If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably know I was torturing you with photos from Turks and Caicos last week. Don't hate me! I'm back home now wearing multiple pajamas trying to entertain all of my kids because of school closings and delays. I simply couldn't help myself last week! That was our first, EVER, true family vacation and it, was, sublime (and I will continue to overuse commas to get, that, point, across). I'd like to share some super professional (no) photos with you and talk about our culinary hits and misses (there weren't any).
The above photo was taken at a resort called Amanyara. To be clear, we did not stay there, we just went to check it out. It's an incredibly extravagant, remote, GORGEOUS spot... but Carson and I felt like we had to whisper to each other the entire time we were there. Amanyara means "peaceful place" and oh my god was it. I felt like I was at a rehab facility for billionaires. It was probably the most beautiful place I have ever seen... and we enjoyed our time there, baking in the sun, sipping on tequila and ice cold beer and snacking on spiced pistachio nuts. Beam me back, please!
One night, Carson and I snuck out for an adult dinner at a restaurant called Infiniti at the Grace Bay Club. It was an incredible setting... dining in the open air and staring at the ocean. We ate simply grilled red snapper and buttery lobster tail and the most perfect kale salad. And of course, more tequila, along with their complimentary bar snacks which were spiced popcorn and curried plantain chips. (I might spontaneously sob as I write this post...)
My handsome dinner date:
One day we took a (expensive) taxi into town and walked around a shopping area they call the Salt Mills. We found a place called Island Scoop and ate THE BEST coconut and salted caramel ice cream we've ever had. Everything is made right in the shop, and there's even an outdoor playground for the kids. I highly recommend you find this place if you're ever on the island.
Do you know what conch is? It's basically a sea snail that lives inside those glorious shells you see everywhere and it is VERY popular on the island. To eat, I mean. I am a big believer in the "when in Rome" frame of mind when traveling, so I was happy to try it. And I enjoyed it! Especially when it was deep fried, it tasted like calamari. The Conch Shack (I'm sorry, "da" Conch Shack) is a very popular place for both tourists and locals, and it may have been our favorite night out. The tables are set up right in the sand, and you watch a man pull in the conch straight off a small boat. There is live music, awesome t-shirts for sale and the best rum punch I've ever tasted.
One day for lunch we walked along the beach to a place called Somehwere Cafe. I love that name, and I loved the man named Jermaine who worked there and called everything "LOVELY" in a deep, island accent. I keep saying "the best I've ever had" in this post, but when it comes to the Pina Colada I drank at Somewhere... HANDS DOWN PEOPLE, UNREAL. I'm sobbing again just thinking about it. We also ate delicious nachos and pulled pork tacos, and we lied about our son's age so he could sit upstairs with us (I mean, what's the difference between 5 and 6?).
Everyone talks about Coco Bistro. The restaurant is so popular, they even sell reservations on Ebay!! We were very lucky to get in, and other then my 6 month-old breaking a plate within seconds of being seated, we had an incredible meal. Blackened mahi and curried shrimp and spicy caesar salad and a ridiculous tuna sashimi appetizer. The restaurant is set in a palm tree nursery so even when you look up, you see a sliver of the moon between giant palm leaves. It's stunning. The green trees against a bright red building with white, twinkly lights everywhere makes it feel like tropical Christmas. And don't forget to say hello to Coco, the cat that roams the premises.
We stayed at the Gansevoort, and on the last night we ate dinner in our room from the restaurant Stelle. It was quite the relaxing and delicious send-off, and here's what we ate...
Brown Butter Basted Lobster Tail
Wagyu Beef Cheeks West Indian Curry
Pan Roasted Salmon
Soy Honey Cured Tuna
Shrimp Caesar (with BACON)
So there you have it. I had never been to Turks and Caicos before this trip, and I fell in love with it. The people are lovely, as Jermaine would say, and so peaceful. The atmosphere is serene and the island is still relatively quaint and remote. The food is authentic and delicious. The trip from NY is quick and direct. It's perfect, and I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to reconnect with my family in such a perfect place.