Anguilla may be a tiny and secluded island, but it sure does pack a punch of cultural experiences. Like many Caribbean island nations, you can bet every establishment serves up their own seafood specialties. Still, the restaurants in Anguilla have a funny way of surprising you by incorporating other gastronomic influences such as Moroccan, French, Mexican and Italian. If you’re not here for the food, then the views will equally take your breath away. These five restaurants in Anguilla are absolute gems in the idyllic Caribbean nation.
Salt, the Four Seasons’ signature restaurant, is set up on a cliff that extends into the Atlantic Ocean. You know from the moment you spot the show-stopping building that you are in for a treat. The restaurant’s sophisticated-chic interior is a show of elegance as it meets the contemporary-cool of the dining area. At the entrance is a crystal centerpiece and right inside, a plush dining area with cushioned seats and a fireplace. From the restaurant, you have an unobstructed view of the Atlantic Ocean and Meads Bay. The restaurant’s menu is entirely inspired by local cuisine, with fresh house-made rolls and seafood plateaus as well as grilled meats. It wouldn’t be a complete dining experience without drinks now, would it? Coba has an impressive selection of champagnes and wines, complete with details such as country of origin, grape selection for wines, and best pairings.
The serene and tranquil Malliouhana Resort is an excellent show of Caribbean elegance. Management closed down in 2012 for renovation – and what transpired was totally worth the two-year wait. Historic photos, antique-style fixtures and laid-back pastels are some of the signatures of luxury property today. The main lobby is spacious with high ceilings and bright colors that transport you to another world. The view from the resort’s lounge areas is just as breathtaking. Cafe Celeste’s menu is a unique blend of French and Caribbean cuisine. On top of that, the restaurant’s ambiance never fails to impress first-time guests. Perched on a cliff overlooking the Meads Bay, Café Celeste’s dark wood floors and ceilings contrast with the white wooden chairs and pillows. Drinks? Head on to Bar Soleil for a selection of tropical blends.
On the beach, at Sandy Ground, you will find Dolce Vita, possibly the most authentic Italian restaurant in Anguilla. The atmosphere is exuberant and inviting while the food is on a whole new level. It’s only open for dinner, but that’s what the ocean view is for, right? Housed in a white-washed casual wooden building at the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, Dolce Vita has two dining areas; one indoors and one of them outside. Whichever you choose, you will be rewarded with a view of the ocean and lights from yachts in the distance. Soft jazz playing in the background blends in perfectly with lively conversations of the diners. The menu is purely Italian with a seafood twist to take advantage of the island’s most loved ingredient. With mouthwatering desserts such as Nutella Cheesecake, it’s no wonder Dolce Vita is known for its full house every evening.
Sunset Lounge at the Four Seasons Anguilla is the ideal place to sip vintage rums and sample sushi creations as you tap your feet to some soothing live music. Its location gives it a natural advantage, and the name certainly makes sense because this western half of the peninsula enjoys spectacular views of the sunset. The open lounge allows you to appreciate nature just before the sun goes down while after dark, hand-made light fixtures light up the place magnificently. Floor-to-ceiling black marble contrasts interestingly against wooden tiles on the floor to blend modern-cool and elegant sophistication naturally. Experienced mixologists here mix up inspired cocktails to be served with crisp wonton chips and spicy popcorn. The cuisine of choice at Sunset Lounge is Asian, with maki rolls, specialty rolls, nigiri and sashimi pieces making rounds.
Veya is no ordinary restaurant. It is a tropical tree-house with breathtaking views of the ocean, great food that reviewers can’t seem to stop talking about, and warm service that is reminiscent of the Caribbean. When chef Carrie and Jerry Bogar sold their successful restaurant in Pennsylvania, packed up their three kids and moved to Anguilla, they had a plan to turn their lovely joint into a restaurant that foodies would rave about. And they succeeded. The lofty building is adorned with simple luxurious drapes and twinkling lights.
A landscaped garden is illuminated by lights from the restaurant at night, and a shimmering pond gives the whole place a mystical feel. Instead of an indoor setting, guests dine out in a covered wrap-around porch that is both romantic and intimate. A perfectly lit bar/lounge within the restaurant is just the perfect spot for live music and drinks. What to eat here? Moist baked goodies for starters served up with an amuse-bouche followed by chef’s special “Moroccan Shrimp Cigars.” Veya has a wide selection of grilled meats and mouthwatering seafood that has earned the restaurant praise from locals and international foodies.