Shireen’s Spotlight: Tavern N Town

Shireen's Spotlight: Tavern N Town

Shireen's Spotlight: Tavern N Town

Shireen's Spotlight: Tavern N Town

Shireen's Spotlight: Tavern N Town

What:

Tavern N Town located inside Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel, 3841 North Roosevelt Blvd. Key West, Florida 33040

Why:

Once you walk through the whimsically ornate iron gates of “Tavern N Town,” you’re immediately swept away into a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The dark wood, rich marble and brushed brass detailing reminds me of some of my favorite places in New York City; but instead, the vibe is totally Key West: laid back with a hint of upscale luxury.

With live piano music playing in the background, I started my evening with three signature drinks: the Old Fashion, Cucumber Crush and Key Lime Martini. The Old Fashion was strong yet smooth. It’s the kind of drink that’s always a big hit with my photographer, James. It’s definitely a man’s drink.

The cucumber concoction, made with vodka, lemon and lime, was refreshing and light. And, what’s not to love about liquid Key Lime pie? That’s what their special martini tastes like. Hello, Lovah! The drink is also rimmed with graham cracker sprinkles. I had this before my meal, but honestly, it’s a great dessert drink, too. It’s sweet, tasty and a fab reminder that I was spending the weekend in Key West.

Before dinner, the chef sent out a beautifully plated amuse bouche of raw tuna topped with brie, chili and a yummy balsamic (I loved its beet garnishing). Up next, presented in a large martini glass: “Petit Caprese Salad” served with mozzarella, tomato, white balsamic and crispy pancetta…

Mmmm, it was fresh, simple and light. Probably my favorite of the night. Who knew I loved crunchy pancetta? The “Lemon Crusted Sea Scallop,” served with cheddar grits and butter, was amazingly decadent. The scallop itself was plump, meaty and cooked to perfection. The grits were fluffy and creamy. It’s hard to get grits right, so, mad respect to the chef.

For dinner, the “Cilantro Seared Swordfish” served with roasted red beets and kale came highly recommended. I’m not the kind of person to order swordfish, per se, but this dish really won me over. It was light, succulent and I’d definitely order it again. The caramelized shallots made the dish extra tasty.

For dessert, the “Raspberry Cheesecake” (which was a special), was perfectly layered, delicate and creamy. I always shy away from anything too sweet, but the graham cracker crust added just the right amount of savoriness.

Sometimes, after a few days in the Keys, I tire of the bar scene and long for a proper meal, where I can dress up and pretend like I’m in the big city. “Tavern N Town” is the perfect place to do just that. It’s lively atmosphere, great service and sophisticated food make it one of my new favorite things (and I’m allowed to enjoy it all on island time).

Where:

“Tavern N Town” is snuggled inside the Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel off the Grand Lobby. The hotel is located at the main entryway of Key West itself. The restaurant’s energy is so palpable, it practically calls your name once you step foot into the lobby.

If you’re staying at the hotel, have a great meal and a few of those Key Lime Martini’s and walk to your room with a view. If you’re just dining (and not staying on-property), there’s plenty of parking and valet, too. Cheers!

When:

Dinner is served daily, but the hours differ, albeit slightly: Sunday-Thursday 5pm-10pm, Friday-Saturday 5pm-10:30pm. The lounge is open daily from 4pm-11pm.

reservations: www.tavernntown.com or 305-296-8100
Twitter: @KeyWestMarriott #tavernntown
IG: @marriottbeachside #tavernntown
FB: Tavern N Town
Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the romance of the unusual.Ernest Hemingway

Wardrobe provided by www.hauteglamboutique.com
Twitter: @HauteGlamBtq IG: @hauteglamboutique FB: Haute Glam Btq

Photographer: James Woodley
Producer: Shireen Sandoval
Stylist: Jackie Kay
Editor: Matthew Auerbach
special thanks to Lisa Malcom of www.thesocialsuite.com

The Perfect Getaway

The Perfect Getaway

The Perfect Getaway

The Perfect Getaway

The Perfect Getaway

The Perfect Getaway

The Perfect Getaway

What:

Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel, 3841 North Roosevelt Boulevard, Key West, Florida

Why:

Man, have I been a busy bee lately. I just adopted a new dog from the North Miami Beach Humane Society (his name is Rigby), I’ve been working out like a mad person trying to rehab my knee from my recent meniscus repair surgery (it’s healing quite nicely) and my boyfriend’s parents (whom I’ve only met once) just came to visit us from England.

His parental units, as I lovingly call them, stayed at my house. I don’t even let my OWN parents stay at my house. Honestly, my units prefer staying in their tricked-out RV, not my tiny little guest room which has basically been converted into a gi-normous blog/television wardrobe closet. Needless to say, life has been pretty cra-cra and I’ve been longing for “The Perfect Getaway.” Like, ASAP…

Which got me thinking about my “Dress to Impress” blog that I wrote last December about re-evaluating and reinventing my New Year resolutions. My new ones are getting in touch with my sexy side and spending more time in the Florida Keys. I’m working like a boss on the body thang (with diligent derriere workouts at Iron Flower Fitness), but the Keys? Eh, not so much. So…

I decided to load up the car and head south. Destination? “The Perfect Getaway” at the Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel. I had fallen in love with a sunset picture they had recently posted on Twitter and knew I had to see the place for myself.

Part of the charm of The Keys is the drive, so I took my time, enjoyed the view and stopped at some of my favorite places along the way (including Porky’s Bayside BBQ in Marathon Key). I had their famous Coconut Shrimp, Fried Key Lime Pie and washed it all down with a Key West Pale Ale. đŸ˜‹

Wowza, the day started out so bright and so beautiful. It’s always enchanting to watch as the sky and sea dance together like long lost friends; it’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins when driving south.

Unfortunately, as I got closer to Key West, it turned incredibly stormy. Despite the blustery, hurricane-like weather, I was still in good spirits. Every fashionista needs time to unwind and that’s exactly what I was doing.

Once I arrived at the hotel, I was immediately impressed with its light and airy, creamed-colored lobby. Upon check-in, I was greeted with a friendly hello and a glass of bubbly. My room was just as inviting: a large, comfy presidential suite with the most amazing view of the Gulf of Mexico.

As I waited for the wet weather to dissipate, I munched on a yummy fruit platter, ordered some Key West beer and fell into a deep slumber, but eventually, my growling stomach woke me up. That’s when…

I headed for the hotel’s popular restaurant, “Tavern N Town” (which has been voted one of the best restaurants in Key West). I’m featuring it this Friday on Spotlight, so stay tuned for deets on the “Key Lime Martini” … it’s to die for.

I think the bad weather on the day I arrived was a blessing in disguise, because I really needed some rest and relaxation. Plus, I got to enjoy the luxury of the room (nap-oh-rama) and take time to sit outside and watch the sky turn different shades of pink, purple and blue. Key West is so special and when the weather is moody, it makes for an extra gorgeous sunset.

The next day, although chilly, was sunny enough to explore the hotel’s pool area, which has roomy cabanas and a direct view of the ocean. I also meandered out to the hotel’s popular pier and snapped pictures of boats sailing by for my own collection.

I found everything about the hotel and the property extremely private, romantic and comfortable. I also liked the fact that I could enjoy the Gulf view verses the Atlantic Ocean side of the island. It was a nice change.

After it got a bit warmer, I headed into Key West and shopped on Duval Street and stopped at Blue Heaven for a Lobster Eggs Benedict. Just as the sun started to go down, I packed it up and headed back to Miami. I wanted to enjoy at least a few hours of the drive while it was still light out.

My quick adventure left me feeling so much better: rested, relaxed and ready to tackle my busy life again. Sometimes, a girl just needs “The Perfect Getaway” and that’s why the Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel is one of my favorite things.

Where:

The Marriott Beachside Hotel is located at the main entryway of Key West. Matter of fact, it couldn’t be more convenient. Just as you make a right onto the main boulevard of the island, make another right and viola! You’re there. Easy-peasy.

If you’re driving in from Miami (like most working fashionistas) there’s on-site covered parking (for a fee) which is great, because trying to find a spot around the island itself is almost impossible. I usually park and cab it. I just love walking around and discovering all the nooks and crannies Key West has to offer.

Reservations: www.beachsidekeywest.com or 1-866-679-5490 (toll free)
Instagram: @marriottbeachside
Twitter: @KeyWestMarriott
Facebook: Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel

Wardrobe provided by www.hauteglamboutique.com
Twitter: @HauteGlamBtq
IG: @hauteglamboutique
FB: Haute Glam Btq

Travel brings power and love back to your life.Rumi
Photographer: James Woodley
Styling: Jackie Kay
Hair, MUA: Odett Hernandez
Editor: Matthew Auerbach