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Feb 23, 2008 08:15 AM

Islamorada Restaurants

My husband and I will be in Islamorada for 3 nights in March. We are serious foodies....we typically travel to as many restaurants on Gourmet's Best Restaurants in America (we love The French Laundry, Alinea, Chez Pannise, etc). Where should we go for our 3 dinners while in the area?

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  1. Marker 88 is a fine dining, gourmet restaurant that's very well thought of. We love Bentley's too. I wouldn't call it fine dining per se but it's consistently one of the finest restaurants in the Keys and their escargot (which is presented in oil with sliced mushrooms) is to die for. Those are two winners for you. Important to note that Islamorada isn't necessarily a bastion of fine dining establishments but Markeer 88 and Bentley's are consistently voted amongst the Keys very best.


    1 Reply
    1. re: LargeLife

      If I were able to eat at only one restaurant anywhere in the Keys it would be Marker 88--especially any of their yellowtail snapper entrees.

    2. Then stay away from the Islamorada Seafood Co. You will not find fine dinning like the restaurants mentioned in the Keys. Key West has some of the better upscale restaurants in the Keys. I hear Norman Van Aken is back in Key West with Tavern N Town. Maybe on the way down stop at Michael's Genuine Food & Drink or Michy's

      1 Reply
      1. re: scubadoo97

        I agree that Islamorada Seafood Co is atrocious. I made the mistake of trying to eat lunch there--my entree was so inedible that I sent it back and left hungry.

      2. Bentley's is very noisey and tables are close to each other. The Atlantic Edge at Cheeca Lodge is very good. I think the best restaurant in town is Ziggy and Mad Dogs. Ziggy's has been a Keys landmark for years and has been purchased by Jim Mandich, a former Miami Dolphin. The food is outstanding as is the wine list. I highly recommend it for its food and atmosphere.

        1. Bentley's loud? Maybe...But tables close to each other? At 6'7 and 300lbs. I'm pretty self-conscious about places that are small and tight and Bentley's is neither....And the food there is extremely good...Voted "Best of The Best" many, many times...I've dined there with senators, judges, dive buddies and boat crew members and every time has been nothing less than excellent....and consistently so....Ziggys is a nice place...and love Jim Mandich...but it's just a step below a Bentley's and two steps below a Marker 88.......Ziggy's is a '3'....Bentely's is a '4'.....and Marker 88 is a '5'......Still love The Mad Dog and listen to him every day....ridin' around with the windows down!


          1. Man I have to disagre with some of this. Bentley's is OK and Marker 88 is quite good but Ziggy and Maddogs is far better. Maybe back in the day 88 had it all but not now. There is absolutely nothing at Z&M that isn't superb.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Keysmickey

    're welcome to disagree....that's what we do here....Afterall, it's a matter of taste....Kind of like when I show my dogs in the ring....I show my dogs to judges that have the same taste I do!!....(LOL!).....Perhaps we can agree that Bentley's, Marker 88 and Ziggy & Mad Dog's are all pretty good places to visit....And you really can't go wrong with any of these choices....And how you rank them is up to you!....This is what makes so interesting....Wouldn't be that much fun if we all agreed all of the would it??


              1. re: Keysmickey

                Marker 88 could certainly stand to update its 70s decor, I agree, but the food remains outstanding, IMO.