2017-05-18 / Key West Dining


Florida Weekly Correspondent

Cobb salad Cobb salad One block off Duval Street, at the corner of Simonton and Southard, sits an adorable yellow conch house where the food is as homey as the ambiance. James Beard Award-winning Sarabeth’s serves classic American flavors with twists inspired by local Florida Keys ingredients and produce. The outdoor patio is a lovely place to enjoy a mimosa with brunch or a glass of wine with dinner and the indoor dining room is bright yet cozy and comfortable.

Breakfast is simple and classic but done right. Omelets are the star on Sarabeth’s breakfast menu. The Key West pink shrimp and bacon omelet is stuffed with fresh shrimp, crispy bacon and smoky mozzarella. The farmer’s omelet is a favorite — sautéed leeks, ham, potato and gruyere cheese are deeply satisfying. Veggie lovers will adore both the fresh vegetable and ricotta omelet and the spinach and goat cheese omelet. Omelets come with your choice of toast or a homemade muffin. No matter what the flavor, go with the muffin. Nothing says love like homemade baked goods.

Strawberry shortcake Strawberry shortcake If you’re looking for the sweeter side of the breakfast-brunch menu, the lemon ricotta pancakes, the pumpkin waffle and the almond-crusted, cinnamon French toast are insanely decadent and insanely delicious. Ricotta makes the pancakes light and fluffy and the addition of lemon keeps them from being too sweet. The pumpkin waffle is like something out of a Halloween dream. The waffle is the size of the entire plate and topped with a sweet and savory mix of pumpkin seeds, raisins and sour cream. I admit I was skeptical of the sour cream at first, but Sarabeth’s has me convinced that no waffle should ever be served without it. And lastly, the French toast. What can I say about crunchy, cinnamony, thick slices of bread served with Sarabeth’s own apple marmalade other than “Yum!” My shorts were about to burst and I still wanted a second order; they’re that good.

Pumpkin waffle Pumpkin waffle Breakfast is served from 8 to 11 a.m. From 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. you can order from either the lunch menu or from the brunch menu. The options are endless. and cream of tomato soup and the green chile pepper macaroni and three-cheese are the definition of comfort food taken a step further. The tomato soup has chunks of fresh tomato and fresh herbs to brighten the dish. The macaroni and cheese is next-level delicious. Mild green chilies are a great foil to melty cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.

The cornmeal-crusted, sautéed shellfish cakes contain local Key West pink shrimp and local crabmeat combined with scallions and bell peppers, crusted with cornmeal and sautéed to a crunchy perfection. The poached wild salmon Cobb salad is a fresh twist on the American classic. Chilled poached salmon, sweet corn, cucumbers, wheat berries, crisp lettuce, hard-boiled egg and a tangy tomato-red onion relish are arranged in a colorful Rothkoesque pattern and served with a basil buttermilk dressing you’ll want to dip your fingers in after you’ve finished your salad.

Shellfish cake Shellfish cake Dinner at Sarabeth’s is consistently lovely. The fried goat cheese appetizer is without question the go-to starter. Soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside, and served with an arugula salad and chili-lime and coconut sauce, this goat cheese definitely has an unexpected tropical kick. Whole fried fish aren’t uncommon on Key West restaurant menus, but Sarabeth’s whole fried yellowtail is a standout. The fish is fried to a beautiful golden color and is moist and succulent. Sunday supper is famous at Sarabeth’s thanks to their old-fashioned fried chicken. Three pieces of juicy fried chicken, silky mashed potatoes and cole slaw will make you feel like you’re in the Deep South (never mind the palm trees swaying in the breeze).

If you can bring yourself to exercise any restraint, dessert is a can’t-miss course at Sarabeth’s. The strawberry shortcake, albeit unembellished, is scrumptious nevertheless. The key lime pie is a beautiful confection, with almost a cheesecake-like texture, perched atop a graham cracker crust. The bread pudding will leave you stuffed and smiling. If you must, order one dessert to share, but you must order at least one. Sarabeth’s is closed on Mondays, but serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. ¦

Sarabeth’s 530 Simonton St. (305) 293- 8181 www.sarabethskeywest.com

Return to top