If there is one thing Key West, Florida has it is top notch dining. One restaurant that stands out on an island full of great eateries is Michael’s. Rated among the top five in the Keys by Zagat, Michael’s Key West is a solid five start restaurant. During a weekly radio spot, I was able to see a side of Michael’s rarely seen, breakfast, Chef Mike Wilson’s version of New Orleans style eggs Benedict. So there are perks to being on a radio show even if it is AM!
Steak lovers will be in heaven with Allen Brothers prime cuts of beef from, flown in from Chicago. The 20 ounce cowboy steak is prime rib eye, a proven aphrodisiac. The award winning Filet Al Forno, filet mignon topped with roasted garlic and Roquefort cheese, may not be an aphrodisiac but it is heavenly. New York Strip and a huge Porterhouse, both prime of course, are included for beef afecionados.
From top to bottom there are no poor selections on the menu other than the fondue. The fondue is great, but it isn’t the most masculine of meals. I have a reputation as a redneck to protect, so I don’t do the fondue, at least not in public.
The wine list is one of the best in the Keys. I may be a redneck, but I have to have the right wine with prime beef. A Cabernet Sauvignon of course, though the Merlot and Italian Red selection is interesting. When I say one of the finest wine lists; that does not mean an extensive list of unaffordable vintages. It means an outstanding list of domestic and imported wines to complement every phase of your meal. See for yourself here.
The seafood menu changes with the availability of quality seafood. The grouper Oscar is a delightful standard along with Seafood Alfredo and Shrimp & Scallop Fettuccini. Key your eyes open for the seafood specials which truly are special.
Lamb, veal, chicken and duck dishes round out the main dinner menu at Michael’s, though several of the salads are meals in themselves. The seared duck is definitely on my to savor list as is the Cassoulet.
The ambiance is traditional Key West. The outdoor dining area is located in a classic Old Town Key West garden complete with a New Orleans style fountain. The indoor dining area is cozy with an old Key West feel best described as casual elegance.
The appetizer menu is nearly as heavenly as the steaks. Scallops and brie, seafood crepes, plantain encrusted shrimp and beef Carpaccio just to name a few local favorites. Due to my girth, I avoid dessert, but the chocolate volcano does not disappoint at Michael’s (it’s tough being a chocoholic).
If you are in Key West stroll over to the corner of Margaret and Southard, partially hidden by the palms is 532 Margaret Street, your gateway to casual elegant dining. Until then check out Chef Michael Wilson and his lovely wife Melanie’s website. Reservations are recommended for dinner, but there is room at the garden bar if you get there early. Michael’s Key West Restaurant is open for dinner only. If you want the most awesome breakfast you will ever have, you may want to try a special event brunch or get on a radio show.