Best of Broward / Palm Beach

Favorite Dish: Wicked Tuna Nachos From The Rusty Hook Tavern in Pompano Beach

Some things get better with time. Fine wine and liquor, for example. What you think about your ex. South Florida cougars. And, so it seems, The Rusty Hook Tavern in Pompano Beach.

One year after opening its doors at the Sands Harbor Resort last October, the New American eatery has given its menu a new focus.
With the return of busy season, the restaurant recently announced a new daily "fresh catch" section to their menu.

According to Rusty Hook Tavern proprietor Ned Jaouhar, the new direction was part of his original vision for Rusty Hook Tavern — a seafood-centric establishment — but it took almost a year to carry out. 

"Now we're working with fresh, locally-caught fish each day with fishermen that work right out of our marina," says Jaouhar. "Our selections change nightly, and we always have something new to offer."

The new "Florida’s Daily Catch" section features up to a dozen local fish — everything from yellowtail snapper, black grouper, wahoo, and mahi, to Florida lobster, pompano, and swordfish. Each day, three of these locally-caught fish are selected and prepared seared or broiled with a choice of lemon caper sauce or a more exotic Moroccan saffron and tomato-based chermoula.

The revised menu also features a few new dishes, a few "Tavern Bites" or appetizers that include a graham cracker-crusted calamari and — pictured above — the Wicked Tuna Nachos.

Jaouhar gives the dish his own signature twist, layering tricolor chips not with meat, cheese, and beans but instead with fresh-caught tuna, pureed avocado, and a zippy cabbage slaw. The resulting dish is enough for three people to share, and a colorful fusion of Asian flavors thanks to ruby red cubes of poke-style tuna piled high and smothered in a spicy chipotle aioli, and dotted with bright green pops of chopped scallion and cilantro. It just might be the best fresh catch nachos in Broward County.

The Rusty Hook Tavern is located at 125 N. Riverside Drive, Pompano Beach. Call 954-941-2499, or visit the

Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.

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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna