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Friday, February 1, 2013

Best Places to Eat in Islamorada Florida Keys

Originally published in Florida Travel + Life Magazine 

Travel through the Florida Keys, and you'll find a foodie scene percolating in Islamorada, a group of six islands halfway between Miami and Key West. 

Green Turtle Inn 

Look for the iconic green neon sign that marks the Green Turtle Inn. Established in 1947, it's still the locals' "clubhouse" where musician Dave Feder revs up Friday evenings with his mixture of hillbilly and Flamenco style. The atmosphere is well matched by the Cajun touches added to the hearty turtle chowder (hence the restaurant's name); pair it with an ice-cold Yuengling lager draft. Don't miss the luscious seared scallops doused in truffle oil and sherry brown butter. 

Atlantic's Edge 

Lunch is at Atlantic's Edge in the Cheeca Resort, where lingering in comfy bamboo chairs with your toes in the sand just steps from turquoise waters is encouraged. Watch sailboats in the distance and people fishing off the dock jutting into the Atlantic Ocean. Try the ahi ceviche, served chilled in a fresh half coconut, with spicy red peppers, green cilantro and sweet coconut sauce. Finish with New Zealand's crisp Nobilo sauvignon blanc. 

Kaiyo Grill 

Kaiyo Grill is the Caribbean-Asian go-to spot for uncommon catches like tripletail and tilefish as well as island-inspired sushi like the namesake roll with crispy tempura Florida lobster, mango, avocado and cilantro. Informal sake tastings take place at the long mahogany bar adorned with blue-hued mosaics. Start with the sweet, unfiltered Dreamy Clouds, and and then snack on warm naan bread fresh from his tandoori oven.

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