Remote Caribbean islands are not always synonymous with affordable. Nevis is no exception with the Four Seasons Resort Nevis being the largest hotel on the island. One of the things I love most about going to the Caribbean is eating at local joints, the ones that serve up jerk chicken, spiny lobster, and a plate of rice and beans. Once in a while, however, you want to eat off of real silverware instead of plastic utensils. Despite being a tiny island, the dining options on Nevis are spectacular and something not to miss. Many of them are located on old sugar plantations, offering up quaintness in a truly unique setting.
Here are the top 5 restaurants you must dine at during your stay:
1. Golden Rock Inn
Golden Rock tops the list for so many reasons, but most notably, it's a feast for the eyes and for the stomach. Located higher up on Nevis Peak than its beachfront counterparts, the entrance drive is lush and oftentimes filled with monkeys. When you arrive to the grounds, you almost need a minute to pause and take it all in. Two artists, Helen and Brice Marden have meticulously built up the property with incredible foliage, most of it being hand selected and shipped in to the tiny island. In addition to the grounds, they have thoughtfully restored the old buildings which includes a small number of guest rooms and a restaurant.
The restaurant sits at the forefront of the property with a great view of the jungle and the old sugar mill tower. Sit under the stars on the terraces or take shelter under the rock structure. You can't go wrong either way. The fare is fresh, local, and well thought out. It's a meal to enjoy slowly and with a good glass of wine. As with most island restaurants, the menu is seasonal, so it's best to call ahead to see what's being served that night.
There's so much to see around every turn at Golden Rock, but here is a taste of the grounds:
2. restaurant 750 at montpelier inn
Dating back to the 1600s, Montpelier Inn is a beautiful hideaway nestled into the lush greenery and should most definitely be on your list. This boutique hotel sits on charming grounds complete with an original sugar mill which has been converted into a private dining room for a once in a lifetime dining experience. However, if you're still looking to experience Montpelier and a private dinner isn't in your plans, there is an alternative.
Steps lead up to a private dinner in the sugar mill
I recommend starting out your evening with a drink in the Great House. Relax on the cozy furniture and order some delicious canapés. Be prepared to share some bites with the resident labrador Cosmo! He's adorable and super friendly, especially when you've got some food.
Champagne is always a good idea
Cosmo, the hotel's resident pup, freely roams the grounds and will stop in to see if anyone is willing to share a bite with him.
The Great House is a super relaxing and quiet space to enjoy a delicious cocktail
I find this bar so charming!
Transition over to Restaurant 750 and have a seat on the terrace. Their menu features delectables from land and sea as well as homemade pastas (can't go wrong there in my book!), with entrees in the $22 - $40 range. Equally as superior to their food menu is their wine list. They take great care in their pairings and it shows.
After dinner, head back to the Great House for some aged rum and great conversation, even if it's just with Cosmo.
Imagine a shabby chic heaven set in a jungle-like setting and you'll picture Bananas. Sip on their homemade banana rum on their rooftop deck and take in the sunset over the lush Caribbean gardens with ocean views or dine on one of the adorable porches. Take note that they serve only seafood and vegetarian dishes, but with choices like lobster mac & cheese and Thai seafood curry, you won't miss the red meat one bit!
The views from the roof deck overlooking Mount Nevis
And looking out towards the ocean making it perfect for sunset!
Local artists are featured throughout the restaurant and I particularly loved these monkey portraits
Before dinner, be sure to stop into their boutique, aptly named Totally Bananas Boutique. The owner is of the worldly sort, having sold carpets in the Grand Bazar in Istanbul at one point in her life. This has lent to an eclectic and beautifully curated shop full of clothing, jewelry, and accessories. It is in shops exactly like this one that I like to search for one of a kind pieces to bring home. With so much variety, it's not hard to find something unique.
4. nisbet plantation
Visiting Nisbet Plantation is like stepping back in time. As the oldest historic plantation on the beach in the ENTIRE Caribbean, Nisbet is rich in history while also having a relaxed, not stuffy atmosphere. The great house dates back to the 1700s and serves up fine dining on its beautiful porch or charming indoor space. Their menu is fresh and seasonal, which means it changes every day. Call ahead to see what the selections are for that evening if you wish, but you wont be disappointed.
Being a part of the Four Seasons Resort, you know Mango will deliver on the atmosphere and the cuisine. Set on the water at the northern edge of the property past the golf course, the restaurant's open air structure allows for the sea breezes to flow in. The offerings, while certainly local with things like goat and jerk chicken, also have Mexican influences which can be found in dishes like the Mexican street corn and char-grilled pulpo with pumpkin seed and jalapeno puree. Indulge in the tasting menu with rum pairings or simply have a seat at 101 Rums, the restaurant's bar, to sample a wide variety of rums (101 to be exact!) from all over the Caribbean.
Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Nevis