The Commodore’s Boat House Bar & Grill has Small Plates with Walloping Appeal
Restaurant sage Tim Ryan and his manager Roderick Gill have opened a new waterfront eatery, which is pleasing the simple tastes and those looking for epicurean dishes right on the harbour walk.
Boat House is spelled out in nautical flags underneath The Commodore restaurant on Key West’s Harbour, and they’re emblazoned on the backside of the menu to enlighten out-of-towners on the rich, maritime heritage of Key West.
The Commodore’s Boat House Bar & Grill is the fifth in the Tim Ryan Key West collection and his gourmand Roderick Gill played a key role in creating the ambiance for the prime real estate property.
“Very comfortable, casual and affordable,” Gill cemented. “You can sit here and watch the boat captains filet the fish. On the menu are ‘fruits of the sea.’”
The waitress brings a “tasting” of to our table – coconut shrimp, served with sweet chili mango sauce; light and crispy calamari rings with creole remoulade and marinara; mini kabobs of filet mignon and mushrooms; and lobster tail tempura with chili mango sauce.
“The ‘tail has been flyin’ out of here,” remarks Gill. “We use a very light batter. Nothing heavy. We’re taking advantage of local ingredients and present them at an affordable price.”
Prices are comparable to what you’d experience in middle America. The priciest small plate item is less than $12 and from 4 – 6:30 every day all small plates are half price along with house wine, draft beer, and well drinks!
“Yeah, can you believe that?” Gill questioned of his profit margin and bit into a coconut shrimp. “The batter is very delicate. Crunchy. Cripsy. Pair this with one of our Sauvignon Blancs from our list you can buy by the glass or the bottle, or the Riesling.”
The glory of the small plate menu is that the finger lickin’ items aren’t intimidating to moms, dads and their tikes from places like Tennessee, but the foodies can take the menu and go island-style sophisticate. Follow the shrimp with some Boathouse Fresh Fish Bites served with a white, citrus wine then onto the filet and mushroom “Mini Kabobs.” The skewers are accompanied by a salad sprinkled with vinaigrette dressing, cucumbers and blue cheese. Switch to the Merlot or Cab, and chat with your confidantes at the bar. The Boat Bites are anything and everything being pulled from the ocean any particular day – from Yellowtail to Hog and Mutton Snappers.
“Welcome to the Boat House!” Roderick rejoices. “This restaurant delivers what people expect when they come to Key West. We represent dining on the waterfront.”
The Commodore’s Boat House is located on the Key West Harbour Walk. Besides small plates, they serve salads, main plates, dessert and a kids’ menu! Bring your small fries in for Fried Fish Bites with fries. Open daily from 11 am – 4 pm for lunch and 4 – 10 pm for dinner.
Busting Down Doors
How Roderick Cut His Teeth
“After an exhausting day searching for employment, I walked in the front door of Smith & Wollensky, in New York City. A maitre de dressed in a suit looked down on me and said, ‘Can I help you?’
I said, ‘I’m here to apply for a job.’
We were surrounded by guests waiting for tables who found our conversation enthralling.
He said, ‘This is one of the busiest restaurants in New York City, and you’re applying for a job at 8 pm on a Saturday night?’
I said, ‘I figure someone in the dining room is not doing their job, and I’m here to take their job.’
The maitre de said, ‘Ok. Take a seat.’
That was the beginning of my restaurant career in New York City. I was 20 years old.”