Make a reservation in advance for the daily seven-course tasting menu ($75) at Fin, opened last year by chef Michael Schultz, a veteran of Philadelphia’s five-star Le Bec-Fin. Hidden away down a brick-paved alley, the restaurant serves artful French-Caribbean small plates with an emphasis on local seafood like spiny lobster and conch paired with unusual ingredients such as coconut, lychee, and kumquats.
Admire the salvaged décor and graffiti-tagged walls at 2˘ (416 Appleruth Ln.; 305-414-8626), where chef Chris Otten (formerly of the much-praised nine one five) has created an elevated gastropub menu that steers clear of middling Key West staples like conch fritters and Bud Light. Standout dishes include Thai chicken wings ($10) and yellowtail snapper with tarragon aioli ($24), and on weekdays there’s a pork-centric happy hour featuring free caramelized bacon from 4:30–6:30 p.m.
Skip the hour-wait for brunch with the cruise-ship crowd at Blue Heaven and eat across the street at La Crêperie, recently reopened in the Bahama Village neighborhood by two French natives. Chefs still make the spot's signature buckwheat crêpes in familiar varieties, but there are now added specials like ratatouille-and-swiss ($11.25) and La Campagnarde, filled with frisée, lardons, tomatoes, potatoes, shallots, and an over-easy egg ($12).