Now  We’re Cookin /  Solo  American Bistro


By Diana Johnson


Imagine being transported away from the hustle and bustle of Duval Street to a sleek, upscale bistro and you have arrived at Solo, an acronym for Sail Over Life’s Ocean. Solo is where you go to escape life’s burdens and enjoy half price appetizers and drinks every day during Happy Hour.




Jay O’Neill is the Executive Chef for Solo. His creativity is reflected in each dish, from the appetizers to the salads, entrees and desserts.




Solo’s appetizers are innovative and upscale yet will not break the bank. My favorites are the tempura crab cakes, conch and shrimp fritters and yellowfin tuna tartare. The tuna comes with an unique light and crispy fried ginger. The sauces are all house-made and delicious. My favorite was the corn pepper lime aioli. All of Solo’s fish is locally sourced.




Solo’s generous flatbreads are: a vegetarian with wild mushrooms, roasted red pepper, tomato, mozzarella and arugula; a prosciutto-pepperoni with horseradish cream and two cheeses; and a four cheese with roasted onion and garlic.




Bistro sandwiches range from seafood to beef and include mahi or crab cake sliders,  a short rib tortilla, cornflake hogfish, a seafood wrap and beef and lamb burgers. The blackened mahi sliders were thick and flaky, served on toasted egg buns with some amazing fries. These fries were very crispy and seasoned with both salt and sugar — resulting in an “I can’t stop eating these” moment.




Evenings bring a dinner menu featuring ossu bucco, whole fish and truffle shrimp and mac, to name just a few. Desserts are a must at Solo. They make their own light and creamy key lime pie and feature dessert specials like Napoleons.




The décor is a blend of modern black granite surfaces, high ceilings and brick walls. The illumination is an eclectic combination of chandeliers, wall sconces and recessed lighting. Colorful pillows line each booth, creating a comfortable seating space. Original art lines the walls, courtesy of Tony Scullin, an Irish artist specializing in black and sepia pictures on metal.




Owner Maria Wevers moved to the Keys from Killarney, Ireland and has lived in Key West since 1992. She opened Solo on November 30, 2012 so recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. She is bringing her son Kiernan into this family business.




At Solo everyday is locals discount day. It doesn’t matter what time of year or day of the week, there is always a 10% locals discount.




Whether you are interested in music, dancing or just relaxing with friends, Solo is a great place to go in Key West. Solo has a DJ on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights from 10 till closing. The restaurant has an outdoor patio and a large indoor space well-suited for private parties, wedding celebrations and meet and greet events.




Solo is located at 610 Greene between Elizabeth and Simonton streets and is open seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. to close (midnight or 2 am). To reach the restaurant call ) (305) 296-2033.


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