The thing is, we all want to go and enjoy the sun, sand and cuisine during the winter, so everything is super expensive then. In June, a lot of us think that the summer has already arrived, and while technically it’ll be here on June 21, 50 degree nights and frigid water at the beach are not making me think of summer. The Caribbean on sale in June on the other hand, that is painting a pretty picture.
Check out some of the greatest epicurean destinations in the Caribbean, and think about it, would you rather wait until August for the full effects of summer or escape today for summer on sale?
Photo courtesy of Nouhailler via Flickr/cc
St. Martin-Grand Case
Grand Case is a fairly lazy beach town on the French side of this schizophrenic island. With many fine French restaurants, a gem of an Italian restaurant and competing lolos (local cheaper grills) serving a variety of grilled ribs, lobster and chicken, there are plenty of culinary options here. All are within walking distance of fine beaches and luxurious beachfront accommodations.
Photo courtesy of 708718 via Flickr/cc
Grand Cayman-Seven Mile Beach
With those miles of silky, soft sand, you might be tempted to stay on the water’s edge for the duration of your stay on Grand Cayman, but this is rapidly turning into one of the Caribbean’s premier dining destinations. With golf courses and luxury hotels, it’s no secret who the target market is. It shouldn’t be a surprise to find names like Eric Ripert (Blue at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman) joining the stable of old-time stalwarts that have carved out a market for themselves.
If the Ritz is not your speed, check out Grenada, a Caribbean island still filled with old timey (think James Bond) hotels and Caribbean kitchens, all competing for attention and dollars with more modern and hip establishments. You can enjoy a deserted beach while dipping into a pepper pot with rice and peas for lunch, then run off for dinner at Michelin-starred chef Gary Rhodes’s eponymous Rhodes Restaurant in the Calabash Resort.
Photo courtesy of HappyTellus via Flickr/cc
Barbados is like the Bermuda of the Caribbean. It is British, formal and on the stuffy side, at least when it comes to warm tropical islands. With that formality comes something special, like the chance to dress up and dine like adults used to dine. Barbados has two fine restaurants that spring to mind: Daphne’s is an Italian highpoint in an otherwise Caribbean and French influenced culinary corner of the Caribbean (the English can be credited with recognizing their limitations in this field!), and The Cliff.
The Cliff is one of the world’s great restaurants, located in one of the world’s great locations. It’s a bucket list kind of restaurant with a bucket list kind of wine list, one that I have yet to cross off my list!
Okay, enough with the picture porn, we are a wine site after all. You want wine in the Caribbean? There is one place you have to go: Graycliff in Nassau the Bahamas. There are other great restaurants in the Bahamas, but only one is packed with hundreds of pages of small font, listing wines from around the globe that are ready to drink and indulge in!
Where to begin? Since we’re fantasizing, 1979 Laville Haut-Brion sounds like a nice place to start. You can follow that with just about any Bordeaux or DRC. Even in my dreams I’m practical, so let’s share a couple of vintages of Drouhin Griotte Chambertin followed by a Slovenian intermezzo (it’s a BIG list I tell you) and finish up dinner with some magnums of Mayacamas Cabernet from the late 1970s and early 1980s.
If we’re still thirsty, we can dip our toes in some 100-year-old Madeira. Literally, they have a Madeira fountain. No, wait, that’s a lie. Fantasy over. Graycliff 1- GDP 0.