Passenger Pick of the Month
Located in the popular waterfront dining district of Morgan’s Harbor, Osetra Bay is a great spot for diners to experience the true essence of the Caribbean. Early in 2016 the restaurant celebrated their sixth year anniversary. As this month’s Passenger Pick of the Month, we wanted to learn more about the story behind Osetra Bay, so recently we caught up with Maître D, David Machado.
PP: David, lots of exciting changes at Osetra Bay. Tell us about them.
DM: Certainly the most exciting change is the reopening, restructuring and remaking of Qsetra Bay back in December, 2015, and that’s what brought me on-board.
PP: Big changes! Tell us about it.
DM:Our focus has been to show what true Caymanian/Caribbean food and hospitality is all about. We want our guests to experience fine dining and service while feeling relaxed and comfortable at the same time. Whether it is a family with children or a couple looking to have a romantic dinner we believe that we can deliver one of the best experiences on the island.
PP:What menu changes can guests look forward to?
DM: We have made substantial, very positive changes to the menu. We’ve increased the portion sizes and lowered the prices! Our focus is local, local, local. We’re really looking to use as many local ingredients as we can. We’ll do specials that highlight what Cayman has to offer in season. We’re including a lot more Caribbean fish and seafood into our menu too. And we’ve added a children’s menu.
PP:Where did the inspiration for the menu changes come from?
DM: From my father, Mario Machado, a renowned chef and very successful restaurateur from Jamaica. He designed the entire menu.
PP:Wow, he’s really good! He did an awesome job!
DM: Thanks! As part of the reopening of Osetra Bay, last year Michael Aberga, the owner, is a friend of my dad’s and asked him for his advice on the direction of the restaurant. And that began the process of change that brings us up to today.
PP: David, we enjoyed an excellent meal with you this evening. Let’s talk a bit about some of your entrees. We started off this evening with delicious a crawfish bisque.
DM: Yes, it’s similar to lobster bisque, made with prawn acras, with mustard cream and corn. We like to serve it hot at the table.
PP: So good! Then, came the Tuna Tartare appetizer.
DM: It’s a wonderful combination of flavours: papaya, oriental cucumber, avocado, Scotch Bonnet powder, a sesame wafer and soy dressing. Even though it’s plated so beautifully, I encourage our guests to mix up it all together to experience the various flavour combinations.
PP: That was outstanding! Then came filet of yellow tail snapper. Oh my goodness!
DM: Yeah, that’s one of our signature dishes. The snapper is stuffed with crab, with sautéed callaloo, the Caribbean's version of spinach, and seafood beurre blanc.
PP: That fish was so flaky; it just melted in your mouth. We also shared the 8 ounce filet mignon.
DM: We’re very good with our steaks, from our background in Jamaica. This filet had sautéed onions and mushrooms, haricots verts, and pont neuf potatoes.
PP: Then came dessert.
DM: We have an outstanding young, 24 year old, pastry chef, and he comes up with some pretty amazing items. Glad you liked it.
PP: Osetra Bay has been known for its Pistachio Soufflé, your guests will want to know...do you still have that?
DM: We do. The pistachio soufflé with a roasted banana and chocolate ice cream is still very popular and of course still on the menu. Like everything at Osetra, every single thing is made from scratch. Nothing out of a jar and nothing from a bottle, nothing from a packet. We make our own bread and even churn our own butter. Yes we do! The soufflé is no exception. It’s the perfect end to a perfect evening.
PP: Great dinner. Ate too much, though. Tell us about yourself, David.
DM: Well, I was born and raised in Jamaica. I finished High School in South Florida, then went on to college at the University of Central Florida studying hospitality. I moved back to Jamaica 10 years ago to join with my Dad and Mom in opening a new restaurant there. It was very successful and that’s where I really cut my teeth in this business. Then last year moved to Cayman to take on this opportunity at Ostera Bay.
PP: David, your personality and passion for your work really shows through. You seem to really enjoy connecting with all of your guests each evening.
DM: You can’t do this business if you’re not passionate. As you can tell I’m really enjoying this.
PP: David, tell us about the background of the team who created Osetra Bay.
DM: Michael Alberga, a local lawyer and businessman, and his partners joined forces to set a new standard for relaxed, romantic dining that extends the warmest welcome to couples, groups and families alike. The ultimate goal was to create a unique experience in the Cayman Islands. They enlisted the help of Cayman’s premier builder and designer, John Hurlstone, to create a stunningly stylish venue that embodied the rustic elegance of St. Tropez and the relaxed ambience of South Beach. Employing with a group of globally diverse and talented Chefs, together they focus on providing exciting world cuisine enhanced by the freshest local Caribbean ingredients.
PP: Where did the inspiration of “the rustic elegance of St Tropez and the relaxed ambience of South Beach” come from?
DM: We are right in the middle of the Caribbean, so some of the South Beach Florida feel translates well here. The breezy white fabrics, make it the perfect place to entertain and challenge the pallets of a variety of guests. Cayman is a destination that has discerning visitors with eclectic tastes from all over the world. While we have to be versatile and appeal to the people of both Europe and the Americas, as they both have different approaches to their cuisine and preferences, the Caribbean influences and flavors are a common connection point.
PP: This is such an attractive, peaceful setting. Do you do many wedding showers and birthday celebrations here?
DM: Oh yes, Osetra Bay is a beautiful venue for hosting weddings, showers, birthdays and other special events. We continue to take care of our guests for those special days. The entire facility can be rented for large gatherings.
PP: David, we really like what you and your Dad have done here.
DM: Well thanks! We’re encouraged with our new direction. Good, honest, food. A great dinner with local ingredients. Good sized portions at a good value.
There you have it folks. There is a little bit of magic to be had when you sit down for a meal that is prepared with the intention of being the best you’ve ever had. In fact, passengers say, “it’s the kind of dining experience you want to save for your very last night on the island.” Even better, make it your first night on the island, that way you will be giving yourself the chance to go back for a second time during your stay!
Osetra Bay is open for dining Monday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Reservations for can be made on line by visiting www.osetrabay.com, or by calling (345) 623-5100 or (345) 325-5000.