Though the Caribbean isles are well known to outsiders, Caribbean cuisine remains a hidden gem due to tourists frequently subsisting solely off a paste made from sand, ocean water, and pureed linen pants. Uncover the edible treasure of the tropics with today’s Groupon: for $10, get $20 worth of Kingston cuisine and dreadlocked drinks at Carena’s Jamaican Grille.
Jamaican-born owner Carena Ives and James Beard–nominated chef Jimmy Sneed brings the island's colorful, beachy essence and heavy emphasis on the third beat to the menu's parade of authentic cuisine. The chicken soup and curry chicken often contains bits of bone like the real thing should, and Jamaica's iconic uncouth poultry takes many forms, including jerk-chicken burritos, jerk-chicken pizza, and jerk-chicken rasta pasta. Otherwise, branch out with delectable dishes such as Jamaican jerk wings roasted with mango chutney (up to $11.50) or oxtail ($16.95) with rice ‘n' peas and stewed cabbage. Bring a friend to Carena's and discover that there's more to Jamaica than just world-class sprinter Usain Bolt and giggling frat-boy jokes about how it produces the world's primo bauxite.
- This restaurant is billed as a Jamaican-American hybrid, but it’s the authentic Jamaican eats (and rum punch) that keep regulars lining up at the door. The massive conch fritters, easily the best version you’ll find in Richmond, are fried to golden perfection and served with a creamy horseradish sauce that is smooth with just the right kick. – Richmond
Carena’s Jamaican Grille
When Carena Ives moved to the States at age 16, she slowly eased into New York City’s concrete-and-steel embrace, its fast-paced and oft-gray surroundings a world away from the crystal blue waters and balmy breezes of home. A native of Ocho Rios, Jamaica, she had followed her culinary passion north to the restaurants and vibrant food scene of NYC, leaving her family behind to chase the dream. Years later, and wiser in the ways of the restaurant business, Carena opened her own eponymous restaurant in Richmond as a celebration of the home she left behind but never forgot. Carena’s Jamaican Grille brings stateside diners an authentic taste of Carena’s home cuisine thanks to its laid-back atmosphere and lineup of noshes prepared using traditional methods and piquant spices. All day, chefs bustle about the kitchen chopping and grilling up fresh ingredients that fuse into homemade soups, jerk meat dishes, and savory oxtail. Several of Carena's dishes have become favorites among the locals who line up for the grub as well as among other local chefs.