Breaking bread with your nearest and dearest is one of lifeÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s greatest pleasures, and these four Caribbean resorts showcase unique eateries with just the right mix of ambiance and gastronomic talent Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½ key ingredients of an unforgettable meal.
Words by Maria Carter.
Jumby Bay, Antigua
Also the focal point of a private island, the much lauded Jumby Bay spans 300-acres comprising pristine beaches, tennis courts, pools (including an oceanfront infinity), an open-air spa and of course, world-class dining. The resort’s anchor restaurant, The Estate House, named for the circa-1830 colonial plantation home it inhabits, serves a menu of dishes influenced by bold Mediterranean flavours. A waterfront location and romantic landscaping – dotted with hibiscus flowers, palm trees and wild orchids – make it the perfect backdrop for late-night cocktails or a leisurely afternoon tea. During evenings, menu heavyweights like lobster risotto with roasted prawns, grilled lamb cutlets and crisped whole island fish glazed with a sweet plum sauce, as well as lighter fare like palm heart salads topped with passion-fruit dressing, sate discerning appetites.
Bluebeard’s Castle, U.S. Virgin Islands
Paying homage to its infamous namesake, the resort at historic Bluebeard’s Castle in St. Thomas features a centuries’ old fortress, delectable on-site dining and elevated views of the town below, thanks to its hilltop location. Come for the food, stay for the view: Banana Tree Grille, overlooking the iconic Charlotte Amalie Harbour, offers front-row glimpses of glorious sunsets and cruise ships and yachts as they glide through the water on arrival and departure. The restaurant has built a reputation on sumptuous steaks, seafood and lobster, but Chef Kevin McCaffery possesses great pastamaking skills as well, showcasing house-made fettuccine, ravioli and tagliatelle on the menu. Be romanced by a stunning sunset as you sip a mango Bellini and watch boats drift into the night.
Camana Bay, Cayman Islands
The meticulously planned mixed-use development, Camana Bay, boasts dining options to sate any appetite. Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, the brainchild of James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz, takes a simple approach to food, crafting meals of locally-grown ingredients, fresh fish and artisanal elements for menus that change daily. Inspired by local fare, Ortanique tempts palates with Caribbean seared tuna, jerked chicken and West Indian Bouillabaisse, while the loungelike Abacus entices guests to linger over blackened snapper and ginger-soy broiled sea bass. Happy-hour hotspot Karoo promises small plates and designer cocktails including fresh ceviche, fritto misto and flirty liquid concoctions like Brazilian Honey. Opening soon, The Waterfront, a wallet-friendly ‘urban diner,’ serves delectable American dishes befitting a cosy supper or quick business lunch, while Mizu, showcases sushi chefs' creations in an open kitchen and invigorates taste buds with savory-sweet combinations from Southeast Asia.
Scrub Island Resort Spa & Marina, British Virgin Islands
Scrub Island’s name dates back to hundreds of years ago, when pirates dropped anchor near the 230-acre isle to scrub barnacles off their vessels. Long gone are those utilitarian days. Today, it is a lavish resort encompassing all that one would expect of a private island: infinity pools overlooking the ocean, a full-service spa, secluded beaches and a 55-slip marina – plus several restaurants from a beachfront bar to epicurean fare in an elegant setting. Fresh fish and locally-grown herbs and vegetables are mainstays at the on-property Caravela, where newly appointed executive chef Davide Pugliese, a celebrated 30-year veteran of the restaurant industry, likes to expand the limits of food culture. Caravela prides itself on traditional recipes with modern twists and recent menu highlights include shaved conch salad, Lobster Thermidor and Chateaubriand for two. Silky desserts like Belgian chocolate soufflé round out the meal.
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