Seven Restaurant Turks & Caicos IslandsReviewed January/February 2016

A photograph of Seven Restaurant, Grace Bay, Providenciales (Provo), Turks and Caicos Islands.Out of doors dining at Seven under the 'stars' at Seven Stars Resort

By Mandy Rostance-Wolf

There are those rare and extraordinary evenings when the stars are in perfect alignment; when you walk away from a dining experience that can best be described as ‘other-worldly.’ Welcome to Seven, a dazzling paradigm of exquisite cuisine in a sophisticated and elegant venue located in the Seven Stars constellation of Grace Bay.

The décor is the epitome of style, featuring a stunning waterfall and dazzling chandeliers, mahogany furnishings and beautifully contrasting creamy-ivory hues. Dining al fresco is equally elegant, without sacrificing Seven’s interior chic with columns, archways and wrought iron accents. Elegantly appointed tables are impeccably set with stylish cutlery and beautiful stemware.

Seven also boasts one of Provo’s most popular bars, where classic black and white films play nonstop on the screen. Strategically placed, this bar seems to exert some sort of gravitational pull to those who attempt to walk by. The bartenders are engaging and entertaining, and renowned for their mixology skills. Tonight, it was quite the performance to observe Guylnaud create my tantalisingly frothy French Martini. The bar sports their own fare of noteworthy nibbles like Tuna Tartare and Portabella Mushroom Crostini with Whipped Ricotta.

A photograph of Seven Restaurant, Grace Bay, Providenciales (Provo), Turks and Caicos Islands.Crab and Mahi Mahi Ceviche appetizer at Seven Stars Resort

Seven defines their cuisine as ‘elevated contemporary cuisine fused with the rich culinary traditions of the Turks & Caicos Islands.’ I call it an Epicurean Eden – a close culinary encounter of the Seventh kind.

The man behind this gourmet alchemy is Executive Chef Edwin Gallardo from the Philippines. His mantra is simply this, “We are here to make everyone happy. To give them a very unforgettable experience.”

I always look forward to Seven’s assortment of breads and flavoured butters – and the shards of seed-encrusted crackers are incredibly moreish and addictive. Chef Edwin had also prepared an amuse-bouche of Crispy Chick Peas on a thin slice of cool, refreshing cucumber.

My fellow diner’s first dish arrived looking like a magnificent and dramatic food fantasy. Dollops of Crab and thinly sliced Mahi Mahi Ceviche, with a velvety and buttery avocado mousse, balls of cucumber and thinly sliced ‘strings’ of tart and refreshing green apple, sprinkled with a spectacular shower – or should I say, deluge of red Tobiko.

A photograph of Seven Restaurant, Grace Bay, Providenciales (Provo), Turks and Caicos Islands.Seven serves a Grilled Rock Lobster with Herb Lemon Butter

Atlantic Diver Scallops were beautifully complemented by the sweetness of a slow-cooked peach confit and the savoury bacon ‘powder’ offered a marvelously salty element to this dish.

The Lobster Bisque is a classic. The presentation is unique and impressive making each splendid spoonful a surprising and singular taste sensation. A silky smooth, thick and heavenly bisque was carefully decanted into my bowl, at once engulfing and enveloping my senses, as well as a conch fritter, Atlantic diver scallop, lobster tartare and tomato salsa.

Vibrant and vivid colours made the smoked salmon dish drop-dead gorgeous. Thin, carpaccio-like slices of smoked salmon, were topped with horseradish, pickled cucumber, a dollop of delicate potato salad and salmon rillettes – a classic French appetiser spread, much like a pate. And finally, drops of rich, black squid ink and a generous scattering of luminous orange salmon roe made an absolutely stunning presentation.

Our intermezzo of Green Grape Sorbet was an ideal palate cleanser and tasted like frozen wine.

A photograph of Seven Restaurant, Grace Bay, Providenciales (Provo), Turks and Caicos Islands.Seven offers an air-conditioned full bar and elegant indoor dining areas at Seven Stars Resort

Seven’s wine list makes navigation and selection absolutely painless and effortless, with wines uniquely and thoughtfully grouped into flavour profiles. From the ‘Light, Red Berried Reds,’ we plucked a 2010 Henri Bourgeois Pinot Noir Sancerre Rouge “Les Baronnes” from the Loire Valley. Medium-bodied, fruit forward and food-friendly.

entrées commanded a heartier, more full-bodied selection from the ‘Robust, Bold Reds.’ The Michel Rolland Clos de Los Siete from Mendoza, Argentina is a captivating blend of Malbec, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet with soft tannins and a great mouth feel.

The Slow Roasted Pork Belly appears as the first item on the Entrée Menu. My husband looked no further. Calling this serving a generous portion would be an understatement. Several substantial slices of melt-in-your-mouth pork sat teasingly atop a bed of delicately spiced sweet potato mash, encircled by ribbons of a flavourful jus. “This is to die for,” he confessed. Then he momentarily left this world, transported to his own culinary nirvana.

While my Heritage Beef Tenderloin may have been billed as the main event of this entrée, the absolutely indulgent cornmeal crusted deep-fried veal sweetbreads were the out-and-out epic star of this dish. Each mouthful was utterly tender beneath a crispy, yet delicate, crust. A fabulously intense jus complemented the perfectly medium-rare beef, and a sublime corn puree brought this dish to a heavenly level.

A photograph of Seven Restaurant, Grace Bay, Providenciales (Provo), Turks and Caicos Islands.The Heritage Beef Tenderloin at Seven

My fellow diner immersed himself in an absolutely lovely loin of perfectly seared Yellowfin Tuna, together with a Yukon Mash, asparagus, carrots and green beans neatly tied in a bundle and a delicious dollop of horseradish cream. The unifying element – a lavish drizzle of Balsamic Mirin.

The Grilled Rock Lobster was served with a delightful, delicate herb lemon butter on the side. With lobster, it’s all about simplicity and emphasising the sweet and delicate flavours. Complemented with a turned or ‘Tourne’ potato (a classic French cutting technique to create a football shape) and tender market vegetables.

The maestro appeared. He began to regale us with Pork Belly secrets, beginning with the long, slow braising and cooking techniques and the to-die-for jus, “We create a natural jus from the braising liquid. It’s very tricky. It can be fatty, you have to trim it down.” My husband just nodded and smiled. Then Chef said, “I cannot disclose the braising liquid … you would have to kill me,” he laughed. Or wait, isn’t it the other way around?

Then Chef Edwin sang his personal praises of the Milkfed Lamb with Parmesan Risotto, mushrooms, wilted arugula and a black olive jus. “It’s a very nice combination,” Edwin expressed.

“A little bit of Mediterranean-Asian fusion” appears in the South Caicos Snapper with cauliflower couscous, curried madras oil, toasted pine nuts and tzatziki.

Chef Edwin also enjoys preparing a Chef’s Tasting Menu for his guests that he says has been popular, happy to create a vegetarian tasting as well.

I would be remiss if I did not mention one of Seven’s most divine dishes – a 24 oz. Beef Chateaubriand for 2. This dish is elegance personified, served with sautéed mushrooms and smothered in a superbly creamy Béarnaise sauce, together with a rich and glorious hazelnut and potato gratin. A veritable culinary hedonism.

A photograph of Seven Restaurant, Grace Bay, Providenciales (Provo), Turks and Caicos Islands.The Peach Melba dessert at Seven Stars Resort

Emotions of euphoria, coupled with melancholy ensued; euphoria as I anticipated the sweet finale, and melancholy, as I knew this would be the imminent and inevitable end to this culinary ecstasy … at least for tonight! I’m an advocate of drinkable desserts, and Seven boasts an admirable selection of dessert wines, après cocktails, liqueurs, liquors and a very impressive selection of rum.

Eton Mess may sound peculiar, but this dessert was absolutely elegant with marinated strawberries, Chantilly cream, strawberry sorbet and bits of meringue that softened and dissolved on my tongue. The combination of textures was utterly rapturous. The Peach Melba got a sophisticated makeover too, with lemon, peach, apricot, a walnut crumble and a divine toasted meringue.

Seven has raised the bar to stellar heights. We were happy. This was unforgettable. This is culinary nirvana!

Photography by Lisa Adara Photo

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