Ascend to the second-level restaurant on 54th Street & Coastal Highway to discover a swank, contemporary establishment with a sophisticated vibe. KY West presents the coolest décor and atmosphere, coupled with innovative pasta and seafood recipes. Head chef Michael Rendell was Pino Tomasello’s Executive Chef for nine years at Fresco’s before the authentic Italian restaurant closed its doors earlier in 2014. He brought a team of hospitality experts—chef Max and manager Mark from Jive—to new venture KY West, which does not disappoint.
When you enter the door at KY West, modern details are guaranteed to catch your eye. An illuminated wall fountain gently flows and trickles, as subdued hues glow behind it. The resulting light show reflects in the stainless steel bar, which is fully stocked with all necessary ingredients for out-of-this-world specialty cocktails. A comfortable lounge area with a large, flat screen television, couches and love seats, tall tabletops, a warm fireplace, and games, invites patrons to get cozy and watch the game. On the other side of the establishment, an expansive dining room can accommodate large parties, and showcases clean, colorful aquariums.
I dined at KY West this week with my good friend, Brandi Mellinger, who charmed the room. Our experienced server, Ryan, pleasantly welcomed us and recited the daily specials. Soup of the Day was a succulent Black Bean Cilantro Cream and Cheddar Jack. Lobster Pot Pie and Surf and Turf—Filet Mignon with Crab Cake—were the entrée specials. Fresh Fish of the Day was a Blackened Barramundi—an Australian fish.
Manager Mark, a longtime Ocean City friend, bartender, and manager, also greeted us. He graciously collaborated with chefs Mike and Max to prepare an appetizer sample plate of Margarita Calamari, Fresh Caprese Salad, and Bruschetta with Crab. Served on oblong, funky, rectangular plates, the appetizers are presented beautifully. We enjoyed sipping our cocktails and satisfying our seafood cravings.
Fried Green Tomatoes Napoleon is another delectable appetizer on the menu at KY West, served with jumbo lump crabmeat and house made remoulade. Cajun Mussels are prepared with andouille sausage in Creole broth. Order the Maryland Crab and Corn Chowder for jumbo lump crabmeat with corn, chives, and white cheddar cheese.
For our main dish, the chefs at KY West prepared Hemmingway from the Pastas menu. A scrumptious combination of shrimp, capers, lemon, spinach, and white wine sauce tossed with angel hair pasta, the Hemmingway is simply the best. The experienced staff at KY West also presented Voodoo Chicken—blackened chicken with asparagus, sautéed peppers and onion, Cajun cream sauce, and penne pasta. From their extravagant presentation to their savory aroma, these entrées are delicious to the last bite. The combined decades of culinary expertise is evident in each dish.
Another pasta dish that I recommend is Frutti Di Mare—crab, shrimp, clams, mussels, and linguini in spicy red broth. Penne Carne is a crowd pleaser featuring beef tips, crimini mushrooms, caramelized onions, penne pasta, and Gorgonzola cream sauce.
Other must-try entrées at KY West are Seared Salmon, Crab Cakes, and New York Strip. Coconut and Almond Swordfish, and Buffalo Glazed Delmonico with blue cheese and mac are two more top-selling entrées. Parrothead Tuna is an eight-ounce Carolina BBQ-glazed tuna with country ham, fried oysters, crispy onions, and scallion buerre blanc. Filet Oscar is a classic grilled filet mignon topped with a crab hollandaise.
Brandi was pleased to learn that KY West features a smoker. Whiskey and Chipotle Brisket is marinated, rubbed, and smoked until tender, then served with BBQ sauce on the side. Caribbean Chicken is smoked, grilled, and glazed with sweet and spicy sauce. Grilled Sausage and Peppers, and Apple Wood Smoked Baby Back Ribs are more Smoker menu items, each of which is served with your choice of two sides.
KY West serves up gourmet burgers on Brioche roll with a house made pickle and hand cut fries. The KY West Angus Burger is topped with farmhouse cheddar, crispy bacon, and caramelized onions. Burger in Paradise includes tropical salsa, country ham, and teriyaki glaze. Pulled Pork, Pulled Chicken, Blackened Chicken, and Black and Blue top off the sandwiches menu.
An array of healthy salads is on the menu, including Greek Salad, Caesar Salad, and Spinach Salad. KY West House Salad is comprised of mixed greens, jicama, red onion, carrots, house made tropical vinaigrette, and fried wonton. More appetizers on the menu are Fish Tacos and Fried Oysters. KY West also offers a kids menu for customers 12 years old and younger.
For dessert, try a daily selection, such as Bumble Berry Pie, or try one of Mark’s specialty cocktails, such as a Chocolate Lust Martini. Captain’s Crush, Margarita Crush, and Strawberry Decadence Daiquiri are just a few more of many spirits available at the swank bar. Happy hour takes place until 7 PM. Sunday is half-price wine night, and Thursday is burger night.
During the winter season, KY West is open for business Thursday through Monday. Private parties are available, as well as carry out. Plenty of free parking is available on the street level. For more information about KY West, visit www.kywestoceancity.com
or call 443-664-2836.