>This is our third family trip to Grand Cayman in five years. We’re drawn back year after year to this island with its friendly people, its easy access, and its beautiful Seven Mile beach with silky smooth white sand and turquoise water. There’s one other experience that we look forward to every time we return: dinner at Blue, the Eric Ripert Restaurant in the Ritz Carlton hotel.
If you’ve ever had the chance to eat at Le Bernardin in New York, you’ll understand why having the chance to eat at Blue is such a draw. Serena from Fresh Local and Best posted a beautiful review of her meal at Le Bernardin. Eric Ripert is more than a chef, he’s a magician. He creates sauces for fish that you’ll remember for the rest of your life, no doubt completely redefining your expectations for fish dishes. I first ate there over 10 years ago and its been my favorite restaurant ever since.
Ripert is not one of those chefs who spreads himself thin with restaurants in cities across the globe. He’s been running Le Bernardin in New York City since 1991 and his focus has earned him the recognition as one of the top NY restaurants by the New York Times, Zagat, and the Michelin Guide to name a few. QG even went so far as to call the restaurant one of the “Seven Food Temples of the World.”
Having the chance to sample many of the dishes from the menu of Le Bernardin menu made with locally caught Caribbean fish while sitting out under the Caribbean stars is pretty much like paradise on earth. It’s the highlight of every trip we make to Grand Cayman, and one of the reasons we keep coming back.
Just like at Le Bernardin, the menu at Blue is a choice of three different levels of prix fixe. We chose the smallest menu, with just three courses, because we were dining with the kids. I would never dream of taking my children to Le Bernardin, but at Blue the children were welcome, and thanks to the impeccable service, they immediately sensed that they were in a special place and behaved accordingly. Having three waiters approach our table with big fluffy pillows to make them comfortable clued them in to the fact that they were in for a special treat. They were handed children’s menu and were soon dipping their steaks, rice, and vegetables in their own decadent sauce with as much gusto as the adults.
Steve and I both ordered the tuna carpaccio with foie gras as our appetizers. This is a dish I dream about, and wake up salivating. The tuna is wafer thin and covers the entire plate, drizzled in an olive oil and Cayman Island sea salt. And under the tuna lies a sliver of baguette covered with foie gras. The result is unforgettable.
For my main course, I opted for Cobia, a local fish. It was served atop a coconut avocado cream with a vibrant and fresh citrus sauce with lime and grapefruit. And even my dessert was perfect: a warm toffee bread pudding and a dollop of vanilla ice cream over which a waiter poured a rich caramel sauce. Even with just the three course menu, my mouth experienced a full range of spices and tastes representative of the Caribbean.
Such perfection does not come cheap. The three course menu is $80 CI, currently about $95. The two six course menus are $110 CI and $120 respectively. But as most restaurants in the Caymans are fairly expensive, this is not as much as it could/should be in comparison. And I guarantee that it’s a meal you’ll remember forever.