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Recommendation for Key West Restaurants

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Jan 18th, 2008, 04:49 AM
  #1
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Recommendation for Key West Restaurants

Will be in Key West for 5 nights and would like to have a couple of dinners at nice fine dining restaurants (may be outdoor waterfront type) and rest at fun places to be with a nice bar and good food. Heard Sunset Key restaurant is worth a try for an upscale meal. So need some help from everybody to line up some good places for my DH and myself (no kids). Thanks!
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Jan 18th, 2008, 05:16 AM
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Hello

I would suggest the Marquesa on Fleming Street.
The Marquesa is a hotel that
has fine dining and a bar.

Enjoy Key West!
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Jan 18th, 2008, 05:40 AM
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There are so many good restaurants in Key West, but in my opinion Latitudes (on Sunset Key) is not one of them. While we had a good experience there, the vast majority of people - including Key West locals - seem to think it's overrated and over-priced, too.

My favorite fine dining restaurant is Louie's Backyard, though we always go for lunch rather than dinner. The food is just as good, the view is wonderful during the day, and the prices are much more reasonable. louiesbackyard.com

My second favorite is Michael's - ask for a table outside. michaelskeywest.com

For sheer beauty and a wonderful water view, it'd be hard to beat the Hot Tin Roof at the Ocean Key Resort. Though our first two meals there weren't particularly noteworthy, they were just after the opening and I've seen lots of good reviews since then. oceankey.com

Martin's has recently opened up a new restaurant on Duval, and it's a treat! It's got wonderful atmosphere, a little different than most Key West places, and a very good menu. Their website seems to be down at the moment.

For a real food treat, but not fine dining, try Santiago's Bodega. I would not feel comfortable walking there in the evening, so take a cab. It's a tapas place and is absolutely wonderful! santiagosbodega.com

One more (I can't stop). Azur is brand new and is getting rave reviews. It was opened by the former chef of Antonia's - a wonderful Italian restaurant on Duval. azurkeywest.com

I can think of more, but I'll just stop here. I'm getting hungry
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Jan 18th, 2008, 07:09 AM
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DH and I enjoyed Seven Fish and George's. Both would be upscale and great food.
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Jan 18th, 2008, 07:28 AM
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Opps-make that Micheal's. We ate outside in the Garden and really enjoyed it. (George's is great if you are in La Jolla!)
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Jan 18th, 2008, 11:36 AM
  #6
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Agree with Susan's assessment of Lattitudes. Great place for lunch and just to see the place but that is it.

My parents are always taking out of towners over for lunch.

I still love Blue Heaven but it is divey.

BO's Fishwagon is also good but it is not an upscale meal.
 
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Jan 18th, 2008, 01:41 PM
  #7
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I love Mangoes for lunch. Not really upscale but great food in a great location. A & B Lobster house & the Marquesa as well.
 
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Jan 18th, 2008, 02:18 PM
  #8
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We loved Blue Heaven too, GoT...it wasn't divey though, has it changed? Well, compared to Louis (which we'd never go back to after our first encounter) though, I guess it is, but I'd say more casual than dive. We walked--that made me a little nervous, but once there had a terrific time and excellent food. It actually was a welcomed relief after Louis' attitude.
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Jan 18th, 2008, 03:51 PM
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OO - I remember reading the review of your horrible experience at Louie's as though it were yesterday! It was a special occasion (anniversary?), you'd taken a bottle of wine, and you were seated at that hideous side table on the porch. That was one powerful review and one of the main reasons it took us until or 4th or 5th trip to Key West to darken Louie's door.

However, since that time we've grown to love it, warts and all. I remember once many years ago (at lunch) when the restaurant was virtually empty and we were haughtily ushered to that same side table where you ate. I nearly jumped out of my skin - your aura must've been with me . We not only turned down that table, but the next one we were offered, too.

Ultimately what we've realized is that once you're seated, everything is good. The waitstaff is pleasant and the food delicious.

I know other people who wouldn't set foot in Louie's, but we've somehow forgotten and forgiven...and the personnel changes so often, there's really nobody to hold a grudge against.
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Jan 18th, 2008, 04:12 PM
  #10
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Thanks for all your inputs everybody!Checked the web sites and they all look soo yummy.Would love to eat my way thru the Key West, but so many places and so little time!!! Haw about some places just to hang out after dinner? Not too loud and not too many partying kids.(we are an empty nesters)
Thanks again everybody!
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Jan 18th, 2008, 04:34 PM
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Wow Susan...what a memory, and I think I've even changed names a couple of times!! I'm shocked. Yes it was our anniversary (today by the way--did you forget ) and yes it did involve that side porch table. I know we didn't bring wine, but now that you've said that, I think wine was part of the problem somehow. I'll have to ask DH if he remembers what that was. The table was ludicrous, really, the worst I can ever remember having been given, and anything that came after that wasn't going to make up for it. It ruined the evening. I'm glad you've found pleasant times there since. Another time, I would not be so shocked and "just say no" too. It would be lovely in the daylight...fabulous view, wasted in the dark. Again, your memory is something. That was 5, perhaps more, years ago!

Tonight, after a week that was too hectic for words, I'm opting to cook a special meal at home for us, dining in front of our cozy fireplace on a miserable drizzly night. Fillets, risotto, portobello mush caps, arugula pear/Gorgonzola salad. No side porches.
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Jan 18th, 2008, 05:58 PM
  #12
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For a nice dining experience I will cast another vote for Louie's Backyard. The Backyard in this case has a wonderful water view and is located outside under a huge tree. If the weather is not good you can also eat inside although we've never done that. We also favor it for a long leisurely lunch. The food and the service have always been very good. It is a fairly small place so remember reservations.
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Jan 18th, 2008, 06:15 PM
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The Marquesa and for good food that's not too fancy, we loved Mangoes.
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Jan 18th, 2008, 06:32 PM
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OO - Okay, we're sold...we'll be right on over for dinner at your place.

And 5 years ago for your Louie's "experience"? I think it's more like 10 years, maybe more. As I recall, our first trip to Key West was 1993, and I think I read your review very soon thereafter.

I might add that the best fodors advice I've gotten was when we had to entertain mobs of folks in Savannah, and you suggested someplace that turned out to be a huge favorite of everyone. Sorry to say that neither my husband nor I can remember the name of the restaurant.

It was someplace outside of town with tons of boiled seafood...
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Jan 18th, 2008, 06:35 PM
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Well, I'd like to 2nd and 3rd the recommendations. Louie's is an excellent/great restaurant but Blue Heaven is an experience. Don't miss it. Excellent food too. And chickens.
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Jan 18th, 2008, 07:10 PM
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Lattitudes on Sunset Key is not to be missed!!!! Make reservation!!! Seven Fish is a great experience. When making reservations ask for an off menu entree, the tuna kabobs on Penne - you will think you have diesdand gone to heaven!!! And for breakfast, Blue Heaven at least once - have the grits and shrimp . Lunch - a fun place is the BBQ at Meteor.... the Green Parrot bar is around the corner....OMG will you be ther on a Sunday??? Have some real Key West Fun and go to Gay Bingo at 801 (On Duval) all are welcome.... it's a hoot and a Key West Treasure!!!
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Jan 19th, 2008, 05:36 AM
  #17
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Hi Susan...that was the Crab Shack, out toward Tybee. Unfortunately, it's been found in a big way and is so far removed from the quaint place it was! Glad you liked it.

My DH couldn't remember the issue with the wine either, but you peaked my curiosity and I tried to find the post. No luck. I started posting on Fodors in Dec 1999 under my real name. I did find a couple of times I mentioned Louie's, but nothing about the side porch. Patrick and I both posted about it one thread early in 2000, mostly concerning attitude. Hopefully, their attitude caught up with them, they became aware of it, and they've turned it around, but let this be a warning to anyone who is going....if they start walking you to that side porch (right side of restaurant) dig your heels in and tell 'em you've heard all about it (and where you heard it ).

It was interesting reading old posts from 1999-2000. There were so few people posting--we are really old timers. An extremely busy thread might have had 17 replies (American Airlines cutting seating capacity). "Where to swim with manatees and dolphins" got 2. It was such a different era for this board!
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Jan 19th, 2008, 10:53 AM
  #18
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Wow, guys. Iam overwelmed with all the suggestions.I will need a month to try it all. Thank you so much!
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Jan 19th, 2008, 03:39 PM
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OO - Yes, The Crab Shack! It was enormous and I was surprised when I called in advance to see about reserving a room, they said it wasn't necessary.

As it turned out, we had a lot of people...I think around 50, and though we didn't all sit together, everyone loved the casual atmosphere and food. We've entertained all over the place, but that was one of our most successful dinners!
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Jan 20th, 2008, 09:09 AM
  #20
 
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Dinner? Bah!

Have a hearty breakfast...

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g3....Key.West.html

...and then you'r ready for happy hour and all those great apps and 2-4-1 drinks...

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g3...ppy.Hours.html

Pjk
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