art in all its forms

art in all its forms

3/10/11

The food at Chaud Creole; Buzo


IF A SINGLE dish can define a restaurant, then for Chaud Creole it must be the corn soup.

This is not corn soup as you know it. This is corn soup broken down, post-modern style, analysed and reassembled into something fun, fresh and completely unexpected once plated in front of you. Corn soup purists everywhere may be slightly alarmed at this. But they have no reason to fear.

Here is a soup where the solid ingredients (silky dumplings, christophine, potato and vegetables) have been uprooted, revived through their exile and then re-introduced to the corny goodness. The vegetables were cooked separately, plated and then the corn-soup itself thrown over them like a ridiculously rich sauce. This allowed each ingredient to maintain its integrity; for flavours to pop in the maize stew and, thus, avoided the sometimes bland melding together that tends to happen in a long-gestating broth. It was absolute genius to have this dish unfold. Here was a traditional local dish, re-invented in a way that is not at all fussy but rather fun and that maintains the integrity of what corn soup is.






Chaud Creole's interior, at 6 Nook Avenue, St Ann's.

Chaud Creole has other good stuff (good fish dishes, competent local deserts such as pone and soupie) and is an interesting alternative to Chaud, its sister restaurant a few blocks away from the Savannah.

In a sense Chaud Creole is not doing anything new. It is doing something the better restaurants have been doing quietly for decades in this country: re-serving the traditional. But hopefully this new spot will remain a fixture and will deepen its range of local food.


Chaud Creole, 6 Nook Avenue, St Ann's. Call 621-2002. Open for dinner daily 6pm to 10.30 pm; lunch Monday to Saturday 11am to 3pm.

CHECK the Chaud Creole website here.

The interior of Buzo is done in the almost cliched severe minimalist style, but care was taken to give patrons pockets of intimacy that managed to delight


ANOTHER restaurant that is making a name for itself is Buzo, an Italian restaurant with a modern take, located at Woodford Street, Port-of-Spain. The most striking thing you notice about it is its space. The decor is severely minimalist in the almost cliched international style, but the arrangement of the seating areas, both indoor and outdoor, manages to create pockets of intimacy that make the restaurant actually seem warm.

Rosemary and salt pizza

The food is good, starting with the straightforward ciclista (thin-crust pizza with just rosemary and salt--no tomato sauce), served sliced and in a basket. I tried the saffron risotto, which was delightfully grainy, not clumpy, but yet smooth. There were some excellent sides: the lentils, soup, rosemary potatoes. Of the main courses the salmon was perfectly prepared, chicken stuffed with spinach was a given care and attention in terms of its balancing of proportion and texture that is notable.
Perfectly prepared pink salmon 

The pastas got good reviews, though it is harder to say what stood out in this regard. Deserts were also good, but not daring. Clearly the chefs have decided to abide by the old adage "if it ain't broke don't fix it"! This worked wonders for the panacotta, creme caramel and the gelato, all of which were served with pleasing relish.

Creme caramel
Panacotta

All in all the dining experience was extremely pleasant; a friend pointed out that staff knew how to pronounce things on the menu, knew how to describe each item and were extremely courteous and never intrusive. Buon Appetito!

To reach Buzo call 223-2896.

3 comments:

  1. Dishonest business practices can also make or break a restaurant.

    Buzo is the trendiest new restaurant in Port-of-Spain.

    It is extremely pretty, but the service leads much to be desired.

    The staff is friendly and the food is quite good. The pizza is quite impressive and the cocktails are absolutely amazing.

    However, the restaurant employs the dishonest 'bait and switch' practice that is contrary to the guidelines of all consumer rights groups.

    At the cocktail bar, there seem to be two separate menus, one with lower prices and one with higher prices. I was initially shown a drinks list which reflected certain prices, however when I asked for the bill, I noticed that the prices were quite different.

    In addition to to being double charged for one item (which was resolved, resulting in a cash refund for that item only), the bill was higher than I expected. The explanation given by staff was that the menu reflected 'old' prices, and that there was a new menu.

    The new menu was promptly displayed as justification for the inconsistency.

    I drew this to the attention of management, who did not appear to be too concerned with the issue. An 'apology' was given however no remedial action was taken by management.

    While I thoroughly enjoyed the food and atmosphere, the dishonest practices left a very sour taste in my mouth.

    Please be aware that the price that you see on the menu at this establishment may not be accurate.

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  2. I like the presentation of these dishes but I do like this kind of food, I prefer typical and "home" food!

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  3. Well guys,no matter what ,i have been there at list over 10 times,i never had any problem with my bills and the food is clearly the best and most authentic Italian you can find in the Caribbean. . . at list
    Situation sometimes cant be perfect,especially for a restaurant like that that is pact monday to saturday,anyway,mine is just a opinion,have a good one everybody. . . . . cant wait for my next visit!!
    Marcus C.

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