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Bahama in the Desert?

By R. H. Duke

Bahama Breeze at East Flamingo and Paradise Road brings a bit of the Caribbean to the Mojave Desert. An oxymoron, you say? The creators of this exciting restaurant concept attempt to replicate the flavors and recipes of the Caribbean, served up in a building modeled after a sugar cane plantation. The result? A unique dining experience for Las Vegas!

As you enter this Bahamian-styled building you are greeted in a reception area by friendly hosts dressed in colorful shirts and shorts. They escort you through a tropical ambience to one of 3 dining rooms, although you may opt to enjoy one of the many exotic cocktails at the bar before being seated. The goal of the staff is to pamper you with a great culinary experience as well as a memorable “island vacation." Escape and drench yourself into a vicarious experience of the Caribbean!

The cuisine is a mix, or pairing, of everyday products with the recipes of the Caribbean. Think mainstream food items such as beef, pork, chicken, seafood, and pork ribs, certainly not unusual. Next, think about ingredients such as passion fruit-thyme cream; raisin caper sauce; creamy spinach callaloo; citrus rum sauce; spiced guava glaze; or spicy cucumber-jalapeno-sweet red onion salsa. Do these tantalize your palate?

How about Latin pesto (lemon-cilantro-Chimichurri); coconut, raisin, pineapple, and cashew toppings; or citrus mustard and chili horseradish? If they don't excite your taste buds, try the apple-mango salsa drizzled with nutmeg; the sofrito of sweet peppers, garlic, onions, chorizo sausage; corn relish; or plantains drenched with honey. You get the picture! But not the experience until you savor these flavors, along with the Caribbean ambience and mindset.

After dinner, the "island vacation" continues full steam on the “Pavilion.” It consists of a stand up bar in a gazebo room, a second gazebo with a fire place pit and perimeter seating and a main room with tables and chairs. Only cocktails and appetizers are served in the “Pavilion.” Whether you move to the rhythm of the music or just meet for cocktails and conversation, the airy ambience brings the outdoors inside, and rhythmic sounds wafting outdoors.

Bahama Breeze is a “mainland” version of the Caribbean, perhaps toning down the heat and spice for the “tamed palate.” South Florida thrives on the authenticity of Floribbean or New Would cuisine - Florida seafood mixed with tropical fruits and spices of the Caribbean. Bahama Breeze bring us the next best experience. “A really cool, funky, island spot from Darden Restaurants." Visit Bahama Breeze with a loose and laid back attitude and a  big appetite. The portions are huge and don’t be shy about asking for a take-home carton. Open nightly at 4:00 p.m.

R.H. Duke is a former restaurateur and a Las Vegas restaurant critic who says “Fine Dining is one of Life’s Greatest Pleasures!”


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