Locals and foreigners are eager to satisfy their palates with the culinary delights on offer at the inaugural Tobago Restaurant Experience which got underway on Sunday.
Many participating restaurants told Newsday the event is "more than just a plate of food" but about good food, showing off the ambiance and treating customers to the best service.
Many of the restaurants said there has been a rush to catch the eight-day specials offered by 11 restaurants across Tobago. In October the Tobago House of Assembly announced as part of its 2019 Tobago Day weekly celebrations, restaurants would be invited to participate in a Tobago Restaurant Experience from December 1-8. During this time restaurants will be offering a mixture of local and international dishes with over five different meats, pasta, rice and salads prepared and presented either baked, broiled, grilled or glazed. Dinner specials are as low as $75 to $300. Most restaurants also included a complimentary glass of red or white wine or non-alcoholic drink. A recently opened restaurant in Crown Point, Brown Cow Restaurant has been making a name for itself since its launch a year ago. Manager of the restaurant Rona Thomas told Newsday on Tuesday its focus for this event is serving “all of Tobago” with tasty food, a welcoming ambiance, and great service.
Thomas said: “What we are doing is limiting our reservations to ten because we don’t (want) to compromise the service.”She said the menu has gone beyond its $300 worth because the restaurant is taking the opportunity to show guests what it has to offer. “All the guest said they were satisfied and we hope the rest of the week will be the same."I think this idea is fantastic but it wasn’t promoted enough. If we are doing something like about, the tourism industry is our main service to focus on. We are not pushing that enough. It’s more than just serving a plate of food. It’s the showcase of hospitality and ambiance. Brown Cow is on that mission to show what Tobago has.”She said the event should have been marketed in Trinidad to invite visitors to enjoy all of the Tobago dining experience as never seen before. One of the participating restaurants, Makara Restaurant – a contemporary casual beachfront restaurant at the Buccoo Integrated Facility – offers a $300 premium special of jerk and seafood selections. Fairways Restaurant & Golf Lounge, a popular dining spot located at the Tobago Plantations will be serving a two-course meal with the option of chicken, shrimp, fish or a vegetable bowl along with a dessert for $250.When contacted a representative from Crafters Steakhouse and Grill and said its $150 two-course meal attracted more customers than expected for the first day. She said the second day was slow and hopes reservations and walk-ins will increase during the week. “I do expect more people, especially for the weekend. I think the crowd will increase. Our prices are one of the lowest for this restaurant week.”
The Seahorse Inn told Newsday the restaurant has been very busy since the first day. Although the restaurant is known for its distinguished seafood dishes the waitress told Newsday, the special along with the quality of food is the reason for the spike in sales. She said the Tobago Restaurant Experience has given customers the chance to eat some of the restaurant’s best food at a reasonable price. Although off to a moderate start there was an increase in bookings for the rest of the week. Mt Irvine Bay Resort, another popular dining spot for international guests, is also a part of the restaurant experience serving a $250 three-course meal. This special includes pumpkin soup, broiled fillet fish and three dessert options along with eggplant pie as a vegetarian option. Other restaurants participating in the event are Z’s Grill Shack, Goodeats Smokehouse, La Tartaruga Tobago, Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute and Taste of D Caribbean. All menus and prices can be found on the Tobago Day Facebook page.