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Catalina Restaurant
Catalina Restaurant

Catalina Restaurant Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.catalinarestaurant.net/
  • Phone: (954) 563-4141
  • Hours of Operation: Daily Hours: 11:00am - 11:00pm
  • Cuisine: Cuban
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Full Bar, Takeout, Wheelchair Access

Getting there

  • Parking: Private Lot
A word from Catalina Restaurant
Simple elegance. Old-world charm. Creative cooking.
Step into Mario’s Catalina Restaurant and you instantly feel the hustle of the city fade. Soothing colors, soft lighting, crisp linens and fragrant aromas all conspire to transport you to a more tranquil setting.
While Catalina’s ambiance is undeniably appealing, dining out really is all about the food! That’s why co-owner and chef, Mario Flores, went to great lengths to create a menu of Spanish and Cuban dishes that complement each other.
The result: authentic Latin food masterfully prepared. Add to that attentive service and a chilled glass of simply the best Sangria in town, and you’re well on your way to a memorable experience!
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
Diner Reviews
  • "Excellent food and service. Owner was very visible and attentitive."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "The food and service were well above average. The staff was especially awesome with our four kids. Phenomenal food, top notch service. Highly recommend."
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "Staff is very attentive and Mario makes it his business to greet everyone personally and make them feel welcome"
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "the salad was very oily, very overdressed. the prices are ridiculous for the quality of food. the owner was not very hospitable anymore once he new we were just on vacation, still gave us business cards to put out for him at our hotel. very interesting that hotels still sent their customers there."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "We have dined at Catalina's probably a dozen times and always looked forward to the incredible layers of flavor in traditional Cuban food . Mario's Beef and Pork dishes are so yummy that you close your eyes to figure out how it can taste so good! the traditional plantain chips and salsa , salads and sided dishes are all very good. Nothing compares to the mojitos either. Service is attentive and friendly and Mario is always eager to make sure you are enjoying yourself."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "We always always have a great experience at Catalina! Love this restaurant and the people that work there and we love Mario!!!!"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Catalina has been going downhill over the last two years. Maybe it's living on it laurels and past kudos, but now...The food still is tasty, but no longer special. On our last two visits we found the prices have escalated and the food wasn't really cooked for us. Instead, it came out rather quickly, as if Catalina couldn't wait to turn over the table. The temperature was tepid and I'll bet the Jack Daniels pulled pork actually used the bottled dressing. The wine list always was overly marked up - over a 4 time mark up on a vino jovan (young wine) temporillo, come on, that's raping the customer. Yes the service still is excellent, but the prices and less than special food mean we're not coming back."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Place smelled terrific. Long story short, arrived on time for our reservation on a busy night. Was shuffled around for 20 minutes then informed we could have the table literally in the doorway that had, incidentally, been empty since we walked in or wait for another 20 minutes. Opted not to wait. I had indicated when we walked in that we had a reservation but am not sure the host heard me. Never asked my name or if I had a reservation so should really not get credit for dining here. Not sure how I did. May try again sometime but and not likely to be soon."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Been to Catalina's several times before. I got the impression they don't handle Open Table reservations well. We had some Issues on on front & back end. But, to their credit our table was ready. Service was ok. I ordered the grouper, came out barely warm, smothered in a white heavy sauce, fried and breaded. Clearly a miss. Our friends ordered different meat plates, and the snapper. They said it was good but, greasy. I'm not impressed with the restrooms. Not what you would expect. Dated & dirty. Overall, our dining experience was OK. But, not enough to want to go back. Dinner Beware of the 2 for the price of 1 gift certificates. It's how Mario gets you coming back. " Only does this with friends, or because he happens to like you." Sure!"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Staying in Pompano Beach with the family in a mood to try some Cuban food, I decided to take my family 2 children and 4 adults for a Cuban food fest. To say your MOTHER could not feed you better is not an understatement. An excellent dining experience from Mario greeting you at the door, through the mixed appetizer platter (empanadas, plantains, pork and more), the entrees are even better Fish encrusted with plantains, pork that melts in your mouth, steak prepared to perfection along with some rice and black beans (the best!). It was my first time, and I felt I was in my mother’s house…I highly recommend Catalina’s and will go back on any trip to South Florida"
    Dined on 2/27/2014
  • "Have been to Catalina a couple of times prior; it came recommended. This past time was horrific! Had an OpenTable reservation that got me barely in the door. Was with out of town guests and got put outside, and basically forgotten about. Original waitress took our drink order and we never saw her again...until it was time to leave. Food was incorrect twice (finally gave up on trying to get it right). Owner Mario never once came outside to acknowledge the delays, wrong orders, nothing! Never offered a drink, discount, nothing! If it wasn't that I've purchased gift certificates prior (a Mario sales tactic), I probably wouldn't go back. Although I've recommended the place several times, it will be a while before I do again - if ever."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "Top notch Spanish food with very attentive service and a very gracious host/owner, Mario."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "My first time at this place was fantastic. This time...not so good at all. It was very busy which they seemed to not be able to handle at all. Service not attentive. My husband's dish was very good (Paella), mine was not good at all. Very fatty greasy piece of steak with a teensy tinsy lobster tail for $50...tracked down mgr to re-place steak and was better but still so oily/greasy. Felt ripped off for sure. I would be less concerned about service if my meal was good but I feel like the whole night was overall not a good experience."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "I usually go to Catalina once or twice a season when I'm in Florida. I went this last Friday after making reservations on Open Table. The place was a mad-house and they were paying absolutely no attention to any sort of reservation list if they even had one. Mario, the owner, is very entertaining but the restaurant has really become very over-priced for the quality of the food. Cuban--rice and beans -- and the usual stuff. Shouldn't be more than double what it is at other Cuban/Spanish restaurants. I also find the waiters very pushy in trying to up-sell the menu. Bottom line is that I am Casting Off from the Catalina and will not go back."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "I highly recommend this restaurant. My husband and I went for San Valentine's and we had a great night. The food was delicious and the service was fantastic. Mario, the owner, came to our table several times to check on us. He even gave us a $50 card to return. Loved it!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "My husband and I enjoyed a lovely Valentine's Dinner and will definitely go back there again! Loved the steak and great drinks!!!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "I can't rate anything because when we showed up for our 8 o'clock reservation everyone else seemed to have 8 o'clock reservations. We pulled up there was no parking so my boyfriend dropped me off to go find parking. I walked up where there was a line to check in. I stood there about 10 minutes, two other couples who had the same reservation times left because they didn't want to wait anymore. The line wasn't moving and my boyfriend couldn't find parking so we left. I hear the food is good so I would like to try anything but not a first good impression."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Awesome food and exemplary service. We recommend the tamale appetizer and the red snapper entree is excellent. The sangria is quite refreshing and we kept it flowing. The service is over the top."
    Dined on 2/6/2014
  • "Have eaten there many times and am never disappointed- excellent food, service, and ambiance. Mario is fantastic always watching to make sure that every customer has a memorable experience and outstanding service."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "I have been to Catalina once before. The food and service were great. This night we went with friends. The food was ice cold, and served in a rushed manner. Additionally, we were the only table in our section that was not served a complementary salad. We would have gladly paid extra for a salad but it is not an option on the menu. I was told that Mario decides who gets what. That is fine with me. I decide where I chose to eat, and I will not be returning for a long time."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "We booked this restaurant for lunch and got confirm email. But once we got there the restaurant was closed that day for lunch. The only employee in the restaurant apologized and gave us a gift card to come back. Even though we were a little upset this made us feel better. We will be back soon to try the place! 5 stars for customer service!"
    Dined on 2/2/2014
  • "Food was exceptional and service was very attentive during our late Sunday lunch. As there were few diners during this time it is difficult to gauge what happens during a full house. We had yucca app, Argentinean steak, and Mario's favorite, a combo of snapper in lobster sauce and pulled pork. All very tasty. Also, had Mojitos that tasted very fresh and not from a mix. Will definitely return."
    Dined on 1/26/2014
  • "Very pretty restaurant with good and friendly service but I wasn't wowed. It was above average but exactly what one might expect from a restaurant. The food was good, I ordered the ropa vieja off menu. Not sure why the classic Cuban fare was not on the menu. All in all I was pleased until the check came..YIKES!!"
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "I was with a friend who is Cuban and she said the food was as good as her mothers, that's a complement! Amazing food and great service."
    Dined on 1/20/2014
  • "Overall a great experience with authentic Cuban fare. The only real downside was it's a little too garlicky for my liking. We could still taste garlic 2 days after."
    Dined on 12/29/2013
  • "We really enjoyed our evening at Catalina! We never felt rushed and food was terrific, atmosphere was fun and Sangria was the best we ever had!"
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "I love Cuban food and the food here was some of the best I have ever had. I love ropa vieja, but so often it is dry. Catalina's version was juicy and delicious and so was the roast pork and chuck chicken that came with my combination dish, They start you off with plantain chips that have a chimichurri salsa on top that is amazing and addicting. My wife had Argentinian skirt steak and garlic shrimp and both were cooked perfectly and were very flavorful!"
    Dined on 1/15/2014
  • "This was our first time here, Frankly we had driven past this place many times and had no idea what we were missing. A smallish neighborhood Cuban/Spanish restaurant where they really go out of their way to make you happy. Food was not like most that serve this type of food. All was freshly prepared, cooked properly and outstanding in taste. Service was very attentive and friendly. My wife had their grouper which was delicious and I had their paella which was plentiful and excellent. We shared a pork dish appetizer which was unique and delicious."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "Went there 3 weeks ago and had an adequate dinner…owner was very friendly and gave us a $50 gift card to use on this visit. When we presented the gift card as partial payment on the $138 bill for 2 people, I received a bill for $78, along with another handful of $50 gift certificates and another credit card bill for $150!!!! The owner, mumbled in English then ran off never explained that he was charging us for other gift certificates, said "goodnight" to me and walked away, to avoid me. Thankfully, I speak Spanish and told him to reverse the credit. He said he couldn't, but gave me $150 in cash in return. Avoid this place… the food is mediocre, and very expensive for Cuban. Better off at Little Havana in Deerfield for $40 for TWO!!"
    Dined on 11/30/2013
  • "I ordered the pan fried grouper. Was the best piece of fish I ever had. I also ordered an appitizer of fried yuca, also wonderful"
    Dined on 1/12/2014
  • "In the Fort Lauderdale area, this is a must stop. Great Cuban food! Don't miss it."
    Dined on 1/12/2014
  • "Would come here for dinner normally, but decided to have lunch there. Dinners, while tasting outstanding to go along with everything else, it slightly on the pricey side - but appropriately so. I was surprised that the lunch menu was a good one and the prices were *very* reasonable. Lunch for 3 was just $35 for some outstanding Spanish food. To me, great food, great price - and the staff friendly as always."
    Dined on 1/10/2014
  • "The wait staff try to oversell-particularly wine and alcohol, but also food. Very expensive but mediocre dining experience. Many better places for a couple to eat for $200 in Ft Lauderdale. I would not recommend it."
    Dined on 12/21/2013
  • "I celebrated my 35th birthday at Mario's Catalina and it was my first time there. We had a great time. The Tamales and Croquettes appetizers were both delicious. The Churassco and Lobster entree was stand up. The fried chicken chunks were awesome too! He brought us a cake and champagne to celebrate the occasion. Mario (the owner) is the best host."
    Dined on 1/3/2014
  • "Our hotel concierge recommended Catalina and he was right. We had not been to a Cuban restaurant before, the food and the service were both great. This is a special place."
    Dined on 12/29/2013
  • "Tricky to locate, but once you see the entrance through Spanish Courtyard you know you made a great choice. Exceptional snapper with plantain sauce, black beans and rice, fried pork and over the top Sangrias. Wow"
    Dined on 1/3/2014
  • "It was so delicious that I have no words. Get the empanadas and Mario's favorite!"
    Dined on 1/2/2014
  • "The food was uninspired and fairly tasteless. The best part of the meal were the plantain chips quickly fried and topped with a Spanish/Cuban salsa. The black beans that come with the meal were tasty. The lobster tails were not cleaned such that it was necessary to cut out their entrails, their deep fried Mario's snapper was dredged in a lobster sauce that had no flavor and was a cacaphony of bland flavors that only helped to hide the flavor of deep fry. Very disappointing."
    Dined on 12/30/2013
  • "Had dinner on 12/30/13 for 4 during recent visit to Ft Lauderdale. Mario met our party at the door and treated us like family from start until finish. Our waiter Johnny was knowledgeable professional and provided top rated service. All the staff was helpful and attentive. The meal was absolutely wonderful!!!. I would highly recommend Mario's for excellent food, service,drinks, and being treated like one of the family. The sangria was by far the BEST we have ever had. Don't miss out Mario's is a must!"
    Dined on 12/30/2013
  • "We have eaten at Catalina many times before but have not had an opportunity in a year or so. The prices have increased while the service and quality have decreased. For a special occasion my husband and I were completely disappointed and felt that we were rushed through the meal and pushed out the door when we finished. From being seated to finish dessert with appetizer and entre we were in the restaurant no more than one hour. When we received our check, we received a bill with a bunch of scribbles and a total. When asked what the breakdown was, we were told it was our meal and nothing more. This is the last time we will eat there."
    Dined on 12/31/2013