Best Caribbean restaurant (2000)


Fans of the vibrant cuisine of the Caribbean finally have reason to jump up and dance. Rhumba is a fun, noisy restaurant, popular not just for its rum-soaked drinks -- the wicked mojito, a blend of rum, mint, lime, powdered sugar and soda, will put a spring in your step -- but also for its colorful, flavorful dishes. Owner Dave Query and partner/chef Joe Schneider have assembled a roster that reads like a history of the islands: Spanish-influenced stews, African-spiced chutneys and Indian-style curries all vie for a diner's attention like beach vendors purveying the colorful blankets of the West Indies. Athough it's all good, the fish is particularly special. And don't go so wild on the lively appetizers -- coconut-basil sauce on dumplings, yam-filled tamales -- that you can't make it to dessert, which sometimes includes the to-die-for passion fruit meringue pie. ¡Arriba!


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