Cayman Brac – Where to Eat

Alexander Hotel Restaurant.European. This potentially fine eatery is all over the place, from cuisine to decor. The kitchen’s one-from-column-A approach tries to accommodate all tastes, running from bacon-wrapped shrimp to Parmesan-crusted chicken in chardonnay sauce to salmon Oscar (hollandaise and crabmeat). Save for handsome portraits of Brackers in traditional island scenes, the space likewise lacks identity, resembling a sterile conference room gussied up with burgundy chairs, wainscoting, and potted plants. Service is smiling, however, and frequent specials like the all-you-can-eat Saturday poolside barbecue buffet (CI$15) and Friday seafood buffet (CI$25) offer fine value. | Average main: $28 | West End, Cayman Brac | 345/948–8222, 800/381–5094 | | Reservations essential.

Captain’s Table.European. This weathered, powder-blue, wooden building wouldn’t be out of place on some remote New England shore, except perhaps for the garish pirate at the entrance. The nautical yo-ho-hokum continues inside (painted oars, model sailboats, faux portholes, mermaid painting, droll touches like a skeleton with a chef’s toque), but fortunately the kitchen isn’t lost at sea, despite voyaging from India to Italy. Teriyaki chicken and scampi Florentine are worthy house specialties. Lunch is cheaper, from standbys (wraps, burgers, nachos, Lolita’s chicken-fried tacos) to more creative options like “honey-stung” chicken fried in chili powder and crushed corn chips. The outdoor poolside bar is a popular hangout for dive masters. | Average main: $21 | Brac Caribbean | West End, Cayman Brac | 345/948–1418 | Reservations essential.

Coral Isle Club.Caribbean. This seaside eatery daubed in a virtual rainbow of blues from turquoise to teal serves up fine local food, emphasizing fresh seafood and, on weekends, mouth- and eye-watering barbecue. The lusciously painted outdoor bar offers equally colorful sunsets, cocktails, and characters (one regular swears, “If I were any better, I’d be dangerous,” before buying another round). At night, spotlights illuminate the reef sharks and lobsters lurking in the turtle grass below the patio. The congenial owner, Carlton Ebanks, offers regular entertainment from DJs to fashion shows to domino tournaments, whenever possible on weekends in season. | Average main: $15 | Off South Side Rd. | West End, Cayman Brac | 345/925–4848.

La Esperanza.Caribbean. Known island-wide as Bussy’s—after the larger-than-life owner—this combination grocery store, restaurant, and club encompasses a wildly colored lounge, alfresco bar with elevated gazebo, and covered pier jutting into the Caribbean. Drink in the sunset views, and then dine on fresh-caught seafood (conch is particularly yummy, whether as fritters or prepared “Cayman-style” in lemon-butter sauce with onions and bell peppers). Burgers, fish-and-chips, and chicken chop suey are evergreen favorites. The place really jumps Friday and Saturday nights, when Bussy cranks up his grills and “jerks” chicken (he’ll give you impromptu “jerking” lessons). Wife Velma makes a luscious key lime pie that would give anyone a run for the top prize if the Brac had county-fair-style bake-offs. | Average main: $17 | The Creek | Stake Bay, Cayman Brac | 345/948–0531 | | No dinner Sun.

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