Restauranteur Gary Rack has a knack for bringing vibrant eateries with delicious cuisine to cities which didn’t know how much they needed such a place until his arrival. Rack’s Fish House and Oyster Bar is on a bustling corner in downtown Delray Beach, Florida and serves up a New England-meets-New Orleans menu. The modern restaurant was designed by Karen Hanlon Design and evokes an easygoing, yet upscale ambiance which spills out onto the sidewalk for a see-and-be-seen experience.
While almost all of the restaurants in Delray feature an outdoor dining terrace, Rack’s takes it to the next level with bright red upholstered leather booths which offer much more comfortable seating than the requisite cafe-type tables. This dining zone sits underneath the large neon sign designating the restaurant and features vintage-type dome metal sconces for lighting.
The adjacent indoor-outdoor bar is a signature for Gary Rack and quite welcomed in South Florida. Welcoming and spacious, the rectangular bar is trimmed with an upper shelf featuring tin-paneling and back-lighting which showcases the various bottles. The bar itself is adorned with square leather stools in a tawny-orange leather and features wood-clad walls and flat-screen televisions. A large maritime-themed mural sits off to the side, a quite engaging piece of art.
Known for its amazing daily happy hour–even on weekends!–Rack’s offers “Buck-a-Shuck” one-dollar oysters and Wine Down Mondays where every bottle of wine is half-price. Of course, if one misses these almost too-good-to-be-true specials, it’s still worth the trip to experience the full menu. Wood Grilled Octopus, Creole Style Calamari and Shells and Cheese (with crab, bacon and jalepenos) are some of the mouth-watering appetizers. Entrees consist of Shrimp & Grits, Barbecue Oyster Po’Boy and Seared Scallop and Pork Belly. But wait…..there’s more!
The Raw Bar is itself a culinary masterpiece with plentiful oysters, clams, shrimp, crab, lobster and mussels. Steam kettles offer oyster and seafood stews which are out of this world. An intimate curved bar with elegant black riveted leather stools sits in this corner which is next to the exhibition kitchen.
A relaxed ambiance, it’s almost as enticing as the food. White woven nautical ropes comprise the ceiling, while rough white brick walls contribute to the fresh appeal. Wood paneled ceilings are rich, while large industrial-type windows line the rear and face a bamboo garden. Metal wire baskets each with a trio of Edison bulbs are the pendants over the back booths. Tabletops consist of thick wood slabs, which add a rustic vibe.
Rack’s Fish House and Oyster Bar is just another of Gary’s gems waiting to be enjoyed.