The folks at Seven Fish, formerly housed on the corner of Olivia and Elizabeth Streets in Key West, bought land and built a shiny new restaurant. Watching the construction, it seemed like it took forever. The restaurant closed in the old location for their annual summer vacation in September and reopened in the new place shortly after Thanksgiving.
While we were eager to experience the new space, we were a bit hesitant. We’ve been frequenting the restaurant long before we thought of moving to Key West. Part of the Seven Fish charm is cramped quarters, delicious food, and a loud atmosphere.
The building is much larger than the old place, and it is lovely. It is still loud inside when it is full, but they claim they will put in soundproofing shortly. I hope so. A new addition to the restaurant is a full bar. While it used to be beer and wine only, now you can enjoy a martini or other cocktail with your meal.
Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of the new space is that it is still familiar. The servers are the same, the food is the same, and even the need to reserve well ahead of time is the same. We have now been to the new place twice, and both times they delivered.
Our meals started, as they have for quite some time, with a spicy tuna roll and a warm grouper roll. The spicy tuna is delicious and similar to what you would get at a good sushi joint. The warm grouper roll, however, is unique, and one of my favorite restaurant foods anywhere. The sauteed fish is wrapped with rice, avocado, and rice, and served alongside soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger. It is a pop of flavor in every morsel and invariably leaves me wanting more. There is a reason I get it every time we dine.
One of the menu favorites is yellowtail sauteed with a yellow Thai curry, over sticky rice. The dish has been a daily “special” for at least fifteen years and is consistently delicious. Other favorites include the grouper with mango and papaya chutney over angel hair pasta, a sweet and savory dish. Or the gnocchi with sauteed fish and blue cheese sauce. The fish is always perfectly cooked, and while the gnocchi are not the best ever, they are good and absorb every bit of tasty sauce.
The new building will soon offer space for groups up to about 35 people. Though they have expanded, the service and food quality remain the same as it has always been: fabulous. An added bonus is that they are even closer to my house now.
You can find Seven Fish at 912 Truman Avenue. They are open for dinner every night except Tuesday.