COCO BISTRO – TURKS & CAICOS
Grace Bay Road (Next to Sunshine Nursery) Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands
Date Dined: May 2014
After the crazy winter we had in New York City, a knee surgery and weekend after weekend of weddings, I needed a break. Turks and Caicos is incredibly easy to reach from the city – the flight down was under 3 hours! With silky white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and of course the promise of fresh seafood, I was sold. I gathered recommendations from my friends who have visited the island many times, Kylie and Chris, and Alex (from Indagare Travel) to put together a list of must-eats. Thank you for your spot-on suggestions!!
On the first night I managed to snag a reservation at Coco Bistro thanks to our personal concierge, Franklyn, at The Grace Bay Club. He said that reservations begin filling up 3 months in advance! Coco Bistro is charming and romantic as it is set amidst the largest palm grove in Providenciales. The plam leaves create their own living ceiling which flutters in the breeze to reveal the stars, and the palm trunks are wrapped in twinkling white lights. The name Coco come from the resident Coco the cat who wanders silently about the property.
Chef Stuart Gray uses the freshest local ingredients to create unique and bright flavorful Carribbean dishes.
Every vacation in my book begins with a cocktail. Coco Bistro serves its own signature version of the classic island cocktail rum punch. The recipe is kept a secret but one sip and you’ll know why!
We started with conch 2 ways. This local shellfish appears on basically every menu and the subtle flavor works with a multitude of preparations. Preparation 1 was a fried version with sweet and sour sauce, the second was a Dominican pineapple martini with lemon and hot pepper. Both were tender pieces of the shellfish bursting with fresh fruit flavors.
We also had the Coco style tuna sashimi, which was served on crispy tortilla with red onion, tomatoes, scallion, tobiko, cilantro and wasabi mayo. Fresh fish and vegetables on a crisp tortilla – ok, now I was officially on vacation.
For the entrées we stuck with fish as well. First was the tandoori rubbed Mahi Mahi with a chickpea potato cake, roasted fennel seed green beans, lime-ginger buerre blanc and a tropical fruit salsa. Mahi Mahi is one of my favorite white fish because it has nice body and light flavor. It stands up to preparations like grilling without falling apart. This preparation was a nice mix of Indian seasonings with a Caribbean twist.
The second entrée was grilled tiger shrimp with West Indian coconut curry with crispy pappadum, Jasmine rice and a spicy banana chutney. Again- a delicious marriage of flavors of the East and the Caribbean.
I highly recommend Coco Bistro for a delicious dinner is a beautiful and romantic Island setting. Just make sure to make your reservations far in advance unless you are willing to test your luck!