Coconut Grove

More appealing than an episode of Lost, Coconut Grove has the feel of Asia, with a Caribbean flair. The massive thatch hut was brought over, pole by pole, from the Dominican Republic, with 40 craftsmen accompanying.  It was built to stand against any storm, and soft breezes blow through the building, passing the bar and the Asian carvings. It’s a totally biodegradable structure.

Except for the wine cellar. Master sommelier Gary Colt and wife Karin envisioned a fine collection of wines, conscientious food, and a swank beach club on Nevis, and their dream has come true. If you can, visit the cellar with Gary where more than 400 labels of fine and ultra fine wines lie in perfect temperature. So passionate is his love of the grape, he charters a small plane to fly to St. Martin as soon as the wine is imported and delivers it directly to his cave before tropical heat can spoil the goods.

Dinners are romantic with low lighting, great house music, and a hip bar scene. (Though the club is closed on Saturdays, private parties can be booked.) Swatches of diaphanous fabrics drape the columns, and long low couches create a club atmosphere around the handsome solid mahogany slab bar. Dramatic pin lighting focuses on a large, carved Asian statue holding court in the middle of the room.

Start dinner with house-made ‘foie gras au rum vieux,’ soaked in 1919 Angostura Rum, garnished with mango salsa. It is surprisingly light, with the intense flavoring of excellent rum, and highly recommended. Then move to tamarind pork tenderloin, or grilled mahi filet with buerre blanc foam, all garnished with Caribbean vegetables.  Watch for spicy, satisfying vegan kale soup when available.

Lunch on the beach includes sailors mooring off shore, and families with children. Gary and Karin have been known to take beach toys to the kids, making sure everyone is enjoying the club.

  • Conde Nast named Coconut Grove ‘Hot New Table in the World’ (Caribbean), May 2006. Wine Spectator bestowed their ‘Award of Excellence’ 2009, 2010, and 2011.
  • Check out Coco Beach, the beach bar downstairs where lunch is served around a shallow swimming pool with decks for lounging. The Supreme Lobster Burger rules.
  • The chef, Stephen Smith, is CIA trained, a dietician, and a vegetarian so potential calories blow away with the breeze.
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