When it comes to Caribbean islands, you can never be quite sure what to expect in terms of dining experiences. The diverse resorts, varied culture and overall vibe can be as wide-ranging and distinct as the tropical fish darting around the nearby undersea coral reefs.
When I recently had the opportunity to escape the chilly northeast for a quick three-night getaway to the Turks and Caicos, I jumped at the chance. I was curious about that particular destination, as I had traveled to quite a few other islands over the years (including Hawaii and French Polynesia) yet had never set foot on the Turks and Caicos despite it being only a three-hour flight from New York.
My destination was the upscale Seven Stars Resort on Grace Bay, in Providenciales, the most developed island in Turks and Caicos. Known for its enviable location directly on the beach, Seven Stars is a luxury resort with 115 incredibly spacious rooms and suites. The resort also features a large, saltwater pool (with plenty of deck chairs for everyone) and a lovely Jacuzzi overlooking the sea.
From the beach, the gorgeous ocean view is intoxicating, and a wide selection of water activities, such as kayaking, diving, snorkeling, sailing and paddle-boarding, are readily available for everyone’s tastes and skill level.
If spending the day at the beach and playing in the ocean weren’t enough, I was even more excited to learn that Seven Stars is also known for its innovative dining at the stylish, modern, multi-level restaurant called Seven. This buzz-worthy eatery is attracting a great deal of international attention, as Fodor’s recently proclaimed it to be one of the Caribbean’s “top 10” fine-dining establishments.
The newly appointed executive chef, Kyle Kingrey, arrived at the resort in late 2013, having worked in restaurants across the world. Most recently, he held the post of Chef de Cuisine at New York’s Beauty & Essex.
Seven’s fresh, artfully prepared gourmet fare is contemporary, with a decidedly local influence. As an adventurous food-lover, I was especially interested in sampling the selections that Chef Kingrey added just weeks before my arrival.
The atmosphere of Seven’s stylish bar and dining room matches the menu’s fresh approach, and the hip ambiance evokes a chic, urban feel. However, I found the best location to enjoy a meal is on the restaurant’s tranquil rooftop, which is reached by ascending a beautiful, stone, spiral staircase. On a clear night, the evening sky is spectacular.
For dinner, the standout item was the fresh tuna tartar appetizer, presented in bite-sized servings with avocado and sesame seeds on a crispy cracker. My entrée was the red snapper with a side of cauliflower couscous, with tzatziki sauce, pine nuts and raisins. As a chocolate lover, I was definitely impressed by the chef’s homemade brownies, which, despite being sugar-free, were not bitter and instead featured a smooth, cocoa-rich texture.
Overall, my al fresco meal at Seven showed me what the resort’s ethereal name was really all about. The full moon illuminated the night sky, revealing millions of bright, glistening, shining stars. A captivating view, no doubt, and more than enough reason to return.
Most Northeastern airports offer direct flights to Turks and Caicos.
To learn more about the Seven Stars resort, click here.