Off the Hook was a locals’ favorite during its tenure on Simonton Street, and the new location on Caroline points toward a rosy — and tasty — future. Co-owner Sophie Klober confirmed that the restaurant was closed for about six months as they transitioned to the new location, to be sure “Everything was freshly painted and we had a nice clean slate that we wanted to start with.”
The restaurant has clean lines and nautical touches, with a bright, open dining room and back room pub that serves food until midnight, a beloved feature of that restaurant location (anyone remember P.T.’s Late Night?). While the seafood standards have remained on the menu at Off the Hook, there are unexpected and interesting new items.
“The menu is updated as well,” said Klober. “Some of the things carried over, but we felt the need to change it up. We have everything for vegans, gluten-free, and meat lovers!” The menu indeed runs the gamut, from light and fresh, like the seafood deviled eggs with shrimp, crab and jalapeno, served with gorgeous petite peppers that deliver a bright burst of flavor in the mouth (thanks for the tip, super star server Wendy Tucker) and the simple, delicious tuna poke.
Off the Hook also goes off the beaten path when it comes to standbys we’ve seen for years on the Key West culinary scene. Instead of a Reuben, there is a Pastrami Slaw Salad, a deconstructed version that has the brine, crunch and creaminess without the weight of the classic. The Greek Nachos are a standout too—a familiar texture with flavors of black olive, feta cheese, shredded spinach, shaved lamb, and warm tzaziki sauce (Seriously, they are a must-try). Everyone agrees the Duck Bacon and melt-in-your-mouth Pork Wings are some of the best bites in town for carnivores.
The restaurant also offers a variety of sandwiches — the lobster and shrimp roll, super fresh and on a buttery roll, and a fried shrimp wrap special with white cheddar and pineapple were stand outs — as well as entrees like fresh rosemary garlic hogfish with grilled heirloom tomato. Plus, Off the Hook is affordable. There’s offer a good price on stone crab ($21 a half pound) and “All Day IPA,” $4 a draft. From 4 to 6 p.m., drinks and small bites are all around $5 for a buzz and satisfying snack that won’t break the bank.
Stop in the Caroline street digs and bring your appetite. The incredible seafood and new spins on old favorites at Off the Hook are definitely on point.