One of the nicest places for a restaurant in Cayman is overlooking the Cayman Islands Yacht Club, located in its own little enclave on the waterfront on the North Sound. It’s a tranquil location in which you can sit and watch the boats go by and forget about your cares while you marvel at the ginormous homes that are springing up in the area at a rapid rate. Bacaro has made great use of this splendid location and has created a restaurant that offers particularly panoramic views.
Although the restaurant is Italian, it is a world away from the regular pasta and pizza places that you might expect of this type of cuisine. Instead, Bacaro focusses on ‘small plate’ Venetian-style food, creating lots of different tasty dishes to try, either as a batch of small plates or a couple of large ones, but all conducive to a very social type of dining. It is a favourite restaurant on island of a great many people and it’s easy to see why.
Dining al fresco is made more comfortable by the plastic wind breaks that don’t detract from the view but which do shield diners from any gusts of wind that might threaten your dining experience. Aperitifs should always start with a cocktail, in particular their gin cocktails are a bit of a legend. My cocktail definitely hit the spot, a delicious blend of pineapple rum and fresh ginger the perfect way to kickstart the meal. We chose a small selection of olives, almonds and capers from the ‘Cichetti’ or ‘Nibbles’ menu to go with the drinks. We could have done with twice as many as we were pretty hungry, but they were never-the-less delicious. Their ‘Crudo’ or ‘Raw’ menu is full of delicious things, including a caviar selection that starts at CI$245, no doubt incredibly delicious and affordable for some on island but out of our price range, so we gave that a miss. More affordable for our wallets is their amazing tuna tartare that’s made from finely chopped tuna, avocado puree and a mango salsa, or their wahoo tonnato, with delicate thin slices of wahoo topped with a creamy tuna sauce and crispy capers – a fantastic combo of flavours and textures.
Normally we go with a selection of small plates of which we dive in and out. We generally have the bread basket that’s a great backdrop for the other dishes, which could consist of slightly spicy sautéed Brussel Sprouts (a good vegan choice without the parmesan), the crispy lobster bites with a scotch bonnet-paprika aioli (a must) or the grilled lamb chops with a mushroom ratatouille. But we veered off piste this time and went all out for a Grande (Large) plate of grigiati mista – a fantastic selection of grilled seafood to serve two. The plate consisted of lobster, scallops, octopus, shrimp and calamari along with fingerling potatoes. A small crisp side salad was all that was needed as an accompaniment. The selection was plentiful and really tasty, especially with the spicy pesto that came with it. At CI$75 for the plate it certainly wasn’t cheap, but when split between two it was around the price per head of many restaurant dishes in Cayman.
Bacaro’s wine list is extensive and exciting if you are a vinophile, with a particularly interesting selection from Italy, naturally. Again, we went slightly against the grain, instead heading to France for our wine choice. Our Pouilly-Fumé from the Loire Valley was a really great wine to have with this plentiful seafood and not too pricey at CI$12 a glass.
If you are looking for something a bit different and a bit special for your dining experience, Bacaro definitely hits the spot.