Gabby Celebrates at Best Kept Secret, Christopher’s at Hermosa Cove

After executing a successful Rotaract District 7020 Conference that started the day after my Birthday, there was no doubt in my mind that I would need rest and relaxation at the end of a week full of both work and pleasure. So mid-June, I decided to end my Birthday week in style and made my dinner reservation for two at Christopher’s, Hermosa Cove. Afterall, you do not need to be a guest at Hermosa Cove Villa Resort to enjoy the delightful offerings of Christopher’s. I was instantly impressed with their professionalism over the phone and exercising the initiative to ask if I was celebrating a special occasion, of which my response was ofcourse, my Birthday.

Christopher’s at Hermosa Cove recently won Best Kept Secret at the Table Talk Jamaica Observer Food Awards 2014 and the Executive Chef, Chef Conroy Arnold, was awarded for Chef on the Rise. So I knew I was in for a serene evening and treat.

I arrived on property at 6:20 in the evening and was joyously greeted by the host from the parking lot, who was clearly anticipating my arrival as he gave me Birthday wishes and escorted myself and my beau, Randy inside. We were seated on their cool, open-air verandah with a beautiful ocean view.

The waitress came soon after, issued our menus and informed us of the Soup and special Marlin Salad of the day. The menu was quite diverse and included local favourites such as Braised Oxtail and Curry Goat. There was mention of a lot of fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables on the menu, but this was no surprise to me with my knowledge of the Chef sometimes taking guests into the garden and choosing what is going to be cooked. Perhaps Christopher’s will be considered for Best Ethical Restaurant next year, as they also support the local fishermen and serve a pimento wood smoked Catch of the day.

The waitress took our orders and I had a refreshing Mojito shortly after. Our appetizers arrived quickly. We had the fresh Marlin Salad and Chicken Quesadilla. The tasty Quesadilla had smoked chicken, mixed cheese, oven dried tomato, cilantro and seasoned plantain chips, with fresh salsa. The fresh Marlin Salad will make any child like greens. It included marlin, lettuce, shaved carrot, red onion, fresh salsa and Chef’s choice vinaigrette.

Soon after the satisfying appetizers, our entrée dishes came out. Randy had the Coconut Braised Chicken, which he enjoyed and I had the succulent 6oz spiced tenderloin Steak that I had medium rare with ratatouille style vegetables and steak sauce. I must point out that upon ordering the steak usually served with fries, that Chef Arnold was readily available in the dining area and unhesitatingly accommodated my request to have roasted potato wedges instead. That is not usually seen with the often robotic-like operations of other restaurants and staff.

Just when we thought our stomachs were filled to our heart’s content, we could not refuse the waitress’ invitation to try their Butter Bread Pudding served with Vanilla Ice Cream. It seemed as if Chef still had it baking in the oven though, because it took a bit long to be served. It was of no comparison to Fromage’s Bread Pudding but was savoury nonetheless.

The bill also took a little while, but we enjoyed spending that time to take pictures on the scenic grounds nearby. Then we were even happier with the fact that my Pop Up Gourmet Card reduced our $69.90USD bill by 10% to $62.91USD ($7,000.00JMD) inclusive of tax. Definitely more value for money spent.

From the hospitable security guard upon entrance to the property, to the vibrant host, cordial waitress and accommodating chef, I honestly had second thoughts about sharing and would have liked to keep Christopher’s a secret, but it certainly would not be fair to all concerned. I shall return quite soon and not only to the Restaurant but as a guest to the Villa Resort that received a Certificate of Excellence this year from Trip Advisor.

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