The Boathouse, one of Key West’s newest restaurants, has quickly become a local favorite. An extension of the Commodore, the Boathouse features laid-back dining and an extensive happy hour menu. I took a friend here for a birthday lunch, curious about the new establishment. My curiosity was rewarded with a delicious meal and a festive environment.
The restaurant can be a little hard to find. It’s tucked away beneath the Commodore, near Alanzos and the Conch Republic Seafood Company on the Key West Harbor Walk. We rode our bikes, but there is free parking adjacent to the building. A nice perk in an area with no street parking.
On entering the restaurant, we are greeted with an open layout and a nice breeze coming in through the open bar. Signaling flags hang from the trellised ceiling and nautical rope accents complete the boathouse feel.
The open end of the restaurant houses a bar that makes up half of the restaurant. Here, diners enjoy their lunch along with a view of the water. The other end of the restaurant consists of tables and booths, separated from the bar by a long crab house table. Ceiling fans above the table keep the flags fluttering and diners cool.
Rounding out the ambience, jazzy-blues music wafts through the restaurant.
The menu featured decent prices and an extensive list of beers and wines. Service was quick and friendly.
Boat Conch Chowder (4.25)
I ordered the conch chowder to accompany the Boathouse Salad. It was under-seasoned and lacking in conch meat. Next time, I will pass this over for something else on the menu.
Boat House Salad (8.95)
The Boathouse salad consists of walnuts, endives, greens and a generous serving of Maytag cheese. Though the cranberries were a bit skimpy, my waiter happily brought more upon request. I enjoyed the salad with the blue cheese dressing, while my friend had the honey mustard. Both options paired nicely with the salad.
Blackened Mahi-Mahi Sandwhich (9.95)
The Mahi-Mahi sandwhich is paired with a lovely key lime tartar sauce that balances the spiciness of the fish. It is served on fresh a fresh ciabatta roll. Put together it was a bright dish, would definitely order again.
Chocolate Thunder Cake
We made sure to save room for dessert and this rich cake was a nice reward for doing so. The chocolate was smooth and satisfying. We all but licked our plates.
Though the restaurant had some lows, the conch chowder being the trough, it was well worth the price. The waiter was accommodating and friendly and the atmosphere provided just the right setting for celebrating a birthday with a friend.