For Hometown News
Riptides Raw Bar & Grill in Ormond Beach is celebrating its first anniversary, but it still has the same clean interior with tasteful photographs on the wall, background music you don't have to shout over to be heard and a full menu of some of the tastiest and more unique items you'll ever find.
Despite its beachside location at 869 S. Atlantic Ave., it has plenty of parking.
"We also have valet parking all summer long, as well as weekends during the winter," said Shawn Flaherty, chef and general manager. Brad and Mary Hoffman are the owners of the restaurant. They also own a Twisted Kilt franchise in Orlando.
The spacious, main room is uncluttered with the table spacing generous. The center of the room is anchored with an expansive "U" shaped bar with seating for about 25 people. It also has 7 or so LCD TV monitors, all broadcasting different sports events. There is a secondary room to the left that contains the oyster bar as well as the table shuffle board game and a pool table. The oyster bar was very popular as there were half a dozen at the bar eating oysters as they were being "shucked."
Again photographs festoon the walls continuing into an adjoining banquet room capable of seating more than 100 people for private parties, meetings, luncheons and receptions.
"We're open from 11 am 'til midnight right now and we stay open later if there are people here," Mr. Flaherty said. The capacity of the restaurant is 368.
Mr. Flaherty's career in cooking began at age 14 and it is his passion that is the engine that runs the restaurant.
His use of certain ingredients in each dish revealed his desire to satisfy the palate as well as the appetite.
A Spring Roll has become a riptide specialty -- a wrap around shrimp, avocado, cream cheese and a helping of "secrets." It is a must appetizer. Likewise their Caribbean Chicken Nachos defy description. Their special Riptide sauce also is a palate pleaser.
Also enjoyable are the Surf and Turf Bisque, which combines specially prepared prime rib "chunks" and shrimp in a creamy sherry bisque. "It's not a soup and it's not a bisque," Chef Shawn said.
Mr. Flaherty's favorite dishes among the many he has created are the Key Lime Grouper or the Key Lime Shrimp pasta.
"We didn't want to be another run-of-the-mill beach restaurant that serves seafood," the chef said.
Besides serving dishes made with fresh products, they also make all their own sauces, glazes, dressings and remoulades. "Our goal here was to be a Floridian style ... centered around local and fresh seafood," he said.
Riptides' website is riptidesrawbar.com, which has the complete menu. The phone number is (386) 256-4799.