The Florida Keys boast some of the most iconic eateries and bars in the world.
Creative culinary minds elevate local seafood to new levels and celebrate contemporary fusion, Cuban, Caribbean, Asian, French and other international influences. Our chain of islands is one of the world’s top food and drink destinations.
But our magnetic appeal goes beyond the menu. The skilled professionals who define our local hospitality industry do much more than mix creative cocktails and serve delicious meals. These hard-working men and women are ambassadors, social directors, travel advisors and unlicensed — but often effective — therapists.
To celebrate our unique culinary culture, Keys Weekly brings you this bi-weekly feature to highlight the food, libations and local personalities that define our “must-try” destinations across the Florida Keys.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a fifth-generation local, your options are endless. Indulge in something new or revisit a familiar favorite. And above all, support the local owners and loyal employees who are vital to our Keys communities.
SERVER — KW
Paul “Cuzzy” Barcus is a talented, 18-year veteran of Key West restaurants. He worked as sous chef and in other leadership positions at Blue Heaven, Ocean Key Resort and Santiago’s Bodega before becoming a partner in Poké in the Rear with Grant Portier and Jenn Stefanacci-Portier.
Barcus recently introduced Cuzzy’s Flatbread, shown on the right, featuring fresh tuna poké on grilled flatbread atop seaweed salad, hoisin and sriracha aioli. On the left is Poké’s best-selling poké bowl, Elle’s Poké on Fire, a spicy combination of fresh tuna or salmon, rice, vegetables, edamame and seaweed salad, topped with crispy fried onions.
Poké in the Rear is located at 504 Angela St., Key West, and is also accessible from Duval Street via Aqua Nightclub, 711 Duval St.
DRINK — UK
A refreshing drink to enjoy while dining along the water or enjoying a sunset in Islamorada. Lorelei Restaurant & Cabana Bar serves the house cocktail known as the Lorelei Sunset. It’s made with their very own flavored vodka from Islamorada Distillery. Photo by: DOUG FINGER/Keys Weekly
DISH — MK
Tomahawk Ribeye Special
Florida Keys Steak & Lobster House, 660 Overseas Hwy, Marathon
For a decadent treat on a special occasion, treat yourself to the Tomahawk experience, said Justin Ahearn, general manager of the Florida Keys Steak & Lobster House. “We handcut the tomahawks ourselves, fresh off the rack every day. We pair it with a Florida lobster tail, shrimp and jumbo North Atlantic sea scallops, which we proudly receive daily to ensure quality.”