Fisherman’s Reef offers fine dining in relaxed setting

Foodies will be pleased to hear that Chef Ottmar Weber is back in business with a new restaurant following the destruction of Ottmar’s Restaruant & Lounge in Hurricane Ivan.

Perched on the water’s edge overlooking North Sound, Chef Ottmar’s Fisherman’s Reef Bar & Grill offers diners fine food and wine in a delightful setting.

Located at Morgan’s Harbour, West Bay, the restaurant, which opened its doors in December, has, according to Ottmar, had a steady flow of customers since.

‘People are always keen to try somewhere new. Many also want to see if it lives up to my previous restaurant,’ Ottmar said.

The restaurant is at the location of the old Borden’s pizza business – next to Bayside Watersports, also victim to Ivan – and has taken eight months of construction and renovation, including the addition of a terrace, bar and wine cellar.

The outside terrace, which accommodates up to 100 diners, makes full use of the restaurant’s idyllic location. If the weather isn’t conducive to al fresco dining, two air-conditioned inside rooms seat a total of 60.

Ottmar has nearly 50 year’s experience as a chef. Born in Germany, he opened his first restaurant in Cayman, called L’Escargot, in 1984. His second, Ottmar’s Restaurant & Lounge, was opened in 1991.

Many of the chef’s famed dishes feature on the new menu. What is different is this latest venture brings a far more laid back feel than Ottmar’s Restaurant & Lounge, which he freely admits people felt they had to dress up for.

‘My last restaurant was very fancy. I wanted to move away from that. People want to go somewhere where they feel they can relax,’ Ottmar said. ‘If people want to come casually dressed, they can, yet they can still experience fine food.’

Described by Ottmar as French continental with Caribbean flair, the restaurant uses only the freshest ingredients and all dishes are homemade by a dedicated team of five chefs. The bread is baked daily and seafood is delivered fresh to the door.

Although the name of the restaurant suggests a predominately seafood menu, meat lovers will be pleased to learn there are an equal number of both on offer.

The menu is extensive. In fact Ottmar boasts that it has more dishes than any other restaurant on the island. He may just be right. With over 20 appetizers and 29 mains, choosing what to eat could be a challenge.

Many of the chef’s signature dishes from his previous restaurant remain. His famous chicken Trinidad and Caribbean red snapper caprice – popular favourites with many of his patrons – are unchanged.

‘You would not believe the number of requests I get for these two dishes. There was no question of a doubt, they had to feature on my new menu,’ Ottmar said.

However, diners will delight in a slew of new additions, such as Caribbean lobster tail cocktail, steamed Edward Island mussels, Mediterranean potato dumplings, jumbo coconut shrimp, Hemingway’s sea-bass filet and porterhouse steak vintner’s style.

The dessert menu has also been extended with sweet temptations such as chocolate mascarpone cheesecake, frozen amaretto parfait, and a particularly sumptuous flourless chocolate cake to name but a few.

The menu also includes a wide variety of pastas, pizzas and salads, alongside a staggering selection of eight soups. Vegetarians are also well catered for.

Ottmar credits this vast menu to the simple fact that, over the years, he feels he understands what people want, choice being one of them.

The restaurant is open for dinner – a lunch menu is planned later this year – and special day menus, such as the forthcoming Mother’s Day champagne buffet 14 May, which features a raw bar and carving station. Happy hour is held every Friday from 5pm to 7pm and features live entertainment and drink specials.