Martin’s is ultimate in European fine dining
BY DIANE JOHNSON
Martin’s is the ultimate restaurant in Key West for classic European fine dining. Located right on Duval, leave the madness behind and enjoy sophistication combined with the playfulness of the tropics, just like the menu.
The food is lovingly prepared and tasted incredible! The lobster was a healthy portion and cooked perfectly, making it the most tender I have ever eaten. The grouper special with its layers of crab, spinach and a delicious homemade béarnaise was amazing. The house-made bread was hearty and combined with the garlic butter simply melted in my mouth. The lobster bisque was chock full of lobster and a delightful combination of both creamy and light. The seafood chowder was filled with tender fresh fish and vegetables, and the German potato and leek soup put a giant grin on my husband’s face. We had Martin’s signature dessert, a warm homemade apple strudel with Flamingo’s vanilla ice cream. The Belgian chocolate mousse with cherry sauce and mango was a unique and delicious way to end a wonderful meal.
Martin’s receives their fresh local seafood daily. Their meats are prime and sauces are made from scratch. Even their sides are unique creations. The baked potato had a topping that reminded me of a cupcake. It was whipped potatoes with Parmesan cheese and carrots swirled to look like frosting. Martin is an innovative and creative chef who can transform the mundane into tasty eye candy.
Martin came to Key West 27 years ago to open up a bakery; after all he was a pastry chef. One of his favorite sayings is “Every pastry chef can be a cook, but not every cook can be a pastry chef”.
The inside restaurant is classic and refined with a black and white color scheme. Sprinkled around the dining room are fresh orchids and giant vases of fresh roses. The ambient lighting, unique feather light fixtures and lite jazz emanating from invisible speakers play music from Ibiza, Spain. The outdoor lounge and garden are inviting for casual dining and celebrating with friends and family. My husband and I have eaten in some of the best restaurants, from San Francisco to New York, and we were impressed. Martin’s is the perfect spot for a delicious dinner or brunch when friends and family visit.
Martins offer locals a half off lunch (except beverages) every Thursday! For those who do not partake of alcohol or soda, try Martin’s tropical juice made with fresh mango, pineapple, peach, orange and cranberry. The wine list is extensive with 160 bottles from all over the world. They also have fine single malts and one of the best martinis in town.
Martin’s is located at 917 Duval St. in the heart of Key West. They are open for lunch Monday – Saturday (11-2), dinner daily 3 – close, Sunday brunch from 10-3 and the bar Lounge is open from 11 a.m. to close. Reservations can be made by phone at 305-295-0111, on Open Table or on their website at http://www.martinskeywest.com