Key West Restaurant Review: Cafe Marquesa

Located at the Marquesa Hotel on Fleming Street, this classy restaurant has a unique international menu that is constantly changing and very good service. Menus are actually printed daily so the servers will not have any specials to tell you about. My husband and I had dinner here for our anniversary this weekend. The decor is elegant with huge framed mirrors, large windows, and beautiful molding. This all helps with the illusion that the dining area is larger than it is. The tables are fairly close together. Luckily, we were seated next to a very friendly and interesting German couple and we had a nice conversation throughout dinner. It is slightly noisy in the restaurant, but not obnoxiously so; there is foam glued underneath the tables to help combat the noise level. There were a few older gentlemen sitting at the bar that were quite loud, but it quieted down loads after they left.

Our waitress was very good and she stayed on top of service throughout the meal. However, she really did not get the hint when we mentioned that certain things did not taste right; normally when things are so bad that you do not eat more than a bite or two the items are either taken off of the menu or the server replaces the item with something else. Neither of those things happened, but that did not ruin the experience.

To start, the waitress brought us over some hot bread with butter and an olive oil and hummus plate. Divine. We actually ate so much bread that I almost had to force feed myself my actual entree.

Anyway, my husband and I ordered a bottle of wine and a couple of appetizers to start. I got the seafood dumplings served in a sake miso broth and he got the chicken gumbo. The chicken gumbo was very good. I am being generous to say that the dumplings were just okay; the broth that they were served in was a little spicy yet tasty, but the dumplings themselves were quite bland. The seafood inside tasted like it had been cooked into oblivion so there was pretty much no flavor there, and truthfully I could not tell you what type of seafood was actually in the dumplings.

We both ordered a salad which was delicious with mixed greens, pears, cheese, and pomegranate seeds. Yummy!

For our entrees I ordered the vegetarian platter and my husband ordered the flat iron steak. Normally he does not like sauces on his steak, but he loved the sauce that accompanied this plate. My vegetarian platter was delicious as well. It came with several different veggies such as onions, garlic, tomatoes, broccolini, carrots, endive, and a few other veggies as well as a small amount of risotto.

For dessert, my husband the key lime pie connoisseur ordered the key lime napoleon and i ordered the egg nog creme brûlée. The napoleon was so tart that it was inedible. Suffice it to say that after two bites he did not touch the rest. The creme brûlée, however, was one of the most delicious desserts that I have ever eaten. If you like egg nog and creme brûlée there was nothing not to like here. Amazing!

At the end of the evening our bill was around $140. It was pricey but worth it for the most part. I am not going to make this a regular dining spot since it is an expensive outing, but it is definitely a good spot for a special evening out. Keep in mind that the restaurant does close for an extended vacation during the summer some time. Usually around August or September is I remember correctly.

For more information about things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site. You can also visit our Key West Events Calendar to see upcoming special events.

And for more restaurant reviews check out our restaurant review section of this blog as well as our restaurant reviews at

Island Genn – Your Key West Concierge

About the author: Island Genn

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