I read the book A Trip to the Beach by Melanie and Robert Blanchard earlier this cruising season. It inspired me to stop in Anguilla instead of passing it by to go straight to Sint Maarten. Robert and Melanie Blanchard decided Anguilla was their idea of paradise and determined to build a beach bar/hamburger stand. Circumstances indicated that they would need to build an upscale restaurant in order to compete and pay the rent on their dream location. They built one of the best (if not THE best) restaurants in Anguilla. They built the building themselves, planted the gardens, came up with their own recipes, everything. Then they rebuilt it again and again after hurricanes destroyed their restaurant. I am not sure this is my idea of paradise, but we are grateful it is theirs because Dave and I just enjoyed a fantastic meal in a beautiful location, with incredible wait staff.
I ordered the three-course prix fixe with a vegetable-stuffed pasta appetizer, sesame crusted mahi mahi with curried rice, and homemade piña colada ice cream (although I was dying to try their signature cracked coconut, but I was too full). Dave ordered a Caesar salad and blackened red snapper with mashed polenta. Although, he was convinced the snapper came with mashed potatoes. The pasta was really good even with the asparagus, pepperoncinis and other vegetables in it and the mahi mahi was really good, too. However, Dave’s snapper was to die for with its melt-in-your-mouth texture and great seasoning. Just amazing! The homemade ice cream was fresh and very refreshing. At $200, the meal (with a bottle of wine) was not cheap, but it was delicious and rewarding. It killed our cruising budget, but we deserved it. We celebrated our cruising accomplishment in style and would recommend Blanchard’s to anyone that visits Anguilla. After a bumpy start and everyone we know turning back, we are proud of ourselves to have carried on and made it further than many cruisers ever do. But before we have a chance to really get to know Anguilla, we are off and running again. Tomorrow morning we leave for Sint Maarten and their Carnival festivities! But it won’t be until we reach Grenada that we break open the Dom Perignon Albert Wu gave us at our Bon Voyage Party. Thank you again, Al.