Capri Fish House crafts drinks ‘n desserts

  • Overall restaurant prices vary from around $9.99 for appetizers, lunches between about $12 and $20, under $20 for early-bird specials, and between $20 and $40 for dinner items

It’s one thing sipping cocktails near the water, but it’s something entirely different when you can do so with tidal ripples actually lapping at your feet.

The delicious pina colada has a secret mix (pineapple and coconut) with rum.

Over at the Capri Fish House Restaurant on the Isles of Capri, outside dining can be exactly that – on a mini-beach – provided you’re wearing flip-flops. Otherwise, the choice is a breezy chickee bar and dining area, or thirdly an air-conditioned inside dining section with big windows and a view of Tarpon Bay.

For our ongoing series on local restaurants drinks and desserts, the Sun Times moseyed over to this ultra-casual eatery, which the Castellano family has run for the past 12 years.

But thirst things first.

The rum runner is with mango, strawberry and rum.

Mixologist Tony Mejia quickly conjured up a margarita with Triple Sec and tequila, a homemade sangria with house-secret ingredients, a classic rum runner with a lemon mango, strawberries, banana and cherry base, and also a pina colada with blended rum, pineapple and coconut to complete a most flavorful foursome.

“People often say ‘surprise’ us, so we ask them if they want something sweet, sour or fruity,” Mejia said. “Everybody likes what we make.”

In the kitchen on this particular day, chefs Winston Louis and Dolores Mejia chose the restaurant’s popular peanut butter pie (with cream and strawberries), a classic homemade key lime pie, a thick and creamy coconut pie, and an equally creamy cheesecake.

The chef's creamy cheesecake has a slightly more solid texture than normal.
The key lime pie is made in-house.

Casual aspect aside, incidentally, the family also prides itself on producing gourmet meals as well as more staple fare.

Some higher-end dinner items include Seafood Capri (with mussels, shrimp, with mussels, clams, snapper and lobster in a shrimp sauce with veggies); the Mixed Grill (with shrimp, scallops, grouper and lobster along with veggies and potato), and Grouper Trinidad (sautéed grouper along with baked tomato, artichokes, vegetables and potato.

Portions, incidentally, are very generous.

Overall restaurant prices vary from around $9.99 for appetizers, lunches between about $12 and $20, under $20 for early-bird specials, and between $20 and $40 for dinner items. Dinners for two can run around $60 (for seafood bouillabaisse, for example).

The menu, of course, includes meat and chicken dishes, along with assorted salads and pasta options.

Michael and Theresa Castellano, along with son Mikey and daughters Annie and Theresa, have other entrepreneurial fingers in the pie, too.

Mikey runs a kayak and personal watercraft tour business as well as a food boat that serves throngs of boaters on the shores of nearby Keewaydin Island, while his sisters are hands-on with a new café, deli and convenience store just down the road near the Isles' community center. In addition, Theresa Castellano is a Realtor with an office in the same building.

"Everything is now revolving around Capri for us," Michael Castellano said.

On the cover: Capri Fish House's homemade key lime pie takes pride of place among the desserts.

If you go

What: Capri Fish House, Isles of Capri, next to the firehouse

Food: Specializes in seafood dishes; meat, chicken and pasta as well

Hours: Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for lunch; 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. early bird, and kitchen closes 9:30 p.m. Sunday buffet, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., lunch 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Reservations: No

Events, parties, take-out, catering: yes

Prices: Low, to mid, to mid-upper

Telephone: 389-5555