Koalkeel, The Valley
Tel: 264 497 2930
Concierge.com's insider take:
Koalkeel's heritage is palpable from the 1790s building, the second oldest on the island, down to the food cooked in its "coal keel," an old wood-burning rock oven. The open-sided dining room was added onto the lovingly restored Warden's Place, a former sugar plantation house in the Old Valley, romantically candlelit for quiet dining. Utilizing its historical significance to modern ends, the kitchen uses old recipes to turn out innovative dishes. Anguillian Executive Chef Gwendolyn Smith puts her "coal keel" to good use while Northern Indian chef Kamal Kumar masters the tandoori, resulting in an eclectic menu of European, Caribbean, and East Indian dishes. Current favorites include the tandoori seafood salad with sweet ginger dressing and crispy papadum, beef vindaloo, and the New Zealand rack of lamb coated in a spiced garlic ginger yogurt. The Rock Oven Chicken for two, slow cooked in the coal keel, requires 24 hours advance notice. Their 18,000-bottle limestone cellar won a Wine Spectator award for its mix of old and new world vintages, and you can stop in there for complimentary rum tastings. If you're in a forbidden fruit mood, ask about their cigar collection for your chance to try a Cohiba with your aged rum digestif. By day, French pastry chef Eric Fernandez bakes for Le Petit Patissier upstairs in the original historic building. Nosh on fresh cakes, fruit tarts, muffins, and housemade marmalades, with a view of picturesque West Indian cottages across the way.
Open Mondays through Saturdays 6:30 to 10 pm (Petit Patissier open 6 am to 10 pm).