Calypso Restaurant & Raw Bar: Fresh Seafood and Caribbean Flavors in Pompano
I’ve been raving about Calypso Restaurant and Raw Bar in Pompano Beach for years.
And now they just received a real nice write-up recently, so you don’t have to take it from me (or the many others who’ve commented on this board). Check it out:
Calypso Restaurant & Raw Bar: A Pompano Beach Mainstay for Fresh Seafood and Caribbean Flavors
So I thought this gem deserves its own thread. (BTW I’m not an employee, personal friends nor related to the owners, just a big fan for a long time).
Calypso actually opened the day I moved to FL from NY 21 yrs ago this month. And it was an eye-opening introduction to a whole new world of wonderful flavors. I'm talking about jerk and conch... rotis and flying fish... ginger beer and key lime pie... and lots more. It's in a bland strip mall in the middle of nowhere.
Good. Keep the rent down and spend more on what counts: food. And once you are inside the friendly and relaxed "Island Vibe" will take you to another place anyway.
The menu features tons of fresh seafood and terrific sides. But on a recent visit, we ordered several of my favorite old standbys: Conch Fritters, Pork Havana Nuevo, and my downscale-but-beloved Jerk Wings.
The conch fritters were great. I have my own recipe that I’ve been making for years and it’s pretty darn good. But when I bit into Calyspo’s, I realized something. It was the flavor I’ve been attempting to re-create all this time at home since I first tried theirs way back in 1990. I can come close but definitely no cigar. Calypso’s are the best. We received a nice sized portion and they seemed to have plenty of conch – no small accomplishment given how the price of conch has gone through the roof.
My wife’s side salad that came with dinner had the ginger dressing and she said it was excellent (I was busy washing down the fritters and hot Matouk’s sauce with a cold beverage).
The jerk wings were as good as ever, hot and juicy and perfectly matched with the cooling green peppers and honey mustard sauce. These wings were my introduction to jerk way back in the early 90’s and it’s still as good as ever. I’m sure they are still using Walkerswood and that’s always been the best in my book.
Wife had the Pork Havana Nuevo. I think we first had this at Norman Van Aken’s years ago. Now, it was wonderful again. The tasty black sauce served over black beans and rice – wow. And then I grabbed one of the fried plantains. OMG. These were ridiculous. So sweet and flavorful – these alone are remarkable and would probably make a nice dessert in fact.
The atmosphere was as fun and welcoming as always, the service flawless. Owners Chuck and Lora have always seemed to have the policy that “EVERYONE gets the best treatment”.
Considering all that you get, Calypso remains one of the real shining gems on the South Florida dining scene.
Calypso Restaurant & Raw Bar
460 S Cypress Rd, Pompano Beach, FL 33060
Four of us went last night and had quite a few of their dishes. The shrimp bruschetta was as good as everyone said it was - yum! The grilled conch was pretty good as were the crab cakes. The jerk wings were great as were the fresh oysters. The cobia, one of the fresh catch of the day specials, was unfortunately overcooked. We shared one dessrt, the banana cream pie, and it was great. We all agreed that Calypso is a great restaurant and will be returning again.
I have had this on my list of places to try along with a few others in the area like Chez Porky's and Taqueria Dona Raquel (the latter which I have made it to). I hope to make it this summer when I venture down for Braves/Marlins games.
FYI for those who don't know - they are closed on Saturdays and Sundays.