When I heard that Agua Restaurant was moving to Camana Bay, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the decision.

I really liked the Galleria Plaza location and often stopped by for drinks in the evening, relaxing in the lounge area nicely positioned a stone’s throw from the bar.

Now that I have actually visited Agua 2.0 in its new digs, I am happy to say that this was definitely a good move. The space previously occupied by Ortanique been completely transformed and Agua now has the benefit of outdoor seating with a lovely view of the water.

The menu has also been updated. No need to grab for the oxygen – the ceviches for which the venue is famous are still available – but there are exciting new items to try such as the fried cauliflower, different pasta dishes, and some heavenly desserts that I’ll get to in a bit.

Dinner at Agua

When friends of mine and I arrived for dinner on a Saturday night, Agua was busy. A large party was socializing on the communal table on one side of the main dining room, and there was a group heading up the stairs to the private dining area that can seat about 16 people. Outdoors, tables surrounded by seagrape trees were almost completely occupied by diners favoring the warmth.

We decided to dine indoors, as once dégustation ensued, odds were good my body temperature would rise.

After much deliberation, we ordered the ceci fried cauliflower with sultanas, roasted peppers, capers and chili aioli, and one of the night’s specials – a tower of seafood featuring shrimp, oysters, crab claws and tuna tartare.

The cauliflower was crunchy and delicious, particularly with that tasty dip. This is a dish to split between at least two people, and probably more like three or four; my advice would be not to order one just for yourself.

The seafood tower certainly made a statement and boasts immediate bragging rights. A two-tiered display was placed in the center of the table, providing easy access to its bounty. Thankfully, no one else was a fan of oysters, so I got all of them.

For the main courses, two of us went for the mafaldine pasta with fresh seafood and shellfish, tomato and lemon. The third opted for the catch of the day: grilled snapper with vegetables.

Agua is known for its seafood dishes, such as the tuna tartare.

Having been a big fan of Agua’s seafood spaghettini, which was worryingly missing from the new menu, I hoped that the mafaldine would fill the void. It did, and then some. There was no shortage of seafood on the plate, I liked the thicker pasta pieces and loved the addition of the lemon. My dining mate who had ordered the fish was also very happy with her dish. Thumbs-up all around from the group.

Drinks

Of course, one cannot indulge in a lovely meal without accompanying it with a beverage. Agua has a varied and extensive wine list to choose from, but that evening we were in the mood for cocktails. After all, the bar seemed to be one of the highlights of the room, so surely the drinks would be equally memorable.

I confess I did not taste anything but the burlesque cocktail. I ordered one, fell in love with it, and stuck with it for the rest of the night. In the past, Agua’s bartenders (or mixologists, if you prefer) have been the cream of the crop on the local hospitality scene. Many have won bartending competitions and have competed abroad, thanks to their skills with a shaker and some fresh ingredients. It seems that quality has transferred to the new location, as the cocktails we ordered were top notch.

Dessert

I promised I would expound on my earlier mention of the desserts, so here we go: the three desserts we ordered that night were fabulous. Honestly, some of the best desserts I’ve had in a while. My coconut panna cotta was creamy, smooth and bursting with coconut flavor. Then we had the doughnuts with dipping sauces and finally a pot of hazelnut chocolate goodness that was to die for.

Conclusion: Even if you don’t have time for dinner at Agua, stop by and get dessert. You won’t regret it.

Agua is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner and offers free valet parking for dinner. For reservations, call 949-2482 or visit www.agua.ky.