My husband and I joined some friends for dinner at Keyviche this past weekend, and we were all really excited to try a new restaurant. Located on Caroline Street, just around the corner from Famed Duval Street, Keyviche is billed as a seafood eatery, although the fare is primarily Peruvian in origin which has Incan, European, Asian, and African influences.
We did not make reservations which I was a bit worried about this time of year as it is still very busy in Key West, but as it turned out the place was nearly empty so reservations were not necessary and we were seated right away. Of course we were seated next to one of the only other occupied tables of which the diners were so loud that we could not hear each other speak. Fortunately, we were able to move to a quieter table.
Keyviche has a beautiful bar area that serves Peruvian Pisco cocktails along with other alcoholic beverages. Instead, I ordered a red sangria and my friend ordered a white sangria. The red was tasty, but neither of us loved the white. To be fair, I don’t typically care for white sangria, but it tasted like straight white grape juice to me.
The “popcorn” that they bring to start is Peruvian corn which is similar to the leftover corn kernels they you have when you make popcorn, but larger, not as hard, and more flavorful. We also started with an order of garlic bread which was tasty but not garlicky at all.
As we studied the menu we were confused by the ceviche options. The waiter, although affable, was not very good at explaining it. We ended up ordering several different things from the menu to get a taste of many different types of food that they offer.
The house salad, a mix of greens, carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes with a house vinaigrette was much too lemony and otherwise bland. I like some lemon on my salad, but it was much too overpowering in this instance.
The seafood skillet had shrimp, calamari, onions, peppers, garlic, and potatoes. The seafood was tender and not overdone, but the sauce that it was cooked in was not to my liking.
The mixed ceviche with the rococo red pepper sauce was a combination of fish, shrimp, calamari, mussels, and octopus. The taste was fresh and very good and the texture was perfect. If you like ceviche you would very much enjoy this dish or one of the other ceviche options that they offer at Keyviche.
The flash fried cracked conch, served with a yellow pepper remoulade was cooked properly and tasted good. However, the large amount of garnish on the plate, I am assuming to mask the small amount of conch, was ridiculous. It actually made eating the conch kind of difficult.
The seafood linguine had shrimp, calamari, scallops, spinach, tomatoes, and mushrooms in a key lime butter sauce. The seafood was a bit overcooked, but it really did not matter because the sauce was so overpowering that we could not even taste the seafood. When the waiter came over to check on us, my husband told him that the seafood pasta was not good and he asked that he take it away. The correct response from the waiter would have been to see if there was anything else that he could get for us; instead he just laughed and walked away. That response left us all scratching our heads.
We also had to try one entree for the carnivore, so we ordered the churrasco steak which was served with plantains, black beans, and rice. The steak was tender and I was able to cut it easily with a butter knife. Taste wise it was bland on its own, but with the churrasco accompanying it the steak was much better. The rice, beans, and plantains were delicious.
The Keyviche roll and the spicy ceviche roll are similar to sushi rolls. The former had shrimp, cream cheese, cucumber and avocado topped with crab salad and red pepper aioli. The later was filled with yellowtail snapper ceviche, cucumber, and avocado topped with tuna rolled in rice and served over a creamy citrus sauce. These rolls were by far the most nicely presented and the tastiest items that we tried while dining at Keyviche. The flavors melded together well, complimenting one another.
While Keyviche has a lot of dining options, I was not overly-impressed with the food or the service. The stand out items were the rolls in my opinion. However, as a restaurant it offers a different type of dining experience and cuisine that you cannot find elsewhere in Key West. So, if you like ceviche or if you are looking for a new dining experience certainly give this place a try.
Before deciding where you are going to eat while visiting Key West or the rest of the Florida Keys, be sure to read my other restaurant reviews too; check out our restaurant review section of this blog as well as our previous restaurant reviews.
And to see what is happening on Key West 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!!