Bliss Restaurant Review

Grandma's shrimp at Bliss in Key West

Grandma’s shrimp at Bliss in Key West

Bliss has been on my radar for awhile, and this weekend my husband and I joined another couple for dinner at this small Columbian eatery on Petronia Street. I made reservations and was very glad that I did as the place was packed. And even though the space is small, we did not feel cramped.

The menu is filled with superlatives like “best sangria ever” and “best fresh guacamole ever.” We decided to try both in addition to our entrees.

We started with the red sangria; this had little tiny bits a fruit floating on top which did not look appetizing, but we braved a sip and it was delicious. Later on in the evening we tried the white sangria as well. This also had the tiny bits of fruit floating on top and proved to be equally delicious in a different way, and very fruity rather than dry like many white sangrias I have tried in the past.

The signature yellowtail snapper dish at Bliss in Key West.

The signature yellowtail snapper dish at Bliss in Key West.

For appetizers we ordered the “best fresh guacamole ever” and the Cartagena (shrimp and calamari sautéed in tomato basil broth with white wine and garlic and served with cheese bread). Both were incredible. And yes, the guac would certainly be in our top two! Both the guacamole and the chips were fresh and we ended up devouring the first order and getting another one. The seafood in the Cartagena was tender and delicious, with all of the flavors melding nicely together. The accompanying cheese bread was like a breadstick made of puff pastry with cheese rolled inside. This was quite tasty on its own and in combination with the seafood.

Unfortunately, they were out of the Mom’s casserole which I am assuming was because grouper season here in Key West is closed; so fresh, local black grouper is unavailable until May. The grouper is  baked in a béchamel sauce made with white wine, fresh fish broth and fresh herbs and topped with bread crumbs, parmesan and mozzarella cheese. It sounded heavenly and we will have to go back to try it this summer hopefully!  Both guys ordered Grandma’s shrimp while Laura ordered the fettuccine and I ordered the yellowtail snapper.

The columbian hot chocolate at Bliss in Key West.

The columbian hot chocolate at Bliss in Key West.

The yellowtail snapper is their signature dish. The fish is encrusted with a blend of Japanese bread crumbs, fresh herbs and a touch of parmesan cheese and pan seared, served with a light cream caper sauce, white rice and sautéed spinach. It was one of the best fish dishes that I have had in a restaurant. Again, the cream sauce was very light and was a nice addition to the fish.

The Fettuccini was tossed with fresh mushrooms, spinach and parmesan cheese. This was a tasty pasta dish and a perfect options for vegetarians, although you could add shrimp or chicken if you would like.

Grandma’s shrimp were sautéed in a light cream sauce with white wine, garlic, shallots, fresh mushrooms and fresh tomatoes and served with white rice. The shrimp were cooked perfectly and the cream sauce was delicious, yet light and did not overpower the delicacy of the shrimp.

The desserts sounded wonderful, but we were pretty full so we just ordered coffees and a Columbian hot chocolate to end the meal. The coffee was strong and rich and the hot chocolate was great and a dessert to itself.

Yes, we will be going back to Bliss again in the future. Not only was the food surprisingly good, but the service was too. The owner is involved in all aspects of the restaurant, from prepping the food and preparing the sauces to acting as hostess and waiting on tables.

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; check out our restaurant review section of this blog.

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!!

Island Genn
Key West Concierge

Keyviche Review

Mixed Ceviche with sweet potato and Peruvian corn.

Mixed Ceviche with sweet potato and Peruvian corn.

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.

Keyviche's spicy ceviche roll.

Keyviche’s spicy ceviche roll.

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.

Keyviche Roll

Keyviche Roll

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!!

Island Genn
Key West Concierge

Incas Restaurant | Review

Lomo Saltado de Pollo

Lomo Saltado de Pollo

I had never tried Peruvian food before so a few of us decided to eat at Incas Restaurant for lunch. Located at 800 White Street in the same building as Stay Fit Gym, we were pleasantly surprised when we walked in to this establishment. The huge mural of Machu Picchu on the wall transported diners to Peru along with the little Peruvian trinkets that also adorned the place. It was bright and clean and the owner came over to greet and seat us immediately. He was very amiable and explained the items on the menu and answered our many questions.

The owner also brought us Peruvian popcorn with dipping sauces just to try which was a very nice touch. The popcorn looked very similar to our popcorn before it is popped, but when you bite into it is is softer with a slight crunch. It had more of a nutty taste than our traditional popcorn.

I had heard that Incas had a good sangria, so I ordered a glass. It was a tasty, healthy serving made very sweet by the canned fruit cocktail in the bottom of the glass. Personally I would have preferred fresh fruit, but it was still a tasty drink.

Tallarin Saltado de Carne

Tallarin Saltado de Carne

For lunch I ordered the Lomo Saltado de Pollo which is sautéed chicken with onions, tomatoes, cilantro, rice, and french fries. Steven ordered the Tallarin Saltado de Carne which was spaghetti with sautéed beef, onions, tomatoes, and cilantro. Pam ordered Arroz Chaufa, fried rice with vegetables.

The chicken in my dish was very tender and tasty. I love onions, but I was overwhelmed with the amount of them on the dish and I felt that it took away from the rest of the dish. The cilantro was rendered indistinguishable to me with the overpowering onion taste. But I really liked the fries which were like a delicious potatoes treat on the bottom of the plate soaked up in the juices of the dish.

Steven seemed happy with his dish, although he too thought that there were just too many onions versus other food on the plate.

Pam’s fried rice was good, but we were all disappointed that the vegetables were obviously frozen peas and carrots and not fresh vegetables.

Arroz Chaufa

Arroz Chaufa

We were all surprised that the Peruvian food was very similar in looks and taste to our American Chinese food, although a little less saucy. It was also slightly bland, but a little salt was able to fix that right up.

While I realized that I am not a huge fan of Peruvian food, I enjoyed my experience in this small, family run establishment. I think that I will go back one day and try out the seafood or possibly the tacos which sounded good. Definitely something without onions next time!

Before deciding where you are going to eat while visiting Key West, 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!!

Island Genn
Key West Concierge

Amigo’s Tortilla Bar | Review

Amigo’s Tortilla Bar is a fairly new restaurant located on Green Street, directly across the street from Captain Tony’s Saloon. I LOVE Mexican food so I was really excited to try this place. Amigo’s has a great location, a nice website, and a neat menu. The place is very small and seating is mostly bar style which is fine. You are not coming here for a fancy meal. We took up a few bar stools looking out at Captain Tony’s so we had a great view. The waitress came over and was friendly enough. She took our drink orders, and since I ordered the sangria she carded me. She then brought out water for us all and Cokes for those who ordered them. I asked her about the sangria then and she said it was coming. I never saw it so I cannot attest to the taste. But the Coke’s were good.

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