There’s always something new on the menu in Cayman’s vibrant and varied dining scene.
Two restaurants that recently came on stream are making their mark not only with palate-pleasing cuisine but inviting décor as well.
The Bistro and Catch Restaurant & Lounge have each put their creative stamp on the venues, adding an appetizing dimension to the dining experience.
Modern-vintage is the look at The Bistro, a new restaurant in the Caribbean Plaza serving classic French fare.
The à la mode décor is eclectic, fun and flirty with a relaxed, intimate ambiance at lunchtime and in the evenings.
Sean and Angelique Collins, who were already known for their successful catering venture Mise en Place, are running the restaurant.
“It’s something new to Cayman,” says Angelique. “We wanted it to be casual, where we could serve good, French home-style cooking.”
Angelique worked with locally based designer Marie-Joelle Larocque of Crimsonteal to create the inviting bistro-style restaurant, which is filled with French influences such as replica antique tiles, chandeliers and luxurious leather-back bar stools.
“It was a really fun project to work on with her,” she says. “Everything was custom-made.”
The seating areas are designed to accommodate a range of dining options from cozy dinners-for-two to large celebrations, with two divider walls that can be moved to open up the space.
Each seating area has its own distinct character and charm. The chairs surrounding the marble-top tables are all different – some modern and funky, others fashionably retro – and come in a variety of fabrics. The decorative wallpaper also adds a chic touch.
The bar and main entrance is impressive, accented with stunning chandeliers. The bar top is fashioned from reclaimed wood, with comfortable leather-and-brass chairs, and dominated by a showpiece lighting feature. There is a cozy lounge near the entrance, as well as one outdoors.
The outdoor patio has a retractable awning –ideal for providing shade in the day as well as opening up to the stars at night.
Candlelight infuses the entire space, inside and out, with fresh flowers adding to the atmosphere.
A warm and rustic touch is the wooden flooring, which is accented with elegant tiles that are also featured at the bar. The tiles were custom-made in the Dominican Republic, and the pattern is replicated on the menu and windows.
It’s the details and little touches – such as creative blackboards announcing the daily specials, a dresser that doubles as a condiment center and arty knick-knacks – that embody the essence of a French bistro.
And the contrasting styles, along with the soft color-palette, help personalize and add to the restaurant’s allure.
Catch Restaurant & Lounge is the island’s latest seaside venture, serving up stunning views along with the food.
Located at Morgan’s Harbour in West Bay, this new dining adventure highlights daily fresh-catch along with international and local flavors.
Catch is run by Cristiano Vincentini and Walter Fajette, the duo behind Agua – a stylish restaurant in the heart of the Seven Mile Beach strip.
The two are familiar with the waterfront area – they became good friends while working together at Calypso Grill right next door. The space was formerly home to Morgan’s Harbour restaurant, which has relocated to the Cayman Islands Yacht Club.
Cristiano and Walter wanted to freshen up the look indoors and out, as well as create more alfresco dining space to take advantage of the refreshing sea breezes and beautiful view overlooking the North Sound.
“We wanted to keep it casual but still nice and elegant, especially at night,” says Cristiano.
The revamped outdoor patios have been expanded to accommodate additional seating overlooking the dock and harbor, where patrons can watch fishing boats bob in the water and spot pelicans and frigates gliding by. Awnings have been added to protect diners from the elements.
While the deck is a preferred locale to drink in the view, the interior is enticing as well. The colors are sunny and vibrant with shades of green, yellow, orange and blue infusing the space with a Caribbean feel.
Wood and rustic elements have been added throughout to keep the atmosphere warm and inviting. A highlight is the main interior wall that features distressed wood paneling. Striking multi-media artwork by local artist Avril Ward adorns the wall, along with several smaller works throughout the restaurant.
Another rustic-chic touch is the stamped concrete flooring.
The tables and chairs were designed by the restaurateurs, with the help of architect Bruno Allene – Cristiano’s brother-in-law who lives overseas – and custom-made in Hong Kong from Myanmar teak wood.
The biggest change for those familiar with the former restaurant is the bar – it has been moved to the back of the restaurant to create additional dining space overlooking the harbor. Bi-folding doors open up the area, giving it a light and breezy feel.
“We wanted the focal area to be the restaurant, not the bar,” says Cristiano.
Two new lounge areas have been added, inside and out. Both are cozy spaces, ideal for enjoying cocktails before or after dinner.
The bar, also designed by Bruno, has a different feel from the rest of the space, with glittering glass tiling and a mahogany bar top. The snug indoor lounge features a small red table with two black-leather chairs and a love seat, also custom-made in Hong Kong.
Lighting plays a key element throughout with inventive wooden floor lamps and wall sconces, along with plenty of candlelight. There are colorful tabletop tea-light lanterns and large floor lanterns that add a touch of intimate elegance to the dining experience.
Flickering candlelight was a must for the pair.
“We wanted the real flames,” says Cristiano. “We like the feeling of the water, the wind, the fire.”