Bahama Village recently added a speck of surprising newness to its diverse list of popular eateries. Firefly, a Southern restaurant, evokes all that is good about Southern living.
As a native of the Appalachian foothills, I couldn’t help but play the role of skeptic as I approached Firefly. By the time I left, fond childhood memories had revisited my sentimental soul.
What began as a project in culinary school, owner Tricia Coyne brought the concept of “classic techniques with a new spin” to life in late 2012. Coyne, originally from Atlanta, credits her diverse culinary roots to her earlier days in the capital of the South.
“Atlanta has some of the best Southern restaurants in the world,” says Tricia. “That, along with my grandparents being from Louisiana, ingrained the significance of understanding where each southern dish comes from. Everything we do here is fresh and homemade with a huge emphasis on detail.”
Along with Tricia, Chefs Michael Price and Russ Ferstle have created a Southern menu with the perfect embodiment of homespun ingredients, integrated with creative twists of intense flavors. The seasonal menus range from brunch and breakfast items to snacks and supper.
For those seeking traditional dishes, fried green tomatoes with bacon aioli, fried chicken with collard greens and a southern-style patty melt with onions and pimento cheese highlight a list of delightful favorites. However, barbecued duck wings, fried hogfish and grits with brussel sprout slaw, a seasonal boiled-peanut hummus, and pickled and cured duck prosciutto are just a few of the creative plates at Firefly.
“Right now, favorites seem to include the pan-seared pork chop, our gumbo and the barbequed duck wings,” says Chef Russ Ferstle, “but everything comes in fresh. Because of this, we develop seasonal menus to ensure we are using ingredients that are ripe with flavor.”
Of course, a southern restaurant would not be complete without world-class deserts and this is exactly what Pastry Chef Jordan Keeton creates on a daily basis. Fresh baked cookies, classic pecan pie and a peanut butter cupcake dare patrons to skip the final course. But the “todays cobbler” is a must try specialty at Firefly. Served on a sizzling hot skillet, a strawberry–peach cobbler, topped with a hearty scoop of vanilla ice-cream, can literally hypnotize the senses.
Along with the incredible eats, Firefly boasts a surprising list of 50 handpicked wines and 25 beers. The creative beer collection includes a Funky Buddha Floridian, Zombie Killer Cherry Cyser Mead and a 17 percent ABV Hebrew Jewbelation.
While discussing the finishing touches to the winter menu, Tricia Coyne and Chef Ferstle both remain humble in regards to the quick success of the restaurant.
“I’m amazed at the outpouring of support from the people in the neighborhood,” says Ferstle. “Not only from the residents, but from the other restaurants as well.”
For Coyne, she simply wants to continue a growing tradition in Bahama Village.
“I’m just happy we can add another unique location that is different and cool. Even though we are tucked off of Duval, I definitely think we are continuing a tradition of making the neighborhood a destination to visit in Key West.”
223 Petronia St., Key West
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily