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August 08, 2013

Our previous blog on international dining options in Turks and Caicos Islands was a popular one and only scratched the surface of the many excellent restaurants we have here on Providenciales. The wide variety of international flavors available at our many fine island restaurants deserves another look.  Here is “part 2” of the story on what Turks and Caicos has to offer in terms of gastronomic delights.   From Asia to Italy, from France and Britain to Mexico and back home again to the Caribbean, there is a world of food flavors to discover and savor on your next vacation to one of the most exclusive islands in the Caribbean.


First we’ll start with a restaurant that stands out for its creativity as well as the quality of the food.  Stix is a new “pop-up” restaurant located on the sands of the award-winning Grace Bay Beach and is part of the luxurious Grace Bay Club resort.   This novel concept of a “pop-up” restaurant means that there is a limited six-month window to enjoy its pleasures.   Stix is open from December to July, from 11 am until 10 pm daily.  As its name suggests, Stix offers everything on a stick.  Menu highlights include grilled Lion Fish with pickled carrots and roasted coriander seeds; jerk roasted corn on the cob with Grace Bay coconut; and spicy Sambal beef skewer with scallions and rum-soaked pineapple.  For dessert you might be tempted by the pina colada popsicle, frozen banana rama with caramel and marshmallows, or a tropical fruit Stix dipped in Bailey’s chocolate!  Complementing its creative menu are a variety of internationally-acclaimed Rose wines all served on brightly-colored cushions on the sugar-fine beach of Grace Bay.


After a luxurious afternoon of enjoying indulgences at Stix you may not want to prepare dinner so we suggest heading to Caicos Café,a Mediterranean bistro brimming with Caribbean charm.   The restaurant is within walking distance of most Grace Bay resorts and is located in a small shopping plaza framed with white gingerbread trim and a dark wooded deck.   The setting will make you feel like you’re dining at the home of a Caribbean aristocrat, with candle-lit tables on a moon-lit terrace.  The menu is equally enchanting, with an emphasis on fresh fish and pasta.  The owner/chef combines flavors and influences from his Italian heritage to create unforgettable dishes such as his orecchiette with Italian sweet and spicy pork sausage ragout; the lobster with linguine “fra’diavolo” (only in lobster season) and his famous Mediterranean style seafood casserole.   He also offers an extensive and versatile wine list and tempting dolci to seal the meal.   This restaurant is open from Monday through Saturday from 6:00 pm until 10:00 pm.


Expanding upon the Mediterranean influence, a new French sidewalk café just opened in the Regent Village.  Perfect for lunch or dinner, Le Bouchon du Village (phone 946-4234) serves a savory selection of salads, tapas, tartines and sandwiches with nightly dinner specials and a good selection of coffee, wines, beers and liquors.  Open six days a week from 7 am until 10 pm, Le Bouchon is the latest endeavor of long-time local restaurateur Pierrik Marziou and his son Julian.  Their excellent reputation for providing high-quality and consistently good restaurant experiences is further exemplified here.  If charcuterier and salad nicoise are your idea of a delightful lunch then a visit to Le Bouchon is a must – as you won’t find these dishes at any other Turks and Caicos restaurants.


One of the newest additions to the Turks and Caicos restaurants scene is the new Salt Bar & Grill located in Leeward at the Blue Haven Resort and Marina. Serving delicious bar food and a wide range of drinks from 10 am until at least 10 pm is Salt’s claim to fame. What is special about this new locale? You have a stunning setting overlooking the boats in the newly opened marina as well as the untouched mangroves of Mangrove Cay. Salt is the perfect choice after you return from a diving excursion or boating trip exploring our beautiful by nature islands. (Tel: 649-946-9900)


Further down the road, between the Windsong Resort and the Coral Gardens resort there is a hidden treasure called Somewhere Café.   They say you haven’t been anywhere until you’ve been to Somewhere!   This is the place to enjoy Mexican food in a relaxed Caribbean beach setting.   The fun-filled atmosphere starts with the décor (a giant sized chess game is a feature), continues with the menu (who doesn’t smile when they think of tacos) and finishes with a line of t-shirts that contain the word “somewhere” (think “It’s 5 o’Clock Somewhere” etc.).    With both the beach and a topside deck reserved for people 18 and older, you’ll have a fabulous view of our turquoise ocean while feasting on fajitas, sipping Margaritas and enjoying the daily extended happy hour.  (Here happy hour starts exactly one hour before sunset and finishes two hours afterwards – they have a chalkboard to let you know when sunset is each day).  Open daily from 8:30 am until 11:30 pm, Somewhere is a great place to enjoy with family and friends, especially with live music every Friday evening and dancing on the beach.


Another hidden secret – right on the beach – offering authentic Caribbean fare is Ricky’s Flamingo Café, but everyone here just calls it Ricky’s.   Ricky’s is located in a small corner of a beach deck between Ocean Club East and Club Med.   It’s actually in the Cultural Market Place, which also houses small souvenir shops.  Fresh, local seafood and native dishes such as conch and lobster, when in season, are the highlights of this tiny gem.   The beauty of Ricky’s is the flavors and the casual setting, right on the beach.   His whole restaurant consists of a grill, fryer, a refrigerator and a small counter.   Since it is usually just Ricky and one other person preparing the meals, service can be slow but it is always worth it.   Ricky is a Grand Turk native and his high cracked conch is one-of-a-kind.


Of course, one of the favorite restaurants on the island is located right here at The Alexandra Resort on Grace Bay Beach.


Bon Appetit!

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