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Taking a break from our frenetic pace of activities, I wanted to do a post highlighting the wonderful dinners we had at the Barracuda Bar & Grill right at Beaches & Dreams where we were staying near Hopkins Village, Belize.  As I mentioned in the first post about this trip, we found out that the restaurant was officially closing this week so the proprietors and chefs, Tony and Angela, could take a break (they will re-open in October).  However, we weren't too late to attend a tapas party at the restaurant on Wednesday night, their last official night open before their break.  It was a fundraiser for the Hopkins Belize Humane Society.  Tapas would be even better than a regular dinner in some ways as we'd get to try 12 different dishes, and all food proceeds would go directly to the HBHS.  Perfect!

We got a great table with stunning view of the beach.  Seated with us were Doug and Jeanette.  Doug, who lives in Florida, is a frequent visitor to Hopkins, where he's developing some vacation cabins along the Sittee River.  Jeanette, a British expat, is a Hopkins resident and owns a cute little shop in False Sittee Point that seems to offer everything from tours to Belikins.  They were fun to talk to as we noshed on some delicious and creative cuisine.  

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Our table
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Perfect setting
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Great view




Our menu for the evening:
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Rum drinks at Happy Hour prices!
The tapas were brought out in courses -- what a fun way to eat and enjoy so many different dishes.  There was one serving for each person at the table; that's why some of the photos show four portions of each.
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Four-cheese focaccia & Shrimp in Procuitto with melon
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Lobster-avocado spring rolls
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Barry and me
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We enjoyed talking with Jeanette and Doug
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Pork Loin Adobo & Polenta & vegetables with Gorgonzola
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Fried Calamari with dipping sauce
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Beef Wellington Bites & Lemon Grouper Bites
My favorites of the savory tapas were the fried calamari (loved the crunchy cornmeal in the batter) and the Beef Wellington bites.  I am a sucker for anything in pastry!

Next came Angela's amazing dessert trilogy.  They were all delicious, but the Chocolate Pecan Caramel Squares were the favorite at our table.  Also served were a creamy Coconut Flan and a lip-smacking White Chocolate Grand Marnier Cheesecake with cherries.  
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Yum, yum, and yum!
It was plenty of food, and for just $35 BZD ($17.50 US) per person, a great deal too!

The next night, Thursday, Tony had promised to cook for Barry and me since the restaurant was closed, and I'd been so disappointed when I found out we wouldn't be able to order off the menu.  So, we had a private meal -- what a treat!

We started with an avocado/rice appetizer that was really tasty and beautifully presented.
In addition to the great food, the view wasn't bad either.  The wind had really kicked up this afternoon, so the sea was quite choppy.
Our entree was mixed seafood pasta (fish, shrimp, and lobster) with a side of cauliflower and carrots.  It was absolutely delicious, especially when paired with a glass of Pinot Grigio.  We hadn't had many vegetables since getting to Hopkins, so we were happy to get some.  Tony and Angela grow their own herbs for use in cooking and for garnishes, and this basil was just beautiful.
We asked Angela if there were any of the delicious chocolate squares from the tapas dinner left over that we could have for dessert.  There wasn't much, she said, but she was able serve us a small square each with a bit of vanilla ice cream.  It was a wonderful way to top off a great meal.
We certainly appreciate Tony and Angela's time and trouble in serving us when the restaurant was actually closed.  We hope to get back during their regular season sometime as the menu looked great, and we already know that they are both very talented chefs!
Sabrina
7/3/2012 11:29:39 am

YUM. YUM. YUM!

~~_/)~~
Sabrina

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7/4/2012 02:53:38 am

HOLY DELICIOUSNESS! Love a humane society event.

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BeBelize Emily
7/4/2012 03:35:19 am

Yes, we couldn't believe we'd lucked into it, and that they still had a few seats left! Serendipity for sure!

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7/4/2012 06:15:00 am

OMG this blog made me hungry. We met Jeanette, too! She owns Diversity Cafe & Tours right across the street from Jaguar Reef/Almond Beach Resort. Next time we go, we'll be booking all our tours through her. We paid $70 USD each for our hiking AND Ziplining tours to Bocawina. Only afterwards did we find out she charges $55 USD - dang hotel markups! Ok, gotta go now and find something to eat, lol!

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BeBelize Emily
7/4/2012 06:26:34 am

That's good to know about Jeanette's pricing. We never did have time to stop into her place as even our "rest" day ended up being super busy start to finish, not on purpose, really, but you'll read about that tomorrow. I thought her shop looked really cute, though.

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7/27/2012 04:40:25 am

Thanks for the great photos and write up Emily. We really enjoyed having you stay with us. And for anyone else, here's my website:

www.beachesanddreams.com

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