Seasonal and plant-forward is the latest concept of Café Martinique.
With Chef Alessio Pitzalis at the helm, the eclectic epicurean experience for the updated Atlantis fine-dining concept which launched in early 2019 gives a nod to promoting sustainability, and as such, a significant amount of Pitzalis’ dishes are created using local ingredients to create unique Mediterranean-inspired flavors. Signature menu items include the herbed snapper carpaccio, foie gras torchon, vegetable tagine, sea bass cartoccio on the trolley and pan-fried Dover sole.
A locavore at heart, Pitzalis, who is originally from the island of Sardinia, brought more than a decade-and-a-half of experience in Mediterranean and Italian cuisine when he came to Café Martinique, after having held residencies in kitchens in Italy; Russia; Cyprus; Dubai, UAE; and Azerbaijan.
The new Café Martinique also offers guests an experience that goes beyond traditional cocktail programs with botanicals and aromatics taking center stage in beverages that feature culinary-inspired ingredients with an avant-garde spin, and reflect the restorative nature of spirits.
Signature libations include Cetriolo Meringue – Fords gin, cucumber, mint leaf, elderflower meringue and cracked black pepper; and the Birds Flamingo – Casa Noble Crystal, Cocchi Rossa, passion fruit puree, lime, Angostura bitters and sparkling Rosé Spritz.
One of the most prominent features of Café Martinique is its exclusive wine vault, boasting a list of over 300 fine labels that were meticulously selected by the restaurant’s in-house sommelier and include sought-after benchmark vineyards from Bordeaux, Burgundy and Napa Valley, as well as up-and-coming bottles from around the world. The restaurant also houses an extensive champagne selection that includes renowned labels and ready-to-discover gems that pair well with any dish.
Prior to this rendition of the more plant-forward Café Martinique, the restaurant under Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten that opened in 2005 offered a can’t-lose combination of French flavors coupled with local tropical bounty – classic escargot with garlic butter served alongside dishes like cracked conch with avocado and citrus chili mayonnaise.
It was the re-incarnation of the famous restaurant – the original that was made famous by its appearance in the 1965 James Bond classic “Thunderball”.
With the original Café Martinique closed, Atlantis developer Sol Kerzner promised that when they developed Marina Village and the Royal Towers, the resort’s administration would construct another Café Martinique to continue the tradition that Café Martinique was known for. A special occasion restaurant, Café Martinique was often known as the venue chosen by people to celebrate in style. It was the place to take out-of-town guests and a place to celebrate everything from anniversaries to birthdays to graduations. It was the restaurant that people went to to create memories of great food and great service.
Traditionally, Café Martinique was known for its level of service, and over the years tried to maintain that calibre of service.
When they re-opened in 2005, they weren’t trying to replicate the original; they tried to create a restaurant that would build its own credibility and reputation based on the caliber of food and service.
Under Pitzalis and new General Manager Douglas Martin, it is their aim to give guests at the rebranded restaurant an experience that goes beyond the norm.
Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.
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