Fruity cocktails, salty breezes and sand in your toes. Who doesn’t dream of an island escape now and then? Whether you’re on a tropical getaway or not — yes, sadly, some people have to work this week — these restaurants will transport you beachside, with innovative menus that evoke the best of the sea.
The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort’s Sea Breeze
The Sea Breeze Restaurant & Bar is perfectly named, as guests soon discover while sipping the famed Mita Mary on the patio and taking in views of the gorgeous grounds and the beach just beyond. Chef Patricio Persico’s menu, appropriately, has a heavy focus on Latin American cuisine, with tiraditos, empanadas and Argentinean-style steaks cooked on a wood-burning grill. Standouts include the Peruvian ceviche, prepared with corn, fried plantain, sweet potato, green leaves and lemon drop peppers; grilled local octopus aguachile; and sea bass fillets, served with panfried spinach. Kicking back in your chair after lunch, you might want to while away the afternoon right where you are. And that’s OK; you’re on island time.
Four Seasons Resort Lana’i at Manele Bay’s One Forty
It’s not an overstatement to say that dining at this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel’s ocean-view restaurant is a meal made in paradise. After all, One Forty American Steak, Hawaiian Seafood at Four Seasons Resort Lana’i at Manele Bay affords amazing views of Hulopo’e Beach, where you can lounge in rattan chairs and take in the scene in comfort. The kitchen boasts fresh local Hawaiian fish as well as prime and Wagyu beef. Whenever possible, we put ourselves in the hands of the chef, and the five-course tasting menu is the way to go here. You might start with Kusshi oysters, followed by Kona lobster salad or red dirt-rubbed Mahi with forbidden black rice, pea and coconut purée. And to finish, cardamom panna cotta with fresh fruit. A well-curated wine list will grab your attention, but you might just be moved to have an umbrella-sporting fruity concoction.
Grace Bay Club’s Infiniti
With the soundtrack of the waves crashing at Grace Bay Beach, diners at Infiniti (formerly Anacaona) at Grace Bay Club on Turks & Caicos can enjoy the environment as well as the gourmet menu. Start things off with a drink at Infiniti Bar, billed as the world’s first and longest infinity-edge bar; the inviting setting stretches 90 feet to the shores of Grace Bay Beach. Then head back to Infiniti to peruse a dinner menu flavored with European-Caribbean fusion cuisine. Starters include local specialties like Turks conch (served cracked, in a salad, as a fritter or in chowder), ackee and saltfish, and grilled TCI spiny lobster. Meat lovers aren’t left out, though: the 16-ounce angus New York strip loin with bone marrow crumbs and pepper Béarnaise is made for two, a perfect dish to share under the moonlight.
Chef Rob’s Caribbean Café & Upscale Lounge
Atlanta may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of an island paradise, but Chef Rob’s Caribbean Cafe & Upscale Lounge, only an eight-minute drive up GA-400 from Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead, soon changes minds. Take one bite of the braised beef oxtails and diners might think they’ve been transported to Montego Bay. Robert Gayle, the establishment’s executive chef and owner, grew up in Jamaica in the West Indies and honed his craft at The Culinary Institute of America. Bask in the influences of both places through a menu of traditional treasures (marinated jerk chicken, curry goat), a dining room filled with colorful décor and a hookah lounge providing live music and karaoke.