During my travels, I’ve been to a several restaurants that I’ll never forget. But in Barbados, there are two restaurants that will take your breath away with their menus and awe-inspiring views, The Cliff and Cin Cin By The Sea.
During 2011’s Food Wine and Rum Festival, Shannon and I made our way to The Cliff with our girls for a multi-course meal planned by Top Chef host Tom Colicchio with wine selected by Anthony Giglio. During the Festival’s annual Sunday dinner, our group was seated at different tables. Well, actually I was the only one placed away from my buddies but I had a ball. My new circle included four Trinidadians, one Bajan and a couple from some place like Arkansas who’d relocated to Barbados for business and ate at The Cliff often. Can I relocate to Barbados for business? I mean …
From the delicate tuna slices to the mouth-watering dessert, each course by Colicchio was delicious, and thanks to Giglio’s wine pairings, my table was toasty. I sat in mild shock as the Trinis had a conversation about eating monkey brains. ‘That Indiana Jones scene is a real thing?’ I thought. Meanwhile at my friends’ table, well, let’s just say an American couple was playing out their private struggle toward a divorce in public. I was glad for the chilled monkey brains chat.
The Cliff is aptly named because the restaurant is literally built into the Caribbean Sea’s shoreline with two levels. Touting an open dinning area and a small bar, the decor reminded me of an elegant pirate’s hangout if miscreants had a taste for fine food. There are torches that light the restaurant’s eating space and balconies that sit just above the water. And during our dinner a band played steel drum softly from a boat floating nearby while we ate. At $250 per person, The Cliff isn’t a triffle but the experience is worth every penny. On the other hand, so is its modern counterpart Cin Cin.
Down the road a bit on the island’s West side is Cin Cin, another fabulous restaurant with a spectacular ocean view and fantastic food. But this place, sporting an art deco motif, is a little less damage on the pocket book. In September, Shannon and I enjoyed a table on the balcony, three courses and drinks for about $300 collectively, which isn’t bad.
Upon entering, the wait staff took great care of us and there was an adorable bar with top shelf selections to have a drink. In the dining area, patrons can choose to eat outside or inside but here’s a tip, make a reservation and request a table on the balcony by the water’s edge. We flubbed and ended up near the wall instead of the water. Still, the waiters were very attentive with suggestions at the ready and deep, sexy voices and chocolate skin to spare.
My fish entree was good but what I remember is Shannon’s ox tail ragu, the perfect combination of island and high cuisine. It was amazing, so amazing that I put aside my pescetarianism and had too much! In addition, I gobbled up a criminally fresh lobster salad and endless drink options including my go-to local rum, Mount Gay 1703. By dessert, we were was stuffed but still greedy so we ordered the third course and it too was great. My favorite part of the experience though was the soft sound of the Caribbean sea’s waves crashing on the shore beneath us, it doesn’t get much better than that on a full stomach.
As we prepare to visit both The Cliff and Cin Cin during next week’s Food Wine and Rum Festival in Barbados, my mouth is already watering. Join me?
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