Update 2018: Yacht Club is currently closed. Updates to come as the property re-opens in April.
The Yacht Club emerges from the Caribbean night sky like a dream. Elegant, chic and above all glamorous, it is Anguilla's most impressive dining room.
Approaching The Yacht Club Restaurant
Located at The Reef, the Yacht Club is the hotel's fine dining restaurant. In recent months, it has become a favorite for celebrations and fine seafood dining. With a few steps inside and one look at the menu, it is not hard to see why.
We were first blown away by The Yacht Club during Epicurea held every November at CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa.
Staircase to The Yacht Club
Down the regal steps that lead in from the lobby, you are greeted by a gently bubbling fountain, which illuminates the mirrored fish along the staircase's central pillar.
Inside The Yacht Club
Crisp white is offset by the warm use of wood. The dining room inspires visions of sailing on high seas in a classic schooner, darting across deep blue water.
Booth seating lines the restaurant's walls, with elegant tables and chairs making up the central part of the dining room.
The restaurant has changed their lighting since our first visit. It is now soft and dim.
The central fountain dazzles the eye, shining in purples...
The entire room gazes out to the hotel's stretch of pool, surrounded by palms, twinkling with lights.
The Yacht Club Dining Room
True to its name, the restaurant's ambiance hints at a culinary experience inspired by the sea. Leading the charge is CuisinArt's Executive Chef Jasper Schneider. Known for his high standards, Chef has been hard at work developing the Yacht Club menu since the hotel and restaurant opened in late 2016. A chef with a following, the fruits of Chef Jasper's passion and exuberance are on full display at the Yacht Club.
The Yacht Club's seafood-centric menu begins with two finely picked delicacies under the title, "Raw Bar." Jumbo stone crab claws are flown in from Florida and oysters from the east or west coast, depending on the season and availability.
It was on our first meal at Le Bistro at Santorini with Executive Chef Jasper that my Dad and I fell in love with Chef's oysters. FedEx-ed into Anguilla, Chef's trained eye selects the freshest shells, apparent at first sip.
Chef Jasper dresses the oysters up with a variety of innovative accoutrements, including cucumber-ginger soy mignonette, pickled apple-scallion gochjang and a modern twist on a classic, tomato water cocktail.
The devil is in the details and Chef masters each at every turn.
The "Raw Bar" flows into the menu's "Raw" dishes. Salmon with radish, mint, ginger and a dash of serrano chili. Hamachi with apple yuzu, togarashi and micro herbs. Intricate dishes, Chef's creative flair jumps off of the menu's pages.
From here, the menu heats up.
Each of the menu's "lightly cooked" selections catch the eye and tease tastebuds. Peekytoe crab is served on a light, fluffy funnel cake, drizzled with a lemon aioli. Asian inspiration emerges in the fluke with lemon, shiso and puffed rice. A nod to Spanish cuisine, artfully presented charred octopus is served on a Romesco swirl, topped with pickled shallot.
Most tempting of all is the...
Ceviche Red Snapper
Slices of red snapper are layered with pickled cucumber and red onion, dusted with Espellette pepper. Petite chunks of avocado and avocado mixed with jalapeño form the dish's base. So smooth, it is seemingly creamy. The myriad of textures please the tongue and the spice works seamlessly with the snapper's gentle flavor. A perfect dish on every level.
Finally, the most robust dish on the "Lightly Cooked" menu...
New Zealand Clams Bucatini
Bucatini may be my new favorite pasta. Thicker than spaghetti, a hole runs lengthwise through its center. The result? A lighter pasta that doesn't compromise on its substantial feel. The warmth and satisfaction that comes with thicker noodles is fully intact, yet it is not a heavy pasta.
Bucatini is tossed with Calabrian chili and garlic parsley, dotted with New Zealand clams and cherry tomatoes grown on-property in CuisinArt's hydroponic gardens. "Simple" rules supreme in this dish.
Saving the star of the menu for last...
The Yacht Club is best known for having some of the largest lobsters you will see.
Served in-shell with a lemongrass, ginger-basil sauce and with ginger-cauliflower puree, it is an indulgent dish.
The fresh tuna with Chanterelles, beet soy and Banyuls sauce with marble potato is equally rich. The blend of flavors in the roasted grouper with chorizo vinaigrette pique your curiosity.
Finally, the New York strip with potato-cheddar bacon fondue is fit for lovers of "everything turf." The steak itself is one of the finest cuts we have sampled yet, with a faint charred flavor and slightly-salted sides.
New to Anguilla and working hand-in-hand with Executive Chef Jasper is The Reef's Chef De Cuisine Manuel Gonzalez. Hailing from Spain, Chef Manuel has trained in gastronomy, holding two degrees, one from Academia de Cocina Verde Oliva and one from Escuela Superior de Hosteleria de Sevilla.
Chef Manuel has been making his mark on the menu, one of the most popular additions being his seafood paella.
Served in an oversized paella pan, anticipation builds as your waiter removes the lid, unveiling the rich dish, steaming in vibrant color. Well-versed in making paella, Chef Manuel's background and talents shine through on first bite.
Paella is cooked to al dente perfection. A seafood explosion, the dish is laced with sizable strips of lobster, jumbo shrimps, mussels and clams. Cooked with red peppers and topped with chives, it is a little slice of authentic Spanish dining in Anguilla.
Between Breezes and The Yacht Club, The Reef lives up to the high culinary promise its sister property, CuisinArt has delivered for years. Under the helm of Executive Chef Jasper and Chef Manuel, The Yacht Club is an elegant seat to a five-star seafood feast.
The Yacht Club is an Anguilla Card Partner. Save 10% when you dine at the Yacht Club with your Anguilla Card.
The Yacht Club is open nightly for dinner. For reservations, call: 1-264-498-2000