High Tide, High Hopes

These first-course portions were generous enough that we, too, were threatened with overdose, though that didn't stop us from finishing them and looking forward to our main courses.

Despite a crowded table, the servers delivered each entree to the right person, a reassuring sign of a well-trained staff. I ordered the yellowtail snapper, whole but headless. And enormous -- a fleshy, roasted specimen placed atop a pile of Caribbean influences: Cuban black bean stew, coconut milk, and white rice. Red and green peppers added an intriguing sweetness to this dish, which was realized with near perfection. A close rival, the onion-encrusted Chilean salmon with portobello mushroom, spinach, and puree of yellow tomato, was an example of fish cookery at its best. Salmon, so easily dried and so rarely done well, flaked at the touch of a fork, moist and meaty.

Rigatoni with a spicy duck sausage, roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and a tomato oil sounded heavy, but in fact proved to be a very good preparation. It didn't dazzle like the fish dishes, though it was a very respectable alternative for carnivores (five other meat dishes are offered, from sirloin to stuffed pork chop).

Perhaps the most imaginative dish, the French-fried Bahamian lobster, crunched delightfully but was a bit tough in places, which is always a risk when lobster is prepared by any method other than steaming. Dipped in mango ketchup (it tastes exactly as it sounds), the crustacean's Caribbean heritage was further emphasized by a garnish of grilled banana.

The lobster, along with the fish, is testimony to Sindaco's skill, a talent that, like an ocean tide, will draw me to this shore again. And I doubt I'll lose my way next time.

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