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.
Café Solé, Key West
Allen Hill has lived in Key West and worked in its top restaurants for 17 years. But he can’t say enough about Café Solé on Southard Street.
“It’s a wonderful environment with great people and outstanding food,” said Hill, a native of Lexington, Kentucky.
Café Solé’s signature hogfish entrée also happens to be Hill’s — and many people’s — favorite dish.
Chef/owner John Correa ensures the generous portion of flaky hog snapper is skillfully fileted, perfectly pan-fried and served atop an unforgettably decadent roasted red bell pepper hollandaise. Looking too good to eat, it comes with mashed potatoes, rice, carrots, lima beans and a roasted tomato topped with parmesan and seasoned bread crumbs.
The food, service and welcoming atmosphere bring locals and visitors back time and again to Café Solé, 1029 Southard St.
For more, visit our Keys Table Magazines online at keysweekly.com/table/. Our Florida Keys Table Magazines are published nine times a year in the Upper Keys, Marathon and Key West. For more information email: [email protected]
Marathon Ale and Grill House
“People rant and rave about this dish,” assistant general manager Tiffany Scibilia said. “It’s 90% crab meat, served with roasted red pepper aioli. It can be an app, an entree or a sandwich.” Chef Dan Payne said, “This is good crab meat, hard to get. I won’t reveal my source. But we only use jumbo lump crab meat here with no filler, all crab.” He’s right — the lumps are so big they fall off the fork when you dig in.
ALFALFA TRADITIONAL MEAD
Keys Meads, Key Largo
A sweet, traditional mead made from alfalfa honey, it’s aged 17 months in a used beer barrel, which creates a strong, distinct flavor that’s become a fan favorite.
The more you consume it, the more you crave it. It’s made by winemaker Jeffrey Kesling Jr. at Keys Meads, located at MM 99.4 in Key Largo.