American Press Travel News-March 25th–Bob and Barb “Remembering great places to dine and visit! Today, the Conch Restaurant is gone. Whoever bought it after Allen Stoki passed, changed names and then new owners changed names again!
When Barb and I were pleasantly researching our book in 1988: “The Best Restaurants in The Florida Keys”, of course, we visited the Conch Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge in Islamorada, owner operated by Allen Stocki. We’d been there before and on another date, I also joined Ted Williams there for dinner when I was creating the International Gamefish Release and Enhancement Foundation. I had hoped Ted would become a Board Member-he did!
OK! I Just heard Conch prounounced “konsch” not Konk; I straightened that lure-maker out at the ICAST giant fishing show. He is now “Konk” prepared when he visits to try out his lures in the Keys!
One of the very personal specialties Stocki taught his wait personnel, was to learn by heart the more than 80-ways he could prepare a Keys Lobster. They would tick off “lobster Hawaiian, Parmesan, Lobster cheesy and Florentine, en cruet sauce, and my favorite Lobster prepared at that sorely missed by many; their Lobster Imperial!” This dish required the lobster to be taken out of the shell, sautéed in butter and then covered with Crab Imperial. The dish would be baked and served with Béarnaise Sauce. Stocki’s Chef then garnished this masterpiece with Key lime slices and parsley and served with fresh homemade bread. A dish you just never could forget! This, and more than 60-restaurants in my book, are gone now, but fortunately, many other very fine restaurants have stepped up to the plate, so-to-speak! We miss that great restaurant in our original book: “The Best Restaurants in the Florida Keys” I still have about 45-books from that first printing. Just email us for your half price signed copy!!!