15 Caribbean Restaurants With Amazing Views (Slideshow)
April 4, 2014
The Cliff — Barbados
The waves crash against the rocks, the water stretches out into the distance to meet the night sky, and all around you on the outdoor dining patio candles flicker on the tables and warm light shines down from lanterns above them. Maybe you walked, or arrived by car. Maybe you arrived by yacht (it’s situated so that you can, and the restaurant even bears a resemblance to the bow of a ship). However you arrived, if you’re at The Cliff in Barbados, you’ve found yourself at one of the most beautiful and dramatic restaurants in the Caribbean, and you’re in for a treat. Liverpool-born chef Paul Owens’ menu changes frequently, but you can count on char-grilled meats and seafood including mahimahi and swordfish, and spellbinding dishes like Caribbean shrimp in Thai green curry coconut sauce with coriander rice, foie gras and chicken liver parfait, savory snails in puff pastry with chive cream sauce, and even a spicy Caesar salad with chorizo.
La Guarida — Havana, Cuba
Its appearance in the Cuban film Fresa y Chocolate isn’t the only reason that discerning diners head to this hidden gem run by husband-and-wife duo Enrique and Odeisys Nuñez in central Havana. This paladar (a small, family-run restaurant typically located inside a home that gained legal status in Cuba in the early 1990s) is tucked up three flights of rickety stairs at the top of a dilapidated turn-of-the 20th-century residential edifice at 418 Concordia. La Guarida’s whimsical setting, which stretches through three small rooms, is adorned with autographed celebrity photos. Start off with the eggplant caviar before moving on to sea bass in coconut reduction, and chicken with honey and lemon sauce. Reservations for lunch and dinner (two seating times) are essential.
Da Conch Shack — Providenciales, Turks & Caicos
Chef Mark Clayton is onto something at the shabby, open-air, and legendary Da Conch Shack. Just off Blue Hills Road and adjacent to a parking lot replete with an aging boat full of conch shells, Da Conch Shack is the type of beach bar that beach bums yearn for — fresh, tasty seafood and potent rum-laced drinks with a punch. While the menu includes options like shrimp, fish, and jerk chicken, it’s the namesake conch that keeps folks coming back year after year. No matter how you want your conch — as cracked conch dusted with flour and fried, as a conch salad (conch ceviche with tomatoes, green peppers, onions, and lime juice), in a curried conch chowder, or as crispy conch fritters — be sure to pair it with Johnny Fries (Turks & Caicos salted french fries drizzled with black bean and pepper gravy) or island staple rice and peas and a pitcher of rum punch. Don’t forget to save room for the rum cake garnished with rum raisins.
Eat @ Cane Bay — St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
The incredible food is said to match the epic views at this casual dining eatery located in Cane Bay, which is about 30 minutes from both of St. Croix’s towns — Christiansted and Frederiksted — and brings diners back to the island’s north shore, which also has some of St Croix’s premier diving and beach spots.
Restaurant Le Gaïac — St. Barthélemy
This St. Barts classic serves innovative French cuisine with local Caribbean flavors on its open-air terrace overlooking Hôtel Le Toiny’s infinity pool. The restaurant sources 20 different vegetables from its own organic greenhouse. Chef Sylvain Révélant’s menu includes marinated cobia with oyster whipped cream, Sichuan pepper, and French caviar; breaded sea bass with chestnuts and cardamom; and venison with salsify and gingerbread, prickly pear, and juniper berry jus. On Tuesdays, the restaurant also offers a "Fish Market" dinner, when the catch of the day is grilled "à la plancha" in front of diners.
Dashi — St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Located behind the boardwalk on King’s Alley Walk in downtown Christiansted, St. Croix, behind the Caravell Hotel and RumRunners Bar, Dashi serves sushi and Asian cuisine along with delicious wines and sakes in a funky, air-conditioned dining room and bar and the covered outdoor dining in a garden setting. More than 45 kinds of sushi rolls are served in the light drenched open courtyard. Dashi has been described as Tokyo for the tropics — it’s casually chic Caribbean dining at its best.
Mi Casa by José Andrés — Dorado, Puerto Rico
Renowned chef José Andrés' Mi Casa is located in Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve resort. The restaurant offers everything from breakfast to dinner to in-room dining, all in the signature playful style of chef Andrés. Start with tapas like jamón Ibérico served with fresh tomato bread or yuca "churros" with house-made peanut butter and honey. For an entrée, try the traditional Puerto Rican rice stew, with chayote, ham, and your choice of spiny or Maine lobster, served with plantain chips and meant to be shared between two people. Or simply go all-out with the 11-course José’s Tapas Experience menu.
Michael's Genuine — Grand Cayman
The motto of Michael's Genuine, both the Miami original and this bright, bustling Cayman Islands offshoot, is "Fresh. Simple. Pure." Michael Schwartz's cooking lives up to the promise of that appealing trinity. The menu here is similar to that at the Florida original, but with local seafood, fruit, and other products worked in seamlessly. Schwartz's flavors are vivid, with Asian, Latin American, and Mediterranean accents: crispy snapper salad with pickled mango, red onion, and soy-lime vinaigrette; duck confit with whipped calabaza squash, wilted greens, and pumpkin seed pesto; grilled Niman Ranch pork loin with local guava chutney and grilled green onions — real food, the genuine article.
Le Mabouya — Sainte-Luce, Martinique
Diners at the small and spacious 50-seat eatery at the Hotel Corail Résidence can enjoy a French-inspired meal while enjoying views of the Caribbean. Chef Jean-Paul Debreuil uses local ingredients to create playful, inventive dishes such as fresh fish tartare with tomato-basil ice cream, lobster and sea urchin cream ravioli, foie gras served with rum hibiscus jelly, simply cooked fresh fish sourced from local fishermen, and a simple but delicious fresh fruit crumble.
Cafe Christine — St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Specializing in homemade cuisines and using local products, Cafe Christine is a gem in downtown Christiansted. Its French inspired cuisine is served in a cozy café with local artists’ works hanging on the walls. Café Christine is tucked away in the courtyard of Apothecary Hill behind lush, green vegetation.
On the Rocks — St. Barthélemy
Located at the luxury resort Eden Rock - St Barths serves a seasonal menu created by renowned executive chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The globally inspired menu changes based on the season and product availability, celebrating the best of the chef’sfavorite dishes. Expect creations such as foie gras brûlée with dried cranberries, candied pistachios, and white port gelée; lobster with citrus-glazed carrots, passion fruit, and black olive; and lamb chops with smoked chile glaze and crunchy polenta. The international wine list features organic vintages and specially selected wines from Alsace, Vongerichten's native region.
Trellis — St. Martin
The intimate French bistro housed in the oceanfront La Samanna resort serves contemporary cuisine paired with one of the most extensive wine collections in the Caribbean. Executive chef Gil Dumoulin has curated a menu of modern French cuisine infused with Caribbean spice. Each meal can be expertly paired with one of 12,000 wines from the resort's wine cellar; each label is carefully chosen by sommelier Christian Mirande.
Savant — St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Located off Hospital Street in Christiansted, just beyond the Fort, Savant offers visitors two dining options: The front of the eatery is hip, artistic, and cool with a sophisticated New York-esque air, while the courtyard has a quieter, more romantic feel created by the owner Tom Miller's wife Kate who is a sculptor. Savant’s ambience is enticing and specials range from Thai to Tex-Mex and Caribbean. It’s charming, very small, and intimate.
Banana Tree Grille — St. Thomas
Overlooking the world-famous Charlotte Amalie Harbor, Banana Tree Grille invites guests to be "romanced by stunning sunsets" while dining on top-notch seafood. Menu items may include moist and flaky swordfish served atop a bed of risotto, corn, and sun-dried tomatoes, or Moroccan-spiced ahi tuna served with almond and forbidden rice pilaf and Burgundy reduction. Guests can sip a mango Bellini while enjoying a view of the water that can’t be beat.
The Bottle Restaurant — Georgetown, Guyana
You don’t make it to Georgetown, Guyana, without a little bit of the intrepid spirit of an adventure traveler. Sure, there are reasons to visit the country — Kaieteur Falls, turtle trekking at Shell Beach, the Iwokrama Research Centre — but if you’ve found yourself here, you’re most likely to be either visiting someone you know or making the trip either to or from Suriname or Brazil. In any of these cases, at some point you’re going to be looking for something beyond the Guyanese classic pepperpot and even its exceptional roti, and at that point you’re going to want to visit Cara Lodge, a colonial-styled building in the heart of Georgetown built in the 1840s that has seen the likes of kings, princes, presidents, and rock stars. There you’ll find the Bottle Restaurant, which those who know the country will likely argue is the best restaurant in Guyana. Past the mango tree in the center of the courtyard, the ground floor restaurant is decorated with hundreds of Dutch bottles and Portuguese tiles. It's a clean, calming white-tablecloth restaurant that serves many of the traditional dishes of Guyana, including ginger soup, grilled snapper, and baked lamb.
Tutto Bene — St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Located just east of Christiansted, on Hospital Street in Gallows Bay, Tutto Bene offers more traditional Italian cuisine ranging from antipasto for two, veal saltimbocca, spaghetti Bolognese, and fabulous homemade desserts. The décor, on the other hand, is something entirely different… with bright murals on the walls, bold striped cushions, and painted trompe-l'oeil tables, Tutto Bene looks more like a sophisticated Mexican cantina than an Italian cucina. Established in 1991, Tutto Bene has since become known as one of the finest dining experiences in the Caribbean.