By Alexander Britell
It’s the kind of place that would be at home in some hip enclave of Austin or Portland, Williamsburg or L.A.
But at the same time, it’s totally at home in the Caribbean.
That’s not easy to pull off.
But that’s what the team at the wonderfully named and even better executed Cocovan have done.
Cocovan, adjacent to the venerable Coco Bistro In Providenciales, opened earlier this year and is centered around a restored old Airstream camper, a food truck transformed into a leafy, romantic but casual restaurant on the edge of Grace Bay Road.
Chef Stuart Gray has cultivated a fresh exciting international menu that produced as good a meal as I’ve had in the Caribbean all year, albeit one eaten with a beer on a picnic table.
But that’s the peculiar but charming quality of this place, where you order and pay in advance at the counter then head to the shack-style bar and get your beer, wine or rum.
Yes, it’s a food truck, but it’s so much more than that. It’s lit by torches, remarkably lushly landscaped and, well, decidedly romantic.
But let’s get back to the food.
Sure, there are some food truck staples — fish tacos and French fries. But everything is done at a different level.
Think French fries with Gorgonzola in a port wine syrup; a crunchy crispy rice with tuna tartare; utterly delectable crispy chicken tandoori skewers with a curry dressing; lobster mac and cheese balls.
I have a simple rule for judging whether a restaurant is truly great. You have to say “wow” at least once during the meal.
The wows are in no short supply here.
Cocovan is a triumph, and it’s the coolest new restaurant in the Caribbean this year.