On a trip to Cozumel, Mexico, I was privy to explore the island as a local would with a friend who lives there. Buccanos Grill & Beach Club is a beach club where a $15 admission price gets you into the private beachfront facility to enjoy water sports, a swimming pool, umbrellas and palapas, snorkeling, and lounge chairs for the day. The water is gorgeous, perfect shades of blue stripes and the views are perhaps the best on the entire island. You can even have a beach massage while you are there! The thing that separates Buccanos from any other beach club is the sublime menu items that a culinary team serves up in both a pool/grill eatery and the more upscale Buccanos at Night restaurant located upstairs with a gorgeous ocean view.
Menu: Appetizers featuring mouth-watering lobster include Caesar Salad, Tostadas, Nachos, and Martini. The menu lists a simple title for the dishes served, but there is nothing simple about the items that come from the kitchen. After taking multiple pictures (because you want to show this food off to your friends on social media), your palate will be pleasured with the taste of the foods. My favorites include:
- Oaxaca Cheese Squares (with spicy orange sauce and grilled oranges)
- Tempura Shrimp Taco Shooters (black bean salsa, guac, pickled carrots)
- “Catch of the Day” Sashimi (horseradish cream and crispy sweet potato strings)
- Chicken Satay (truffle poblano cream, guac, and house rub)
Dinner at Buccanos at Night is heartier portions. Seafood is the star ingredient, but burgers, Angus beef, and chicken are also on the menu. Beef is not native to Cozumel so expect to pay an upcharge for import. Some of the popular dinner items include:
- Buccanos Fish & Chips (tartar sauce, balsamic reduction)
- Achiote Rubbed Shrimp (fried rice, creamy coconut sauce)
- Coffee-Adobo “Catch of the Day” (goat cheese creme fraiche, green beans, new potatoes)
- Lobster Mac & Cheese (four cheese)
Thoughts: Buccanos at Night’s menu is contemporary seafood, prepared with fresh fish and premium ingredients that change with the season. Buccanos food is like art, often so gorgeous that you hate diving in to eat it as to not disturb a masterpiece. It is served in a stunning dining room with chic furnishings, original artwork, lovely light fixtures, and dishes from the original hotel that has been in the family for decades. Jazz music wafts from the speakers, seducing you into a mood that prepares you for the decadent meal you are about to receive. This restaurant was made for international foodies.
While the Buccanos at Night menu items listed above are certainly enticing, nothing tops the amazing tasting menu that the staff prepared for my friends and me.
For starters, we feasted on Crispy Jumbo Shrimp Pops, with a plum pico de gallo, and creme fraiche. The presentation was as spectacular as the taste. A second appetizer was the Snapper Sashimi with compressed avocado and a chipotle vinaigrette. Our next four courses were delicious but one item stood out far from the rest—Grilled Lobster with Brown Butter Homemade Cheese Raviolis. I was surprised to learn that this was one of the first meals that Buccanos served, nearly 20 years ago, and it is still as in demand today as it was back then. The taste was sensational, making me want to sop up every bit of the rich sauce, but the plate appeal was second to none. I am surprised that all ravioli dishes are not served in this gorgeous fashion.
The new Buccanos chef, which they lured away from the United States because of his impressive cooking skills, did a fantastic job of dazzling my friends with his culinary talent. From every simple touch, plate presentation, impeccable taste, beautiful scenery, and stellar service, Buccanos was a special place to make a delicious memory and not break the bank.
Price Range: varies between restaurants $8-32
Location: Carretera San Juan Kilometro 4.5, Zona Hotelera Nte., 77600 San Miguel de Cozumel, Q.R., Mexico
Melody resides in both Vero Beach, Florida, and Boquete, Panama with Eddie, her husband of 25 years. They are parents to 2 wonderful daughters, a fantastic son-in-law, sweet pound cat Harlow, and love of their lives dog, Priscilla. When she isn’t blogging or taking press trips, Melody loves cruising, Broadway, Disney, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and cooking for her friends. Her immediate goal is to visit all 50 states (12 more to go!) and as many countries as she is years old (1 more to go!) She recently owned and operated a successful catering business and several restaurants. Favorite foods: Eggs Benedict, curries, Shrimp in any way, shape, or form, and Cheese Fondue