Negril Village

Negril Village is an authentic Caribbean place in the Village. I really liked it. V and I went with some of her co-workers for dinner. When we walked in, I was kind of surprised to notice a club downstairs, but when you walk up into the restaurant, it really is a nice space, with great decor.

We ordered a few appetizers to share, including the Negril Nachos with salsa, guacamole and melted jack cheese, over "island chips" with jerk chicken. These were great and made unique with the chips, which I believe were a mix of corn and plantain chips. The mixture of toppings was great, every chip had something on it, and there were plenty to share. We also tried one of the samplers with calamari, sweet plantains, and some kind of fritters - fried stuff is always good, but I guess not that memorable because I can't remember the other item served with the dish.

For dinner I ordered the Jamaican Saltfish Cook Up. This is cod, served with stewed plantain, boiled green banana, yam and dumpling. It was recommended as a standard traditional dish by our server. It was different than I expected, but good. The fish was served shredded, mixed with the plantain in a large mound (there was plenty). It definitely earned its name, as it was rather salty. The sides were rather bland and tough, they each needed to be cut with knife and fork and didn't carry much flavor. This "food" as they call it in the Caribbean is the staple with most every meal.

V ordered Rasta Pasta, a spiral pasta, with roasted vegetables and oven dried tomatoes in a light cream tomato sauce. It was good, but didn't strike me as terribly Caribbean. I was also able to have a bite of the Caesar salad with salmon, which was light and tasty. The Seafood Creole, another main dish, comes in a small cast-iron pot filled with plenty of varied seafood. I didn't try it but it looked good. For dessert we had the red velvet cake, which was sweeter and less chocolatey than I expected, but still quite good.

Overall I really liked the crowd (which lent to the authenticity of the place), the atmosphere, the service and the food. But next time, I'd try something else from the menu.

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