Hidden Treasure on Lighthouse Island-Cap’s Place

Cap’s in days gone by-circa 1928 (Photo:Cap’s Place website)

The West Palm beach area of Southern Florida is a tourist paradise.  Ok, nothing new.  I was staying at the Crane’s Beach House and Tiki Bar, which turned out not to be as exotic as I expected, right in the middle of the series of communities that make up West Palm Beach, and I was hoping to find out what the area was known for, food-wise.  One of the hardest things about the quick business trips I take is that there is no time to explore and find interesting local restaurants.  I shouldn’t complain.  After all, I am there to set up, shoot, and get out as quickly as possible.   A columnist friend of mine, who I trust implicitly when it comes to such matters as food and music, told me to expect nothing of the area but “middle aged white-guy food.”  After my first meal there, I began to suspect he was right.  I won’t go into the details of that first meal except to say that the texture of calamari and shrimp when served in a pasta dish, should not be the same as a bicycle tube.

The exterior of Cap’s Place, today.

Fortunately for me, Yelp.com came to the rescue the following night.  With their help I found a seafood restaurant called Cap’s Place on Lighthouse Island and when I read that it had been there since 1928 and you had to take a boat to get there, I was hooked.  No pun intended.  You will find a short video of the boat that takes you to the island.  Cap’s is not an upscale restaurant.  It is an old building, wind and weather-worn and, I think, listing slightly to the left.

My meal started with bacon-wrapped scallops in a puddle of lemon butter sauce.  They were perfect.  Crisped bacon on the outside and the scallop warm and tender inside.  How do they do that?  Commercial fryers of course, but I like to think a group of blond mermaids are in the back magically making them.

Cap’s Place Interior

Next up for the entree, an assortment of fish and shellfish, grilled to even greater perfection than the starter.  Dolphin fish fillets, shrimp, yet more scallops and clams.  All the food, I was assured, was fresh catch of the day and I don’t doubt it.  Nothing stays overnight in the walk-in here.

To end it all, Key Lime Pie.  Not too tarte not too bland, but again perfect.  I neglected to ask if they made it themselves so if anyone knows, comment.

Top all of that off with a confident friendly staff that provides expert restaurant service and you have a great meal.  Below is a video of the boat that takes you to Cap’s Place.  An adventure in itself, piloted by the intrepid Captain Joey.