Two Thumbs Up
I felt like I had left Rockaway when I dined at the new Patrick's Caribbean Restaurant in the former Pisces space, and I don't mean I thought I was in Howard Beach, Brooklyn or even Manhattan. I felt like I was on vacation in the Caribbean, with well-prepared exotic food and drink in a friendly setting. The pace was Caribbean, as was the background island music. Chef Patrick Gardener, formerly of Tookie's and Cuckoo Caribes in the Village, and his staff received each table as if all were family, or at least old friends. The food was excellent, and totally different from anything else available in the Rockaways.
There is a bar and wine available, but the really interesting drinks are the tropical selections. The lemonade was delicious, and the balance of the
tropical drinks were authentic and refreshing.
For starters, the coconut-crusted shrimp were unusual and a tasty mix of crunch and sweet, but the shrimp should have been larger. The chicken roti was divine: a curried chicken and diced potato stew wrapped in a flatbread. Enough for two people, the roti built up to a mouth-tingling spicy heat full of flavor and not just hot.
The King Fish Caribbean style was very good, but should have been a thicker slice of fish. The traditional rice and peas was fabulous, and the fried sweet plantain was simply the best I've ever tasted. Roasted vegetables and Caribbean soul food round out the menu. The entree menu spans a wide range of exotic and not-so-exotic food, with something for everyone, even the not-so-adventurous, who can choose American or pasta as a break from Caribbean fare.
Desserts were a mix of familiar and unfamiliar sweets. I especially liked
the chocolate chip banana bread pudding and the chocolate bottom pie, but I'm a chocoholic.
Prices are moderate, particularly when you factor in that you get that
Caribbean feeling without the time, trouble and expense of a trip to the
islands. Patrick's Caribbean Restaurant is a welcome addition to the
restaurant scene in Rockaway, and deserves to be popular.
(Editor’s Note: Patrick’s Caribbean Restaurant is located at 112-16 Rockaway Beach boulevard…see advertisement in this edition for further information.)