Golden Spoons Review: Bacaro

| 17/05/2017

(CNS Foodie): It was Sunday evening, after a day spent probably having too much fun in the sun, but my parent mode clicked on, reminding me, “Feed your children.” Then, I remembered Bacaro, the new little gem overlooking the water nestled within the Cayman Islands Yacht Club. The name is a Venetian word meant to describe a humble restaurant serving simple food and young Italian wines.

This is a joint venture by Chef Frederico and Barnabas Bako and prides itself in its menu being locally focused. Luckily, it’s open every day from 11:30am-10:30pm, minus Monday, so off we went. As soon as we walked in, we were warmly greeted by Barnabas and his team of smiling staff. We were walked to a table out on the deck, offered drinks immediately and the chef put us instantly in a great mood by sending out a complimentary octopus amuse bouche, which was quite tender though mildly flavoured.

The menu features a wide variety of innovative dishes grouped under “nibbles”, then small, medium and large plates. It is recommended to share a few small plates (or order a big plate for yourself). There is also a harvest menu that features the daily selection of fresh, local vegetables in different savoury and sweet dishes.

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Tuna sashimi on salt block

The okra tempura was lightly battered and featured an asiago crème brulee dipping sauce that was light and creamy ($6). There is also a raw menu of oysters, ceviches and even sashimi. I loved the tuna sashimi served on a pink salt block that tasted fresh with salty goodness ($12). There is a children’s menu, too. However, the small dishes make it a fantastic way to introduce your kids to new foods and taking risks. The “polpette in umido” (beef and pork meatballs in a tasty tomato sauce, $6) were a hit. The marinara was zesty, but not overpowering, and complemented the meatballs. The beet gnocchi were delectable pink squares of pasta in a light cream sauce with peas ($9).

Bacaro does well with creating sauces that are balanced and don’t overwhelm your palate. My husband was still hungry after those dishes, however, and I imagine diners with larger appetites will have that issue as well, because the plates are quite small. He ordered the Niman Ranch pork belly and it certainly hit the spot, especially the delicious cabernet jus. The dessert bites ($5) were a wonderful way to have a little sweetness to end the meal. We enjoyed the mango and Nutella crepe, which was lightly-filled but tasty. My husband had the cocoa-sprinkled tiramisu, which was light, moist and perfectly balanced.

The large variety of dishes offered should also guarantee that most people will find at least one menu item they will enjoy. Though the restaurant identifies as Italian, it is unlike any other Italian restaurant on island.

The service was superb. This is huge for me, because, if I’m going out, I want an enjoyable experience. Though we were assigned a waitress, who was very attentive, the whole service team assisted our table at some point or another. The waitress very helpfully recommended dishes and made my children feel welcome. The staff were quick to remember names and made you feel at ease from start to finish. It proved a wonderful way to end the weekend.

The chic nautically-designed restaurant blends right into the yacht club and takes full advantage of its setting with tall glass open doors that show off views of the water from every direction and allow for a lovely breeze. Children will also like exploring and playing by the gravel area outside, which reduced the amount of “Please sit downs” I had to say. The atmosphere was relaxed and casual atmostphere with all ages welcome.

Some advice on tackling the menu: Small plates can quickly add up, so order a few plates at a time and be aware of the price of each dish. The food comes out quickly which allows you to order more without waiting a long while between dishes. Big eaters may feel they will leave hungry, but you do slowly fill up. The bigger plates average $23, so you can always stick with those. The cocktails were delicious, but at $12 each they can easily take you over your budget. Overall, most people can visit and spend a little or a lot, which makes it great for groups.

I recommend you visit Bacaro soon and look forward to a good meal, surrounded by good people.

Gratuity: 15% added to the bill.

Bacaro website

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Category: Dinner, Golden Spoons Review

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