I had been hearing loads of good things about Bàcaro, the new restaurant located at the Cayman Islands Yacht Club, but up until now had never had the chance to see what everyone was raving about. Thankfully a window of opportunity came up and we headed up to that gorgeous newly developed, up and coming location overlooking Governor’s Creek in West Bay.
The restaurant is located right on the water’s edge, so the views from the outdoor patio that appears to wrap around the restaurant are lovely. A modern and fresh look to the décor encourages diners in and an extensive cocktail menu and wine list are welcoming indeed. Once seated we drank in the view, watching yachts as they quietly cruised by, just a few yards from our table. As this was a Friday evening the bar was lively, the tables slowly got more and more populated and the atmosphere was happy – a definite “thank goodness it’s the weekend” vibe was felt by all.
Service was friendly and helpful and, thanks to our attentive waitress, Mishka, I didn’t get too chilled while seated outdoors, as she kindly provided a shawl to fend off the sea breeze.
The restaurant’s cuisine is inspired by the traditional 'bacari' (wine bars) of Venice, so is full of great small plate choices prepared by Italian Chef Federico (who foodies may remember from his brilliant days at Ragazzi and Luca). I think this type of eating follows a clear trend among diners these days – people are looking less for a formal three course meal and more for the chance to share dishes, explore new flavours and textures and generally eat in a more convivial and relaxed atmosphere.
Following the arrival of a delicious cocktail made with St Germain (elderflower cordial), prosecco and soda and a glass of Albariño (a current favourite crisp white from Spain), we dived right in with a tiny blini topped with just an ounce of caviar as a little whetting of the palate. We enjoyed this with a terrific smoked and black pepper rubbed wahoo carpaccio, with watercress, pomegranate and toasted pistachio – just the right balance of flavour and texture - and a bowl of their artisan bread. The wahoo came from their Crudo menu, which included all sorts of amazing raw and cured choices.
Next stop were choices from the ‘Piccoli Piatti’- which means small plates. We went for the crispy lobster bites, served with a scotch bonnet-paprika aioli, some succulent rosemary lamb chops with a sweet potato mash, and a mint demi (just one each but we could have eaten about four, they were that delicious) and citrus crusted jumbo scallops with a roasted tomato coulis and roasted shitake, also delicious.
Other choices from the small plates menu that caught our eye included chorizo stuffed calamari with a local vegetable ratatouille and a deep fried calamari with lime zest and a mustard mayo. We also contemplated some dishes from the ‘Mezza Via’ or medium plates selection, including ‘Salumi’ which consisted of assorted cured meats, olives, cornichons, grissini and also their Formaggi: an imported cheese selection with nuts, pear, jam and dried figs. From the ‘Grandi’ (large plates) menu the roasted jumbo shrimp skewers with smoked fingerling potatoes also sounded very appealing. I could easily imagine munching on these wonderful sounding foods with a cold glass of white wine watching the world sail by.