|So this was my first time at Michael’s. Not so for The Handsome Captain™, but it had been a while. We decided we’d enjoy a night of cow during the Lighted Boat Parade since we’ve seen|
the parade more than a few times. Located on 532 Margaret Street in a residential neighborhood, this restaurant is enjoyed by both locals and tourists.
A rezzie was made, we arrived promptly and…we were seated in the dining room. In all fairness to Michael’s, the fault for this was on us. My darling did not ask to be seated in the lovely garden area. So we sat there and a more than pleasant waiter handed us menus. The vibe was just weird. For how cool the garden and garden bar area are, the dining room is stark and boring. The vibe felt very much like “early bird special in SW Florida”. Greg asked our waiter if we could please be moved to the garden and the available table was a pleasant and welcome surprise.
This image was captured from our table. While it’s hardly unobstructed and I do apologize for that…I’ve previously admitted to being uncomfortable creating numerous flashes in close quarters. It’s one thing to point a flash down at food, but flashing all over a small space and blinding other patrons isn’t cool (imo).
So as we were seated, part deux…I discovered that I left my readers in the car (I’m 49, don’t judge me). Greg went to retrieve them as I enjoyed the ambiance…until a group of six was led towards an adjacent table. One of the party just grabbed Greg’s chair and took it. No “Excuse me, Miss…is somebody sitting here?” I’m not even certain why a patron in a restaurant where one is seated would do that, anyway. If I was led to a table where there weren’t enough seats for my party, I’d inform the host and let *him* retrieve an extra seat. Apparently Mr. Wonderful was dumbfounded why *I* would say a couple of times “Excuse me, my husband is sitting there”. As for the host at Michael’s who led the party, he really could’ve done a better job. Sarcastically saying “Well let’s not get all excited” to a patron who just had a seat (the ONLY other seat) taken from her table because her husband left it for less than 5 minutes was unacceptable and unfortunately, set a negative tone for the remainder of the evening. However, I was determined to try and enjoy/salvage it.
We started with glasses of Pinot Noir and Cab Sauvignon, both delicious. Michael’s offers both a regular and a light side menu, but you have to ask for the latter. The light side menu is a fine idea since not all of us have huge appetites…though I do know a girl whose tapeworm we affectionately named “Tabitha” 🙂 Anyway, we did a “mix and match” between the two menus. From the light side, we ordered the:
From the regular menu, we ordered:
Scallops and Brie: Jumbo sea scallops sautéed & served with baked brie & a ruby red port reduction. The scallops were slightly overdone, but the flavor of the dish was outstanding. The combination of the flavors worked well in this very rich but balanced dish.
So at the start of this review, I referred to us dining on cow…something I rarely do. Michael’s features 100% prime beef, flown in from Allen Brothers of Chicago. There are more than enough venues in Key West featuring fruits de la mer, so I was going to do as the Romans…errrr, carnivores do. Since I was going to eat beef, I chose the signature dish but on Michael’s Light Side menu.
Greg’s same signature filet but from the regular menu. Greg chose the 6oz portion (8oz also available). The entrée on the light side menu is $16.95 compared to the $32.95 price tag. That being said, by no means do I think a prime cut at over $30 is a lot of cash. Just reiterating that some of us don’t need quite that much moo cow in our diets 🙂
The filets were done perfectly and while we both love blue cheese, we did think there was too much atop the filets. Greg scraped much of it off and added it to his mashed potatoes. It was a brilliant move as it greatly improved both the filet and the potatoes. While the spuds were quite good on their own, the addition of the cheese made them extra tasty. By using a little “less is more” logic, the filet was no longer overpowered by the cheese.
We ended the evening fairly early. Whether the thing with the host clouded what could have been a nicer evening, I don’t know. When folks dine out as much as we do, we realize that not every experience is going to be mind-blowing…no matter the price tag. The pluses for Michael’s are: the lovely garden seating area and bar; the two menus (regular and light side); the rewards program. When customers sign up for Michael’s Royalty Rewards program, they are awarded a point for every dollar spent. Sometimes, there are “double points” events. My friend Kimberley has racked up a lot and enjoys using them. Many friends enjoy the fondue (only available at the garden bar) with a martini. Who knows, maybe we’ll return.
For more information on Michael’s Restaurant, click here.