Lunch was pretty good overall--I had the blackened shrimp with salad, which was fine but a tad too salty, and DH ordered the calamari, which iluvdannydottir had ordered the previous day. They were just as excellent and crispy as the first time so I sneaked several bites from him. I think the fry cook at The Place knows a thing or two about a thing or two. Alas, I stopped taking pictures of our food, but at least I have a photo of my new favorite (non-alcoholic) drink. Dave brought me this when we got settled in, before I even had the chance to ask for it. Just one more reason why we so love being at The Place.
|Passionfruit & club soda, generous squeeze of lime|
We left a little bit earlier than usual that day. I didn't make a note of our exact bill, but most days it came to around $50-60, including the 15% service charge. After pausing to wish Mo the best of luck with his future endeavors with the boxing club, we headed out to Sea Spray. We always try to stop there a few times during any trip, but the times we had passed by before, we either had an agenda or it wasn't during Pamela's business hours.
If you don't already know it, Sea Spray is a charming boutique located across from the Sandy Ground roundabout--you really can't miss the bright and cheery rainbow of sorbet colors. Pamela has a terrific selection of goods ranging from soaps & hot sauces to local jewelry and t-shirts to Christmas ornaments and some original art, and everything is reasonably priced. And the smoothies at Sea Spray are legendary.
|Smoothie menu, or create your own!|
|Marsha and Pamela|
|DH and Dash|
After a nice, long visit, during which we debated the merits of various restaurants around the island, DH and I bid adieu to Marsha and Pamela. It was time to head back to Caribella for our end of day swim before getting ready for dinner at Straw Hat.
|Table with a view|
I had purchased a gift certificate to Straw Hat for DH for Christmas last year, for which we owe Peter Parles, the owner, our sincere gratitude for the lengths he went to to make sure I received it on time, despite the fact that I was a little late in the game seeking it out. Peter's a go-getter for sure, and he has nothing if not a can-do attitude, so he somehow sweet-talked another American couple to transport the gift certificate back to the States and mail it to me right in time to put it in my DH's stocking.
It's always difficult to make up our minds, so we decided to turn Straw Hat into our own private tapas restaurant by ordering four appetizers to share. Armel, our server, teased us a bit about our indecision, which goaded us into ordering them all. Good move, Armel!
|Bread is served in these eponymous straw hats|
Ever since I first read that the chef had created a plate of goat sliders, I knew I had to order them. They were wonderful--flavorful and succulent on a pillow soft roll--and I would have been happy to eat nothing but goat sliders for the rest of the meal.
|Goat sliders with cole slaw|
We also ordered the spring rolls (fine, but outclassed by the remaining dishes), the Big Eye Tuna flatbread, which is dusted with wasabi, then sprinkled with herbs and truffle oil, and the blackened shrimp and slipper lobster tacos, the last two of which were excellent. And I was so glad to see that Sea Lice had been renamed on a menu, because why on earth would Anguillians ever call a delicious food, sea lice? Oh, wait. I bet they called it that because they didn't want anybody else to eat it all. Well played, Anguillians. Well played.
|Spring rolls with seaweed and green salads|
|Big Eye Tuna flatbread|
|Blackened shrimp & slipper lobster tacos|
Despite the fact that we ordered four appetizers to share, we couldn't finish it all and regretted having eaten the spring rolls before we at the flatbread, some of which was left on the plate. We couldn't just end there, though. One of my favorite desserts is Bananas Foster, and Straw Hat does a non-flammable version of that quite well, AND they add pineapple on top. In fact, with the caramelization of the bananas, I just may prefer their version over the traditional New Orleans one. We also ordered some whiskey (DH) and a desserty drink for me (which was a mistake--I should have stuck with the whiskey).
We were obviously enjoying ourselves and taking our time, talking with Peter, Armel, and Doris as they came by to check in; nonetheless, it was a bit of a shock to look down at my watch and see that we'd been there for nearly three hours already. I don't think we've ever been one of the last parties at Straw Hat at the end of the night, but this time we managed it.
If there was a way we could have improved upon our day, I sure would like to know about it for our next trip. Until then, we'll just have to settle for our current definition of perfection.