THE DISH: highlights from local menus



The Dish: Zuppa di Pesce

The Place: Antonia’s, 615 Duval St., Key West; 305-294-6565 or

The Price: $30

The Details: Antonia’s has been a mainstay of Duval Street for decades, serving refined, beautifully prepared seafood, pasta and other Italian fare.

We started with an appetizer of plump, seared scallops before digging into entrees that included this seafood stew and a fettuccine with Proscuitto di Parma (Antonia’s version of carbonara).

The Zuppa di Pesce was filled with lobster, littleneck clams, the ubiquitous Key West pink shrimp, baby scallops, squid and mussels, all served in a spicy tomato broth.

It was hearty and flavorful, with shellfish cooked just until tender.

The sauce on the fettuccine was light, yet decadent, with just the right amount of Parmesan coating the peas and button mushrooms.



As always, service was impeccable — our waitress made good suggestions for wine pairings. ¦

— Scott Simmons, ssimmons@

The Dish: Chicken salad

The Place: Blue Heaven, 729 Thomas St., Key West. 305-296-0218 or

The Price: $13.50

The Details: A visit to Blue Heaven is as much about the ambience as it is about the food.

I remember chickens and cats scurrying across the dining space the first time I visited 25 years ago or so.

I didn’t see any chickens this time, but I did take time out to cool off with the chicken salad.

The tender bits of chicken were tossed in a creamy dressing and served atop arugula that’s dressed with a cider vinaigrette. There was plenty of fresh fruit on the side (melon, strawberries and blueberries the day of our visit), and a generous wedge of cornbread.

The chefs at Blue Heaven get kudos from me for not making their cornbread sweet — this is savory, the way cornbread from the South was intended to be.

Yes, there’s fine dining in Key West, but this was good eating. ¦

— Scott Simmons, ssimmons@

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