One of the primary pleasures on any vacation is to taste the culinary creations at the establishments in your chosen holiday destination.
In the BVI you are in for a pleasant surprise: the choices are innumerable, from local favourites like bull foot soup, goat water and jerk pork to gourmet offerings such as fillet of beef Wellington with Madeira sauce or Anegada Lobster Thermidor.
The BVI is a small island archipelago and as such seafood is featured heavily on most menus: swordfish, tuna and mahi-mahi are usually plentiful in the sister islands. If conch fritters, whelk stew or local lobster are on the menu, you owe it to yourself to give them a try.
Another facet of island dining is that the cultural heritage of the BVI is diverse. The population is descended from Africans, Indians and Europeans. Recently, persons from the Middle East and Asia have joined the mix to give the Territory a wonderful blend of culinary choices. Add to this the exotic spices available in tropical latitudes — including ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and a wide variety of peppers — and you have all the ingredients necessary for culinary masterpieces.
Sometimes visitors can be timid when it comes to trying unfamiliar dishes, but try a roti, a portion of jerk pork or fried fish with Johnnycake — you won’t be disappointed. Once you get home, give some popular and unique BVI recipes a try.
The Clubhouse at Frenchman's: Frenchman's is a charming small resort on the cay of the same name and the Clubhouse Restaurant is acclaimed island-wide. Chef Paul serves up delectable appetisers followed by a good selection of entrees that include meat, poultry and fish. The smoked salmon rosettes with goat cheese is a favourite with many as is the pate with Melba toast. The rack of lamb for two is great for meat lovers and the mahi-mahi with mango salsa is hard to beat. For dessert, try the chocolate mousse, Key lime pie or the mango crumble, accompanied by Blue Mountain Coffee from Jamaica.
Pusser’s Landing: Pusser’s restaurant, nestled in the middle of the charming West End shopping village, is ideal for lunch, a cool drink or a snack at any time. Burgers, fish and chips and a variety of sandwiches are some of the items on the large and varied menu. Upstairs, overlooking the harbour, is a more formal restaurant for evening dining. Pusser’s has other locations around the islands and all enjoy a good reputation.
Bananakeet Café: This hillside inn and restaurant is recognised for good food and a great view. The seating is organised around the pool and overlooks the western cays and Jost Van Dyke. It’s a must-stop for an unsurpassed sunset with evening cocktail followed by a delicious early dinner. Favourites include herb-encrusted rack of lamb, coconut shrimp and a seafood jamboree (mussels, scallops and shrimp) in a tomato and basil sauce.
Maria’s by the Sea: Maria’s is probably Road Town’s most popular hotel. Its central location, moderate prices and waterfront setting all add up to make Maria’s a well-patronised establishment. Add to that the covered open-air deck/lounge, perfect for that pre-dinner cocktail and appetiser, and you’ll see why this location is so pleasing. The restaurant serves up a mixture of local and continental dishes with fish and pasta specials among the favourites.
Village Cay Marina: Village Cay Marina is a complex consisting of a bar, restaurant, deli and hotel as well as the marina. Many luxury yachts tie up here and the facilities are designed to cater to the most discerning clients. The deli is popular with the local business community as well as the yachting crowd. Choices here include Caesar salad, Greek salad, eggplant Parmesan or a Reuben sandwich. The restaurant overlooks the marina, providing a nautical atmosphere. Dishes offered in this waterfront eatery include smoked salmon wrap, honey-stung chicken and chips and grilled mahi-mahi with a mango/passion fruit sauce.
Nature’s Way: As the name suggests, this is a health food eatery that specializes in take-out lunches, snacks and drinks. This is the perfect place to pop in and pick up your picnic lunch before heading off to the beach. Don’t forget to pick up one of their famous smoothies.
Charlie’s: This relatively new restaurant at the Moorings in Road Town is delightfully situated overlooking the water with views of the yachts coming and going all day long, giving it a modern and breezy ambience. The menu is Italian fusion and is noted for its extensive selection of pizzas with a variety of side toppings. Lunchtime pastas, paninis, salads and vegetarian options are all available. The dinner menu has a good selection of seafood dishes as well as meat and poultry. The roast duck with a ginger/tamarind glaze is a great choice as is the locally caught swordfish, grilled and served with a slaw of mango and papaya.
Capriccio di Mare: This Italian café across from Road Town’s ferry dock is ideally located for a quick snack, cool drink or lunch. The al fresco café serves up tostinis, crostinis, pizzas, pastas and salads or perhaps just a coffee with a biscotti or tiramisu.
Dorothy’s Emporium: Dorothy’s has a little bit of everything and is situated in the middle of quaint Main Street. Open for breakfast, snacks and sandwiches. For something different, try a bush tea. Hot sandwiches are served as baguettes, paninis and wraps.
The Dove: The Dove is considered by many to be one of the island’s best restaurants. Located close to the ferry dock, this popular gourmet restaurant is easy to access with ample parking nearby. Inside you’ll be greeted by the warm and cozy ambience of a West Indian cottage with enticing aromas from the kitchen. Good wines and champagne by the glass make it a happy hour hot spot. Popular choices for starters include the roasted beef rib or the prosciutto ham-wrapped asparagus. Main courses will have your digestive juices working overtime with items like five-pepper steak, poached halibut with hollandaise sauce or roast rosemary duck. For dessert, try the homemade butterscotch ice cream.
Red Rock: The Red Rock, located toward the east end of the island, has a peaceful waterfront setting at Penn’s Landing Marina. Fresh fish is flown in daily and nothing but the finest Certified Angus beef is selected for your dining pleasure. Martin and Lesley, your hosts, will pamper you. Martin, the chef/manager, takes great pride in creating memorable dishes, such as his homemade bread with hummus served as a complimentary appetite teaser. Then you may be offered pork goulash with Red Rock gnocchi or a mouthwatering seared tuna steak. Their extensive list of homemade pizzas is famous island-wide. This is a restaurant not to be missed.
Giorgio’s Wine Restaurant: Out of a lengthy list of fine dining options on Virgin Gorda, there is one gourmet restaurant that stands out: Giorgio’s. Located above the Rock Café amidst spectacular boulders, this famous Italian restaurant is noted for its carefully selected wine list and imaginative culinary creations. A fine Italian red at a carefully controlled temperature will be suggested as an accompaniment to a fillet of Angus beef with a raspberry reduction. Similarly, Italian whites are expertly paired with various freshly caught fish dishes. All the pastas and gnocchi at Giorgio’s are homemade. This restaurant is particularly noted for its excellent and attentive service.
Giorgio’s Table Restaurant
Town Well Bay
The Valley, Virgin Gorda
Giorgio’s new cuisine is a combination of techniques and traditions from worlds that have not yet disappeared and peasant traditions where one loves the earth and everything it produces. A combination cuisine that is unique in the pairing of its ingredients, thereby creating completely new flavours and fragrances to awaken in you long forgotten memories.
The Heritage Inn
Windy Hill, Carrot Bay, Tortola
Tel: 494-5842; 877-831-7230
The higher you get... the better the view! Guests here will delight in an Inn-timate experience. Our nine suites boast the “Best BVI Sunsets,” in addition to A/C, TV and private balconies. Enjoy poolside dining at the sensational Bananakeet Café. Windy Hill is located between Cane Garden and Carrot Bay. Peaceful, friendly, quiet and clean!
Maria’s by the Sea
Road Town, Tortola
This central waterfront location offers spacious air-conditioned, Internet-ready rooms with wet bars. Vacationers and business travellers will appreciate the on-site car rental agency. Cool off in the pool or dine at Maria’s Restaurant overlooking the Sir Francis Drake Channel.
Myett’s Garden Inn and Grille
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
Dine among tropical gardens on the beach, with spectacular sunsets served daily along with happy hour, lunch and dinner. Live entertainment most evenings. Unique gift shop, ATM, Internet services and charming air-conditioned hotel rooms available.
Red Rock Restaurant and Bar
East End, Tortola
Join us for a great dining experience in a casual atmosphere at one of Tortola's best restaurants. Bring your friends and family for tasty dishes and daily specials and choose between waterfront dining or an elegant meal in our garden and lounge area.
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