Saturday, August 16, 2014

COYABA in Provo, Turks & Caicos proves itself proud, save for the pasta (8-13-14)

Our third night in Provo (that's short for the island of Providenciales) took us to COYABA at the Caribbean Paradise Inn on Grace Bay, just about 7 minutes from our hotel. Indeed everything on Grace Bay, the main 7 miles of amazingly gorgeous white soft sand beach, is less than 10 minutes from anywhere else on the bay.
In charge here is Chef Paul Newman (yes, that's his name), but we never did catch sign of the star. Coyaba is Arawak for "heavenly" and the place is quite nice, but definitely not heavenly. It's part indoors, part terrace with lots of fans and simple d├ęcor and palm leaf overhead fans. As we sat a small jar of veggies and pita crisps arrived with a coconut mayo dip sitting in the bottom of the jar, so you got just a taste of the dip with each piece; no winners here.
A nice amuse of gazpacho arrived; refreshing, but no prizes.
We explained to Jeremy that we like to take time dining and that worked well. We ordered a bottle of La Spinetta Toscana Vermentino 2011 and another server brought us a bottle of chilled red wine, which we refused as incorrect. When we got the right wine, it was loaded with citrus flavors and superb with the first starter that Will & I split, BAY SCALLOPS Ceviche served on real scallop shells with Seaweed Salad, Sirachi Marie Rose, Tobiko and Crisp Ginger. Slightly spicy, it was a refreshing, light dish loaded with flavors; it was one of the many hits of the night. We next split the CONCH BOLOGNESE which was penne with chili flakes, conch and parmeggiano reggiano; it was flavorful, but needed a massive infusion of conch as the pieces were so small and so few.

Samuel gobbled up his Halpern's 12 ounce center cut Prime NY Striploin Steak but did not like the delicious tomato provencale. The grilled asparagus on the side were a big hit however as were the tobacco onions (thin onion slices lightly battered, seasoned and fried) atop the steak. Samuel also praised the mild pick-a-peppa sauce on the side as well as the White Truffle Fries.

We opted for a lighter red wine in the Castello Banfi 2012 Rossi di Montalcino (on the menu it said 2010, but they had run out) as our fish dishes were both pretty flavorful:
Tandoori Oven Roasted Fillet of Scottish Salmon with Jasmine Rice, Pappadam and a West Indian style Coconut Curry made with roasted corn and papaya relish was a super dish, although Will ordered it rare to medium rare and it came dry and well done. He sent it back, and of course, the fish returned extremely rare, but delicious nonetheless. I chose the  fish special which was Hibiscus Lemon Crusted local Snapper with Mung Bean Risotto and Lemon Butter. It arrived with a little dough ball of lemon to squeeze n the fish that was ever so clever and cute and some fried linguine atop for a crunch which was novel. The fish was sublime and the sauce excellent, but the mung bean risotto was really just a bean side and should not be glorified as risotto.

After a refreshing cup of lime granite we decided to order dessert and Jeremy offered us a complimentary drink for the salmon booboo and for spilling about two drops of the red wine when he first poured it. This was service, and a nice change from the useless face we got the night before at Parallel 23 when we said the dessert was awful! Will and I chose to order a Dessert Martini from their huge dessert drink list and went for a tasty one with Vanilla Stoli, Limoncello, Grand Marnier & Lemon juice. YUM! First a pre-dessert of coconut chocolate arrived and then we dug in:
Samuel chose the Chocolate Fondant which was gone as quickly as it arrived; he declared it superior to the previous night by far. Will liked his Caribbean Key Lime Pie with Mango & Raspberry Coulis and my dessert was the winner-Banana Caramel Xango which was a Banana Caramel Cheesecake wrapped in a sweet tortilla then deep fried and rolled in cinnamon sugar. DECADENT is the only way to describe it.

We had found another winner save for the pasta!