The resort, the Villas at Banyan Bay, has been on Ambergris Caye for well over 15 years. Located on one of the prettiest beaches on the island – Maratumbo Beach – it is now under new management. And there are some changes to come to the 2 and 3 bedroom condo hotel in the year to come. But the first major change was an overhaul and updating of the old Rico’s Restaurant. Enter Pier 366.

The place looks fantastic – there have been some additions that make the space so much more comfortable. And they were starting with a gorgeous dock to begin with. As you step onto the beach, there is a new bar. Perfect for talking with other guests and those who have stopped for a drink. There is a new “swing lounge”. I love all the uses of the weathered looking Belizean hardwoods. The very personable, very passionate Chef Garfield from Barbados. He has worked in many countries – and last worked in Turks and Caicos. Seafood with a Caribbean flair.

We had some very tasty dishes. The grilled shrimp in citrus sauce with avocado, olives and cucumbers was light and delicious. Next came crab cakes and some VERY good coconut shrimp…the fresh coconut makes a difference. There was mango chipotle sauce and pina colada sauce.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Scoop

Come together: Pier 366 dining is a communal affair

Pier 366 is the new bistro on the dock, site of the former Rico’s. The only trace of Rico’s, if I got the story right, is the ceviche, which has been improved considerably by Chef Garfield Victor through the infusion of pure coconut milk, Barbados-style, to round off the spiky edges.

Chef Garfield presented a tasting lunch for a small group of us yesterday. He was the maestro for our meal and Banyan Bay managing partner Andrew Ashcroft was master of ceremonies. The arena was the new communal table on Pier 366’s deck, a gorgeous single slab of mahogany around which 10 diners can gather.

Before we get to the meal, if you haven’t been by Pier 366, you owe it to yourself to stop by, just to admire the changes. First off, the exteriors are now whitewash, with casual furniture artfully imagined from salvaged pier remains savaged by Hurricane Earl. It is weathered, light looking and heavy as can be. There is a rough timber gazebo that is filled with swinging seats and tables, the perfect setting as you await the call for dinner. On the beach is a new bar which can serve the same purpose.

The focal point of Pier 366 is the communal table. Some nights during the week, it will be used as the Chef’s Tasting Table, to which the personable and pleasantly efficacious Garfield Victor will bring his insider’s take on the fare being served. It is a fun experience. Every time Chef Garfield came out trailed by staff bearing deliciousness I kept thinking, “Man, Forest Whitaker should play him in the ‘Pier 366’ movie. They share that gentle bear demeanor and instant likability.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the Bound for Belize Blog

What’s New: Pier 366 Seafood House!
Banyan Bay Resort is home to a new restaurant, specializing in seafood and Caribbean cuisine. Formerly known as Rico’s Restaurant, the new and improved Pier 366 Seafood House has been rebranded to highlight Belize’s marine delicacies. The over-the-water restaurant decor has been revamped, featuring a covered dining room, patio seating, a vine-covered pergola, a “swing” lounge, plus communal table and beach bar. Leading the kitchen at Pier 366 is Barbadian national, Garfield Victor. An award-winning chef with over 15 years of experience, Victor is bringing his fresh take on seafood and Caribbean cuisine to Ambergris Caye. Promoting a “sea to table” dining experience, Pier 366 offers only the freshest ingredients caught in the Caribbean Sea. With specialties in lionfish, snook, grouper, red snapper, shrimp, conch, lobster, octopus and stone crab, customers will always have an array of options at Pier 366.