By Jimmy Cunningham, howiGit New York Writer, Manhattan, NY
I am not the globetrotter that our editor-in-chief is but I recently tricked a beautiful woman into getting married and that allowed me to get out of New York City and onto the beautiful beaches of Turks and Caicos. We ate like pigs, started drinking at noon, napped on the beach, and generally lived the life of luxury for 10 days. I highly recommend getting married if you enjoy any of those things.
We stayed at the Gansevoort Turks and Caicos located on Grace Bay. The hotel was recently named one of the top ten trendiest resorts in the world and Grace Bay a top ten beach by MSN. The room was great, bigger than my old studio apartment, and overlooked the ocean which was impossibly blue. The staff was always friendly and I quickly became friends with many of the bartenders and waiters. A not-so-little-known fact about me; if you give me food and booze I will love you forever. One of the staff members discovered that I was a Giants fan. Every time I saw him following our initial meeting, he had a trade to propose that would end up with the Dolphin’s receiving Eli. We couldn’t work out a deal. But even on an island in the Caribbean they know Eli is the man.
There are two local beers on the island, Turks Head Pilsner and Turks Head Lager, known to the locals as Turks Head Dark and Turks Head Light. The beer is pretty good for an island beer, and much better than Presidente seen at a lot of resorts. A tip from the locals is to add a little grenadine, but I didn’t test that out as I had developed a steady routine of three Corona buckets a day. I do not believe Turk’s Head is available outside of Turks and Caicos, but if you’re lucky enough to find yourself there, give it a try.
It was no surprise that I consumed a fair amount of seafood on an island vacation, but even I was surprised by the final tally; I had fish everyday that I was there and consumed no less than 10 different varieties. Conch is the specialty on Turks and Caicos and was the favorite for sure.
The food at the Gansevoort was great. Weirdly the restaurant at the hotel was Italian, but that didn’t stop us from eating fabulous dinners there. We also did some extensive research of the beach bar menu, having lunch and a “snack” (fourth meal) every day. When we did leave the resort, we had nothing but success.
Somewhere – The name of this bar caused a lot of Abbot and Costello-esque situations when trying to talk about what to do with dinner or when you pass the place accidentally and have to ask someone who does not speak much English how to get to “Somewhere”. When we finally found “Somewhere” we were met with great mexican-style beach fare – you can’t beat a fish taco and a margarita overlooking the ocean after a long day of tanning and boozing.
Anacaona – on the fancier side, Anacaona is an outside restaurant lit entirely by candles and located on a string of boardwalks. The ambiance was great, but the food was even better. I mentioned that conch is the local specialty, and I had an appetizer of conch 4 ways, and as if that wasn’t good enough, I followed it up with a pot pie. A lobster pot pie, more specifically. I don’t think I need to say any more.
Coco Bistro – our last dinner outside of the Gansevoort was definitely the best and my most highly recommended. We had heard about Coco Bistro prior to arriving and were unable to get a reservation all week – they were booked almost 2 weeks in advance. On the recommendation of the concierge, we went early and took a chance, and were so glad we did. For all the hype, Coco Bistro has a totally unassuming exterior, and we were pretty sure we’d be let down. Wrong. They seat you in a garden behind the actual building that is totally canopied by trees. Not that you notice the surroundings when you are eating like a caveman. The food was outstanding. I started with tuna sashimi and followed that with penne with lobster, shrimp, and scallops. From somewhere deep in our food comas we managed to verbalize that we would try to power through dessert. For research purposes only, we battled through coconut pie and banana fritters. We had to be rolled home.
Overall the trip was amazing, no meal was bad and it rained for a total of about 3 hours in 10 days. After having the best night of my life at the wedding (I will never hear the song Shout again without getting goose bumps) it was followed by the best ten days I have ever had. If you want to eat, drink, and relax then Turks and Caicos is the place for you.