The view is breathtaking — powdery white sand and gradients of turquoise water — calming during the day and the most romantic setting at night. This perfection is all God’s doing as Chef Jacques Carlino knows all too well. All he needed to do was complement the natural beauty on a plate with appealing and interesting food, hence the latest addition to his “Blue” empire — the Blue Sail Bar & Grill Beach Tapas Bar & Restaurant.
It’s at the venue located on the beach at Sandyport that Carlino who is a master of the kitchen is serving up classic fare that’s deliciously prepared. And there’s something to satisfy almost every palate at this Mediterranean inspired restaurant that also offers a nod to French fare with Provencal style cooking, Italian with D.O.C pizzas coming out of a wood oven pizza, classically prepared snapper and grouper served with French influences.
“For Blue Sail my goal is very simple — an easygoing restaurant that I call shabby-chic where people can come more than once a week, because the prices are affordable,” said the chef of the restaurant that has been open just over a month. “People want to go out and I want to give people a reason to go out and have the menu that’s right for everybody’s pocket. I want people to leave feeling that they had a great time and value for money.”
Diners can partake in menu offerings like conch fritters with calypso sauce, calamari with aioli dipping sauce and a Mediterranean plate featuring pita, hummus, tzatziki and olive tapenade as some of the appetizer offerings. Conch makes an appearance again in the soups and salads in chowder alongside Nicoise salad, arugula salad and a Caesar salad that is prepared unlike the regular chopped salad and is even sprinkled with bacon.
The menu also showcases a selection of ceviche, tartar and mini tacos — BBQ chicken and jalapeno tacos; tomato, mozzarella and pesto tacos; grouper, mango and pineapple salsa with chili tacos; yellow fin tuna ceviche with wasabi lime juice and salsa and salmon tartar with salsa and chilled cucumber soup.
Crab cakes, quiches, and a burger section showcasing a vegetarian caprese burger, 12-ounce truffled burger with blue cheese and brioche bun; a bunless 12-ounce turkey burger with sweet pepper salsa and feta; 12-ounce Canadian bacon cheeseburger on brioche bun and an eight-ounce charred salmon with goat cheese and guacamole burger are a huge draw.
The main course offerings of fried snapper with peas and rice, grouper with ratatouille and an anchovy and caper vinaigrette, steamed salmon with asparagus and red pepper olive oil, chicken scaloppini picatta with artichoke heart and fingerling potato, and herb-crusted lamb chops with roasted potato and balsamic takes people’s taste buds around the world. Chicken with sweet peppers and tomato kebab with humus and pita bread, a New York strip steak with peppercorn sauce, beef tenderloin with peppercorn sauce, thick cut pork chop with a mushroom sauce round out the entrees from the wood grill.
Pasta favorites like lasagna and mac and cheese are also prepared in the wood oven which adds a dimension of flavor because due to the wood flavor. Portuguese chicken peri peri, which is quite spicy is also among the offerings.
For his wood oven pizzas, Carlino had a master pizza maker, a three-time world champion come to the island to teach them how to make the thin-crust pizzas, including their specialty D.O.C. (denomination of control) pizzas that are the staple in Europe, for which they use high quality, special ingredient. The dough for the D.O.C. pizzas is raised a minimum of 48 hours, which means a higher fermentation and a lighter, crispier dough; as compared to the regular pizzas for which the dough is raised a minimum of 24 hours.
The pizza menu is quite extensive at 16 pizzas offered — 11 regular pizzas from the classic margarita (tomato and mozzarella) to pepperoni, Bahamian hot (pepperoni, jalapenos, sharp cheddar), primavera (prosciutto cotto ham, olives, mushrooms and mozzarella), primarvera (cozzarella, prosciutto crudo, arugula) Provencal (goat cheese, baby spinach, roasted sweet peppers and cherry tomato), Napoli (tomato base with anchovies, capers and cherry tomato), Hawaiian (pineapple and ham), BBQ chicken (BBQ and tomato base, BBQ chicken, jalapenos and sharp cheddar), meat lover (ham, meatballs, chicken, olives, mushrooms and mozzarella) and Caprese style (pesto based, roasted cherry tomato and fresh mozzarella.
Specialty D.O.C. pizzas include Miss Italia (mozzarella buffalo, cherry tomato, arugula, shaved parmesan, prosciutto San Daniele and kalamata olives); Bulgari (tomato, mozzarella buffalo, carpaccio of beef, arugula and cherry tomato); Dolevita (tomato, mozzarella di bufala, grilled eggplant and zucchini and pecorino); Calzone (prosciutto cotto, burrata, mushroom and egg); and Blue Sail (mozzarella di bufala, prosciutto cotto, mushroom, provolone, arugula, cherry tomato and truffle oil).
He is also offering a drinks menu to complement his food perfectly.
Carlino’s food speaks for itself. People know his reputation.
“We do a nice selection of classic fare that’s simple with the goal of pleasing the people,” he said.
Carlino started out with his first Blue Caviar location at Blake Road in 2009 (which has since closed its doors), he opened the second Blue Caviar in Lyford Cay in 2012, and now adds Blue Sail to his stable. As for the fascination with the word “blue” in his names, he says its not even about the color itself, but more about paying homage to the blue of the Bahamian ocean and sky.
Since he opened his door on June 9, people have flocked to Blue Sail. Carlino also put the edifice through extensive renovation to bring it up to his standard. He covered the outdoor seating area to protect his clients from the elements; relocated the bar and extended the deck to give patrons optimum views of the ocean; and even relocated the kitchen to make the dining experience aesthetically more pleasing.
The white restaurant with blue and brown accents which seats 150 inside and outdoors fits right into what he had hoped to establish, a chic restaurant with a relaxed and casual feel. Diners have a choice to sit in air-conditioned comfort indoors, or to enjoy the balmy breeze coming in off the Atlantic outdoors. The chef has even put together a relaxing area where people can hang out and in which is displayed pictures of old Nassau circa 1900s.
Blue Sail is currently open Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. Carlino says they will soon offer Sunday seating as well.
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