In Grenada: Lunch at Belmont Estate
It starts with a warm hand towel and a cool mountain breeze. And it turns out to be one of the best dining experiences in Grenada.
And I’m clearly not the only one who thinks so. Because the restaurant at Belmont Estate, which opened in 2002 with just 20 seats and has since expanded to accommodate 250 diners, has become a must for anyone interested in enjoying flavorful local food in a pastoral island setting.
The open-air eatery is tucked into the hillside of a 300-year-old, 300-acre property near Grenville. Still a working farm, Belmont produces Grenada’s ubiquitous nutmeg, bananas, sweet potatoes and organically grown cocoa, much of which shows up in the Grenada Chocolate Factory’s bars.
But from Sunday through Friday Belmont’s bounty also appears on the plates of hungry patrons, who come for a three-course midday feast. For approximately US$23 (drinks are extra), you’ll begin with a choice of two soups (our options: papaya or green banana).
That’s followed by a sumptuous all-you-can-eat buffet, served on festive madras-skirted tables laden with coal pots and chafing dishes. There’s stewed beef, garlic roasted chicken and grilled fish, accompanied by lemongrass-scented rice, red beans and a salad bar.
The atmosphere is low-key and quiet, diners focused on their food, the only sounds piped-in local tunes and the whisper of the breeze through Poinciana trees ablaze with scarlet blossoms.
The food is so good you’ll be tempted to overeat. But do save room for dessert, because the locally made ice cream (mmm … nutmeg!) is worth loosening your belt.
As the meal draws to a close, my dining companion, satisfied and sleepy, leans back in his chair, sighs contentedly and says, “All I need now is a nap.” Replete and relaxed, I agree. And there, under the shade of a perfectly placed palapa, I find my spot.