Danny Buoy's Bar and RestaurantProvidenciales, Turks and Caicos IslandsReviewed March / April 2014

A photograph of the terrace at Danny Buoys Bar and Restaurant, Grace Bay, Providenciales (Provo), Turks and Caicos Islands.Outdoor dining terraces at Danny Buoys Bar and Restaurant is a great gathering spot for sports and music events

By Mandy Rostance-Wolf

Of all the things on your dining agenda, I bet getting your Gherkin Jerked isn’t one of them. Welcome to the new Danny Buoy’s where Chef Joel (Joey) Rheaume is behind one of this island’s newest and most unique taste sensations, the Jerked Gherkin … just another example of how creative and unconventional our Providenciales chefs can be.

On the heels of its major makeover, Danny Buoy’s upholds its status as an immensely popular and celebrated sports bar; but they’ve also kicked it up a notch in the sport of dining. When I sat down with Joey to write his chef story in the summer of 2013, (See page 108 of the 2014 Dining Guide), he was eager and enthusiastic about the transformations underway, not only to the restaurant and bar itself, but also to the menu. He said, “My goal here is to try to change the mindset of people. It’s not just a sports bar; we have great food.” And following our recent Danny Buoy’s dining experience – he wasn’t kidding.

Chef Joey arrived at our table looking rather dapper in his vivid green chef tunic. Quite a departure from the characteristic white, we couldn’t help but comment on the unconventional color. Joey just grinned and said, “I’ve got a different colour for every day.” “Why is Friday green” I questioned. “I just took it out of the closet – it fell in the rotation” he said with a chuckle.

A photograph of the Jerked Gherkin at Danny Buoys Bar and Restaurant, Grace Bay, Providenciales (Provo), Turks and Caicos Islands.Must try Danny Buoys Bar and Restaurant's new Jerked Gherkin appetizer

I insisted we begin with the Jerked Gherkin. It’s what Joey calls, “a new trend in pub food” and I, and my fellow countrymen agreed, was “absolutely fabulous”. Morsels of zesty jerk-spiced dill pickle, cheese and bacon are stuffed into a flour tortilla then deep fried. This crispy cylindrical concoction is sliced on the diagonal and drizzled with a lip smacking, spicy sauce. “Hey, that’s pretty good – that has a little sting to it too” was among the multitude of kudos for this innovative dish. You can even take home a souvenir T-shirt that says, “I got my Gherkin Jerked @ Danny Buoy’s”. The Jerked Gherkin was just the beginning of a fabulous foray into fantastic food, but be forewarned – there is no such thing as a ‘small’ portion at Danny Buoy’s.

The Coconut Conch Chowder is one of Joey’s fortes. Rich, thick and hearty this delicious, indigenous chowder was full of tender morsels of conch with plenty of vegetables and a subtle but detectable hint of heat. It is an award winner, and features our island’s own Bambarra Black Rum.

Potato Skins are the epitome of wild and reckless decadence and I do believe there actually were some ‘skins’ hiding beneath what appeared to be a mountain of cheeses, bacon bits and onions topped with sour cream.

A photograph of chef Joey at Danny Buoys Bar and Restaurant, Grace Bay, Providenciales (Provo), Turks and Caicos Islands.Chef Joel Rheaume cooking at the Danny Buoy grills - Photo provided by Danny Buoys

Tipping the scales in size and flavour, the Chicken Quesadilla scored BIG. Always a colossal crowd pleaser this marvel of Mexican cuisine was over-stuffed with chicken, cheese, onion and a dash of jalapenos for kick and served with plenty of sour cream and salsa on the side.

The Onion Rings were blatantly decadent. Manners were fleetingly forgotten as no one could resist the urge to reach across the table to snatch one. Crunching into the golden-brown breaded batter revealed a tender and sweet ring of onion, completely crispy without a hint of greasiness.

This evening’s Grouper Special was a catch from the Big South. Deliciously blackened and perfectly grilled, it was smothered in a zesty and flavourful Creole sauce. My fellow dining companion complimented the fish for its pleasurable ‘meatiness’ and added, “I love it; its got a nice spice to it.”

A photograph of the Fish Tacos at Danny Buoys Bar and Restaurant, Grace Bay, Providenciales (Provo), Turks and Caicos Islands.Danny Buoys grouper Fish Tacos are a lunch time favourite

Friday night Joey serves up his celebrated BBQ Chicken & Ribs Special. When it comes to his Signature Dishes, Joey is fiercely proud of his Jerk (served Wednesday’s) and his BBQ. I’ve experienced both and both are fabulous but Joey knocks this BBQ completely out of the ballpark. You can smell the aromas emanating from the drum grill all the way from Ports of Call to The Sands. We watched in delight as people walked by and suddenly stopped in their tracks to get a good whiff and then turn to take a closer look. After marinating for two days, this BBQ Chicken & Ribs tastes marvelously smoky and is veritably caked with an incredibly tangy and tremendously tasty sauce. There is no delicate or demure way to attack this dish … just dive in with both hands – you’re going to need all ten fingers – and don’t stop until you’ve licked every last drop of that gloriously gooey, sticky sauce from each and every delicious digit.

My husband’s 16 oz. Black Angus Char Grilled T-Bone barely fit on the plate. This hefty slab of meat was smothered in sautéed mushrooms and served with a rich and savoury peppercorn sauce. “It was very tasty, one of the most flavourful T-Bone steaks I’ve had in a long time,” my husband boasted. He enjoyed the incredible char on the meat and applauded Joey for his grilling expertise. Joey nodded in agreement and said, “Oh yeah, you have to have a char. The blood, char contrast really works for me.”

This evening’s sizeable portion of Fish & Chips was prepared with Grouper and Joey makes his crispy, yet light beer batter with our own Turks Head lager. The delicious batter encrusted the pieces of fish, keeping all the succulent juiciness inside. I love when chefs prepare this dish with a few pieces of fish rather than a single large piece, allowing for maximum batter indulgence.

A photograph of the Fish and Chips at Danny Buoys Bar and Restaurant, Grace Bay, Providenciales (Provo), Turks and Caicos Islands.Danny Buoys popular Fish and Chips is made with a Turks Head lager beer batter

Joey attempted to recruit a contender from our table to take on the Suicide Wings Challenge – without success. Anyone who can eat six of these legendary and lethal wings smothered in Joey’s Suicide Sauce will take home a souvenir T-Shirt that says, “I survived the Suicide Wings Challenge @ Danny Buoy’s”. You may think six is not all that big a deal … but Joey says his sauce is “OMG crazy, stupid hot! I use the hottest pepper in the world to make the sauce, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion.”

Bring in your own ‘catch of the day’ and Joey will fire it up for you. Their sign says, ‘You Catch it, we Cook it. You Fish, we Fry. You get it? We got it!’ In fact, earlier this evening, Joey had cleaned and blackened a patron’s lucky ‘catch of his day’, fresh Wahoo.

NY Style Cheesecake is rich, creamy and decadent all on its own. Imagine a slice of that creamy cheesecake wrapped in phylo pastry and baked. The result tasted absolutely out of this world, an out-and-out dessert game changer. And while Apple Delight may sound sweet and innocent, this was anything but. Sweet yes – but this flour tortilla was crammed with apples, fried till crispy and golden and served with vanilla ice cream and warm caramel sauce. This dish was greeted with: “Supersize me!” And later, “I hate to say that I’ve done it.”

A photograph of the Apple Delight at Danny Buoys Bar and Restaurant, Grace Bay, Providenciales (Provo), Turks and Caicos Islands.The Apple Delight is a flour tortilla filled with apples then fried until crispy served with ice cream at Danny Buoys

If being a server were a sport and there were a medal for top-notch and attentive service, Regdrika would definitely take home the gold.

Enjoy the casual, relaxed atmosphere and local entertainment every night. On Friday nights Soundproof takes the stage. A great playlist of music had everybody in the groove – including the pedestrians on Grace Bay Road. It was amusing to watch their walks suddenly evolve into a form of dance-walking, tempting many to do an about face to bebop to Danny Buoy’s, lured by the great vibes, awesome aromas and always animated revelry.

Photography by Lisa Adara Photo

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