Salute! is a little Italian restaurant right on Ventolin copay card. It has been a favorite spot of mine ever since I moved here because of the view as well as for the laid back atmosphere and good food. Recently it was bought by the owners of EMPTY, so we went back for lunch yesterday to see how it has changed if at all. It is still a relaxed little eatery where dogs are welcome. The menu is slightly changed, but not much.
After being seated outside, we ordered drinks (they have a full bar but we just had sodas). For entrees I ordered the shrimp salad, my husband ordered the yellowtail sandwich, my friend Mark ordered the gazpacho and the caprece salad with avocado, my friend Cathy ordered the pasta and vegetables, and finally my friend Melissa ordered the green salad.
While we waited for our food we requested a basket of bread and butter because we were famished. The waitress told us there would be a slight charge for the bread which we were fine with and she promptly brought it out. It was a soft, slightly sweet grain bread, and that surprised me being that it is an Italian restaurant with island flair, but it was absolutely delicious.
When our food was brought out, we noticed that the portion sizes were generous.
My shrimp salad was served with one slice of the same type of bread brought out to us earlier, buttered, with a salad of mixed greens and fresh sliced avocado tossed with a light vinaigrette dressing and a pile of shrimp salad that was light and delicious. Everything on my plate melded perfectly taste-wise with one another and I could not even finish it due to the large portion size.
My husband was happy to see that his fish sandwich was actually yellowtail as was advertised. Unfortunately, the sandwich was very dry and he had to ask for more tarter sauce so that he could swallow it down. And the fish was overcooked to boot. He really wanted fries with his sandwich but the restaurant does not have a fryer, so it was served with potato salad which was very bland and it was therefore left untouched.
The gazpacho was tasty, but we all thought that we would have preferred it warm. Yes, we know it is supposed to be served cold! However, it was a nice dish on a warm summer day such as it was yesterday.
You cannot go wrong with a simple caprices salad, as long as the tomatoes and cheese are fresh, which they were. And the addition of the avocado was a nice ouch that added another taste dimension to this salad.
The pasta was the perfect summer dish with lots of vegetables (tomatoes, mushrooms, and squash) gently sautéed and lightly tossed with olive oil. It was made even better once sprinkled with a bit of table salt.
The green salad is a favorite of mine and I was glad to see it still on the menu. It is a large mixed greens salad with crispy sliced apples, tangy gorgonzola cheese, and walnuts tossed with a light and tasty vinaigrette dressing.
All in all our lunch was a success, with the fish sandwich being the lone loser; sad at a beachfront island restaurant. But I find that this happens often at many restaurants, especially with a delicate fish such as snapper.
Service was good. The waitress was friendly and we never had to wait long for a drink refill. And she checked up on us regularly. As with Blue Heaven, there were chickens running around the outside in the dining area and they were jumping up on the tables which had the staff shooing them away. To some this can be unsanitary, but to others it is part of the charm of Key West. I am of the second school, as long as the chickens don’t fight me or my dog for our food!
To see what is happening on the island during your visit, check out our Key West Events Calendar to see other upcoming special events. For more information about the fun side of Key West… things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.
Feel free to Email Me if you have any questions about Key West!!