Caribbean Plaza on the Seven Mile strip is the newest addition to the landscape, with hot new shops and salons taking up residence in prime real estate. At the forefront of all the action is The Bistro, a charming restaurant and bar, with a wonderful social atmosphere and a menu that will transport you to The City of Light and beyond.
The Bistro opened only last month, and when I dined there, it had been open less than a week, yet it was already completely booked on the Friday. Word of mouth spreads quickly in the islands, and Mise en Place’s impeccable reputation, combined with the excitement that greets something new and different, was clearly enough to bring the reservations flooding in.
The décor of the cozy room features French touches everywhere, including some delicate chandeliers that shed warm light over the bar and tables.
There is a high top table just inside the front door, perfect for friends to gather for a pre-dinner cocktail, or they can simple pull up a very comfortable chair to the bar to watch The Bistro’s expert mixologist create superb cocktails before their very eyes. Premium, top shelf liquors are combined with house-made syrups and mixes to produce such wonders as the House Classic Daiquiri with El Dorado 5yr rum; the Snee Quay, featuring fresh lemon, lime and pineapple juices; and my personal favorite, the Watermelon Lush, with its heady blend of Stolichnaya vodka, watermelon juice and passion fruit puree.
Those more in the mind for wine will find the wine menu impressively extensive for this size venue, but then wouldn’t you expect it to be when French cuisine is the order du jour.
Speaking of French cuisine, let’s take a look at the dinner menu. I personally found it very difficult to choose just one or two items after a quick perusal, and I was not alone. Almost every dish immediately appealed to me – from the steak tartare to the moules frites. How would I make a decision? This was all further complicated by a list of specials that featured tuna tartare, and the duck, which had already sold out by 7:30 p.m.
In the end I chose the steak tartare and the escargots de Bourgogne, followed by the moules frites (mussels, to the layman). Honestly, though, I could have just as easily gone with the crevettes à l’ail, or the carcuterie, or the carré d’agneau. I got a taste of the parfait de foie de volaille (chicken liver pate) and it was absolutely delicious.
The steak tartare was excellent, with its egg sitting majestically atop it, and I had to ask for more bread to sop up every last spoonful of that delicious, buttery liquid surrounding the escargots. The mussels were some of the best I’ve had on the island.
I did manage dessert, you’ll be happy to hear, and chose the fondant au chocolat. I also grabbed a forkful of crêpes Suzette from a friend’s plate – both were excellent.
It’s early days, but the future is already looking very bright for The Bistro.
“We are excited to bring something new to the restaurant market in Cayman,” says owner, Sean Collins. “The Bistro offers French ‘bistro style’ cuisine in a casual and stylish setting, where we go back to the basics in culinary preparations. We focus on fresh, simply prepared dishes, using age-old techniques from a country revered for its great food and wine.”