Blackfin Bistro, 918 Duval St., Key West

November 20, 2009 

The increasingly popular Upper Duval area has produced the new Blackfin Bistro, which opened just a few weeks ago.

Co-owner Tommy Quartararo, a native New Yorker, opened the business with his two best friends from home, brothers Michael and Joseph Castellano.

The trio has experience opening restaurants up north, and Quartararo, who moved to Key West in 2006, has worked at local favorites Santiago’s Bodega and Pisces.

“I really wasn’t looking to do anything, but this place came available and we just jumped on it,” he said.

Blackfin Bistro is at 918 Duval St., formerly the home of Salsa Loca. (Salsa Loca moved to Angela, just off Duval, a while ago.) Quartararo and the Castellano brothers worked nonstop for six weeks turning the kitschy, Mexican décor into an upscale, contemporary setting complete with a brand new, handmade bar in the interior space. The Blackfin also boasts a large outdoor seating and bar area.

“We were still painting the day we opened,” Quartararo joked.

“We want to do quality food in a comfortable setting,” he said. That includes burgers, salads and rack of lamb.

Some of the more traditional bistro-type entrees include shrimp provencal for $19 or a New York strip steak au poivre, served with hand-cut French fries, a salad and a spicy peppercorn sauce for $24.

Blackfin Bistro also offers daily specials, a variety of mussel preparations plus beer and wine. They’re also serving up breakfast, which, like everything on the menu, is available from 11 a.m. until close, seven days a week.

Stop by or call the Blackfin Bistro at (305) 509-7408.

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