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Anguilla - first time

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Planning our 2008 vacation -- to Anguilla. Don't want a meal package, as I've read there are many great restos to try. Want a couple "special" ones for dinner, but would like some local flavor ones, as well. I've read we should try Uncle Ernies on the beach (we'll be staying at KU), and the Reggae Beach Bar and Zara's for the daily catch lobster. Any comments on these?
We'll no doubt rent a car, so travelling is no problem for dinner.
Looking forward to KU as it sounds like it would suit us well. But, I don't think their resto is anything to write home about. Mostly interested in dinners, as I'm sure we can find something to eat on the beach lunchtime (i.e. Uncle Ernies, etc.) or even grab a sandwich in our room.
Thanks very much!

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  1. You'll love Anguilla and Ku is on one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. If Ku still offers it's guests to use the facilities at Cap Juluca, do so by all means -- however, do not eat at CJ - the restaurants are very expensive and not that good. For a splurge dinner, try Santorini or Cafe Mediterraneo at Cuisinart Resort -- Santorini is more expensive and ambitious, but both are excellent and have the best herbs/veggies on the island (they have their own hydroponic farm). We've also enjoyed dinners at Tasty's, Straw Hat and most recently, were really glad to find Mexican food on the island at Picante on the West End. It's owned and operated by a couple from California and there's just something right about eating Mexican food and drinking margaritas on the island. In general, you'll find that dining out in Anguilla is very expensive and it's no wonder since they can't grow anything on the island and their window of opportunity to make money is restricted to the tourist months. One exception is Big Jim's/Village Pub at Blowing Point - a great, reasonably priced local spot for ribs, Johnnie cakes and beer. Also, it is worth taking a day trip to St. Martin and having some bistro food and (finally!) a decent cup of coffee. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, the rooms at Ku have kitchens and we usually bring a suit case full of coffee, pasta, tomato sauce, cereal, etc. and eat in for breakfast and some lunches.

    Just to the right of Ku (as you face the beach) is Elodia's Beach Bar - a nice spot for lunch right on the beach (I've attached a photo).

     
    3 Replies
    1. re: Husky

      IMO, the best combination of food and ambiance in Anguilla is Mango's. The food is always good, especially any of the fresh fish. Best of all, you sit outside on one of the best beaches on the island.

      You cannot go wrong with Uncle Ernies ribs, chicken, or crayfish, and the ladies taking care of you all day are the best!

      Also, you have to go to Scilly Cay for lunch. This tiny island has no power, a very strong rum punch, and a 3 item menu. But, it is the best chicken, crayfish, or lobster you have ever had. Owners Eudoxie and Sandra are the best hosts. This is the way that the Caribbean should be, be rarely is. Sundays are best, Wednesdays usually the quietest.

      DO go to St. Martin for the day. Walk over to the marina in Marigot and you can have one of the best French meals outside of France, at Tropicana. If staying in Anguilla, you can only come for lunch due to the ferry schedule, but if you look around carefully you will probably see a chef or hotel manager from Anguilla enjoying lunch at the next table. Reservations are a must.

      1. re: dflack

        I agree regarding Mango's. Scilly Cay is very over-priced IMO and not that amazing -- although that may be the rum punch talking -- I was hammered.

        1. re: dflack

          dflack, do you have another Marigot rec please? Tropicana is closed for holiday.

      2. For what it's worth, here's my summary from last year. Recognizing that restaurants can be fleeting, check before going whether any appealing recommendations are still open.

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/268013

        People have very strong opinions, positively and negatively, about Scilly Cay. I gave our feedback on the subject. It's worth a visit once in a lifetime, but I won't make a regular visit there.

        1. Love Anguilla! My husband and I honeymooned there this July. We stayed at a villa called Fletch's Cove near Little Harbour. If you're adventurous and have a good car, definitely spend some time exploring some of the island's lesser-traveled "roads". Our trek to Savannah Bay and Windward Point was quite the experience.

          As far as food goes, you'll enjoy Uncle Ernie's famously potent rum punches since you're staying nearby.

          Our favorite meal of the week was on Koal Keel in the Valley. Though not near the water, it has a wonderful upscale island feel. I had tandoori snapper with coconut rice that was delicious, and my husband had duck that I'm pretty sure he loved more than he loves me. We also had a fantastic dessert, some kind of duo of chocolate cake and cacao sorbet. The wine list is humongous and our service was impeccable. When we first arrived, the restaurant was pretty much empty (though it soon was not) and the chef sent us a tasty quiche on the house. A fantastic experience overall, and with wine, two entrees, one dessert (and the quiche!) our meal was under $150. The restaurant also has a patisserie and a rum cellar.

          http://www.koalkeel.com/index.html

          I only wish we had had more time to explore the food on the island, we saw so many places we wanted to try. Oh well--next time! Have fun!

          1. We were in Anguilla in December 2007 and our favorite meal was at Mangos. Unbelievably good seafood, and right on the water. Blew away the competition.
            We also liked our meals at Picantes, Veya and Gwen's Reggae Bar (for lunch). Did not like Straw Hat very much.