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Make ready to EAT: Extraordinary Taste@Atlantis

There is no better time than now to be eating your way around Atlantis as the resort showcases a celebration of impeccable food through specially-curated chef tasting menus offered at fixed rates across 14 of the resort’s restaurants. The value-driven concept features three and four-course meal options on prix fixe menus across their gourmet, signature and casual restaurants. Make ready to EAT: Extraordinary Taste @ Atlantis. There’s only one week left to take advantage of affordable prices that make these dining experiences extremely attractive.

Gourmet four-course tasting menus are to be had at Café Martinqiue, where the chef has recreated the luxury and legendary ambiance of Café Martinique – originally made famous by its appearance in the 1965 James Bond classic “Thunderball”; Nobu, where you can experience world-renowned Japanese cuisine at the acclaimed restaurant by celebrated Japanese Chef Nobu Matsuhisa; and Fish by Jose Andres, where this master chef and expert diver features the freshest Bahamian seafood with flavors skillfully transformed into memorable dishes. Gourmet four-course menus are priced at $65.

Signature three-course tasting menus are to be had at Todd English’s Olives, featuring his signature open kitchen and Mediterranean cuisine; Bahamian Club, for traditional fine dining in a club atmosphere; Casa D’Angelo, where Tuscany meets the Caribbean as Chef Angelo Ella brings his award-winning South Florida Italian eatery to The Bahamas (one week only); and Seafire, where you can dine in a modern steakhouse ambiance where rich, smoked, seared and grilled flavors of succulent fare await (one week only). Signature three-course tasting menus can be had at $55.

A casual three-course tasting menu is to be had at Frankie Gone Bananas, where you can taste the down home flavors of Frankie’s and experience true Bahamian dishes with flavors from Bimini straight down to Inagua. Casual three-course menus can be had at $35.

I took advantage of the opportunity for a three-restaurant hop-around over three consecutive nights at Café Martinique, Fish by Jose Andres and Nobu, which to be totally honest all proved to be excellent choices.

EAT @ Café Martinique

Jerk chicken with corn, bell peppers, Brussel sprouts, fingerling potatoes and jerk sauce at Fish by Jose Andres.

I was most looking forward to the Café Martinique dining experience for the simple reason that the restaurant that has gone through a concept change to a more plant-forward experience under Chef Alessio Pitzalis, having moved away from the Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s combination of French flavors coupled with local bounty.

Full disclosure – I would be the first to stand on a soapbox and herald Chef Jean-Georges’ food. And to be honest I didn’t totally take to Pitzalis’ menu after he initially took the helm, so I didn’t know what to expect when I dined there earlier this week. I went in blind, but EAT provided the perfect opportunity for me to explore the menu offerings at an incredibly doable price.

After a one-month closure and some tweaks to the menu, Pitzalis, I’m happy to say, has returned with a vengeance.

The Café Martinique selections include a choice of three first-course items – truffle potato gnocchi, baked seafood and foie gras torchon; a choice of two second-course items – creamy mushrooms chestnut soup or stewed mussels Provencal; four entrees – vegetable tagine, grilled Nassau grouper, free-range organic chicken breast and a slow roast Colorado lamb rack; and tart tatin and a chocolate mascarpone comprise the two dessert options from which to choose.

I opted for the truffle potato gnocchi. These versatile Italian dumplings are beautiful baked, fried or boiled – and are something I can never pass up on a menu. But they have to be fluffy pillows of goodness. My husband, whom I dined with, opted for the baked seafood with squid, prawns, cherry tomato sauce, burrata flakes and basil pesto, so I was able to satisfy my want and my curiosity because the baked seafood had caught my eye and I was able to sneak bites from my hubby’s. Actually, I wanted to steal his entire plate, because the flavors that the chef coaxed into this dish was amazing. The only thing missing for me was some really good toasted bread with which to soak up all that delicious broth.

The gnocchi with forest mushrooms and roasted pumpkin also proved to be delicious, with a surprise addition of Parmesan fondue which imparted a delightful hint of salt to the dish and gave that unexpected element of surprise, because I’d never had gnocchi before with cheese in it.

The stewed mussels Provencal was a light bridge between the first and third course. The portion serving was just right, and the broth light enough to not be filling.

For my entrée, I went with the grilled Nassau grouper with cauliflower puree, roasted baby eggplant, baby beets and parsley dressing. The fish was cooked perfectly. It was tender and luscious, and paired well with the silky cauliflower puree, with the baby beets and eggplant adding a hint of sweetness to the dish which was balanced by the herbaceous parsley dressing.

The tart tatin featured slow-cooked caramelized apples with breton sable with vanilla Chantilly, another name for whipped cream, a sweetened cream flavored with vanilla and whipped until smooth and satiny.

You have the option to add a wine pairing to the Café Martinique prix fixe menu for $35 with Dr. Loosen Red Slate Dry Riesling, Mosel, Germany, with the first course; Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut, Epernay, France, with the second course; Pertinace, Barbaresco, Italy, with the third course; and Graham’s 10 Years Tawny Port, Douro for dessert.

EAT @ Fish by Jose Andres

Yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno at Nobu.

I selected Fish by Jose Andres for my second experience, which again featured a four-course menu for an affordable $65. The first-course options included a choice of butternut squash soup, hearts of palm salad and hush puppies. Ceviche clasico and mac & cheese were the second-course choices, with shrimp n’ grits, Caribbean grouper and jerk chicken amongst the third-course offerings. Key lime pie and chocolate paradise comprised the choices for fourth-course.

I opted for the hearts of palm salad with tomato, tamarind dressing, avocado and crispy quinoa, which hit all the right notes – sweet and tangy, crispy and creamy – the flavors were a perfect way to wake up the palate for the rest of the meal.

I selected the mac & cheese made with vermicelli, dry jack and cheddar cheese. It was creamy and decadent and one of those of those dishes that is shareable, but you won’t want to share, trust me – it’s that delicious. It’s one of those dishes that I think I’d order again every time I visit this restaurant. Actually, I’m looking forward to a return visit soon, and this will be a must-order dish.

With shrimp n’ grits becoming ever more popular day-by-day, one of the best places to have your first taste of this uniquely southern comfort dish is at Fish. This regional American southern fare had just the right hint of Cajun spice, which is satisfying to anyone who loves a kick. It was balanced perfectly by the creamy grits and sweet shrimp, combined with bell peppers and pearl onions. This is a comfort dish at its best and one of those dishes you will gravitate to time and time again. To be honest, I’ve had it before when I dined at Fish, but couldn’t help myself when I saw it offered on the prix fixe menu.

The surprise was the key lime pie, which I’d become accustomed to being deconstructed, allowing you to enjoy as you saw fit. Even if you’re not a fan of key lime pie itself, the deconstructed version at Fish – key lime cream, graham cracker crumble, toasted meringue, berry coulis and lime air – will make you a fan of the dessert, but on my visit earlier this week, I learnt that there have been changes to the dessert menu, and it was an actual key lime pie.

For $24 you can add the wine pairing per course which showcases Segura Viudas Cava, Brut, Spain; Cune Vina Real Blanco, Barrel Fermented, Rioja, Spain; Bouchard Père et Fils, Reserve Chardonnay, France; and Famillia Perrin Muscat de Baumes de Venice, France.

EAT @ Nobu

Mac & cheese at Fish by Jose Andres.

Dining at Nobu is definitely an experience – an enjoyable one – and the four-course prix fixe menu on offer for just one more week being offered at Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s acclaimed restaurant at the Atlantis is a delight.

You get to make a choice of two starters from amongst four starters – yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno, spicy tuna crispy rice, tai sashimi with dry miso and a Bahamian roll – which you can pair with a choice of the Rockbare “The Clare” Riesling, Clare Valley, South Africa 2017 and the Hokusetsu Onigoroshi Sake, “The Devil Killer”, if you opt for the $21 wine pairing to go with your meal.

You also get a choice of one main – conch with light garlic sauce, tempura dinner, beef toban-yaki and the iconic Matsuhisa signature black cod with miso – served with rice. Wine pairings with the main include a choice of Nielson by Byron Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley California or the Terre Brulee Chenin Blanc, Swartland South Africa.

Bento box, mocha ice cream or Sata-Andagi – a deep fried doughnut filled with chocolate served with a berry smear, which can be paired with the Gekkeikan Plum Wine, Japan, or the Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs, Sonoma California, comprised the sweet finish.

The yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno is such a simple dish, but it has extraordinary flavor. The mild fish is enlivened by the jalapeno and citrus for a wonderful combination that will make the most skeptical person fall in love with this dish. This is absolutely one of my all-time favorites.

Spicy tuna crispy rice is another popular appetizer that never fails to delight. The perfectly crispy rice bed provides a perfect foil for the soft-textured tuna, which results in a delicious mouthfeel as far as texture and flavor.

The tai shashimi with dry miso has a great depth of flavor for that umami flavor. With yuzu juice and extra virgin olive oil on the sashimi and sprinkled with dry miso which adds texture, saltiness and a savory umami, this is one of those dishes that will make you stop, think and wonder.

Bahamianizing the Nobu experience, the conch with light garlic sauce with mushrooms and asparagus is a hearty portion that is savory and filling.

I finished the Nobu evening with the Sata-Andagi. The doughnuts are served warm; when you cut into them the warm chocolate tempts you to stick a finger into the hole to lap it all up. Actually, it’s the perfect way to end a Nobu dining experience.

Atlantis’ two-week restaurant showcase runs through October 13. There’s no better time than now to hit up your favorite restaurant, or to maybe take in a restaurant that you haven’t dined at before as the affordable prices make these dining experiences extremely attractive.

 

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Shavaughn Moss

Shavaughn Moss joined The Nassau Guardian as a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor. Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics. Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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