Only when you arrive will you appreciate how the drive up to North West Point in West Bay is so worth those few extra miles further than you might normally travel. Overlooking the majestic twinkling blue Caribbean Sea, the Cracked Conch is blessed by a location that is second-to-none and it will make a repeat visit a certainty, even before the first aromas of dinner have filled your nose with the promise of the delicious meal to follow.
The Cracked Conch has been a favourite with visitors and locals to the Island for as long as I can remember (and that’s a while), the location, the freshest of fresh seafood and fish using delectable Caribbean flavours making it a must-visit for anyone who wants to enjoy the real flavour of the islands.
Split into various levels to suit diners’ preferences, the restaurant sports superb fine indoor dining accommodation known as the Soto Room, which ably handles groups, while the outdoor decks offer unforgettable views of the sea. Downstairs the Macabuca bar often pulsates with life, a big attraction for the young and hip looking to party under the stars against a stunning ocean backdrop. There’s live music for entertainment every Friday and the best salsa DJ on the island every Saturday.
Matthew Moore is the restaurant’s general manager and he says the restaurant has really taken its culinary offerings up a few notches since Executive Chef Gilbert Cavallaro took up the reigns in the kitchen almost two years ago, infusing the cuisine with his French background. Chef Gilbert is a well-known culinary talent in Cayman, having working in a number of fine establishments over the years, ending up at The Ritz-Carlton before joining the Cracked Conch.
Having built its reputation over the years using the freshest seafood on the island, often locally caught, the restaurant also likes to use local produce, such as home-grown tomatoes, whenever possible. Matt says that with Chef Gilbert’s skills they are able to elevate this superbly fresh produce and take it to the next level.
“Our cuisine is distinctly Caribbean and Chef Gilbert manages to combine his French culinary influences to take it up a notch. For example, his sauces and reductions concentrate the flavour of the locally caught seafood that they accompany,” he says.
Chef Gilbert and his team also look to other international cuisines for their inspiration, such as Peru for its fresh citrus-flavoured ceviches and Spain for its spicy sausages. Matt says the beef tenderloin served with foie gras is a favourite among diners, while the mango demi-glaze with which it is served adds a fruity touch to the meal.
Look out for special events that the Cracked Conch hold throughout the year either up at the restaurant or down at Macabuca bar. Mother’s day, Father’s Day and Easter are all celebrated in style with brunch while July 5th just saw their fourth annual Macabuca nations celebrations, celebrating Canada day, American Independence day and Cayman’s Constitution Day.
But don’t wait for a celebration to enjoy this splendid spot – it’s there fort the enjoyment all year round!