly employee. Venting, I explained to him that I had attempted to bring some friends for dinner the previous Saturday but was greeted with a dark restaurant and a sign that read: "Closed for private parties." The tall, middle-aged man flashed an apologetic grin and explained that he and his wife work so hard Monday through Friday that they let the other restaurants take the weekend crowds. "We are very hands-on owners. We're tired and wanted to take our weekends back."

Turns out, he was Chuck Ternosky, who with his wife, Lora, is celebrating 21 years in business this April. Chuck created the menu and serves as executive chef, while Lora crafts all desserts from scratch. Also made in-house: salad dressings, sauces, coleslaw, and potato salad.

Not much has changed over the years. A New Times review from ten years ago mentions the same wooden bar where I sat and the same island trinkets in the dining room — fishnets, surfboards, seashells. The ambiance, oddly, was romantic enough to appease a young couple on a weeknight date and utilitarian enough to satisfy a group of snowbirds hungry for Florida seafood. There's also a new crowd at Calypso that wasn't as present ten years ago — tourists. "I used to only get one or two tourists, but now I get a lot of tourist traffic," Chuck said. "I bet 20 percent of my patrons are tourists." They all come because of reviews posted on the internet, he says.

Eventually, my nonpunctual friend and I were seated in the main dining room beneath plants hanging from the ceiling. The restaurant was just as crowded as it had been for lunch, with a steady stream of mixed-age customers coming and going. "How have you been-What app should we get-You'll never guess what's been going on!" This came out in one run-on sentence when my friend Blondie sat down before seeking routine counsel for her love life. Calypso is the perfect setting for dining with a friend who needs a mental-health boost. You barely need to offer your pal a single dollop of encouragement, because the restaurant's food and its lovely staff serve as built-in mood enhancers.

I quickly ordered oysters Rockefeller ($9.95) and the shrimp bruschetta ($9.95 on special). Once the dishes arrived, Blondie no longer needed her customary therapy session. The plump, juicy shrimp were tossed with a tomato/garlic/parsley mixture with flecks of cilantro atop crusty white bread. As we crunched through the seafood starter, the dish felt like standard comfort food. The gulf oysters were so plump and fresh, they erupted into mouthfuls of briny liquor at first bite. It was a shame, though, that such incredibly succulent oysters came smothered in a processed spinach spread. Had they come layered with fresh spinach and grated Parmesan cheese, we wouldn't have needed to dig them out from their burial inside a plot of chemicals.

1
 
2
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
2 comments
addicted porn
addicted porn

This is nice post.  Such a lovely dish is posted here.  A roasted fishhave delicious in taste.  A content contain by this post is best.online casinos

Dennis
Dennis

You didn't really do a review of calypso without even mentioning their jerk wings? Really?

 
Loading...