Bahama Breeze Island Grille; New Skinny Drinks & Small Plates, Reviewby EJ on 05/29/12
Bahama Breeze Island Grille before. The Caribbean-inspired menu, easily found online with gorgeous accompanying photos, was exciting to peruse and I was looking forward to a much needed night out sans kids.
When I arrived, staff kindly escorted hubby and I to the outdoor seating area, along with many other members of social media, bloggers, food critics, members of the radio community, etc. There were so many of us bloggers we probably could have sat on top of each other but luckily the outdoor patio had two empty couches available for us late arrivals.
The wait staff seemed genuinely enthusiastic about the new menus as they passed us the Skinny Drink list and described each one in depth. Each Skinny Drink amounted to around 103 calories and promised full flavor.
I opted for the new Skinny Five Citrus Margarita (Premium Cabo Wabo Blanco Tequila, freshly squeezed five citrus mix, Cointreau and fresh lime juice) and my husband decided on the new Skinny Paloma (A blend of Cabo Wabo Reposado tequila, SKYY Infusions all natural passion fruit Vodka and grapefruit juice, topped with Fresca). Hubby isn't a great big fan of fruity adult beverages but he was spot on with his five second review of the Skinny Paloma. "It's not amazing but it's good. Tastes like an orange juice." My Skinny Margarita was tasty but I wasn't able to say that it actually tasted like a margarita because it did not. I suppose the drinks didn't thrill us but the food, however, was a whole different story. I will say that next time I visit this restaurant I will be trying some of their non-skinny drinks as many of those sound and look divine!
I love marinades. I'm obsessed with sauce flavors. I'm not kidding when I say obsessed. I totally enjoy collecting marinades and filling all three levels of the refrigerator door with bottles of sauce of all kinds. Apparently, Bahama Breeze Island Grille is a restaurant that's equally obsessed with marinades. Every dish they brought us was entirely different, with an exciting accompanying sauce/marinade.
I will openly admit that I am a picky eater. However, I'm a huge fan of Carribean flavors. I loved every dish they brought out - even one with mushrooms and I don't normally like mushrooms. Two of the most surprising small plates dishes were the Chicken Empanadas (Classic fried pastries with an adobo seasoned chicken filling with mushrooms, sweet peppers and onion. Seasoned sour cream and black bean roasted corn and fresh tomato salsa on the side) and the Mojo-marinated Pork and Sweet Plaintains (Shreds of tender, slow-roasted pork over sweet plantains with a side of black bean roasted corn and fresh tomato salsa. Served with a slightly smokey guava barbecue sauce). The mushrooms in the Chicken Empanadas blended so well with the other ingredients, creating an amazing flavor on the whole, that I basically forgot I didn't like mushrooms. I also really enjoyed the marinades that came along with the pork. The flavor combinations were just perfect!
Some of the more predictable small plates we tried were the cheeseburger sliders and the jerk chicken wings. They were both super fresh and delicious.
I was really really impressed, however, with the Baked Goat Cheese and chips, served inside the warm "shells" of red pepper halves. My particular serving was a bit crispy on top but remained super creamy and delectable underneath. I took a picture because I loved all the color and texture.
I am of the mindset that food can be as artful as it is delicious and Bahama Breeze certainly has that theme running through their menu. Every dish was arranged well, colorful and I wasn't disappointed in a single flavor other than maybe the Skinny Drinks. The flavors were all so different and in each dish, the combinations of ingredients and marinades blended so well. The flavors ranged from bold, sweet to spicy with a kick here and there.
In the end, I wasn't a huge fan of the Skinny Drinks but the small plates menu was fabulous. I expect that Bahama Breeze Island Grille will find a lot of success with the new dishes and rightly so.