Category Archives: Dining Out

We Can’t Get Enough of Keyviche!

Keyviche Seafood Eatery has quickly become our go-to destination for entertaining clients, family, and friends in Key West.

As the former home of Braza Lena was being renovated earlier this year, we were curious to see what would become of the vast space that originally housed one of the island’s first automotive dealerships. When the sign went up for Keyviche Seafood Eatery, we have to admit that we were a bit skeptical. With only one seafood lover in our family, we never expected to fall in love with this newest addition to the Key West restaurant scene. Were we ever wrong?!!! We can’t get enough of Keyviche.


After stopping to peruse the menu during my morning run, I was delighted by the wide variety of enticing culinary selections; offering far more than ceviche. I told Dean that we would be going to Keyviche that night for dinner.

Keviche Interior

From the moment we entered the dynamically designed space, we were more than impressed. With an eclectic and creative blend of traditional and modern décor—perfectly reflecting the restaurant’s contemporary take on authentic Peruvian cuisine—the colorful interior is festive and welcoming. We love the creative use of monochromatic Spanish tiles so much that we have brainstormed using them in our home. Keyviche has successfully created a space that is equally hospitable to both large gatherings and intimate encounters.

Keviche TunaKeyviche’s food is terrific! For us, our dinner always begins with the Huancaina Salad: a heavenly combination of grilled romaine halves, croutons, and parmesan cheese, tossed in a classic Peruvian huancaina dressing. Every time we decide on our favorite entrée, we discover a new delectable delight. Dean started out loving the Peruvian Fried Rice and then fell for the Vegetable Stir Fry. On our first visit, I was blown away by the Seafood Soup and then I got hooked on the Huancaina Pappardelle Pasta. Our current winner is the Crazy Chicken/Pollo Loco: a lightly breaded chicken breast, flash fried, topped with Keyviche’s secret sauce, and served with cilantro rice and seasonal vegetables.Keyviche-9127

We have always said that the key to success in any business is making your customers feel like welcomed guests in your home. Daniel Balbi, Keyviche’s General Manager and a familiar face in Key West’s culinary scene, knows how to make his customers feel like they are his most important patrons. With a gracious smile and an open embrace, the charming Frenchman always leaves us looking forward to our next dinner at his wonderful establishment.


Having enjoyed more than a dozen delightful dinners at Keyviche, if we are not the restaurant’s biggest fans, we are definitely in the running.

Keyviche Seafood Eatery is located just off Duval Street, at 421 Caroline Street, in Downtown Key West, Florida. They are open for dinner Sunday through Thursday from 4:00 until 10:00 and Friday and Saturday from 4:00 until 11:00. Reservations can be made at 305-432-9440.

—Keith & Dean

Click here to checkout Keyviche Seafood Eatery’s mouthwatering menu.



We are not foodies—we are professional diners. Our kitchen is certainly more decorative than utilitarian. Much to the amusement of our friends, we eat out every night of the week. Luckily, we live in a small town that offers big city choices when it comes to dining out.

Compiling this list of Our Top 10 Favorite Key West Restaurants was a lot of fun! Some of our top pics are casual and some are fancy. Some of them are reasonably priced and some are a bit pricey. Some require a reservation and some don’t. All of our favorites keep us coming back with terrific food, smiling faces, and great value.

Keith & Dean


10. Roostica Wood-Fire Pizzeria, 5620 Macdonald Avenue, Key West, Florida
The best place for pizza in Key West! We love the Mixed Green Garden Salad, Margherita Pizza, and Chicken Parmesan.

9. El Meson de Pepe, 410 Wall Street, Key West, Florida
Our favorite place for Cuban food on the island. We love the live music, Cuban bread, and ordering by the numbers. We can’t get away from ordering #61 Picadillo Habanero and #92 Mahi Mahi con Salsa de Camarones!

8. Mangia Mangia Pasta Cafe, 900 Southard Street, Key West, Florida
Great homemade pasta keeps us coming back! We love the Lobster Linguine, Spaghettini Schmappellini, and Grilled Fresh Atlantic Salmon.

7. Nine One Five, 915 Duval Street, Key West, Florida
Fabulous food and great people watching from the front porch! We love the Caesar Salad, Grass Fed 8oz Burger, and the Soul Mama Seafood Soup. Whatever you choose, order the Cone of Fries!

6. Chico’s Cantina, 5230 Highway 1, Key West, Florida
Key West’s best Mexican food! We are always treated like family at Chico’s. We love the Chips and Salsa, Cheese Crisp, Taco Salad, and Chicken Enchiladas.

5. Latitudes, 245 Front Street, Key West, Florida
Our favorite place to celebrate a special occasion. We love the boat ride to Sunset Key, dining on the porch, and the gorgeous sunset views. The Pan Seared Snapper and the Honey & Ancho Chile Crusted Waygu Beef Skirt Steak cannot be beat.

4. Salute! On The Beach, 1000 Atlantic Boulevard, Key West, Florida
The best lunch spot on the island. We love the Old Key West feel, beautiful ocean views, and entertaining people watching on Higgs Beach! The Green Salad, Shrimp Salad Sandwich, and Carrie’s Gazpacho keeps us coming back.

3. The Café, 509 Southard Street, Key West, Florida
Delicious and healthy options galore! The Café has the best Spinach Artichoke Dip on the planet. We love the Cream of Tomato Soup, Truffled French Fries, Falafel Sandwich, Grilled Portobella Mushroom Salad, and Café ‘Veggie’ Veggie Burger.

2. Santiago’s Bodega, 207 Petronia Street, Key West, Florida
Our favorite place to meet friends for dinner. We love the large selection of tapas to share. The Spinach Salad, Dates, Croquettas, Camembert Wedge, and Miniature Quesadillas are always on our list. Save room for the amazing Bread Pudding!

★1. The Flaming Buoy Filet Company, 1100 Packer Street, Key West, Florida,
We love The Flaming Buoy Filet Company! Many happy memories have been made at this charming and acclaimed, off the beaten path, Key West treasure. Scott, Fred, and their amazing staff always welcome us with open arms. We love the Lobster Macaroni & Cheese, Iceberg Lettuce Wedge, Seafood Marinara, The Filet Co. Three Way, and Spicy Chocolate Quesadilla. The Flaming Buoy Filet Company was an easy pick for our absolute favorite Key West restaurant.

The Flaming Buoy Filet Company.  Our top pick!

The Flaming Buoy Filet Company. Our top restaurant pick!

Square 1: Key West’s Best New Restaurant

We love Square 1's stylish décor!

We love Square 1’s stylish décor!

The spinach-ricotta gundi is devine!

The spinach-ricotta gundi is divine!

We love the latest incarnation of Square 1—now open in the legendary restaurant’s familiar location at 1075 Duval Street. Just down from our office in Duval Square, the new Square 1 premiered to rave reviews just a few weeks ago. With the culinary talents behind Banana Café and The Café joining forces to reopen the Key West favorite, Square 1 will undoubtedly continue to be a go-to dining destination for locals and visitors alike.

The seafood bouillabaisse special is a hit!

The seafood bouillabaisse special is a hit!

On Saturday evening, we joined our friends Jack and Kevin for another visit to the new Square 1. We were delighted once again with the wonderful service, creative cuisine, and stylish décor. Danielle, a familiar face from Banana Café, greeted us fondly. As soon as the cordial hostess showed us to our cozy table by the window, we were introduced to our attentive waiter, who kept us wanting for nothing during our lengthy stay. With a wide array of small plates, entrees, and specials to choose from, it was hard to decide what to order. For starters, we selected the devils on horseback, the café cream of tomato soup, and the chef was kind enough to create a special green salad just for Dean. For our entrees, Jack chose a wonderful seafood bouillabaisse special, Kevin and Dean were very pleased with their grilled hanger steaks, and I was thrilled with my spinach-ricotta gundi. We could not say enough about the delicious food, generous table, comfortable chairs, fashionable surroundings, and wonderful artistic touches. Without being rushed to turnover our table, we were free to enjoy desserts, after dinner drinks, and a special night out with friends.

Square 1 gets our vote for the best new restaurant on the island!

Keith & Dean

Click here to take a look at Square 1’s exquisite menu.

The new Square 1 feels like home.

The Café in Key West, Florida

Just steps off Duval Street you will find one of our favorite funky Key West restaurants, The Café—home of the best spinach artichoke dip on the planet. Much to Dean’s chagrin, spinach artichoke dip is absolutely my favorite food and I am without a doubt a connoisseur of this king of comfort food. Although not on The Café’s regular menu, their bubbling hot spinach artichoke dip is almost always featured as a daily special. The Café’s recipe is extra creamy, packed with fresh cooked spinach, chunks of artichokes, and topped with the yummiest crispy melted cheese. I know, this can’t possibly be a low-calorie appetizer, but that is not the point. Sometimes, we just have to splurge. Besides, The Café offers one of the best selections of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free dishes on the island, so how bad can it be?

The Café's yummy spinach artichoke dip with grilled pita bread.

The Café’s yummy spinach artichoke dip with grilled pita bread.

I should say that Dean and I are not vegetarians, vegans, gluten free, of follow any special diet—unless you count Dean’s addiction to milk chocolate and Orange Fanta. We simply enjoy delicious food. Since The Café serves a delectable selection of generously portioned dishes, it always delights.

Besides the incredible spinach artichoke dip, we love many of the wonderful items on The Café’s menu. For starters, we highly recommend the cream of tomato soup, the spring rolls, and the truffled French fries. Dean loves the falafel sandwich and I’m thrilled that they make their veggie burger with legumes, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, scallions and sunflower seeds. You will never forget the big-as-your-head Udon Bowl, made with homemade dashi broth, vegetables, shitakes, seaweed, udon noodles and tofu or clams. The selection of stir frys is terrific, the grilled pizzas are great, and the featured salads are more than fresh and tasty.

A stroll to The Café, at 509 Southard Street in Key West, is well worth it. If you simply can’t drag yourself away from your poolside lounge chair, The Café offers free delivery.

Keith & Dean

Click here to explore The Café’s terrific menu.

Chico’s Cantina in Key West, Florida

Love the mole chicken enchiladas at Chico's Cantina!

Love the mole chicken enchiladas at Chico’s Cantina!

We love the Mexican cuisine at Chico’s Cantina on Stock Island. Located at 5230 U.S. 1, just across the Cow Key Channel Bridge from Key West, dining at Chico’s is well worth the short trip.

Family owned and operated since 1984, Chico’s seasoned and friendly staff always makes us feel more than welcome. We love having our favorite beverages, along with a generous serving of hot tortilla chips and fresh salsa, placed before us as soon as we settle in. Decorated with a delightful mix of south of the border kitsch and old Key West charm, the covered outdoor patio is the perfect spot to relax with friends and family.

Famous for their locally caught fish tacos, Chico’s combines fresh ingredients to create a wonderful array of savory Mexican appetizers and entrees. I am usually torn between the delicious seafood enchiladas and the special mole chicken enchiladas. The fresh taco salad and the ground beef chimichanga top Dean’s list. Dean’s mom, Kathleen, is partial to both the cheese crisp and the deluxe chicken tacos. Chico’s tempting daily specials and generous menu selections keep us coming back for more.

Hands down, Chico’s Cantina serves the best Mexican cuisine in Key West.

Keith & Dean

Click here to enjoy Chico’s Cantina’s delectable menu.