Posts Tagged With: Best restaurants in turks and caicos

15 Shades of Caicos Café

Caicos Cafe - Tuna TartarLadies and gents, brace yourself.  Its the moment you’ve been waiting for.  Ever since you discovered the Turkey and Cascos Islands as your co-workers call them (“You back… how was Turkey and Cascos”), the question you always wanted to ask but were too afraid for some reason;  What to order at Caicos Café, the top restaurant in Providenciales.  If you agree, great.  If you disagree, even better.  You just need a little help that’s all.

Although I live 1300 miles away, and have a serious eating disorder (NYC did this to me), I’ve written about Caicos Café more than any other restaurant in the world (trying to sound dramatic, but really it doesn’t mean anything.  I could have said NY but I chose not to).  I’ve written stories, reviews, blog posts, mentioned them in every WWH Seven dishes column, and children books (“Goodnight Grouper”).  So instead of writing yet another boring blog post about our recent meals there, I decided to write about what dishes you should target on your next visit (which is really the same thing, but sounds much more interesting, doesnt it?).

Resume: somewhere between 15-20 meals.  Here are the up to date standings of the most visited restaurants:

1)  Pure Thai Cookhouse (NYC) 60-70 meals

2)  Chicken Over Rice Guy around the corner (NYC)  50

3)  Caicos Café (TCI) 15-20

4)  Mom (Brooklyn) 12

We often joke that we could potentially eat every dinner of a week’s long trip at CC, and have a great and different meal every night.  One day we may finally do it.  And you can bet your sweet tooches that we’ll have some sort of combination of the following

Grilled Calamari Skewer – Starting with the no-brainer.  On the menu since pretty much day one, and something we must have on just about every visit.  Spiced grilled Calamari on a skewer, sitting on top of cannellini beans, mussels, grilled bread with the most perfectly complimentary light sauce.  Great dish

Caicos Cafe - Grilled Calamari

Gnocchi – Another must for us.  A dish that saw many iterations, but the result is always the same.  Fresh homemade potato Gnocchi, whether with tomato sauce, mushroom sauce, bigger Gnocchi, smaller Gnocchi, doesnt matter.  Pillowy, melty goodness without fail each time.

Caicos Cafe - GnocchiLobster Salad (Seasonal) – A delicious recent discovery.  Not sure what took us so long

Escargot – Rivals the former Caicos Cafe, and the current Le Bouchon du Village for best on the island

Wahoo Carpaccio – An occasional special, and another absolute must.  This is the only way I can truly enjoy this firm dude, and now I have to order more because my entire family is into it.  Like eating sea butter

Caicos Cafe - Wahoo CarpaccioLobster Fra Diavolo – Possibly the most popular dish during lobster season.  Flambeed with Brandy, along with chili, parsley, garlic, light tomato sauce, and most importantly plentiful of tasty, tender, never chewy lobster morsels.  Other similar dishes on the island pale in comparison

Caicos Cafe - lobster fra diavoloSeafood Tagliolini – Another one of those menu staples.  Pernot flambéed with various fish and shellfish, spices and a hint of parsley and lemon juice.  Love the flavors in this one

Caicos Cafe - TaglioliniOrecchiette – A seafood break for the meat lovers.  Orecchiette means “small ears”, normally mixed with sausages and Broccoli rabe.  Here Chef Max blends in a sweet and spicy sausage ragu with Broccoli and Parmesan cheese.  Another menu staple

Caicos Cafe - OrecchiettePumpkin Ravioli – A new favorite in the Ziggy familia.  I normally hesitate ordering it (its pumpkin ravioli!), but one bite is like a shock through the system.  Roasted pumpkin, 5 various cheeses, pecans, brown butter, thyme, and more Parma cheese to top it all.  More flavorful than all the Tortelli di Zucca we’ve had in Parma.

Caicos Cafe TortelliSeafood Casserole – This is a very popular dish outside of the Ziggy circuit.  The only time I ordered it I was too sick to eat anything, but I’ve enjoyed similar creations by Chef Max.

Caicos Cafe SeafoodBaby Back Pork Ribs – This is where that crazy versatility is showing.  I imagine a full blown Italian style scheduled transport strike if this is taken out of the menu.  Its that popular.  Marinaded with Jalapeno, honey, paprika and lime juice, wet rubbed with Bourbon BBQ sauce… Winner

Grilled Local Grouper – Only available as a special, which means you are getting a fresh locally caught grouper.  Not Swai, not Tilapia, not Carp!  Simply grilled to perfection with vegetables sauteed in lemon-mint extra virgin olive oil, fresh tomatoes, capers, olives & basil salsa, mashed potatoes.  Hint:  notice the weather is lousy?  Guess what, no grouper today, as the weather is lousy for the local fishermen as well.  What you’ll get on the other menus is the frozen or [Enter your favorite Vietnamese catfish here]

Anything with Octopus – Pay close attention to the specials here.  When he gets those Portuguese Octopuses via Miami, oooooh boy, watch out.  Grilled just by itself, or as part of a pasta like Troccoli alla Chitarra utilizing his guitar (Chitarra).  So so good

Caicos Cafe - TroccoliAffogato with Bailey’s – A traditional must for us, and something we order often in NYC as a result, leaving us almost always disappointed

Pear and Mango Tart –  Honey, Butter sauce, vanilla ice cream.  Sometimes apples, sometimes pear, always delicious.

Buon Appetito!

Caicos Cafe - Apple Mango Tart

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Categories: Turks and Caicos | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

TCI – How to Gain 7 Pounds in 7 Days

Seaside - Tuna SashimiLast Update: March 13th, 2018

Visiting Providecnia..err.. Provo any time soon? Want to know where to eat?  What to eat?  How to pronounce conch?  No worries, good ole’ Ziggy is here to help.  After years of experimenting and taking many for the team I recommend the following 7 day eating itinerary.  Of course, in order to have a great meal there are many variables involved, especially since most of these establishments are geared toward tourists and offer very full menus.  And you just never know when the executive chef leaves on maternity leave (happened) or just leaves (always happens).  Its a probabilities game folks.  And in my humble opinion the odds increase with this plan.  Click on the names where available to see reviews, pictures and suggested dishes.

7 Lunches:

Las Brisas (Got hammered after Irma, currently positioned on a temporary deck nearby) – Starting with the obvious.  I don’t normally recommend places just for the view and I will not start now.  Luckily the food, with a variety of Spanish and Caribbean offerings is pretty good, and the view of stunning Chalk Sound can only help.  Try the killer Lobster Salad when in season.

Hemingway’s – By far my favorite Hemingway’s in the Caribbean (Is there a Caribbean island without one), and one of the better resort restaurants on the island.  Situated in the Sands resort, this reasonably priced old timer has been dishing out those Fish Tacos since.. well… I have no idea actually.  Like, a long time!  Try also the addictive awesomeness they call fish and chips

Flamingo’s – Come here for one of the Island’s most celebrated dishes, the curried grouper.  Add the consistently strong rum punch, and the stunning views and you got yourself a future regular.  But dont make the mistake I did (twice) and come here without cash.  Otherwise, No Grouper For You! (Update:  The now accept CC).  We normally come here for lunch, but sunset dinners are just as grouper friendly.

Bugaloos – Another fun, local spot.  Once you find this one in Five Cays you will get rewarded with one of the best setups on the island.  Some live music on Sunday nights (I believe) and maybe other nights, but we normally come for lunch after Taylor Bay.  Service can give ‘Island Time’ a new meaning, but its worth waiting for the fresher Snapper around.  Try the conch salad (middle picture) as well.

Lupo – Putting this among the lunches since that’s when we go, but something tells me dinners can be even more eventful.  Well, the fresh pasta filled menu told me.  But for lunch you can still enjoy the signature meatballs, the sick romaine lettuce (yes, that’s right, I said romaine lettuce), and don’t leave the island without trying the Lupo Tiramisu.

Sweet T’s – Time to give your wallet a breather.  And I dont mean a little hole in your shorts.  Those you need to say goodbye to.  Ultra cheap Fried Chicken!   It took me some time to add this one here because its not your typical resort lunch, but it’s always our first or last stop with luggage.  As you leave the airport and turn to the main highway, after the flamingo statue, you’ll be greeted by fried chicken scent from the pink building on your right.  You order by the dollar.  $7 chicken and $2 fries will feed a family of 4.

Da Conch Shack – An island institution like no other.  Toes in the sand (pretty sure can cause fungus but well worth it), picnic tables inches from the water.  Conch everywhere including in the water where they grow their own.  Great relaxing vibe.  I’ve had a love, hate, love relationship with the place over the years, but if you havent been, you owe it to yourself to come and be the judge.  Try the jerk wings!

Bonus:  Takeout from Delicious Dishes:  Local extraordinaire in the old Miss Moonies location.  From the Seven Stars, in the roundabout on Leeway hwy, make a left, and its right there in the little parking lot on the right.  Extremely popular with the locals.  Oxtail and Curried goat on the balcony of your hotel, overlooking people eating Caesar salads with stale chicken.  Doesnt get much better.

Bonus 2:  Three Queens (Closed for the time being due to Hurricane damage) – An island staple in Blue Hills since 1970 and the definition of “Local”.  No menu, no problem.  You eat what the glorious Ms Marta (update: retired, hence bonus section, but new cook I was told is just as good, and the fish just as fresh) made that day which could be fresh fish (grouper or snapper), oxtail stew, curried goat, or curried chicken.  You wont see this one on top of other lists (I’m looking at you Trip Advisor) mainly due to the location, but if you are seeking the more adventurous, as local as they come eats, it doesn’t get much better

Bugaloos Conch Salad

7 Dinners:

Caicos Cafe – Starting with one of the musts.  Brilliant, inventive Italian with a Caribbean twist by a mad, menu OCD genius chef/owner Max Olivari.  Pay special attention here to the specials, the right side of the menu, and more importantly pay special attention to the left side of the menu.  Some of the best seafood on the island, like grilled Calamari, Wahoo Carpaccio, grouper special, the pastas, and much more

Coco Bistro – One glance at the dishes floating around and the size of house mascot Coco the cat and you will understand why this place is so popular.  Chances are strong that the island’s favorite dining establishment will make you very happy.  This is where you’ll need to make those rezzies well in advance though.  Psss. You can do so via email but dont tell them I said so.  update:  No ressies?  There’s a new cheaper option in the same parking lot, Cocovan

Le Bouchon – The former Caicos Cafe owner thankfully back in the game.  Sidewalk Parisian Champs-Elysées style without the Parisians and the tourists.  Hmmm, actually now that I think about it its pretty much all Parisians and tourists.  Though I am noticing a growing amount of local following the last few years.  Try the Escargot, and if you don’t try the legendary Steak au Poivre, your homework is incomplete.

Chinson’s Grill Shack  – A 15 minute schlep from the resort area may feel longer in paradise, but its worth it for this Jamaican-Chinese gem (Yes, its a thing), and sea view.  Ok, its more like some hotel advertised sea views, where the meaning is more like “See?  View!” with some sea in the horizon.  But in this case you are mostly overlooking the highway, inside a fun and vibrant shack.  The smooth Mr Chinson is always around to make sure everything is Kosher.  Over the years we settled on the Jerk chicken, pulled pork sandwich, the spiciest curried goat around, steamed Grouper and the mixed Fried Rice.  Lunch or dinner in this case, doesnt matter.  We usually do lunch.

Seven –  We keep trying other resort spots on occasion, but Seven continues to be one of the better and more popular fine dining on the island.  Even with rotating chefs over the years, the menu somehow stays intact for the most part.  Try the Vanilla rum butter poached lobster, or the best end of lamb.  Update:  Scallops, and two-way tuna are some of the current musts

Simone’s – A waitress/cook at Sharkbite turned restaurant owner.  This is a mostly local hangout joint, but pale tourists like me are always welcome.  Simone will greet you like she greets her children.  And she will feed you as such too.  Fishermen always around means they are not there for the frozen fish.  So ask whats available outside of the menu, which features some of the best conch salads on the island and a fine snapper.  The fresh Wahoo last time was a Yahooooo!

Caicos Cafe – This is not a mistake.  Yes, I’m listing it twice.  Why recommend a different plan than what we are doing on every single trip.  Go here at the beginning of the week, and if you like it enough, book again on your way out.  Chances are you wont find better.

Or… how about something “local” like the Thursday night fish fry, or Caravel.  Or perhaps a splurge at Coyaba, another island institution.  Maybe experience the classic Tuna with sunset at Magnolia, or Via Veneto for the most authentic Italian menu on the island.

A special mention for Breakfast and light lunch:  Caicos Bakery near Caicos Cafe.  Nice Baguettes, quiches, almond croissants and more.  Pick up some sandwiches at Julien’s deli for the flight back.  You’ll be the envy of every other passenger, guaranteed!

Hope it helps.  Stay hungry my friends!

Bay Bistro Pecan Crusted Conch

Categories: Turks and Caicos | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

TCI – 7 Top Bites

Lupo Dessert

As published in the current issue of WhereWhenHow

Living in NYC, trying to keep up with the ever so changing dining scene can be quite a challenge.  A challenge to avoid according to my Gastroenterologist and Accountant (Its the same person).  As a visitor, I’m finding a similar challenge in the island I like to call Providenciales!  Rotating chefs, new local spots, new local gatherings (fish fry), and yet another new Italian (yes please) are just some of the exciting changes as of late.  More choices normally result in a higher bar.  A higher bar means a well fed, happier consumer.  Here are 7 dishes that made us happy during the last trip.

B-52s rolls at Sora.  Fresh Tuna? check.  Avocado? check.  Rice Krispies? Yummo!  (It appears that the blogger community adopted “Yummo” as the new “Yummy” which reached its expiration date).  This was a delicious little snack we shared with our Kite Boarding meshugenahs friends.  The name most likely derived  from when you pick it up with your chopsticks, it will explode and dirty your pants.  When you pick it up with a fork however, it will stain your shirt.. and dirty your pants.  I later found out the dish was invented by the owner of a local Laundromat.

B-52s rolls at Sora

Conch Salad at Bugaloos.  This is one of those dishes that you know will be good as soon as it arrives.  Fresh, plentiful, tender conch that you just cant stop chowing.  No surprises here.  Unlike the surprise my 11 year old got the other day when her beloved Tootsie Role Industries stock sank as part of her school stock market game.  “But daddy, its Tootsie Role!  Who doesnt love Tootsie Role?”  Same people who love Airplane over Top Secret kid.  Enemies of America!

Bugaloos - Conch Salad

Lobster Risotto With Shiitake at Seaside Café.  Probably the most palatable Risotto we’ve had since the truffled beauty we had in Riva Del Garda, Italy (Show off!).  Rich, perfectly creamy, perfectly seasoned awesomeness that comes in one size: “Grande” (Read “American”, for Americans, in America.  Ok, not quite America but you know what I mean.  It just sounds more convincing like that)

Seaside - risotto

Homemade Troccoli “alla Chitarra” with Octopus at Caicos Cafe.  Jimmy Hendrix couldn’t play a sweeter tune.  Chef “Mad Max” utilizes all sorts of tools in this one including a guitar-like instrument (Chitarra) that he presses against the dough sheet.  The result is Pici-like (Tuscan pasta), wonderfully chewy, al dente goodness.  Add a super tender South Caicos caught octopus (another tool used to tenderize the Octopus), peas, roasted tomatoes, and basil (all cooked in the octopus own juices), and you have another Caicos Café classic.

Caicos Cafe - Troccoli

Grilled Lobster at Coco Bistro.  No wonder everyone looks happy at Provo’s most popular dining spot.  The “it’s a small world” ride of Provo continues to shine and dish out goodies such as this that just makes people weep with joy.  Caribbean Lobsta! – buttery, sweet, tender, with no hint of dryness.  Almost made me forget about Maine Lobster.  Almost!  Did you know that the most important thing when eating animal testicles is freshness?  I had no idea.  And I should probably stop watching Andrew Zimmern while writing this  stuff (PS Mrs Ziggy, in case I forget we need to get a new remote control.  And while you at it check with the butcher about fresh testicles.  Emu if possible.. those look nice)

Courtesy of Brilliant Studios

Courtesy of Brilliant Studios

Goat Curry at Jerkey’s.  Unless you can find a microwave at the old Sailing Paradise location, consider the still colorful tables of new Jerkey’s.  Succulent, mouthwatering, bonier than Sara Jessica Parker goat goodness.  We simply could not get enough of this dish, and the fantastic Jerk Chicken which could have easily been on this list instead.  A great Provo winter dish when average temps drop from 85°F  to 83°F.  Its 9°F here in NYC at the time of this writing.  You know its cold when your car is more Jewish than you, courtesy of a white yarmulke (sheet of snow) on its roof.

Jerkies - Goat Curry

Tiramisu and Panna Cotta with Balsamic reduction at Lupo (Top).  A heavenly finish!  May possibly be the best Tiramisu I’ve had on the island.  The Panna Cotta with the pungent balsamic was very unique and tasty indeed.  What a duo!  Update on our cold front.  Today, NYC is covered with ice.  i.e.  The annual “Sue Your Neighbor Day”.

Thats all I got folks… gotta run to court… er walk slowly with crutches.  Stay Hungry my friends!

Categories: Turks and Caicos | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TCI – What to Eat in Coco Bistro

Courtesy of Brilliant Studios

Courtesy of Brilliant Studios

This is one of those posts that almost needs no words.  But there are a couple of things I want to accomplish with this one…

1)  Tell you what to eat in Coco Bistro, Provo’s favorite dining establishment among tourists and residents ages 16-110

2)  Showcase my newfound Food Photography skills!

So lets take a moment and admire look at the pictures first.  You like?  You Welcome!  Would you say they are Brilliant?!?  Yes, I’m getting better at this photography thing.  But before you hire me for your son’s Bar Mitzvah, I should tell you something… I’m very expensive, and they are not exactly mine.

I remember my first visit to Coco Bistro, about 8 years ago.  Coco the resident cat was like a young cadet moving ever so swiftly with a purpose.  A colorful pepper soup was the popular item back then.  Now, a well fed Coco, the size of an average Staten Islander, just walks around at a much slower pace like one of the partners.  The pepper soup is long gone, a fantastic lobster bisque is in (while not featured here, it is indeed good), and a fun menu to boot.

Since this is Provo’s most popular spot, I see this question often.  Whats good here.  From past experiences, and simply hanging out on the message boards,  I came up with this short list.

Starters:

Caesar Salad – Bacon, Croutons, Anchovy filets and Fresh Shaved Parmesan Cheese in a Spicy Dressing.  The description on the menu ends with “(no wimps please)” which is the main reason I never actually had it.  Yesterday, we had a cheap holiday party (we do it well into January – food highlight was the tortillas) and I wimped out of the mechanical bull ride.  Look, its not Obama-care friendly is all I’m saying.  With that said, I’ve seen too many Caesar Salad fans rave about this particular one.

Courtesy of Brilliant Studios

Courtesy of Brilliant Studios

Ahi Tuna Sashimi – Fresh Tuna served on a Crispy Tortilla with Red Onions, Vine Ripe Tomatoes, Scallion, Tobiko, Fresh Cilantro and a Wasabi Mayo.  This is perhaps my favorite item on the menu.   Just a glorious concoction of fresh tuna, veggies and wasabi mayo that perfect compliment.  Simply divine!

Courtesy of Brilliant Studios

Courtesy of Brilliant Studios

Spicy Lobster Soft Tacos – Fresh Guacamole , Sour Cream and a Pineapple Tomato Salsa.  This is one of the new kids on the block which I tried on my last trip and obviously enjoyed it enough to include it here.

Courtesy of Brilliant Studios

Courtesy of Brilliant Studios

Mains:

Roast Lamb Rack – Herb Crust and as of this writing with Sweet Potato Mash, Buttered Carrots and Broccoli, Beet Root Paint and a Caicos Lager Onion Sauce.  Expertly cooked, perfectly seasoned, meaty, herby, rack of lamb.  Get it, or we are no longer friends.

Courtesy of Brilliant Studios

Courtesy of Brilliant Studios

Grilled Lobster – Jasmine Rice, Snow Peas and Garlic Lemon Butter.  I must confess grilled Caribbean lobster normally just doesn’t do it for me.  Its very often a tad dry, and/or uneventful.  This one is moist, buttery, and very eventful.

Courtesy of Brilliant Studios

Courtesy of Brilliant Studios

Dessert:

Coco Bistro’s Famous Coconut Pie – Fresh Cream and a Medley of Sweet Sauces.  Need I say more.  Its right there in the name “Famous”.  Like “Shlomo’s Famous Falafel”, you simply have to try it at least once.  Its not only addictive, but large enough to feed a small Armenian village

Courtesy of Brilliant Studios

Courtesy of Brilliant Studios

For your Island photo needs visit Brilliant Studios

Categories: Turks and Caicos | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Turks and Caicos – Seaside Cafe

Seaside - tuna sashimi

March 21st, 2015 Update:

Get the Fish Sandwich for lunch people.  Its a couple of pickled carrots shy of being the perfect Banh Mi, although I sort of prefer this simplified version.  Toasty baguette courtesy of Caicos Bakery filled with expertly blackened fish grilled to flaky perfection.  Great little sandwich.  Moving on from Vietnam to Peru, Amazing Race style.  The Peruvian Conch Salad brings out our animal instincts, each time without fail.  If there’s one tip I could offer to the 15 TCI viewers I get per day (over 200 look at the Hell’s Kitchen Survival Guide alone, 15 at TCI), get some of that Peruvian.  We dont even need to open the lunch menu here.

We also had another outstanding dinner later on.  Nice and springy flatbread with goat cheese, pesto, and arugula.  A new discovery was the Conch Chowder that may have cracked our top three.  More of the delicious Tuna Sashimi, and Lobster Risotto of course.  Meaty Lobster was grilled to perfection, and the garlic butter that came along elevated the dish even more.  And as the old saying goes, when the going gets tough, the tough gets Salmon.  Meaning the weather was too rough for the fishermen and the freshest thing on the menu was Salmon, via Miami.  Teriyaki glazed Salmon (below) couldnt be cooked any better, with soba noodles, tofu, asparagus, miso sauce, and Wakame – Japanese Seaweed.  After watching seaweed all week long, it was time for revenge, Kamikaze style.  Best dish of the night.

Seaside Salmon

January 10th, 2014 Post:

“What?  Ziggy the great foodie is writing a post on Seaside Cafe?  What’s next.. Pizza Pizza” I can hear the critics already.  For many years Seaside was a decent, casual, resort (Ocean Club West) owned dining spot, not exactly a foodie destination.  But things have changed.  New owners took over (same owners as Opus), brought in a Coco Bistro veteran, and a new foodie powerhouse is born.  This is not your old Seaside, and I’m a couple of years late to this party.

Seaside new deck“Chef Driven” is a term used loosely these days.  Every place has a chef.  Some are great, some are ok, some are just learning on the job.  But then there are those chef who experiment, transform, and set trends.  The chefs that make me want to go there for the chefs, instead of the setting or atmosphere.  Quebec born Francois who started cooking from the young age of zero (I have trouble remembering simple facts sometimes but this sounds about right) knows a thing or three about cooking.  From dishing out all sorts of goodies in the army in Canada (Canada has an army?) at the age of 16, to sharpening his skills big time in Provo’s busiest Coco Bistro, Francois has gone a log way.

This was a first in Eating With Ziggy history.  Every single one of the 4 dishes we sampled in Seaside was a top dish of the trip nominee.  Choosing from this one will be harder than driving through a town that didn’t endorse Chris Christie.

A few months ago we went to a new risotteria in NYC to sample some delicious risottos from a renowned rice grower from Verona.  Some hits, some misses, and none came close to the risotto bliss of this lobster shiitake goodness at Seaside (below).  This was one of the most palatable risotto we’ve ever eaten.  Cheesy, well spiced, perfectly cooked arborio with tender, plentiful chunks of lobster and a lot of love.Seaside - risotto

The Escolar (aka “White Tuna” but not really) was another outstanding dish.  Another South Caicos beauty cooked expertly medium rare with jasmine rice, veggies, sweet wasabi mustard on one side and some sort of miso sauce on the other.

A note about south Caicos fishermen.  Lately those guys are simply kicking some serious ass.  Deep fishing for octopus, tuna, escolar are just some examples of what they are bringing to the table.  I don’t recall seeing so much locally caught fish on the menus, especially octopus.  Way to go South Caicos fishermen.  Way to go!

Tuna Sashimi with Wasabi mustard (top) –  A revelation!  Long time followers of Ziggy know how much I love a similar dish at Coco Bistro and it turns out that that was a Francois creation.  Fresh tuna from south Caicos, veggies, that wasabi again, and just a glorious concoction on individual tortillas.

Peruvian conch ceviche. Yet more awesomeness.  A fantastic combination of veggies (love his use of fresh veggies), fresh conch, lime and different peppers including scotch bonnet.  Addictive stuff to say the least.

Seaside is easily a top 5 in Provo after this trip!

Seaside - conch salad Seaside - white tuna

Categories: Turks and Caicos | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Turks and Caicos – Lupo

Lupo outThe Italian invasion of Providenciales continues.  From Turtle Cove, to the new lake region (the area by the school that floods after a 5 minute shower) to Via Veneto and Caicos Cafe plaza, home to Caicos Cafe.  It is only a matter of time until you see this just outside your resort, or people selling made in china little helicopters that fly, and then they break.  Around a year ago, Lupo has joined forces, and firmly secured itself in the Regent Village which is becoming quite a yummo international destination.  I also want to take this opportunity to welcome a new slang word to the EWZ family – “Yummo”.  Although, I dont see myself using it much as it just sounds weird, as if “Yummy” reached its expiration date.

Lupo TurksOwner Mark (formerly with Lemon) has done an excellent job bouncing back from a shaky start (as just about every new restaurant in Provo).  Lupo also seems like the kind of place that would be featured the most with the Provo ladies who lunch, or Real Housewives of Grace Bay County.  Perhaps the same Provo housewives who robbed the place of all its pictures the night before our lunch, leaving us with empty frames.

As for the food…

Romaine lettuce – Yummo!  Not something I would normally order but this was quite good, like the best Caesar Salad you ever gonna eat.  Smokey Romaine, topped with sharp delicious Parm, and crispy pancetta bits.  Well done!

Meatballs Sandwich – Excellent! Good bread, great herby, tasty, schweddy balls.  2013 was filled with some amazing meatballs for us in 2 continents.  Make it a third.  If I have to criticize one thing is the polenta fries – not a fan.  But Mrs Z was, which frankly all that matters.  You know what they say, Happy wife, happy Ziggy.

Lupo Meatball

Penne with sundried tomatoes, Pesto walnut sauce – Nice and light summer dish.  They didn’t have Orecchiette (damn you IGA truck) so we settled for Penne.  Nothing wrong with that dish

Tiramisu in a cup, panna cotta with Balsamic reduction in another cup.  Heavenly! Perhaps the best Tirsmisu I’ve had on the island (Sorry Caicos Cafe) and that panna cotta was very unique and went very well with the zesty balsamic

Although I was very satisfied with the lunch, the dinner menu made me jealous.  Fresh made pasta galore including what seems to be a popular Fettuccine Bolognese, nice looking  flatbread pizzas and more.  The housewives should really come here for dinner if they are smart.

As I keep saying over and over, come out of the water area and things start to get interesting in the island of Provo.  In that location,  one needs to be creative and follow up with great flavors, and it looks and tastes like a success to me

Lupo Romaine Lupo Penne Lupo Meatballs Lupo Dessert Lupo

Categories: Turks and Caicos | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Turks and Caicos – Via Veneto

Via Veneto - Fetuccinne“Do you come with your own plunger” my friend Elizabeth wondered once she saw me unpack my equipment after running into each other in Via Veneto.  “Ahhm, not exactly, its actually my flash diffuser”.  I realized right then that I need to add a new flash diffuser to Santa’s list (sitting besides me was the actual island Santa so it was convenient), right between a new car and Mensch on a Bench.  This was actually an improvement over last year when I borrowed my brother’s camera bag which had sort of peculiar male genital shape.  To any patrons after a few Chiantis sitting there it may have looked like I was  really happy to be there.  This year I walked everywhere with a plastic bag.

I’ve been waiting to eat in the new Via Veneto for almost a year, after just missing the coming out party in the spring.  Luckily owner Aldo subscribes to the “do it right or dont do it at all” mentality, which meant delaying the opening.  Coming from a competitive environment such as Rome is a big plus to Provo.  Early reviews have been a little shaky but thats the Provo norm these days as building relationships with vendors can take some time.  Everything except the meats is imported from Italy; From the chefs, the tiles, the paintings, to the girlfriend, all imported from Rome.  Hence, app page a bit pricey but contrary to the forums chatter the rest not too bad at all.  This is indeed the closest you get to eating in Italy.  Perhaps one Cacio e pepe dish shy from a Roman Trattoria.  As with any Italian establishment in the USA, sticking to dishes from one region only is quite impossible and a recipe for failure.

Via Veneto - Lamb Chops

Once we were seated outside, the gods got angry and it started pouring.  Those were the Italian tile gods going “go a in to a check out the a tiles”.  Our tables were swiftly moved inside on top of the tiles.  It felt like eating at a Russian family house without taking my shoes off.  We were no there on a saturday which meant “No Pizza for You!”.  The pizza is Roman which if true, and I have nothing to doubt its not, expect thin almost Matzoh like crust.  The less toppings the better from my experience.

We started with a Coccetto app of mushrooms, bread and ham topped with cheese which was fine.  While I’ve had various Russian/French variations of this dish, I never heard of Coccetto

As is often the case with Italian Trattorias the highlights are the pastas.  Spaghetti Carbonara was as good as we’ve had in Rome.  Creamy, a but runnier than I like, but still quite good.  The Fetuccinne with Guanciale (pork cheeks) and black truffles (top) was best of show surprisingly considering its white truffle season at the moment.  The dish had plenty of truffle aroma to satisfy all senses and convince the brain that its pretty darn yummy (foodie technical term).

The lamb chops as our shared secondi was slightly uneven but cooked well and quite delectable for the most part.  We finished off with a nice ice cream duo, one topped with chocolates and the other with cherry sauce.  Cherry won 3 “Mmmmmm”s to 1.

Via Veneto - coccetto Via Veneto - Carbonara Via Veneto - Ice Cream

Categories: Turks and Caicos | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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