Sometime between the second and third course of the first meal, I made an executive decision. Scrapping the plan to only go to Caicos Cafe once on this trip in order to give someone new a shot. A plan I was never comfortable with, and the most likely cause of my Shingles. Crisis averted, vacation saved. Ok, a bit melodramatic I know. But Ziggy’s mind is a mysterious and complex labyrinth, that produces joy via creating anticipations on a whim.
Caicos Cafe in a way represents everything I love about eating in places like Turks and Italy. A masterful use of “backyard” ingredients by a talented chef, and the perfect formula. A formula helped by a menu that screams for repeat visits. A nice mix of old and brand new awesomeness during the recent visit….
Jumbo scallops wrapped in pancetta (bacon for those scoring at home or if you’re alone) on a bed of green pea purée. Expertly prepared, perfectly cooked scallops. Goat cheese roll and butternut squash Brie tart with walnuts, sundried apricot, mushroom vinaigrette. Somehow, I never got to try this so I can only go by Mrs Ziggy’s facial expressions and the words coming out of her mouth… “Ooh yum mmmm ooh need to go peepee”. I think it was good.
It’s listed on the menu as a yellow tail snapper but we got a fresh grouper instead, prosecco flambeed with all sorts of seafood delights including some tasty bay scallops. Another great dish showcasing Mad Max’s skills. A dish of the year nominee for me was a new addition to the menu, Troccoli with octopus. Troccoli pasta is homemade with a guitar like instrument (Chitarra) pressed against the dough sheet. It looks and tastes like the Tuscan Pici but with egg and must be cooked more al dente. With a super tender tasty Octopus (he uses another tool to tenderize the sucker) and Max’s signature roasted tomatoes to balance things out, the entire creation cooked in the locally caught octopus juices. Simply fantastic!
On the last night there it was again on the specials board, Wahoo Carpaccio. People if you ever see it on the board and you love seafood, you must order this. Whenever Max gets fresh Wahoo I believe he puts it up there. Expertly done with a touch of pink peppercorn, melt in your mouth sea butter foodgasm when harry met sally worthy of a run on sentence goodness. Another top dish nominee was the beef tartar. It was tough taking pictures of this one with the strong truffle oil (first time I see truffle oil used here) scent slapping you in the face. I was just anxious to attack this thing with full force. Served with toasted baguettes this was another killer tartar (as is the tuna we enjoyed in the past). The conch and grouper chowder while lacking the spices of Le Bouchon’s version it more than made up for it with hefty chunks of grouper and conch
Seafood Casserole was the last menu classic I haven’t tried yet, and turned out to be well deserved of the classic tag. Like a glorious bouillabaisse, with every seafood known to man in it. Or at least every seafood known to south Caicos fisherman. A sauce you just want to dip anything in, fingers, room keys, anything. Lobster linguine fra diavolo was as good as ever, but with an extra kick this time seems like. Shared Ziggy’s fave Affogato (thats what it says on the menu. Ok, not really, still working on it) and the mango apple tart, possibly my two favorite desserts at the moment.