New Key West by Nikki Beach opens as a big fat love letter to seafood

Key West by Nikki Beach
Key West by Nikki Beach Paul Stoppi

Nikki Beach started out decades ago as the spring break-friendly Penrod’s. Later it exploded onto the international scene as a chic St. Tropez-style chain.

Now the SoFi landmark has undergone another revamp. It’s highlighting closer-to-home vibes with Key West by Nikki Beach, a new seafood restaurant described as a “love letter” to owner Jack Penrod’s native Florida Keys.   

Opening on Dec. 18, Key West by Nikki Beach features what it calls a well-priced menu “created with the neighborhood in mind.” The menu will  feature bar bites like A1A Coconut Shrimp, Caribbean Baked Scallops with Blue Crab and Yakitori Sea Skewers starting at $9.

Entrees like Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Lobster Ravioli and Crispy Golden Snapper start at $24. Happy hour takes place daily at the Window Bar,  accessible via the restaurant and the breezy patio facing Ocean Drive.

 In addition, an onsite fish market will feature a fresh fish display at which guests can select their catch. There will also be roving oyster shuckers, a raw bar and sushi.

Executive Chef Frank Ferreiro’s signature mains include Banana-Leaf-Wrapped Red Snapper and Stuffed Yellowtail Snapper. There’s also a  seafood platter with Alaskan King Crab legs, grilled calamari, tiger prawns, steamed clams and grilled lobster.

Non seafood dishes include short ribs and slow-braised pork chops. Produce will be sourced from a Homestead farm, and seafood will come from South Florida waters as much as possible.

The restaurant will also support Hurricane Irma relief efforts by selling works from Key West artists. Proceeds will be donated to the Key West High School’s culinary department, which has been providing lunch to students and faculty affected by the hurricane.