It’s lunchtime on the turquoise west coast of Antigua; the music is hopping, the water is sparkling and the rosé is flowing, with plates of tapas passing around the place.
If you squinted, you might think it was 2019, except for the expertly managed social distancing and the omnipresent masking.
But it’s all done effortlessly, cultivating the kind of energetic, breezy, fun-filled restaurant that many thought was lost to 2020.
In other words, this is the hottest restaurant in the Caribbean right now.
This is Sheer Rocks, and there’s no buzzier place to eat in the region.
It’s all the brainchild of Alex Grimley and Rocks Group, which is behind Sheer Rocks and its sister restaurant, Catherine’s Cafe, the French-Caribbean beach hotspot on Pigeon Point Beach.
And while the setting, on the cliffs below the Cocobay Resort overlooking Ffryes Beach, is one of the most spectacular you’ll find, the food is the star of the show, thanks to the genius of Head Chef Jamal Warner, the Antigua native who has quickly become one of the Caribbean’s true culinary stars.
At lunch, there’s a broad menu of tapas, with an a la carte dinner featuring stunners like Barbudan lobster, slow-braised lamb shank and wahoo gravlax.
And no matter when you go, it’s a party, whether you rent one of the plunge pools for the afternoon or just want a breezy, romantic evening.
In a decade since its debut on the island, Sheer Rocks has almost singlehandedly turned Antigua and Barbuda into a gastronomic destination, and it’s helped put the island’s culinary world in a new light.
But more importantly, in a time that has not been kind to restaurants, Sheer Rocks has sent a booming message that the eateries can do more than survive – they can thrive.
They can be what restaurants always have been: oases, sanctuaries, the kinds of places that lift up our daily experience and turn regular moments into events.
And that’s what any meal is here: an event.
For more, visit Sheer Rocks.