Matt's Stock Island Kitchen

Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen & Bar

Some restaurants are more an experience than just a place to eat and Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen & Bar, located in The Perry Hotel, surpasses any culinary expectation. When entering the hotel – open since May – diners feel the transformation of Stock Island culture into an architectural work of art. Situated right on the harbor, the entire property plays off Key West’s naval history, in honor of famed Commodore Matthew Perry, who claimed Key West as a U.S. Territory in 1822. Owner and developer Brad Weiser, along with brother Warren Weiser and his daughter, interior designer Blaire Weiser, made sure to incorporate the essence of marine and island life, using reclaimed teak, steel and local art throughout the buildings, complete with sweeping views of the harbor. It’s a modern, dressed up version of Stock Island, not a cookie cutter resort. And Architectural Digest took notice, naming the Perry Hotel one of “The 12 Best-Designed Hotels Opening This Year” last June.

The atmosphere sets the bar high for the food, which also did not fail to deliver. Seafood is the star, and abundant throughout the courses, as Matt’s menu creates “American Coastal Comfort Food.” Start with the Commodore Tower and be pleasantly satiated with heaps of shrimp, lobster, oysters, ceviche and tuna tartare. The food is coyly served in a ice-filled tool box adorned with homemade sauces – the must-try is the “Icy Hot” sauce with bean curd. Another knockout specialty is the Crab Beignets, an absolutely genius combination of lightly frying a delicate crab cake. Or the fresh Crudo, worthy of fine dining with its attention to detail. The fresh Crudo changes daily, but this night it was fresh salmon, fried leek, capers, red bell peppers and radish gastrique in a sweet chili glaze. Not in the mood for seafood? Matt’s offers down-home Southern-style food like fried chicken with bacon salt fries, BBQ ribs and the always pleasing dry aged sirloin or cowboy steak. Matt’s excels with attention to detail: every dish comes with a variety of homemade sauces or sides, like an out-of-this-world cornbread mash. It also has a monster breakfast menu for the full brunch experience.

The entire property has a great vibe, feeling contemporary yet true to the artistic nature of the community. Through his personal love of Key West, Weiser added his own touch to the hotel by incorporating local artists throughout, such as Alan Maltz, Koz, Susan Sugar and Leo Gullick, and will feature local art for sale in the gift shop. And look for the collection of antique propellers that will grow over time.

“We want to be known for great seafood and great comfort food,” said Weiser, who, along with chefs Josh Mitchell and Shane Wilkerson, works to enhance the menu and keep it fresh. It should also be noted the restaurant is very family-friendly, the perfect getaway experience even for locals.

Matt's Martinis

Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen & Bar

Located at The Perry Hotel

7001 Shrimp Road

“The vision was to bring in the industrial, commercial nature of Stock Island. People are here for the casualness of Key West, but also its uniqueness. – Brad Weiser, of The Perry Hotel

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