Spencer’s by the Sea at the Reach Resort: Review

Key West’s Reach Resort has been around for many years, but the headline restaurant changes every few years. I remember it being Shula’s, Strip, and now Spencer’s. I guess that they like to stick with the letter “S.” Since I had not been there since it had become Spencer’s, my husband and I decided to go there with some friends  and check it out for dinner one evening.

The parking situation had changed so we were a bit confused there. As it turns

key west pink shrimp filet mignon spencers reach resort
Spencer’s by the Sea at the Reach Resort – Petit Filet with Key West Pink Shrimp.

out, if you are dining at Spencer’s there is free valet parking available, which I have to say is quite nice.

Upon entering the dining area, we smelled something akin to sewage. We thought that maybe it was because it was located near the hotels restrooms and the building is quite old so the plumbing may be a bit antiquated. Still, being a warm evening, we initially opted to eat inside. However, the stench was more than we could bear after awhile, so we asked to be moved outside. The outdoor seating area was comfortable temperature wise and you cannot beat the stunning views of the Atlantic from here.

We ordered drinks and were enjoying the bread that they brought out while we decided what to order for our meals. I really wanted to try the loaded hash browns, but nobody would share with me and I did not want to end up eating the entire dish by myself which I can almost guarantee is what would have happened if I liked them. So, I cannot report on those. Here is what we did get…

Reach Resort Key West Spencers by the Sea Prime Rib
Prime Rib at Spencer’s by the Sea at the Reach Resort.

My husband and I shared a wedge salad to start. He ordered the ribeye served with bone marrow mashed potatoes and a side of mushrooms. I ordered the petit filet with Key West pink shrimp. Dianne ordered the fish special which was snapper served atop of polenta. Finally, Erik ordered the prime rib special which was served with goat cheese mashed potatoes.

The wedge salad was delicious and large enough to share. The ice berg lettuce was accompanied by pancetta, blue cheese crumbles, egg, heirloom tomatoes, and of course blue cheese dressing. The pancetta and heirloom tomatoes really classed up this classic basic salad.

My husband loved his entire meal. The steak was cooked perfectly and was very flavorful. And he was pleasantly surprised by the potatoes. They did not put many on the plate, so he would not let me try them, but he allowed me to try the16 oz.  steak which was quite good.

Unfortunately, my steak was very overdone making the meat quite dry and dull tasting. The shrimp were not overdone, but they were bland. I was very disappointed that a steak house would so severely ruin a steak.

ribeye steak at Spencers by the sea reach resort key west
Ribeye with Bone Marrow Mashed Potatoes from Spencer’s by the Sea at the Reach Resort.

Dianne enjoyed her fish but the polenta tasted horrid. I really cannot even describe the flavor.

Erik’s prime rib was delicious but his potatoes were just not edible. The taste and smell were simply off-putting.

We did not order dessert, but Steven did get a coffee to end the meal and it was a good cup of Joe.

So, I would say it was a 50/50 on the food. The service was impeccable, and the atmosphere outside was wonderful; very romantic. Again, if we had staying inside to dine, the experience would have been lacking even more with the smell. And, the inside really needs to be cleaned up and refreshed a bit. It is not the dining room one expects of an upscale restaurant or hotel for that matter. And at almost $300 for our meal (more with tip), I am not likely to dine here again.

Before deciding where to eat while you are visiting Key West or the rest of the Florida Keys, be sure to read my restaurant reviews; check out our restaurant review section of this blog.

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!!

Island Genn – Your Key West Concierge

About the author: Island Genn

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