We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Very fresh fish and great service.”
Review of Chef Michael's

Chef Michael's
Ranked #4 of 94 Restaurants in Islamorada
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $50
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: A warm, inviting dining room with colorful local art adorning the walls. Small, sleek bar serving fine wine and beer. Tropical veranda seating for a lovely alfreso dinner or Sunday brunch. Fresh Local fish and seafood, Prime steak, attentive, friendly service.
Reviewed August 3, 2013

Excellent menu with fresh fish selections caught by local fishermen. You have several different options on how you can have your fish prepared. The flash fried spinach was amazing. I recommend starting with the rock shrimp and conch fritters with special sauce, big hit at our table. If you are staying at the Cheeca this is a 10 minute walk or 5 minute bike ride from the hotel and way better than the hotel food and better value.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Holly894
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (1,333)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

993 - 997 of 1,333 reviews

Reviewed August 2, 2013

Arriving without a booking and a 2 year old, we weren't sure we could get in to chef Michael's. The staff, however, were so accommodating and put us on a great table with a superb waitress, shell. The food was amazing, large portions and the whole evening was excellent. I recommend you go to this restaurant.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank adammartinwilson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2013 via mobile

Today was our first visit, but will definitely not be the last. Service, food and atmosphere all great. Seafood was fresh, properly prepared and portions are huge. We have had key lime pie all over the keys and this was the best. Not too sweet, just right.

If you are looking for great food in the upper keys this is the place.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank Scott M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2013

In preparation for a day of fishing for mahi-mahi using a local fishing charter, I wanted to find a restaurant that was close by and was willing to prepare our catch for us. I found very good reviews for Chef Michaels and called them. They were happy to offer a "hook and cook" deal for us - $25 per person to prepare our fish three ways and serve it family style with side dishes.

I had no previous personal experience with this restaurant, nor any personal recommendations - we chose strictly on reviews, location and the fact that they were very accommodating when I explained what I wanted to do. We arrived at 5:30 with a party of 7 and they had our table ready for us. We handed over our freshly caught fish fillets, and were welcomed warmly and shown to our table. The place is very intimate and the staff is super friendly. Instantly I was pleased with the ambiance and the staff.

The chef soon arrived at our table proudly displaying a freshly caught (and still whole) mangrove snapper - he was enthusiastic about telling us he was going to prepare a special appetizer for us from this fish. Our waitress shoo-ed him out of the dining room because the fish was literally dripping onto the floor, so he made a hasty retreat into the kitchen while she explained the different ways we could have our fish prepared. We selected three styles:
"Ponchartrain" - lightly blackened, topped w/crawfish & shrimp with a Creole cream sauce; "Ambassador" - sauteed w/ crabmeat, shiitake mushrooms, capers, & key lime butter; and also "Juliette" - seared w/ shrimp, scallops, chardonnay butter, & toasted almond slivers. Side dishes sounded simple enough, jasmine rice, haricot verts with fresh baby carrots, and a roasted potato medley.

Very soon, some panko-crusted fried fish fingers arrived at our table - yes, it was the snapper, and it was delicate and delicious!

I have to say that when the rest of our meal was brought to the table; I was amazed at how much food there was AND how incredibly delicious EVERYTHING was. I have eaten at hundreds of restaraunts (no joke) and this was indeed one of the best meals I have ever been served. Side dishes were far better that the simplicity of the description would lead one to believe, and the fish was indescribably delicious.

They specialize in hogfish, which despite its unappetizing name and funky appearance is a wonderfully delicious fish that is very common in the Florida Keys. If you have never heard of it, do not be put off by the negative image you may have in your head! The locals tell me the hogfish loves to eat lobster, and that's why it is so delicious. I can't confirm the dietary preferences of the fish, but I can tell you it IS very good to eat. I imagine that any of the chef's specialty preparations of freshly caught hogfish would be just as good or possibly better than the fresh mahi we brought.

We ended the meal by sharing a slice of the homemade key lime pie (de rigueur when on vacation in the Florida Keys) and it was also fantastic.

I can't say enough good things about Chef Michael's and we all agreed that when we return to the Keys, we MUST return to this place.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Mark R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2013

Hog fish is one of those special things that if you are a fish foodie, you need to understand, We were walking past and the permanent sign out front says "hog fish", this is actually very interesting and difficult for the restaurant to deliver. Hog fish is hand caught and is not always east to find. There were 4 of us dinning and 3 of us had hog fish. It was absolutely outstanding. Excellent service, a good wine list, and a nice decor completed the package.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank John K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Chef Michael's also viewed

Islamorada, Florida Keys
Islamorada, Florida Keys
 
Islamorada, Florida Keys
Islamorada, Florida Keys
 
Islamorada, Florida Keys
Islamorada, Florida Keys
 

Been to Chef Michael's? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing