The Grand Cafe | Review

Scallops at the Grand Cafe beautifully presented.
Scallops at the Grand Cafe beautifully presented.

The Grand Cafe is an elegant eatery located on the bustling 300 block of Duval Street. Indoor and outdoor seating is available throughout the grounds of this converted Victorian home; you can enjoy a meal or just a few drinks as you relax in the garden setting, the wraparound porch, the beautiful dining rooms, or the modern lounge area.

We had 6:30 dinner reservations, and as it turned out, we were glad that we did because the place was filled with customers by 7:30 that evening. Still, the dining area remained fairly quiet and gave off a romantic feel.

Our waitress (who I think looked vaguely like Scarlett Johansson with a European accent) was very efficient, although abrupt with us at times. Perhaps it was her cultural upbringing. Either way, it did not mar our night as guessing her reactions to our requests became a source of entertainment for us throughout the meal.

Shortly after we were seated she brought us over a basket of bread and proceeded to get our drink orders. We all felt rushed by her mannerisms, however, she did listen and got all of our orders correct. After she went to retrieve our drinks we realized that there was no butter with the bread. When she came back with our drinks one of us asked for butter to which she did not reply. All four of us looked up at her expectantly. When we repeated the request she said, “I have it. Not on me, but I will go get it. I heard you.” We all looked at each other and laughed. She did bring us butter, and we all joked around about who would be brave enough to ask her for butter next time. The rest of our ordering process went without a hitch.

Tartare of blacken tuna and salad for appetizers. And for dinner we ordered the seafood pasta, the scallops, the hogfish special, and the prime New York steak.

The tuna was fresh and had an unusual yet pleasing taste with its ginger and chive oil drizzle. The salad was beautifully presented with lots of fresh veggies, but the dressing was bland and we were left uninspired.

We were all delighted with our entrees, for the most part…

The seafood pasta came with a choice of a red sauce or a white wine garlic cream sauce which we opted for. The pasta was done al dente and the seafood was fresh, flawlessly prepared, and delicious. The perfect amount of sauce accompanied the meal as well so that the delicate seafood was not overpowered by a heavy topping.

The scallops were also perfectly prepared. The key lime beurre blanc sauce that accompanied them was served on the side for which I was happy so that it did not overtake the sweet scallop flavor, but it was light and delicious. However, the truffled mushroom couscous was inedible. I love mushrooms, but this tasted akin to mud.

The hogfish too was cooked to perfection with a delicate coconut sauce and potatoes. This plate was cleaned at the end of the meal.

And the steak was delicious and tender topped by a light peppercorn brandy sauce that melded well with the meat as well as the creamed potatoes and vegetables that accompanied the plate.

For dessert we ordered coffee along with a key lime pie, a bread pudding, and creme brûlée. My husband is a key lime pie connoisseur and he thoroughly enjoyed the pie as it had a nice consistency and was not too tart. The creme brûlée was not the best hat I have had, but it was tasty; I felt it lacked a pizzaz to really made it stand out. The bread pudding was firm and delicious and was a real surprise winner for the desserts.

Luckily for the four of us the bill only came to about $150. I say luckily because the restaurant was having a locals appreciation half price deal, so we would have run up a bill of $300 if this was any other time.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time here. The atmosphere was very nice and upscale without being pretentious. I cannot say that the services was bad. Our waitress was quick and accurate with our orders. And we did have fun with her personality quirk.

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 previous restaurant reviews.

And 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!!

Island Genn
Key West Concierge

About the author: Island Genn

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