Golden Spoons Review: Bacaro

| 17/05/2017 | 11 Comments

CNS Business(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: Golden Spoons Review

Comments (11)

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  1. Foodlover says:

    Hmm, I can agree the setting and restaurant is very nice and that's about it.
    I must note first we eat out every weekend.
    We have been twice and probably won't be going back.
    1st time we had lunch my wife, son 11yr and I, the service was slow and server wasn't that friendly, and not very knowledgeable.
    We had serval dishes which really didn't impress us and honestly average at best.
    Our 2nd visit was just to sit at the bar, again we found d the staff average and definitely not friendly. I ordered oysters a day WOW talk about expensive $4 per, other restaurants of the same standard sell these at $2. Talk about ripping you off.
    Im not cheap by any means but this place is way over priced. In fact the next door resturant is half the price and better food and service.
    Once their honeymoon period runs out, I can see this. Place closing and new owners move in, if they keep these prices and service.

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    • Chef says:

      The prices of food always reflect the quality of it, so if you paid $4 for oysters rather than $2, it's because they are of a higher quality; this goes for all kinds of food. Hence a Mercedes will always cost more than a Honda, makes sense? But then again, some people's palates is good enough to recognize quality, others just focus on budget.
      I suggest you try other eateries like Wendy's or Burger King while hopelessly waiting for Bacaro's "new owners" to move in.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    I really wanted to like Bacaro, because it is owned and run by people we know vaguely.
    First, it is a most beautiful setting - the décor is lovely and the location is nearly perfect - all it needs is its own dock to be complete.
    However, after several visits, I remain disappointed by the food and by the service, which I would not put above average, which is really sad. We went in the first week, and it had teething issues. We went a few weeks later, and they had not improved very much, plus it took 30 minutes to get a bottle of wine and we were sitting right by the bar. We went again for lunch 4 weeks later, and the service was still random (and grumpy). I hope they get it together, but I am fearful. I think the menu is too complicated and the kitchen cooks sequentially so that that dishes come out in a bizarre order. I don't think they've quite mastered it yet and I have no idea why the bar is so slow, particularly as the wine list is fresh and reasonably priced.
    We eat out 3-5 times a week for business and personal time, and at the moment, whilst I'm very willing to try again (once), it's going towards the bottom of my list for places to recommend and I am gutted by that, as I so want it to be good. At the moment, I would hesitate to take clients there again.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Could not agree more, really wanted to love the place but the food is average at best.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Great review! I really loved your detail on explaining the food! I almost felt like I was eating it!

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  4. A girl gotta eat says:

    Agree with this review wholeheartedly this is a great spot, interesting menu and good value which is not easy to find these days. Nice to find a bit of a swanky place I can afford - well just anyway.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    I agree with this review 100%! Bacaro is a fab new restaurant, so happy to live close by. The decor is simple and inviting and the layout is great to have sunset views. The drinks can't be beat and everything we've tried has been outstanding! Great job guys!

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  6. Anonymous says:

    The salt block served is a non-renewable/sustainable resource. Are those being reused or thrown away???

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    • Anonymous says:

      I don't think many places throw out their serving plates after one use.

      Properly cared for a salt block can be used many many times, but you need to remind who is cleaning the kitchen what properly maintained is "I don't know where all the salt blocks went, I put them in the dishwasher, now they are gone!!!"

      Even if they did decide to throw away (the many times more expensive than the actual sashimi served on them) the blocks after each use, it is possible that the one or two a day, under ideal conditions, could actually help to decompose the tens of thousands of single use cups, plates, and bags that make it to the Georgetown dump every day and not act as a natural preservative.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Good thought. But have you ever read where that pretty pink Himalayan salt comes from and how it is extracted/processed etc.
        Unfortunately non-renewable/non-sustainable but you're leaning correctly, nobody cares anyway. It looks good. (I would never salt my sashimi, I must be missing something!)

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    • Anonymous says:

      They are reused. I had the same question when I ate there. If memory serves correctly, they clean the blocks by rinsing them and just enough salt dissolves away in the water to leave a fresh surface.

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