Key West’s The Stoned Crab Restaurant Creates A Whole New Fish Dining Experience Thanks To Local Fishermen

Known for serving the freshest seafood in Key West, The Stoned Crab restaurant is now taking the dining experience to a ‘whole’ new level by offering diners just-caught, whole fish prepared using a variety of complementary cooking techniques learned from Florida Keys local fishermen.

Upon entering the Trip Advisor four-star rated beachside restaurant, patrons are now immediately greeted with a unique LED-lit “Select Your Fresh Fish” display case that houses fresh, never frozen whole fish caught by Dock to Dish’s local fishermen that day. Diners can select a whole fish from the case and have it prepared whole or to their liking! “Once we learned from our local Dock to Dish fishermen that cooking fish whole maximizes freshness and flavor, we knew we could introduce our customers to a whole new dining experience. It’s a perfect addition to our menu and re-enforces our reputation for offering the ‘Freshest Seafood in Key West’,” said restaurant General Manager Bill Gernaat.

“Fish cooked whole simply tastes better: The skin protects the delicate flesh, the bones keep it juicy, and you can stuff the cavity with flavorful ingredients and herbs,” noted local Dock to Dish Fisherman Alex Osborn.

Since they began promoting the freshness and flavor of prepared whole fish, The Stoned Crab’s whole fish sells out almost every day. “When it’s brought to the table, it looks so beautiful that every other guest in the restaurant wants to order it,” added Gernaat.

After selecting their whole fish, customers can customize their meal by choosing any number of preparation techniques. “Customers can have their whole fish prepared grilled, baked, blackened, barbequed, fruit glazed, or stuffed with lobster orcrab. You name it and we can do it whole,” said the restaurant’s Executive Chef, Paul Menta.

However, while Menta and his team take great care in preparing the whole fish, they dedicate equal effort to ensuring the freshness and flavor of the dish’s sides and accouterments as well. “What really adds to the uniqueness of this dining experience is that, in these dishes, we only use ingredients purchased from local farmers, harvested locally. The whole fish is local to our Florida Keys waters and the accouterments are local to our Florida Keys farms. Everything about this dish is completely fresh and local.”

Smaller whole fish such as Snappers, Hogfish, and Lion Fish can be ordered upon arrival to The Stoned Crab. Larger fish, such as 10 lb and over Grouper, Mahi Mahi, and Barrelfish require preordering in advance.  “For birthday, bachelor, or graduation parties, customers can call The Stoned Crab to pre-order a, say, 10 lb Black Grouper or a 20 lb Mahi Mahi,” said Gernaat. “Based on the weight, we calculate the whole fish cooking time so that it’s ready to serve shortly after the customer is done with appetizers. We time the cooking perfectly so no one has to wait.”

“When you order a 20 lb Mahi Mahi for a party of eight people, you’re not just getting a meal – you’re getting a completely unique Key West dining experience,” emphasized Menta. “In addition to being cooked to perfection, the whole fish is decorated with skewered local fruits and vegetables, plated on an impressive tray, and carried to the table by multiple members of the wait staff. It’s not only a delicious dining experience, but a unique one that you can’t find anywhere else in the Florida Keys.”

For more information or to pre-order a whole fish, visit TheStoned Crab at 3101 N Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL 33040 or call (305) 294-4350.