February 9, 2020 – Since I have lived in the Florida Keys (20+ years now), the restaurant at the Reach Resort has been Shula’s, Strip, Spencer’s and now Four Marlins. They finally broke away from the “S” theme, so hopefully this one will stick for awhile! While my heart may always miss Shula’s, I was excited to try this newest incarnation.
A group of us decided to have dinner at Four Marlin’s this weekend. The restaurant was named for for a famous photo of
Ernest Hemingway fishing in Key West, and that photograph hangs on the restaurant wall.
What one has to love about this restaurant above all else is the view. STUNNING! The beautiful beach and ocean view here cannot be beat. And I love the total renovation of the restaurant space, inside and out. The restaurant was always dark and felt dirty in the past. But it is now bright and clean and welcoming, with a tropical, romantic, bygone atmosphere matching the gorgeous scenery. Well done!
While perusing the menu we ordered drinks and our server, Sarah, brought bread to the table for us all to enjoy. The pina colada was undrinkable, and I think that this is a travesty, especially for an island resort. You need to be on point with your froofy drinks at a place like this! The other drinks were great, and to the server’s credit, she had the pina colada taken off of the bill. By the way, they do charge for bread here, which is a bit unusual, but it seems that more restaurants are starting to follow suit.
We started off with a few appetizers for the table: Crab Cakes, Lobster Empanadas, and Tuna Lettuce Wraps. I have to say that these were the highlight of the entire meal in my opinion.
I cannot remember a time since moving to Florida that I have had a decent crab cake anywhere; that all changed last night. This one had the perfect ratio of crab meat to other ingredients and it was amazing. And the aioli served with it was a nice flavor compliment.
The lobster empanadas were a show stopper; they were filled with Maine lobster and to my relief they were not greasy at all. Very flavorful, and probably my favorite thing that I had to eat last night.
The tuna lettuce wraps were light and delicious. The crispy lettuce bed was a perfect vehicle for the fresh, tender marinated tuna. I was very happy to see that they used a really nice piece of tuna here.
For dinner a few in our group ordered the Tequila Lime Grouper. This is something that I normally will not order myself because my husband fishes for grouper so I am a bit spoiled and can eat it whenever I want to during grouper season. I did not try this dish, but everyone seemed very happy with their choice.
My husband, Steven, ordered the Paella Pasta. And even though I thought I should have ordered something more interesting, I ordered the Filet Mignon. Sarah insisted that the filet was amazing. And I talked my husband into us sharing our meals so that we could both enjoy a little surf and turf as it was.
The paella was laden with chicken, mussels, sausage and a few shrimp. Steven left me with the mussels as I love those and he is not a fan, but he wiped out the shrimp. The seafood was cooked appropriately, as was the al dente pasta. The sausage was tasty, but with all of the ingredients, this dish was still lacking something and was a bit boring in the taste department, so I would not order it again.
The filet was seriously tender enough to cut with a butter knife, which I did. I believe it was cooked in the oven which gave it a different taste profile than if it had been grilled. But it was certainly one of the better steaks that we have had on the island. The steak was served with mashed potatoes, at my request. The kitchen was a little stingy with the amount of mashed potatoes on the plate, but they tasted fine. What I should have ordered to accompany my steak was the mac and cheese which someone else at the table ordered. This was a nice sized side portion and it was creamy and delicious. Loved it!
While we were all pretty full after our appetizers and entrees, we decided to try a few desserts anyway. Key Lime Pie, Hummingbird Cake, Rum Lava Cake, and Flourless Chocolate Cake were ordered.
I did not get to try the Key Lime Pie, but my husband gave it is 9.5 out of 10, so now I am going to have go back to try it myself!
The hummingbird cake is something akin to carrot cake. It is a spiced cake with cream cheese frosting. It was moist and delicious and would go great with a cup of coffee.
The Rum Lava cake was beautiful and warm and delicious. All of the flavors melded together and created a distinctly different tasting lava cake than I have had before.
The chocolate cake was served with berries which paired very well with it. It was creamy and decadent and delicious.
Four Marlins is fairly new, so there are probably still a few kinks that they are working out. But the service, the view, and the food all made for a great experience. Sarah was great; she was very attentive to our group and helpful with menu suggestions. The presentation of the food was perfect, and the beautiful painted ceramic plates from Key West Pottery added to that.
We will definitely come back to sample some of the other things on the menu that we missed and to revisit some of the delicious things we enjoyed during this experience.
The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast is served from 7am to 11am, lunch from 11:30am to 4pm, and dinner from 5:30pm to 10pm. The bar opens daily at 11am. Now that is some important information!
To see what is happening on the island during your visit, check out our Key West Events Calendar to see other upcoming special events.
And 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!!