Where to Go for Restaurant Week Jamaica 2012

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    Nov 02, 2012
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Restaurant Week is not only a week to benefit customers, but restaurants as well. Foodies jump on the chance to explore different restaurants that they haven’t before or just favourites of theirs at reduced costs. Men use this week to take out the ladies, persons enjoy a change in their lunch menu, families have a long awaited feast together and friends or business partners appreciate the experience to bond or seal a deal while dining in style and convenience at the same time.

The epicurean choices in Kingston are all good, but Rojo Restaurant’s menu at the Spanish Court Hotel stands out compared to the basic or cliché menus of the other two. Whether you go with the lobster ravioli or fillet mignon, I don’t think you can go wrong. Rojo is the epicurean choice in Kingston this year.

Have you already visited all the choices from the epicurean category? After all, they have been the very same choices for years. Perhaps there is need for an added incentive such as entertainment.

For Montego Bay, Marguerites, Gloucester Avenue is the better choice considering its mouthwatering menu and good reputation.

My delectable choices this year in Kingston are Whitebones Seafood Restaurant, Mannings Hill Road, followed by Majestic Sushi and Grill, Villa Ronai. Majestic seems to have a real strong main course along with the ambiance to go with it, but Whitebones has a wide range of high quality dishes from start to end.

The Houseboat Grill, Montego Freeport is the clear and highly recommended choice for Montego Bay.

Platinum, Jewel Dunn’s River Resort in Ocho Rios is a good choice. I have heard that the wait may be long, but the food is worth the wait, especially in the intimate atmosphere it provides.

South Beach Café, Brompton road is the primary choice for the savoury category in Kingston with their tantalizing menu choices of smoked salmon, grilled Black tiger jumbo shrimps, sirloin steak or pork tenderloin finishing off with a sherry trifle for dessert! Can they pull it off? It may be a gamble. South Beach Café got off to slow start but has picked up over the past few months. Parking is still limited, but inside has a wide array of areas for you to sit or lounge and drink. Food and service has been mediocre, so they have a lot to prove and should use this week to push forward in the competitive market.

Otherwise, you won't go wrong if you choose Dragon Court, South Avenue, Restaurant Cocoro, Mayfair Hotel or Tamarind Indian Cuisine, Orchid Village Plaza, Barbican. They are all reputable with impressive menus.

Seahorse Grill, Montego Bay Yacht Club is definitely the savoury choice for Montego Bay with their curry conch creole, smoked blue marlin, grilled teriyaki pork chops and coconut pecan pie. First time Restaurant Week Jamaica participant, Napoli Ristorante and Pizzeria looks like they will also impress with Italian favourites topped off with Jamaican flavours.

If you are in Ocho Rios, Mykonos Greek Bar and Grill, Main Street wins.

M10 Bar and Grill, Vineyard Town is a good look if you are in a large group and going for inexpensive but tasty, with its barbecue spare ribs and also Raffaele’s Gourmet Pizzeria, Orchid Village Plaza, Barbican with its Jamaica 50 pizza. The same goes for June Plum at Mystic Ridge, Ocho Rios.

The remaining Nyam and Scram category offering discounted lunch specials is negligible in cost but probably still not worth it, given the serving size normally provided. ‘So by the time you scram, you may wonder what did you jus nyam.’ If you dare to try, go with Thiiah’s Juices and Organic Foods on Belmont Road, New Kingston.

Although a large variety of restaurants made the list this year, choose wisely, whether you choose one, two or more of them. Enjoy the week and be sure to take pictures and tweet a line or facebook your experiences. Also, feel free to comment below on how my choices faired out versus the others that were not mentioned. Have fun!

- By Gabrielle Williams

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