I’ve been to Paradise.. Paradise Island, Bahamas that is. This time it wasn’t by a cruise ship either. I have been going to the Harborside Resort that is part of Atlantis for the past 10 or so years. My mom has a timeshare and she invites us every February. The thing is though, that now since I live in Florida and I travel around the Caribbean (and other places,) I don’t feel the need to make the trip there, especially, since the week that we go is President’s week when it is usually packed and the weather isn’t always so good. But, one of my sister’s and her husband were going to be there and my mom really wanted us to join them so we did go and, it was fantastic. In fact, probably one of the best trips that we’ve had down there.
First, the weather for the entire week was exquisite. Sunshine and warmth with no humidity. Second, I believe that all the crazy snow storms all around the U.S. kept the usual crowds from making it down there and the place was a lot mellower than ever before. (Sorry to all of you who couldn’t make it but it really was nicer this way.)
My mom enjoys good eating as much as I do so we went to a variety of restaurants that we hadn’t been to before plus a few that we always love. One of the best meals we had was at Mesa Grill. This is one of Chef Bobby Flay’s signature restaurants that serves Southwestern food with elegance and its location in the beautiful Cove Hotel (also part of Atlantis) is stunning.
I couldn’t resist the appetizer of blue corn pancake with barbecued duck, scotch bonnet chile and star anise sauce. The dish had a nice kick from the chile that blended so well with the sweet duck and moist pancake.
Next, I had to go for the pork – a spice rubbed pork tenderloin with a bourbon-ancho chile sauce and sweet potato tamale. Again, the spice with the sweet together created a real amazing taste sensation. Everyone had dishes that they loved and other than the restaurant running out of spinach that my mom ordered as a side dish, it was a terrific dining experience.
My other favorite meal of the trip, (besides conch salad at Senor Frogs), was a Cafe Matisse in Nassau. This is such a lovely place behind Parliament Square in a very old building with a nice outside courtyard surrounded by plants and trees. It was Valentine’s night when we went and a gorgeous night to sit under the stars. What I liked most here was the service. The servers were quite professional and unobtrusive and this isn’t always an easy thing to find in the Bahamas. The menu is varied and has quite a good assortment of seafood dishes. I had a tasty mixed grill with shrimp, lobster and so on. They have a good wine list as well.
Another memorable meal was at The Bahamian Club in Atlantis, one of their most elegant restaurants. The old world and traditional atmosphere is very comfortable and the menu is simple but ample. I started with the pimento smoked marlin with arugula and mango and it was superb. It was more subtle in taste than smoked salmon and the arugula gave a nice tang to the dish.
After that, Patrick and I chose to share the porterhouse. It was a massive amount of meat, vegetables, potatoes and still I had room to chew on the bone.
Besides eating, we did do a lot of walking around and seeing some of the incredible yachts that dock around the marina at Atlantis. Some are so large that they are basically just small cruise ships. (I didn’t get invited on any unfortunately.) I did also manage to convince Patrick to go on the river ride with me. It’s so much fun riding the waves and trying to keep up with each other was great exercise (that was needed with all our eating!)
Overall, it was a tasty, relaxing and enjoyable week and I am not only glad we decided to go but, also know, that we will be back there again to film.
Cheers and all the best,