Best New World Restaurant - 1999
The Pineapple Grille
One of the criticisms of New World cuisine -- the combination of local flora and fauna with Caribbean, Latin, and Mediterranean influences -- is that it tries to accomplish too much: too many components in a dish, too many side dishes on one plate, too many competing flavors. Pineapple Grille does New World cuisine the way it's meant to be prepared: simply. The dishes, while Floribbean-influenced, certainly aren't overdone or overwhelmed by dozens of ingredients. The roots of the Bahamian seafood chowder are updated with, well, roots -- specifically, sweet potatoes. Pan-fried yuca cakes are garnished with a simple chicken satay and tangy tamarind sauce. Ravioli is removed from Italy by way of a black bean, feta, and andouille sausage stuffing. Duck is glazed with a mixture of key lime and ruby red grapefruit juices. The breezy, colorful décor helps the digestion of this simple, flavorful stuff, though the raucous parrot in the corner can be a distraction. Perhaps Pineapple Grille will consider competing for an award to be debuted next year: the "best dish made with parrot" prize.