Island Cafe

     Under new management, this was quick to gain the reputation of being one of the finest restaurants on the island.  Recently redone with custom tile tables, murals, and a fresh island style, the Island Cafe is located at The Crow's Nest Inn.
    They have embraced local spices and incorporated Cuban and Jamaican flavors to create something truly new and innovative.
     The atmosphere is simple, in the flavor of the tropics.  The open air design sits atop a hill overlooking the Island and the water.   It is arguably the best view on the Island, framed perfectly with palm trees.

      We had dinner here twice during our most recent trip,  both of my meals were excellent as were my wife's.   It was notable that without exception, all of the other customers in the restaurant were absolutely raving over the food - I have little doubt that everything on the limited but well rounded menu has been perfected.  Food presentation was top flight - my first meal was a Pescado Frito with recao aioli - the Fish was lightly crusted and served half moon on a colorful bed of recao pico de gallo, served with rice and perhaps the best beans I've had anywhere.  Recao is a local spice similar to young coriander -  a crisp, fresh taste with a very pleasant aroma that mixes well with many of the other local flavors.
      My next dinner was the seared sirloin with tamarind glaze, mashed yucca, caramelized onion and chimichurri.   I have never had a more tender sirloin and the tamarind glaze added a delightful twist.  The mashed Yucca was also outstanding, a subtle taste more flavorful than potato that defies accurate description,  - A MUST TRY!

     It is difficult to find a bad restaurant on the Island of Vieques - bad cooking may be illegal here though I haven't checked the local ordinances.  Many great chefs seem to have converged here to compete in a sort of microcosmic culinary paradise. As a result, it is difficult for anyone to stand out as clearly superior.   This is a fine restaurant with outstanding food and an excellent staff.    Don't miss it!

Prices are moderate  but, considering the quality of food and service, I would have to say that is a "best buy."  We rarely eat twice at the same restaurant on our short trips to Vieques - we did here.  We even showed up a third time for the Tuesday happy hour, had a great time, and some great (free) appetizers.

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