A recently opened West Bay restaurant is attracting diners from around the island, even though it primarily serves only vegetarian and vegan food.
“We find people are really curious to try the food,” said co-owner and manager Michele Zama. “We are seeing more and more locals coming in from both West Bay and farther out.”
In addition to Mr. Zama, the restaurant is co-owned by Chef Gilbert Cavallaro, who is also the executive chef at the nearby Cracked Conch restaurant. Both Mr. Zama and Mr. Cavallaro are vegans.
Located at eco-friendly Lighthouse Point on North West Point Road, Vivo gets many of its customers from the resort’s guests and divers who frequent the Divetech dive shop next door. But increasingly, it’s seeing other tourists and Grand Cayman residents make their way to the restaurant.
“It’s definitely a ripple effect as we have customers who came to check out the food before, bringing their friends, who recommend us to their friends, and so on,” Mr. Zama said, noting that Vivo has repeat customers coming from as far away as Rum Point.
The one exception
With the exception of items featuring lionfish, an invasive species that is threatening Cayman’s native reef species, the menu is strictly vegetarian or vegan.
Many of the lionfish served at the restaurant are caught on the reefs off West Bay by local divers, who, upon returning to shore, supply Vivo’s kitchen with the fish. Lionfish are the only marine creature divers are allowed to cull from local waters.
Many of the other ingredients on the restaurant’s menu are locally produced.
“This allows us to keep it dynamic, especially since we work with whatever is fresh, and whatever is in season,” said Mr. Zama.