Casa Picasso, a personal favorite of mine in San Pedro, re-opens today and well…someone’s got to test the new menu, right? I was a very lucky recipient of an invitation to the gathering. A small group of friends got together last night to taste 23 different menu TWENTY THREE! items PLUS the delicious new and inventive cocktails.
I love fun cocktails.
I knew we’d be tasting but I thought maybe 4 or 5 dishes. I actually pre-ate a bowl of granola just in case. Mistake. At the end of the night, 23 dishes later, I was ready for hibernation. ScoopMeOffTheFloor.com. It’s the next morning and I am still feeling a bit stuffed. Stuffed and lucky. How often do you get to do something like this?
For those who have not visited, Casa Picasso is located just a bit south of town. The restaurant is almost like a beachy, charming, comfy art gallery and one of the more intimate settings to eat dinner on Ambergris Caye. But casual…am I describing this right? It’s just a fun spot to hang out whether you stop by for a cocktails to chat with the owners Adam and Jackie or their bartender Nicolai or settle into the dining room. These guys are three of my favorite people on the island.
From the left: Adam, Jackie and Nicolai.
That’s the bar…here’s some of the seating in the dining room. I often warn you but only because I speak the absolute truth. My low lighting photography is horrible. And does nothing justice.
A very cool place for a private event too. Anyway…to the food! 11 of us sat down to taste THE ENTIRE MENU. Food was coming fast and furious. But first some cocktails were passed delivered to the tables.
Here are some very happy eaters from the left: Paul, Sue from Coco Loco’s Bar, Andy, Cindy (who is perhaps wanted by Interpol right now…no judgement), Steve also from Coco Loco’s and Steve from Lola’s Pub.
The menu has a very cool mix of tastes and ingredients from the Basil Mojito and Cucumber & Green Tea Martini to cocktails like the Maharajah that contains Guava juice among other things. Flavored mojitos, a Brown Derby with honey and bourbon, a Brazil 66 with cachaca (a word I just like to say) to classics like the a Salty Dog. Along with an extensive wine list, you are going to like it.
But let’s get down to the food and my very shady photos.
The largest (and my favorite) part of the menu is the Tapas and Salads. You could really make a meal of just that with a few cocktails. WE TRIED EVERYTHING.
I tried high beam lighting with the buttery buttery lobster sliders…
And low light with the lobster mac and cheese. Yum.
I ate roasted beets with goat cheese, gnocchi with asparagus, render pork belly in all its sweet porky deliciousness, one of my favorites was ginger sesame conch lightly fried in strips. I ate ceasar salad, I ate beef carpaccio, I could not get enough of the roasted cauliflower with creamy creamy bechamel sauce and cheddar.
Nothing more romantic than a glazed pork belly shimmering in the candle light. Seriously. You think seafood when you visit Ambergris Caye (and you should) but the pork in Belize is amazing. So much more tasty and richer than any I’ve had in the states.
And this was just the first course. A food haze was starting to set in…but I stayed strong. Luckily Rob (here on the right with his wife Krista and chef Ben and his trademark Elvis glasses) was here to help. He promised us all at the table that he would leave no morsel behind. Very Black Hawk Down and very much appreciated.
Krista and Rob are the owners of Crazy Canuck’s Bar on the beach.
On to the main course. Banana Leaf Wrapped Fish Filet, uber-rich Lobster Risotto that will make anyone happy and a very cool and delicious Chocolate & Vanilla Pork Short Ribs. The vanilla is in a tasty risotto.
Here is the Vegetable Lasagne. Now I’m starting to fade…oh my.
Maybe I need some sort of giant lighting system? Sigh…
Dessert. Always a favorite course of mine. And thankfully only four. The Two Chocolate Pannacotta was one of the best dishes yet and the Molten Chocolate cake is always divine.
Here is a picture of the only food I could not taste. I tapped out.
Luckily a golf cart ride was available to haul me back home. Amazing food. More than one of the guests last night called it their best and craziest food experience…ever. Really…put these guys on your vacation list.
Check out their website for lots more information and the complete menu. They are open for dinner tonight and all season. So get yourself down there and well…eat!
And I’ll leave you with a picture of the owners in their 2013 Halloween costumes. How cute.