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Top 10 Caribbean Restaurants

You go to the Caribbean to relax, to rejuvenate and to unwind. Why not make a truly special meal a part of your stay? The following ten restaurants are some of the very best of the Caribbean, and some of them are among the best in the world.

by Paul Mermelstein

1. Blue - Grand Cayman

Blue is one of seven restaurants at the breathtaking Ritz Carlton on Grand Cayman Island, and it's undoubtedly the best. In fact, the restaurant consistently makes "Top 10" lists for Caribbean restaurant choices on a regular basis. While the restaurant's name is monochromatic, its menu certainly is not. Caribbean and New York inspired flavors and colors fuse together to produce a culinary experience not soon to be forgotten. In addition to a three-course, $100 prix-fixe menu, there's also a six-course tasting menu. Reservations

2. The Cliff - Barbados

In 2005, The Cliff earned the distinction of being the only Caribbean spot included in U.K.'s Restaurant magazine's "Top 50 Restaurants in the World." The view certainly complements the meals – every single table faces the ocean. The two-course meal costs about $100 and the three-course version costs about $130 (as of January, 2008). The seafood-heavy menu confidently dances around items as varied as char grilled tuna to lamb to Cajun-style salmon. Beautiful artwork graces the walls - a feast for your eyes as well. Reservations

3. The Pavilion - Antigua

Upon arriving at this well-known restaurant, guests are treated to a setting reminiscent of a 19th century plantation house. A beautiful white wraparound porch beckons diners to treat themselves to a before- or after-dinner cocktail, and the porch overlooks a cricket field bordered by palms. Some of the menu's delectable seasonal offerings include a Kurobuta Pork Chop and blackened Black Grouper. Oenophiles will appreciate the thoroughly stocked wine cellar as well. Reservations

4. Blanchard's - Anguilla

Nestled beside Malliouhana's beach, Blanchard's exudes casual elegance, but don't be fooled – this is definitely a place to be seen in. While no jackets are required and it's certainly not stuffy inside, you're likely to rub elbows with a celebrity or two if you go often enough! Menu selections herald from all corners of the globe including Spain, Asia and California. Tempt your taste buds with offerings like Jamaican Jerk Shrimp, Slow-Roasted Reggae Stew or Grilled Anguilla Lobster. As you enjoy a delectable desert, listen to the soothing rhythms of crashing waves. Reservations

5. Café Martinique - Paradise Island, Bahamas

James Bond fans might recognize this restaurant's name from 1965's classic Thunderball. Since then, Café Martinique has been stylishly renovated and now sits in the beautiful Marina Villages at the famous and sprawling Atlantis Resort. The 1930s ambience complements a French menu with a bit of modern flair, and the restaurant is rumored to be even better than the original was. Don't forget to admire the unique birdcage-style elevator on your way out. Like many of the other restaurants on this Top Ten list, Café Martinique does not offer a children's menu; however, children ages 12 and older are more than welcome. Reservations

6. The Dining Room at Round Hill - Jamaica

This well-known establishment is located at the posh the Round Hill Hotel and Villas. After a pre-dinner drink in the classy bar area designed by Ralph Lauren, diners may proceed to a gorgeous outdoor terrace perched above the ocean. (If it's raining, meals are served inside the beautiful Georgian Dining Room). Three nights a week, a sophisticated buffet is offered, and you may dine on tables set up directly on the beach amid romantic tiki torches. The menu is international, but Jamaican influences are ever-present. Reservations

7. Daphne's, Barbados

Though its name sounds Greek, Daphen's actually serves some of the best Italian anywhere in the Caribbean. (And, interestingly enough, the original is in London.) Entrees like Costoletta Milanese with Porcini Mushroom and Pork Saltimbocca with Sage Gnocchi represent a sophisticated and authentically Italian menu. Like many of the Carbbean's best restaurants, Daphne's is also located directly on the beach, and silk curtains may be drawn around your table for a more private, intimate dining experience. Daphne's is a definite gem on Barbados' Western coast. Reservations

8. Dune - New Providence Island

Dune inhabits a lovely spot overlooking the enchanting, if somewhat unfortunately named, Cabbage Beach. Located at the exclusive One & Only Ocean Club, and while breakfast and lunches are fairly casual and inexpensive, dinners here pull out all the stops (and the credit cards). The interior is sophisticated and somewhat minimalist, and the menu is creative. Be sure to try the Filet of Grouper – it's a standard in The Bahamas, and done especially well here. Reservations

9. Dasheene - St. Lucia

Dasheene is located at the beautiful Ladera St. Lucia Resort, named by Travel + Leisure magazine as one of 2008's 500 best hotels in the world. A wonderful panoramic view and live music most nights entertain guests before and after their meals. The menu is full of fresh, locally-grown organic produce, and features selections influenced by Caribbean, Creole and California traditions. A local way of preparing steak is offered, called Mojo steak, and it's a definite menu favorite. Reservations

10. Brandywine - Tortola

Elegant, romantic, unique – these are all adjectives used to describe this impressive restaurant. Overlooking the Sir Francis Drake Channel, Brandywine serves up impeccably-prepared and served Florentine fare. The beef carpaccio and homemade pastas highlight a menu overflowing with creativity and excellence and which changes nightly. Meals are served on a beautiful terrace, where Caribbean sunsets are served up nightly for free. Brandywine is a lovely place to splurge on a truly memorable meal. Reservations

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