Signature Key West Sunset Martini with orange vodka, orange juice, peach schnapps finished with grenadine pairs well with the cheese sampler: 2 cheeses of the day with grapes, Dijon mustard, lingonberry marmalade and cornichons. HAYS BLINCKMANN/Keys Weekly

Martin’s at 917 Duval St. has earned Key West royalty status when it comes to restaurants. Whether it has been the years of culinary excellence or the chic atmosphere, something about this tropical American-German hybrid has had enduring success. Martin’s prides itself on elegant New American fare with an abundance of tropical seafood but also has a delightful German twist with a few traditional Deutsch dishes. Chef Martin, originally from Germany, has made a niche in Key West mixing some of the best martini cocktails with an all-around fine dining experience.

Most attractive are Martin’s specials and now is the time locals should be taking advantage of eating and drinking well. The delectable happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. offers the signature martini list at half price as well as wines by the glass and well drinks. Pair a drink with a half off tapas selection with over 20 items on the menu.

There is an amazing and diverse selection on the tapas menu. A must-try would be the Calamari Ceviche Martini filled with tender calamari marinated in a blend of ginger and seaweed that’s light but filled with flavor. Or the perfectly cooked grilled lamb chops with a kicky jalapeño remoulade. Not on any other menu in town, a refreshing Waldorf salad is a great summer salad filled with fresh apples, celery, walnuts, grapes and mango topped with honey mustard. The menu has it all, from shrimp, scallops, tuna tataki to even schnitzel and bratwurst. A little bit of everything to delight anyone’s palate, beating the summer heat and regular prices.

At the bar among friends, in the backyard under the stars or in the elegant dining room, the feel of Martin’s is modern and casual, the perfect place to sip a flat-out dirty martini, the ultimate cosmo, an expressotini or even a Key lime martini. Martin’s enduring success is in the service, attention to detail and distinctive and tempting recipes unlike any other experience on Duval. 

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