Saturday, August 16, 2014

Night #2 in the Turks & Caicos-Parallel 23 at the Regent Palms doesn't pass muster (8-12-14)

We decided to head about a mile down the beach to the Regent Palms hotel where Chef Lauren Callighan oversees PARALLEL 23, however as it is summer low season here, she is back home in Newfoundland for the summer!
On arrival we hit it off with the hostess Carol, but she seemed to disappear later when we started to have some issues. The dining room is indoors and outdoors and in the elegant indoor section there is a huge open kitchen which makes the room feel as if it is over 100 degrees in the 88 degree evening heat and humidity.
We sat just outside and ultimately had to ask for a big fan to be brought around as we were sweating to death by the first course!
The table was set with crisp white linens and large green glass square plates with iron-like lattice trivets laid on them. The refreshing amuse of Scallop Ceviche with tomato and parsley was presented on these, but then they were whisked away. The bread was focaccia and baguettes with salt, pepper and butter in a three-way tray.
We had three different servers which was confusing at time, but Delcean, Shevon and Jeffrey did a decent job except for the several times we had to wave them down to pour more wine.
We started with the CAICOS CONCH Platter of Conch Nems which was an eggroll of conch, lemongrass, ginger and fried green onion in a rice paper wrap with citrus ponzu, a delicious ceviche with grapefruit, lychee, a dash of mayo, jalapeno and lotus root chip and finally a Malaysian curried pumpkin soup with toasted coconut and a fried Conch Fritter sitting in it. The soup was tasty but not as good as the conch chowder the night before.
Our wine was a Feudo Arancio Grillo from Stemmari 2012 "Terre Siciliane" which was nice, but after we tasted the intense flavors of the foods, we could have ordered a red.
Samuel went simple with a kids menu Penne...Boring.
My main was a superb Seared rare Ahi Tuna with fresh herbed crust, and olive oil mashed potatoes with citrus-rosemary vinaigrette. Will loved his Olive crusted Mahi-Mahi which was herb marinated with black olives, capers and a sundried tomato crust and not exciting roasted new potatoes with a Puttanesca sauce.
These fishes were local and excellent and much lighter on the sauces than the night before which was welcome as well.
We chose three desserts and Will raved about his Sticky Toffee Pudding wcich was made with warm date pudding and filled with toffee sauce and a house made salted caramel ice cream. Sam did well with the Chocolate Mousse made with flourless chocolate bisquit and a candied citrus compote and rosemary infused chocolate sauce.
I detested my cloyingly sweet Lemon Merringue (that's how it was spelled on the menu--I felt like I was in a Chinese restaurant!) Pie. The creamy lemon curd was way oversweetened and the lemon tartness was gone. The fresh raspberry sauce and fresh raspberries with lemon sorbet were all I could eat. I mentioned this to the servers and they seemed to not care at all. So we paid the bill and left, happy with most of the meal, dripping wet from the intense heat, but not happy about my end to the meal at all.