Bagatelle is a very beautiful, very classy, restaurant located close to the beginning of Duval St. directly across from The Hogs Breath Saloon, at 115 Duval St.
Every establishment that has Happy Hour in Key West, has their own start and stop times. Bagatelle's runs from 4 – 6. My girlfriend Dani Hoy and I arrived just after Happy Hour started. It's a fabulous atmosphere! The property is nothing less than stunning. Built as a mansion in 1884, it was a private home. Somewhere around thirty years ago, it was moved to its current location on Duval.
With a wraparound veranda, and large windows allowing the beautiful trade winds to breeze through, in many ways Bagatelle is like stepping back in time to a melancholy era.
As I mentioned, Dani Hoy and I arrived just after Happy Hour started. It was moderately busy, but not too busy. Consequently, we had no trouble at all finding two seats at the first-floor bar. Our friend Dee Dee was coming and there was a seat for her as well.
We sat at the bar and enjoyed the fresh breeze. As I mentioned, the atmosphere was like stepping back in time and was wonderful. You could easily see yourself being in a 1940's movie, albeit in color!
Five minutes passed and not only were we not served, we weren't even greeted at the bar. When we were at The Boathouse a week earlier, the place was mobbed, however right after arriving, the bartender said with a big smile “Hi! How are you? Can you give me a second or two and I'll get your order? Thanks!”Additionally, employees who weren't even our servers, gave a cheerful greeting as they passed. At Bagatelle no one ever even greeted us at the bar for five minutes.
Dani suggested we try upstairs. We left the first-floor bar and headed up the stairs to the bar on the second floor. It had a beautiful, similar feel to downstairs. I must say, I loved the overall feel of the entire establishment. It is just marvelous!
We sat at the upstairs bar and within ten seconds we were greeted by the bartender, who's name was Kim. Kim was fantastic throughout our stay there, right on top of things the entire Happy Hour!
For starters, I ordered the Heavy Seas Pounder Pils out of the Heavy Seas Brewery in Baltimore. I never had it before. It uses four European hops, three German, one Czech and European malt. Sounds great, however, I wasn't all that impressed with it honestly and I switched to Stella thereafter.
Having said that, there are very few American craft lagers that can hold a candle to the traditional European lagers. The Stella worked fine with what we ordered! Granted, a Warsteiner, Bittburger, König, or Pilsner Urquell offer far superior beers that would complement Bagatelle's cuisine to the highest degree. No reflection on Bagatelle however. Their clientele are more likely to know Stella anyway. and the Stella does work! More like hats off for them trying something out like Heavy Seas Pounder Pils, which is out of the norm! The beer at Happy Hour was a very reasonable $5 each.
Dani had the Blueberry Basil Lemonade and liked it so much she had two! The Happy Hour drink menu were all $6.
The Happy Hour Fare had six items on it, all $5 each. Perfect price for Happy Hour!
We had the Causu Maki, a curious mashed potato wrapped around a filling of the day, sushi style. The filling when we went was smoked salmon. Wonderful!
We also had the Asian chicken dumpling pot stickers, which were fried, and served with a sweet chili sauce. My arteries would have appreciated them steamed perhaps, however they were excellent none the less.
Third, we had the Tuna Tartare, a splendid dish that hopefully had enough omega 3 in them to dissolve the cholesterol from the delicious pot stickers! :-D
I had heard a lot about Bagatelle's Happy Hour and it was all very good. My over all experience there was quite good as well. The six option menu at $5 kept things from being confusing and makes for an easy decision for the clientele, not to mention a quick order for their kitchen.
The atmosphere was as good as you'll find, in addition to being very unique. The food was very good and everything was priced right.
While we sat at the bar, Bagatelle offers a large assortment of tables, with beautiful wicker chairs, upstairs, downstairs, inside and out. They also offer a large outside bar and seating upstairs. this section was closed when we were there. It looked as though they were setting it up for the evening.
In the service business, one of the most important things to do is acknowledge the clientele when they arrive. A good example of this was shown by Kim, in the upstairs bar, on the day we went.
Key West Happy Hour Rating: “FOUR STARS”
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