Located on Simonton Street, Abbondanza is a family style Italian restaurant. The building is made up of several conch cottages that have been connected. While charming, the tables are small and tight if you are a tall person. Even me at 5’4 felt a bit squished.
My husband and I had dinner here the other night with some friends because they had never been here and wanted a nice meal without feeling like they had to get dressed up. Plus, there is plenty of free parking available which is a pus when dining in downtown Key West.
We started off with garlic bread, calamari, and fried cheese appetizers. The garlic bread disappeared before I got a bite, so I imagine that it was really good. The calamari had a crispy texture to it, but it was overcooked and didn’t have a lot of flavor; I will definitely skip this next time. The cheese was amazing, but how do you ruin cheese really?
Next, we were brought house salads that came with our entrees. They were tasty with fresh vegetables and a light vinaigrette dressing.
For entrees we ordered the eggplant parm, the manicotti, the cannelloni, and the seafood pasta. Portions were very large and so sharing would be a suggestion for some of the pasta options. I have said it before and I will say out again. The food here is good, but not overly impressive. The sauce is what I feel just makes the food only good and not outstanding as it is heavily seasoned for my taste so you miss a lot of the tomato and other fresh flavors because they are drowned out with powerful spices like oregano and cumin.
With that said, the pastas were all prepared perfectly al dent and the seafood was not overcooked which can sometimes be a feat with seafood pastas. My manicotti was stuffed with ricotta and spinach. I did enjoy it, but I would have liked there to have been more spinach and less sauce to overpower the rest of the dish.
For dessert my husband ordered the key lime pie and the rest of us ordered cannoli, which is my absolute favorite dessert. I did not try the key lime pie, but my husband is the true connoisseur. He enjoyed his first bite or two but then thought the almonds in the crust became too overpowering. The cannoli were perfection; a crispy shell filled with rich, thick sweet marscapone cheese mixed with chocolate chips. We washed our desserts down with some fresh coffee which was tasty too and the perfect compliment to the sweets.
We enjoyed our waitress. She was a little quirky, but she kept our glasses filled and regularly checked to make sure all was fine at our table.
Abbondanza is not my choice for a romantic night out, but it is a nice place to go with friends for good Italian food and amazing cannoli. There is also a full bar, and they offer many specialty drinks. The glass of chianti I had with my meal was perfect with the red sauce. In addition, they also have a nice martini menu.
Before deciding where you are going to eat while visiting Key West, be sure to read my other restaurant reviews; check out our restaurant review section of this blog as well as our restaurant reviews.
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!!