Shula’s Restaurant at The Reach Resort
(Steaks & Seafood)
1435 Simonton St., Key West, Florida
Price Range: High
Closed - Renovating, and new restaurant will open
REVIEW Shulas Restaurant
You know there are those restaurants that are there so you can impress someone on a business trip, birthday or anniversary. Don Shula, the ex coach of the Miami Dolphins, has built a number of these kind of eating spots around the U.S. The location selected for Key West is abutting the only natural beach on the island at the Wyndham Reach Resort just steps from the Atlantic Ocean.
You will have a wonderful meal at Shulas, I won’t deny it. They provide some of the finest quality steaks and seafood available, impeccable service, one of the best wine lists in town and one of my favorite eating environments on the island. Yes, you have a fabulous Atlantic view whether outside under the classic ceiling fans or indoors surrounded by French doors so you can enjoy the water in air-conditioned comfort. The hardwood floors, low ceilings and whitewashed walls give you a warm feeling and the place is so incredibly clean. You just notice these things.
It is Don Shula’s place so a bar with televisions would have to be a part of the landscape, but it has been strategically placed in the complex so it is the hub and yet separated from the rest of the restaurant by a circle of windows maintaining the ocean view. Flanking the bar is a separate area for small parties and special occasions. Cigars being a part of the Key West economy for so many years and a popular pastime for locals and visitors alike; well, we have a non-smoking law in Florida now, so you’ll have to take your smoke and drink a few steps out to the veranda.
Like many of the high-end steak places everything at Shula’s is a-la-carte, so your main course will be at the $30.00 range and salad/appetizer/side dishes around $10.00 each. We are in Key West and the management concedes to that by serving several very delicious seafood options one of which is an Australian lobster tail that can get up to the 32 ounce range. They charge by the ounce, so make that a shared eating experience with the rest of your table. Desserts are massive in quantity and quality so sharing might be a good idea here too. I had the flan last time and it was served in a full-sized ceramic pie dish which could easily feed 5 or more people and I was with a girlfriend, so we obviously left a lot behind. I hope your hotel has a fridge in the room because you WILL take food home.
I know the management and servers here. They have very high standards and will do anything they can to ensure your visit to Shula’s is a special one. You will pay a premium for it out of the old wallet, but I say treat yourself because you will get your money’s worth!
Doug Heyman in Key West for the Food Reference Website