Cor. Dere St. and Melville Ln., Port-of-Spain
Local foodies scour the calendars for Fanatic’s monthly chef’s table dinners, where local chefs create a sampling menu by theme. The result is an improvisational tasting menu focused on local flavors. For example: a Jamaican and Trinidadian culinary tour that produced coconut jelly ceviche, crab and conch risotto, red bean cake with pulled stewed chicken, and black-eyed pea hummus. The chef of the evening is usually on hand to guide diners through each course in exquisite detail.
6 Nook Ave., Port-of-Spain
The menu at Chaud is a tribute to the cross-cultural influences of local cuisine, a mix of East Indian, African, and Middle Eastern flavors. The result is one-of-a-kind dishes like tandoori-spiced charred octopus and pork chops rubbed in pepper jelly. The cocktail menu follows a similar theme with a refreshing Tamarind Sour. The old-fashioned setting inside a residential, colonial-style building is transporting, and the staff is kind and accommodating.
6 Warner St., Port-of-Spain
Led by Italian chef Cristian Grini, Buzo’s focus is honest, authentic cuisine. That means fresh, handmade pasta classics like four-cheese ravioli in truffle honey and a killer lasagna. Innovation shines through in subtle tweaks, like an appetizer of mushroom tempura and the selection of crowd-pleasing thin-crust pizzas topped with Manchego and arugula or roasted eggplant and prosciutto. Snag a seat in front of the glass-walled kitchen to watch the team flex its muscles. The stone-and-granite interior is lit in soft neon that creates a fun, moody spirit—the perfect place to start the night.
Ellerslie Plaza, Port-of-Spain
You could walk right past the staircase entry to this small but memorable restaurant if you’re not careful. On the upper level of a neighborhood strip mall, chef John Aboud mixes a range of culinary influences—French, Mediterranean, Italian, Basque—into deceptively simple, exquisite dishes. Highlights include wild mushroom soup, roasted lamb chops, and an unforgettable basil panna cotta. Downstairs at Aioli Marketplace (a gourmet deli), Aboud branches out with a lunch selection of fresh salads, pastries, and sandwiches.