18 posts categorized "Dining"

09/17/2011

Cayman Islands from A to Z

For a little fun this week, I decided to go a different route. Enjoy!

A: Appleton Rum--The local rum is much cheaper than the imported rums such as Captain Morgan. By the end of your trip you won't even know the difference.

B: Beach--7 Mile Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Whether you are walking, jogging, swimming, snorkeling, wading, or relaxing, 7 Mile Beach is for people of all ages.

C: Casanova's By The Sea--There isn't a better restaurant on the entire island than Casanova's. This authentic Italian restaurant overlooks the ocean and the service is what sets this restaurant apart from any other restaurant in the world.

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D: Diving--Cayman has been known to have some of the best diving in the world. If you have never gotten certified, there are half-day certification classes offered at several places on the island. 

E: Eel--A morray eel is among the many exciting sea creatures you can see on a snorkel trip to the North Sound, including lobsters, sea turtles, nurse sharks, and barracuda to name a few.

F: Food--The Cayman Islands offer some of the best seafood in the world. It is always caught fresh and every restaurant has their own unique preparation, including the always popular "Cayman Style."

G: Georgetown--Downtown Georgetown offers the island's best shopping. From jewelry, sunglasses, watches to souveniers and t-shirts, you will find it all in Georgetown. You'll even be able to find discounts and deals due to everything being duty free and tax free.

H: Hell--Yes there is a city on Grand Cayman called Hell. You can visit for photos, and even have a postcard sent back home from the "Hell" Post Office with an official postage stamp. 

I: Iguanas--Don't be frightened by the large iguanas that sometimes hang around the pool area. They are very friendly and offer great photo opportunities.

J: Jolly Roger: This sunset cruise on an old pirate ship offers a great opportunity to sip on some rum punch while watching the sun hit the horizon. They also offer a day time lunch cruise, geared towards children, complete with walking the plank, like the old pirates.

K: Kirk's--This supermarket is centrally located near 7 Mile Beach for you to stock up on groceries for your stay.

L: Lobster Pot--Another popular Cayman Restuarant that over looks the ocean and offers some of the best lobster dishes you will ever find.

M: Moon--When the full moon reflects off the ocean at night, there isn't a more romantic moment.

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N: North Sound--This is the area between the two points of the North side of the island, where all the snorkel trips visit. The snorkel reef at the North Sound is second to none with the beautiful corrals and colorful fish.

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O: Ocean--The Cayman Islands waters offer great clarity for snorkeling and optimum temperatures for swimming or wading all day. They also are safe for children because the Cayman Islands have no current or high waves.

P: People--Caymanians are some of the friendliest people in all the world. They are always willing to help and are quite entertaining to talk to with all their stories. You will also see Jamaicans on the island who make their way over from the nearby island.

Q: Quiet--Grand Cayman is not a place to go if you are looking for a lot of noise and night life. It is a very quiet, relaxing island, whicn is perfect for a vacation. 

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R: Rum Point--Home of the Original Mudslide, Rum Point is a must-visit place. It's a good 45 minute drive from Georgetown, but offers an opportunity to see the native land and you are rewarded with a mudslide when you get there. This quiet beach offers a nice swimming area as well.

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S: Stingray City--One of the more unique places in the world, Stingray City offers the opportunity to swim with, pet, and feed these amazing animals. If you have the right captain, you might even be able to get a stingray back massage. 

T: Turtle Farm--The Cayman Island's Turtle Farm is a great spot for children to visit where then can pet, hold, and learn all about turtles.

U: UV Rays--No matter how much sun you are used to or how much you tanned before you visited, lots of sunscreen is going to be needed. The Cayman Islands are located on the equator and combined with the reflection of the sun off the pool and ocean, the perfect receipe for sunburn.

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V: Vacation--There is no better vacation spot in my mind than Grand Cayman. It combines sunshine, water, drinks, great food, relaxation, and beautiful sunsets all into one amazing visit.

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W: Watersports--Take a walk down 7 Mile Beach and visit any of the Watersports stands. Jetski. Parasail. Kayak. Banana Boat Rides. They have it all for you or your family to enjoy.

X: XoXo: Weddings. Honeymoons. Anniversaries. There is no more romantic place than Grand Cayman in the world.

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Y: Year-round: Grand Cayman is a year-round destination. There is never a bad time to visit Cayman. Whether in the hot summer months, or the warm winter months, the Cayman Islands are always comfortable and the water is always warm.

Z: Zoo: The Grand Cayman waters offer your very own under-water zoo full of animals and fish.

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So there you have it--a quick A to Z guide of the Cayman Islands. Enjoy your next visit!

This blog posting was brought to you by Cayman Condos. For information on any of our blog postings or to inquire about booking a condo, please contact our office at 800-999-1388. Something you love about the blog? Something you hate? Something you want me to wrtie about? Let me know: joe@cicondos.com.

 

08/07/2011

Dining Option? Local Fish in Condo

While there are many great restaurants in Grand Cayman, some nights it might be more relaxing to just dine in at your condo. A few of the units are equipped with gas grills right on the patio. However, Treasure Island has grills for use by all guests over by the kiddie pool. A great way to sample the local flavor is to head downtown to the local fish market. 

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As you approach downtown Georgetown, you can't miss the big white tents set up on the shore line. Every day has a different variety of fish for you to purchase, including red snapper, wahoo, mahi mahi, or parrot fish, to name a few. 

There are several reasons why this is a great idea. First, the fish is as fresh as you can find on the island because it is literally caught that morning. (Get there before noon so you get the freshest fish). Secondly, it is a cheap alternative to dining out or buying fish in the grocery story. Finally, they clean the fish for you right there  and remove all the bones so you have a tasty boneless filet to take back to your condo.

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There are numerous different ways to prepare the fish. It comes down to personal preference. You can fry it, broil it, grill it, or bake it. No matter what your favorite style is, you can rest assured, it will be the freshest fish you've ever eaten.

*This blog posting is brought to you by Cayman Condos. To request more information regarding our condos, please visit www.cicondos.com or call 800-999-1338.

 

07/10/2011

Rum Point

If you are looking for a fun way to spend a day in Grand Cayman, take a trip to the one and only Rum Point, home of the world famous Wreck Bar. This isolated beach on the North end of the island is the home of the original Mudslide. If you come from 7 Mile Beach, you could get a great look at various parts of the island that are more native than what you see along 7 Mile Beach. The 60 minute drive will take you along the oceanside through Georgetown, Boddentown, and East End, with several great photo opportunities along the way. On the way back, you can save about 15 minutes by taking the bypass and avoiding the East End. If you don't have a car, you might be able to find a boat captain that will drive you over across the North Sound.

 
View Larger Map

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Once at Rum Point, you will find a small, quiet beach with plenty to offer for a very relaxing day. The large hammocks offer a great opportunity for a nap or chance to read your favorite book. 

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If you are looking for a little more action, there is a volleyball net that is always open for games. The highlight of any trip to Rum Point is the authentic mudslides. Unlike mudslides you buy anywhere else, these have no ice cream, no chocolate syrup, and no whipped cream. It is an island delight of Vodka, Kahlua, and Bailey's, topped with a full shot of Kahlua poured down your straw. If you have your kids with you, you are in luck because a virgin mudslide won't cost you a dime-cups of ice are FREE!! However, if you plan on having more than 1 mudslide, you better have someone to drive you back to your condo because these delicious treats are potent!

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The Wreck Bar also has a full lunch menu that is quite tasty. My favorite is the Mahi Mahi sandwich. 

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You can spend the rest of the day, relaxing in the shallow beach waters, without a care in the world. The water stays shallow for about 200 yards allowing for a comfortable spot to wade and talk with a drink in your hand. 

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So the next time you visit Grand Cayman, make sure to give Rum Point a visit for a care-free day of relaxation.

05/29/2011

Destination Wedding? Try Grand Cayman

When considering a destination wedding, there is no better place than Grand Cayman. After experiencing one first hand during an island visit a couple weeks ago, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a destination wedding.

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Having a wedding in Grand Cayman turns one of the most stressful days of your life into one of the most relaxing days of your life. Forget the tuxes and dress shoes. Trade them in for button up island shirts and bare feet. The wedding I witnessed was on the beautifully restored beach in front of Treasure Island Condominiums. The bride and groom planned the entire wedding from Oklahoma, without a single visit to discuss particulars. 

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The wedding was in good hands, with Sherril from Heart of Cayman handling the floral arrangements, minister, photographer, and set-up and take-down. All the bride and groom had to worry about was showing up. There is no better backdrop for a wedding than the newly created cove at Treasure Island Condos with the stunning Cayman sunset dropping  to the horizon. Sherril was willing to work within their budget to make it as extravagant or modest as they wanted.

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Heart of Cayman Website

Casanova's By the Sea handled the reception and did a truly amazing job with a specially designed menu catered to their desires and budget. They allowed the wedding party to provide their own music in a reserved private room on the second level over-looking the Caribbean Sea, with the dinner portion of the evening on the outdoor patio, before they danced the night away inside the air conditioned banquet room.

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Casanova's By the Sea Website

 

Music was provided by the truly talented harpist, Eugenio Leon, both at the ceremony and the reception. The wedding party was truly amazed at his ability to play elegant wedding music during the ceremony and than rock out to La Bamba and the Macarena unlike any harpist they'd ever seen. He spiced up the entire evening and provided an energy to the reception that people will remember forever.

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Watch---VIDEO: Eugenio Performance

 

Eugenio Leon Website

So when considering a destination wedding, call Sherril at Heart of Cayman, Tony at Casanova's, and Eugenio for your music, and you will have a beautiful wedding to remember for the rest of your lives.

 

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03/27/2011

Grand Cayman: Fun at Royal Palms

There is a spot on Seven Mile Beach that can entertain you and your family at any time of day. Just a short walk from Treasure Island Condominiums, Royal Palms has it all. Looking for a quiet spot early in the morning? Grab your favorite book and a lawn chair on the sandy Royal Palms beach. Looking for a great lunch on the beach? Head to Royal Palms for a great sandwich or wrap. Looking for a day time Island drink? Stop by Royal Palms during your walk down Seven Mile Beach. Looking for water sport activities? Royal Palms has a stand that rents out all the entertaining water sports that kids love. Looking for a place to watch the sunset and have a few Happy Hour drinks? The friendly bartenders at Royal Palms will have whatever you crave. Looking for a fine dining option? Eat at the Royal Palms restaurant, Reef Grill. Looking for late night entertainment? Hit the Royal Palms dance floor for some live music, outside, right on Seven Mile Beach.

As you can see, Royal Palms has it all. Right in the heart of Seven Mile Beach, it is easy to access from any of the various condo properties. They have a standard lunch menu that offers wraps, sandwiches, and burgers. Their restaurant, Reef Grill, offers an exquisite menu, including a daily fresh catch that is sure to make your mouth water. For late night entertainment, there is live music until midnight, where you can dance the night away under the Caribbean stars. Finally, if your looking for a place to parasail, rent jet-skis or kayaks, these activities are all offered right on their beach. 

When I'm walking home from a trip down 7 Mile Beach, I love to make a visit to Royal Palms to grab a Nutty Monkey, which is one of their specialty frozen drinks. Whether looking for a romantic dinner, live music, or a place to watch the sunset, Royal Palms is a must-visit spot.

 Royal Palms Video

03/13/2011

Billy Bones: Great Fun For Anyone

One of the best things about Treasure Island Condominiums is having full access to the most popular swim-up bar on the entire Island. Everyone can enjoy Billy Bones, regardless of what you are looking for. When I get off the plane, the first thing I do is get my swimsuit on and head over to Billy Bone's for some lunch. 

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Whether looking for a great sandwich, a rum punch, or an evening of entertainment, Billy Bones has it all! Children love the ability to swim up to the bar and not have to take a break from their swimming to get lunch. They offer hot dogs, grilled cheese, and quesadillas that kids can enjoy. Kids usually think it is pretty "cool" to be able to eat their lunch while sitting in the water (I know I did).

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Adults love to use Billy Bones as a place to socialize. There is never a lack of activity at the "water side" of the bar or the "land side" of the bar. They have friendly bartenders who can mix any island drink ever created. In addition, there are 3 big screen TVs that show popular American sports, including NFL football, basketball, and baseball. Some other menu items that adults enjoy are the mahi-mahi sandwhich, flatbread pizzas, and delicious wraps. 

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In addition to hanging on the "water side" of the pool bar, there is a full seating area on the "land side" if you aren't in the mood to get wet. They often host poker tournaments, parties, and games on the land side during the evenings and even have live music sometimes.

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The land side of Billy Bones is open to anyone and is often considered the most popular bar on the island. However, you must be staying at Treasure Island Condominiums to utilize the water side of the bar, which keeps the pool off-limits to non-guests, allowing the guests to enjoy the pool without it being over-crowded.

So whether enjoying Happy Hour 2-for-1 rum punch, Thursday night Poker Night, or grabbing lunch with your kids, Billy Bones is a great spot for everyone.

02/13/2011

Casanova Restaurant By the Sea

There are very few restaurants in the world that I would consider a "top attraction" to a city, but Casanova Restaurant by the Sea in Grand Cayman truly is. In my 30 years of going to Grand Cayman, I have seen restaurants open and close. I have tried them all. However, no matter how hard they try, nobody has topped the atmosphere, charisma, and charm of Casanova's. Oh yea, and their food is pretty darn good too. 

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Click here for: Casanova's Website

For 20 years Tony Crescente has owned this quaint Italian restaurant in the heart of downtown Georgetown. The emphasis he puts on making his customers feel at home is what separates Casanova's from any other restaurant in Cayman. Every time you walk through the door, they make you feel like you truly are the most important person that has ever dined there. The emphasis has always been on the customer, which goes a long ways.

Click here and see video where Tony talks about Casanova's

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Not only does Casanova's have impeccable service, but they have an amazing menu to choose from. Whether you are in the mood for an authentic Italian dish or a freshly caught local fish, you will find something that everyone in your party can enjoy. In addition, they offer a wine list that is second to none. My favorite dish is the classic spaghetti or the fresh mahi-mahi. They finish off any dinner with an excellent dessert menu and always bring out an after dinner drink, such as Limoncello.

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Casanova's has not made it this long without overcoming a little adversity. They have suffered damage from hurricanes, including one that totally wiped the entire restaurant out. However, in his persistent Italian way, Tony Crescente would not allow that to dampen his passion for Casanova's. He reopened in a beautiful ocean-front location, with patio seating that is literally on the Caribbean Sea. If you are looking for the most beautiful setting, ask to be seated outside on the patio. 

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It doesn't matter if you are going on a honeymoon dinner or going for a birthday party with 12 people, Casanova's caters to both types of parties. For the romantic dining experience, Eugeno will come and serenade you with beautiful harp music, including the ability to play almost any love song you request.

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Or if you are celebrating a birthday, they put on quite the show, making the birthday seem like the biggest event they've ever hosted.

Click here to view a Birthday Celebration at Casanova's

All in all, Casanova Restaurant by the Sea has the food, atmosphere, and charm that any vacationer would want to experience in their dining experience. The bottom line, if you visit Grand Cayman and don't visit Casanova's, then you wasted an amazing opportunity. Ciao!!

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01/09/2011

Restaurant Choices on Grand Cayman

Several people have contacted me about a blog posting on restaurants in Grand Cayman. I have come up with a list of 10 restaurants that I have been to and enjoyed. Everyone has different tastes, budgets, and expectations, so I will not rate the restaurants, but simply list them alphabetically. However, there is one restaurant on the island that is so far and away above the rest that it deserves it's own posting. Casanova's By The Sea definitely is THE best on the island when it comes to dining. Please visit my previous blog about "Cayman's Top 5 Attractions" and see #3 on my list. To summarize:

I don’t typically consider a good restaurant a tourist attraction, but Casanova’s is always a highlight of my trip. This Italian restaurant, overlooking the Caribbean Sea, offers a wide variety of pasta, seafood, and chicken entrees. Tony Crescente, a true Italian, is the owner and prides himself on authentic food from his homeland with family recipes. The service is impeccable and they definitely make every person feel welcome, as though you are part of their family. Whether on a romantic honeymoon get-away or there with a large group, the atmosphere at Casanova's makes this a must-try attraction. Even if you are making your first ever visit to Casanova's, the staff will make you feel like Norm from "Cheers", where everyone knows your name.

However, there are several other restaurants to fill in the other nights that you don't go to Casanova's. I have provided a link to the homepage of each restaurant for you to look at menus and prices. Keep in mind, it is typically too hot to eat outside from May-August, but you can use your own judgment. Enjoy!!

1. Agua: One of Cayman's newest restaurants, Agua is conveniently located in the heart of Seven Mile Beach. They combine a very unique international menu with an elegant setting. They specialize in a number of fish dishes, but each with a international flavor. Agua also has one of the more extensive wine lists on the island.

Moderately priced. Outside seating available.

Preferred dishes: Arugula Salad and Wahoo Mediterraneo

Visit Official Agua Website

2. The Brasserie: The Brasserie possesses a warm and welcoming atmosphere. It is a hidden and less known restaurant off the beaten-track in downtown Georgetown that often gets overlooked. It specializes in fresh seafood and does a great job of combining a modern approach to cooking with traditional ideas. They offer a lot of "tasting menus" as well as many "share plates", which allows you to try a variety of things. 

Moderately priced. No outside seating.

Preferred dishes: "Knife and Fork" Seared Snapper Sandwhich

Visit Official Brasserie Website

3. Calypso Grill: This island treasure is a great spot to visit for lunch while visiting Dolphin Cove to play with the Dolphins. It is located at Morgan's Harbor in West Bay and is a short 10-15 taxi ride from all Cayman Condos properties. This open air restaurant offers soft breezes from the North Sound. The contemporary color schemes offer a great ambiance for either lunch or dinner. 

Expensive. Outside seating available.

Preferred dishes: Warm goat cheese salad and Sauteed Sea Bass

Visit Official Calypso Grill Website

4. Coconut Joe's: This lively outdoor restaurant and bar is conveniently located across the street from Treasure Island Condos. You can grab breakfast, lunch, or dinner and it is a great spot to watch American sports. This is a great spot to go the night you get into Grand Cayman. You are tired, getting acclimated, and don't have any groceries in the condo yet. 

Inexpensive. Outside seating available.

Preferred dish: Mahi Mahi Sandwhich with side salad.

No Website available.

5. Cracked Conch: This waterfront restaurant is located at the top of West Bay. You can enjoy the atmosphere inside the main dining room or dine under the stars next to the ocean. It is a little bit of a drive to get to the Cracked Conch, but once you get there it is a beautiful setting. With more than 30 years of experience, the Cracked Conch is sure to be a great experience.

Expensive. Outside seating available.

Preferred dishes: Conch Chowder and Seared Diver Scallops

Visit Official Cracked Conch Website

6. Grand Old House: This is one of the fancier restaurants Grand Cayman has to offer. If going to the Grand Old House, expect a long drawn out meal. It offers an extensive wine list with an exquisite menu. It has been open for over 100 years and with a veranda overlooking the Caribbean Sea. This is about a 15-20 minute drive from most Cayman Condos complexes

Expensive. Outside seating available.

Preferred dishes: Marinated conch and Cayman turtle steak

Visit Official Grand Old House Website

7. Lobster Pot: This restaurant perched high above the Caribbean Sea and offers breath-taking views from every seat. It is located in Georgetown and is a short 5 minute taxi ride from all Cayman Condos complexes. This restaurant has been around since 1965 and is sure to offer an excellent variety of fresh fish.

Expensive. Outside seating not available.

Preferred dish: Cayman Trio: Broiled lobster tail, grilled fresh mahi-mahi, and garlic shrimp. Served with garden vegetables, rice and beans.

Visit Official Lobster Pot Website

8. Pappagallo: Ristorante Pappagallo is an Italian restaurant tucked away in West Bay. It offers an intimate and vibrant atmosphere. You cross a wooden bridge as you enter the restaurant and it is like entering a different world. Tall thatched ceilings with large woven fans create the ideal atmosphere to experience a truly special evening. You will notice the sweeping views of a saltwater pond, with tropical fish visible in the water, local wildlife, iguanas, wild birds and the gentle noise of a tropical waterfall.

Expensive. Outside seating available.

Preferred dishes: Calamari and Fresh Catch of the Day-Cayman Style

Visit Official Ristorante Pappagallo Website

9. My Bar at the Sunset House: This outside bar/restaurant overlooks the sunset house dive spot. I highly recommend this inexpensive restaurant for lunch or a quick and inexpensive dinner. This is another option for a restaurant to go to on your first night on the island because it is easy to get to and provides an opportunity to get some food, without spending a lot of money. 

Inexpensive. Outside seating only.

Preferred dish: Dolphin Caesar Wrap 

Visit Official My Bar at the Sunset House Website

10. The Wharf: The Wharf is one of Grand Cayman's oldest restaurants that provides a great atmosphere and elegant dining. You can take a break from your meal to go out to the pier and feed the tarpon. These large fish flock towards the well-lit area of ocean at the end of the pier, which provides some pretty cool opportunities to see them. Also, expect to be serenaded by Eugene with his harp as you enjoy a romantic dinner. This restaurant is walking distance from Treasure Island, CoCo Plum, Grandview, Grape Tree, and Georgetown Vilas.

Expensive. Outside seating available.

Preferred dish: Seafood Bisque and Caribbean adobo spiced grouper

Visit Official Wharf Website