Sunday, May 29, 2011

Key West: The Grand Cafe

Memorial day in Key West is as relaxing or wild as you choose it to be.

Saturday night we relaxed with an overview of the always wild north end od Duval Street. A less laid back crowd here on this Holiday weekend. Seems to me a younger rowdies bunch akin a South Beach. Petty much all the bars are packed. I could do this night out In West Palm and not know the difference. So we didn't.

For our nice dinner out we chose the Grand Cafe and we sat on the patio along Duval Street. It's a raised patio with a little wall keeping diners at arms reach from the drunkards passing by. We sat in the middle just left of the fountain, lucky pick because it was filling quickly after the sunset worshippers wandered back from Mallory Square. While A fortunate find for us, I think a table inside would have been even better. The dining rooms and bar area are very nice; they offer a respite from the overtly casual settings found in most Key West establishmensts (but it's not stuffy at all).

Each course was top notch.

Appetizers:
Tomato bisque with crab meat. I thick bisque, hearty and flavorful.

A signature dish, Bluefin tuna tartar. Tuna chopped and dressed with a touch of ginger/chive oil set between fried wonton chips atop cucumber slices. Template had a jalapeño aioli (sauce to us normal people) which added just enough heat. The whole thing is balanced. Great way to start.

Entre:
Seared scallops with couscouse. These scallops were perfect and a mild key lime beure blanc sauce didn't overpower them.

Filet with port wine demi glace, white truffle oil mashed potato, and sauté spinach. I don't usually order filet mignion as I find other cuts more flavorfull, but this combination looked the best and I did want a steak. Not disappointed.

Desert:
Key lime pie. Not the best I have had as it lacked the full tartness, but a pretty solid effort.

Highly recommend The Grand Cafe for a nice dinner in Key West. The tuna was the best single dish.