Island Tasting Round 2: Cap Juluca

File Mar 21, 7 47 48 AMDriving up to Cap Juluca, it almost seemed as if we had been transported to a private island. Flames at the gate greeted us as we weaved around a bay of water lined with palm trees casting their silhouette against the setting sun. The view was utterly breathtaking.

File Mar 21, 7 50 17 AMBy time we made our way to the restaurant, the neat row of cumulus clouds that had been sitting over the island all day were lit with the most stunning colors. A team of Hollywood designers couldn’t have made it more magnificent if they were constructing a movie set[1].

File Mar 21, 7 50 39 AMPimms Restaurant seems to be a tribute to the Greek isles; stark white walls touched with that Greek blue accent. Walls were forgone in favor of Mediterranean arches that led straight to the sea. The building, it seemed, sat on a bed of coral over which the waves constantly lapped, and sometimes crashed, to give us a faint spray of salt water. Above the relaxing sound of the waves, Sade was softly serenading us[2], the mood and ambience was utter perfection[3]. Chef Juan came out to introduce himself and we told him we’d be happy leaving our dining fate in his hands[4]. Whatever mood struck him, we were up for an adventure.

File Mar 21, 8 26 33 AMDining on the island, I’ve quickly found that when you start a meal with rum punch, something in you is forced to relax. Your shoulders drop and you take a deep breath. Life is good mon. That’s how our evening began, along with an amuse-bouche of green pea soup[5] which we enjoyed with our cocktail. The soup was topped with the tiniest scoop of what appeared to be a fresh salsa of tomatoes, onions and cilantro. A great way to get the taste buds stimulated.

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If you thought that silver dome in the middle was a service bell, you’d be wrong. It was the butter. #ithoughtitwasabell

File Mar 21, 8 12 37 AMThe first course was a palate cleansing fresh salad, complete with alfalfa sprouts, watermelon, edible flowers and various heirloom tomatoes grown on the island, all surrounding a healthy scoop of avocado sorbet[6]. File Mar 21, 7 46 54 AMThis was followed by a local lobster bisque. Now, when I think lobster bisque, I think calories; thick heavy cream with a dollop of crème fraiche on the top. But this was different. Not a clear broth, but it was certainly not cream-based. All flavor, almost frothy. A large succulent lobster ravioli resided in the middle, the meat was tender and flavorful. We couldn’t quite place the flavor we were tasting[7], and we found out that Chef Juan adds a healthy serving of cognac to the bisque, after it’s cooked, to give you that warm belly feeling. Yum. File Mar 21, 7 47 19 AMOur bisque was paired with the super light 2014 Bouchard Pere & Fils Bourgogne Chardonnay, which really allowed the flavorful bisque to tickle our mouth senses. The wine was crisp with almost a hint of sparkle. Heavy grapefruit on the nose with a touch of minerality on the palate.

File Mar 21, 7 49 09 AMNext we were surprised with a healthy portion of paella filled to the brim with shrimp, more local lobster, rice, peas and a perfect chip of smoky chorizo. To complement the smoke and spice of the paella, we enjoyed two glasses of the 2012 Ramón Bilbao Albariño Rias Baixas Valiñas.[8] Definitely more body than our previous glass; this had notes of peach with a touch of sweetness, offsetting the spicier dish perfectly[9].File Mar 21, 8 12 54 AM

For the grand finale, Chef Juan prepared two meals, one for me, one for Husband. A perfectly designed dish of lamb chops and eggplant ash was placed in front of me, complemented with an absolutely heavenly 2010 Chateau de Lavagnac Bordeaux, a blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. The nose was the iconic, flowery bouquet of rich Bordeaux fruit. With my first sip I swooned. Husband had twin chicken tenderloins served with vegetables, most notably, local aloe which was brined and cooked slowly to take out the bitterness[10]. The chicken went with a glass of cult favorite, Decoy Chardonnay 2014, a rich, oaky Chard that was a perfect complement to Husband’s lighter fare[11].File Mar 21, 8 14 01 AMWhen you get to this point in the meal, the amount of food one can consume drops dramatically. I tried my hardest to refuse dessert, but I knew ultimately that would be a bad idea, and the Chocolate Fondant sounded just too divine[12]. Husband opted for a more subtle chocolate sorbet, but it turned out to be more like a decadent scoop of hot fudge, taking rich and creamy to a new level. With our sweet conclusions, we were treated to drams of Graham’s 20 Year Tawny Port, a perfect ending to a beautiful evening.File Mar 21, 8 15 00 AMWhen all is said and done, there’s nothing that can beat Pimm’s beautiful location and ambience. The varied menu and local fare is well enjoyed in nature’s beautiful theater.File Mar 21, 8 11 06 AM

Until the next glass, Cheers!

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From the entrance you can see right through to the water

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] Mother Nature #forthewin
[2] Just to be clear, Sade wasn’t actually in the restaurant, though that would have been next level.
[3] Have I mentioned I love this island? #nevercominghome
[4] We were asked at least three times if we had any dietary restrictions; perhaps their over concern was a result of some past lawsuit? #glutenfree #shellfish #lawyerlife
[5] Perhaps a nod to Jolly Old England? Anguilla is, after all, part of the British West Indies.
[6] Yes, avocado sorbet. It was like avocado ice cream people! Genius. Pure genius.
[7] We thought maybe curry? Cardamom?
File Mar 21, 7 49 47 AM[8] This was one of those bottles where I had to just take a photo and find out later what we were really drinking. To break it down, Ramón Bilbao is the winery, the region is Rías Baixas and the grape is Albarino. I don’t have much experience with Spanish wines, so I’m definitely open to exploring more of this area and varietal!
[9] My notes after this course read “Dress tight.” At first I couldn’t recall why I’d written this. Then I remembered. My dress got really tight. Something about all this island food seemed to have made my dress shrink, can you imagine!? I’m hoping it goes back to normal when we get home…
[10] Husband was fascinated by this as one of the first orders of business when we arrive on Anguilla is to find the nearest aloe plant and harvest a bit for our inevitable sunburn. Even if we escape unscathed, the soothing aloe is better than the most expensive hand cream in the world. #allnatural
[11] We obviously tasted each other’s meal and wine, even though it probably impaired our palates. #roughinit
[12] Who can refuse a flourless chocolate cake with a warm chocolate center and a scoop of vanilla ice cream? #notthisgirl

2 thoughts on “Island Tasting Round 2: Cap Juluca

  1. I have to say you are experiencing the side of Anguilla that is not most heard of. The two dinner descriptions so far have been spectacular and I enjoy your writing. Can’t wait to hear more. We are heading there in 2 weeks.

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