Corsairs Beach Bar & Restaurant, Jost Van Dyke

Corsairs Beach Bar & Restaurant, Jost Van Dyke

Believe it or not, even after nearly a decade of living in this little island community – there are still things that I want/have wanted to do which I just haaaaaaven’t quite got around to yet… This weekend I was finally able to make one of those dreams a reality.

Lunches at Corsairs Restaurant on Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
Ever since I saw Corsairs Beach Bar & Restaurant on Jost Van Dyke featuring prominently in the list of BVI restaurants on TripAdvisor years ago (consistently voted #1 out of 198 restaurants in the BVI) I have been wondering about the beach bar getting all these rave foodie reviews and, on Sunday, I was finally able to try it out!

Lunches at Corsairs Restaurant on Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
We were out on a big boat day with friends – 50 people on 4 large speedboats to be specific and – as we cruised over from Virgin Gorda and headed towards Jost (with a quick stop en route at Sandy Spit for a slip ‘n’ slide flip-cup race, naturally), we browsed through their mouth-watering menu so that we could call in our order ahead of our arrival. (You can find their menu here – those lobster cojones sound amazing, right?)

Lunches at Corsairs Restaurant on Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
As you head inside Corsairs, greeted first by the (fake) pirate maître d’ and then by your (very real) monocle-wearing host, Captain Vinny Terranova – you can’t help but look around and take in all the artwork, the graffiti, the signs, the stickers and the general paraphernalia. Sure, there are more than a couple of beach bars around the world that have gone with this theme of decor, but you get the feeling that Corsairs has a little something else up its sleeve, a certain je ne sais quoi… Could it be the motorcycles parked out front? The friendly bearded barstaff? Or maybe it was one too many glasses of their signature voodoo juice? But Corsairs certainly has a unique atmosphere.

Lunches at Corsairs Restaurant on Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
I’m sorry – I didn’t catch the maître d’s name… seems friendly enough, a bit quiet though!

Lunches at Corsairs Restaurant on Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

Captain Vinny and his bottle of Voodoo Juice – I watched him make it and it is guaranteed to put hairs on your chest! 

Lunches at Corsairs Restaurant on Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

Their lunch menu features high-end fast food. Fresh Ahi tuna nachos with seaweed salad, crispy wonton chips and pickled ginger. Their Corsairs burger topped with blue cheese, port onion jam, BBQ sauce and thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, served in a brioche bun with truffle fries on the side. There’s even a Kobe beef burger, which sounds phenomenal, if your wallet will stretch to it. It’s casual fare done exceptionally well.

What did I go for, I hear you ask? I just had to try out their lobster roll – a buttery brioche bun piled high with juicy Maine lobster with their moreish truffle fries on the side. I couldn’t resist! (Greedy little piglet…)

Lunches at Corsairs Restaurant on Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

Lobster roll 

Lunches at Corsairs Restaurant on Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
Ahi tuna nachos

Vinny and his team were not even remotely fazed by our group of 50 who had ordered in 4 separate groups minutes before docking and before long plates starting flying out of the kitchen, stacked high with their massive burgers (portions are large!!)

Lunches at Corsairs Restaurant on Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
Huge Corsairs burger – fries mostly devoured before I could get the camera out… 

Sadly, we couldn’t stay for dinner as the rest of our afternoon plans (which may or may not have included the Willy-T) were calling us. Which clearly means that I shall have to pay (at least) one more visit as there are a couple of dishes on their dinner menu which have my name on them!

Lunches at Corsairs Restaurant on Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

Lunches at Corsairs Restaurant on Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
Read more about where you should be eating in my BVI restaurant guide here. Clearly an update is needed as I have a few more foodie stops that need including – Corsairs Beach Bar & Restaurant among them.

Corsairs Beach Bar & Restaurant is located on Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands. Contact them on +1 284 495 9294 or find more information at www.corsairsbvi.com.

Please note that Corsairs Beach Bar & Restaurant re-opened following hurricane Irma in May 2018. Serving a limited menu but still featuring delicious dishes, Corsairs is working to get back to full capacity as soon as possible. Stop in for a rum and for whatever they are serving that night. 

 

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The Dove Restaurant: The New Kid in Town

The Dove Restaurant: The New Kid in Town

Years ago, when I first set foot in the BVI, my boyfriend at the time took me straight from the airport to the Dove (like literally straight there – still in my comfy, travel athleisure gear and without so much as 5-minutes to run a brush through my hair).

More than a few espresso martinis and a touch of jet lag means that I don’t remember much of that night, but I’ve been a loyal fan ever since.

A little wooden building right in the heart of Road Town, the Dove has long been a hugely popular restaurant and bar – an institution on the fine dining scene for the last 12 years. But after the original owners moved on to other projects, she has changed hands a couple of times and been out of commission for the last 12 months.

Now she’s back – the new version, managed ably by the team behind CocoMaya, and a second kitchen for Head Chef Lee Cowie – the latest incarnation of the Dove restaurant opened on Friday.

Extensive renovations have taken place, but the changes are subtle. Die-hard Dove fans can be reassured that the same familiar charm has been retained with this sympathetic restoration. A lick of paint, new concrete floors, a brickwork bar and a gorgeous polished concrete bar top have been added. They have screened off the outside patio area with the twisted vines, in a nod to their sister restaurant on Virgin Gorda, and the Mango tree is looking better than ever.

But enough about the decor – you want to hear about the food and you won’t be disappointed.

They are currently running on a smallish menu (three choices each for starter, main and dessert) – but that just meant that we got to try (almost) everything!

We started with a bottle of prosecco (and a ginger, grapefruit, thyme cocktail, because why not?) along with a portion of calamari (from the bar snacks menu) to nibble on while we waited for the rest of our group to arrive. Crispy little morsels of tender squid paired beautifully with the perfectly chilled fizz.

Once our table was ready we happily got carried away with our ordering.

The burrata cheese salad was a hit with everyone. Melting mozzarella with the bright, fresh tomatoes and the salty olive paint – the perfect counterbalance to the creamy cheese. Edible flowers, the crunch of fried basil leaves and the paper thin garlic crostini.

Delicate tuna sashimi with its soy mirin dressing and salty ikura pearls.


Tender beef tartar – just how flavourful the New Zealand beef was surprised everyone. Totally worth the air miles, I’m told.

Korean rice cakes with kimchi and mixed vegetables.

Flaky miso-glazed red snapper with the rich scallops and warm shiitake mushrooms was a real winner.

The deconstructed cheesecake could have done with a bit more of the biscuit base, but all those that tried it declared it to be delicious nevertheless.

Sinful chocolate plate combining chocolate mousse, chocolate ice cream and chocolate cake on that glossy, decadent chocolate paint.

The Dove was always known for her fine wines and extensive wine list and you’ll be pleased to hear that the new management wants to continue that legacy. The wine list still comprises 250+ wines and we sampled a couple of the excellent Sancerres (all in the name of research, you understand).

Even more good news is that the old champagne happy hours may also be coming back, boys and girls.

The Dove Restaurant is definitely one to watch – and I’ll be sneaking in for another cheese salad very soon! I suggest that you do the same…

Open from Tuesday through Saturday, reservations are essential – +1 (284) 494 0313.

Don’t forget to check out my full BVI restaurant guide here – for a bite-sized review of where to eat and what to eat.

Looks like I’ll need to be adding these guys to the list! 🙂

EDIT: Unfortunately the Dove restaurant suffered significant damage during Hurricane Irma in September 2017. The restaurant is closed until further notice and no re-opening date has been announced as yet. We look forward to welcoming the Dove restaurant back onto the BVI culinary scene at some point and will update you once we know more. 

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Definitive BVI Restaurant Guide – Restaurants To Visit (and for which occasion)

Definitive BVI Restaurant Guide – Restaurants To Visit (and for which occasion)

The definitive BVI restaurant guide - all the tips on where to eat in the BVI post-Irma

So you’ve booked your BVI holiday and you have a precious couple of weeks exploring the islands, but where should you be eating? The gastronomic scene has changed quite a bit post-Irma with many of our favourite restaurants sadly closing (at least temporarily) but, worry not, I’ve got you covered!

Below is my BVI restaurant guide, showcasing the BVIs finest dining establishments and offering my tips on which venues you should be eating at (and for which occasion…)

Please don’t be disheartened if one of your favourites is currently closed – most are working hard to get back on their feet, as soon as possible!

TORTOLA

For Dinner with the one you loveBrandywine Estate Restaurant, Tortola (+1 284 495 2301) ($$$)

Brandywine Estate’s new and improved location opens beginning of December 2018. They have kept the original footprint and style of the restaurant but the terrace area now has a sweeping wooden roof. Their renovations post-Irma are seriously impressive! Die-hard Brandywine fans will love what they have done with the place!

Start with cocktails on the terrace and enjoy views of neighboring islands across the channel as the sun sets – move into the restaurant to enjoy superb French cuisine on crisp white linens by candlelight with friendly service and finish your evening with coffees and digestifs in the garden, a game of pétanque and (hopefully) a kiss. Read more.

Eat: the oysters, the duck starter three ways and the classic steak frites

Drink: champagne

Now also introducing ‘THE ROOFTOP BY BRANDYWINE’ (opened May 2018) a gorgeous rooftop sister-location (the clue was in the name) right in the middle of Road Town. A happening lunch spot and the ideal place for a happy hour drink and snack. Serving tasty tapas dishes alongside many of their old favourites. With the exception of a brief closure until August 14th, Rooftop by Brandywine will be open for the summer – open Tuesday through Saturday.

Eat: all the small plates (the tempura shrimp and the moules gratinée are my personal favourites)

Drink: Rosé by the bottle


The definitive BVI restaurant guide - all the tips on where to eat in the BVI post-Irma

For Sunday Brunch Tramonti at the Sugar Mill Hotel, Tortola – (+1 284 495 4355) ($$)

Overlooking Apple Bay as you head out West you’ll find Tramonti, the beach side restaurant at the Sugar Mill Hotel, and that is where you need to be going for Sunday brunch. A varied brunch menu in a beautiful ocean-front location is a real treat for a Sunday afternoon. Featuring items that you won’t find anywhere else in the BVI (his lordship’s kipper and the kedgeree are prime examples) we wiled away several hours watching the pelicans fish while enjoying delicious food and a few mimosas and mary’s. (I’m keen to get back and try their dinner menu too). Read More.

Eat: the pancho villa (avocado toast with poached eggs and bacon)

Drink: bubbles

BVI Restaurant Guide - All the best places to eat post-IrmaBVI Restaurant Guide - All the best places to eat post-IrmaBVI Restaurant Guide - All the best places to eat post-Irma

Photos by The Barefoot Angel

For Authentic Caribbean Food – D’Coal Pot, Tortola (+1 284 495 4998) ($$)

Head out West along the coast road to Carrot Bay to find D’Coal Pot. A large restaurant pressed right up against the sea with a casual feel. D’Coal Pot serves up the best authentic West Indian fare and offers good value for money.

Eat: their famous ginger wine chicken, the shrimp roti or the steak

Drink: rum punch

For the Best Pizza – The Watering Hole, Tortola (on Friday nights) (+1 284 346 5950) ($$)

Paper thin and perfectly crispy bases topped with wonderfully creative combinations (if you’re looking for a ham and pineapple pizza you’re sh*t out of luck, heathen!)* are turned out quickly for the hungry happy hour masses on a Friday evening at the Watering Hole. Right in the middle of town and walking distance from everyone’s offices this place can get hot and heaving but is totally worth it! Get there around 5pm in order to grab a seat.

Eat: the Piggly Wiggly

Drink: whatever you want – it’s Friday night!

For a Completely Unique Evening – The North Shore Shell Museum, Tortola (+1 284 495 4714) ($$)

Find the North Shore Shell Museum tucked away in Carrot Bay, but ensure you call ahead and make a reservation (or else you might well find them closed.) Go upstairs and check out the shells and then go down to enjoy your dinner complete with live fungi music – pick your instrument (I like to play the washboard bass or the TV, myself) and immerse yourself in a one-of-a-kind Caribbean experience, ideal for the more adventurous traveler.

Eat: whatever they’re serving that night, menu changes daily

Drink: soursop daiquiris

North Shore Shell Museum

Photo by The Barefoot Angel

For Friday Night in Town – Cabernet, Tortola (+1 284 494 8660) ($$$)

Almost directly across from the ferry dock and smack-bang in the middle of town is Cabernet. Popular for lunch, happy hour and in the evenings Cabernet has you covered. They have a beer garden vibe with picnic tables and palm trees outside and casual table service inside. Much of the food is grilled outside on their big oil drum BBQs so expect to start feeling hungry as soon as they start cooking.

Eat: the escargot and the croque madame

Drink: the huge selection of IPAs

EDIT: Cabernet suffered damage due to Hurricane Irma and has not yet been rebuilt, although I have spotted works starting… Any update as to when it will re-open will be posted here as soon as I hear more. 

For the freshest local ingredientsLady Sarah’s Farms, Tortola (+1 (284) 541 8011) ($$)

Conveniently located in Road Town at the end of Main Street (the end closest to the hospital) this charming and comfortable little eatery is serving up fantastic lunches with farm fresh ingredients. Salt Island fish cakes share the menu with creamy lobster mac and cheese and the homemade juices and lemonades (served with a stick of sugar-cane) are to-die-for! Menus change daily so there is always something new to try. Leave room for a sweet treat from the bakery or take it to go! Read more.

Eat: the bang bang conch and the lobster mac and cheese

Drink: the watermelon lemonade or the lemongrass and ginger tea

The definitive BVI restaurant guide - all the tips on where to eat in the BVI post-Irma

Photo by The Barefoot Angel

VIRGIN GORDA

For A GroupCocoMaya, Virgin Gorda (+1 284 495 6344) ($$$)

A stunning beachfront location with delicious tapas-style sharing plates and an inventive cocktail menu makes for the perfect setting for dinner with friends. Enjoy a taste of everything! Get there for in time for sunset by the fire pit and make sure you have a turn on the swings.

Eat: the tacos, the fried rice and the dulce de leche cheesecake

Drink: elderflower and jalapeño margaritas

CocoMaya will be open all summer operating on a Tuesday – Sunday schedule. 


 

For A Sunday FundaySaba Rock, North Sound (+1 284 495 9966) ($$)

Enjoy the 7-minute boat ride from Gun Creek over to Saba Rock Resort (ferries run at 45 minutes past the hour) and enjoy a laid-back lunch with gorgeous views of the North Sound and all the kite-boarders zipping across. Stay to watch the tarpon feeding at happy hour and make sure to check out the gift shop before you leave.

Eat: the lobster and cheese panini

Drink: the Rock Saba Mule in their signature engraved copper mug

EDIT: Unfortunately Saba Rock was damaged during Hurricane Irma and remains closed until further notice – there are rumours of redevelopment and a very tentative whisper of a March 2019 re-opening.  I will update you, as and when they get confirmed. 


For a Special Day Out – Oil Nut Bay, Virgin Gorda (info@oilnutbay.com) ($$$)

For a pampered day full of great food, cocktails and lounging by the pool, it doesn’t get much better than time spent at Oil Nut Bay. Email them to organise a reservation and your boat pick-up from Gun Creek before heading over to enjoy their beautiful resort, attentive service and tasty treats. Oil Nut Bay has only recently started accepting reservations for outside guests, so you should make the most of it. It is well worth the trip! Read More.

Eat: The Off the Cliff Burger, the Oil Nut Bay Pizza, or the Lobster Salad (or split them with a friend)

Drink: The Pineapple Pimms Cup (it has pieces of rum soaked pineapple in it that really pack a punch)

Oil Nut Bay re-opened in mid-October following their summer break. From December 2018 their new Marina facilities will be available to outside guests. 

The definitive BVI restaurant guide - all the tips on where to eat in the BVI post-IrmaThe definitive BVI restaurant guide - all the tips on where to eat in the BVI post-IrmaThe definitive BVI restaurant guide - all the tips on where to eat in the BVI post-Irma

Photos by The Barefoot Angel

For Lunch with a View – Hog Heaven, Virgin Gorda (+1 284 547 5964) ($$)

Perched in the hills overlooking the North Sound and reopened in May 2018, Hog Heaven enjoys some of the most spectacular views of Leverick Bay, Necker, Moskito, Prickly Pear and Eustatia – and on clear days you can see all the way to Anegada. Super breezy (and often quite chilly) Hog Heaven makes for the most picturesque lunch spot. Known for their ribs with a (phenomenal) sticky BBQ, ginger glaze – enjoy them with creamy coleslaw and fried plantain.

Eat: the ribs

Drink: the frozen rum smoothies

The definitive BVI restaurant guide - all the tips on where to eat in the BVI post-Irma

For a weekend Brunch on Virgin Gorda – Top of the Baths Restaurant, Virgin Gorda (+1 (284) 495 5497) ($$)

For a breakfast, lunch or brunch on the weekend you can usually find me up at Top of the Baths! Friendly service, breakfast favourites and mimosas lure me back time and time again. The views aren’t half bad either. Make sure to bring your swimmers as there’s a little pool to cool off in after your hike through the boulders (you know, to work up your appetite). Oh, and if you miss breakfast (served until 11.00 am) the lunches are also delicious – fresh sushi and salads alongside sandwiches and all the lunch staples.

Eat: the Tunisian eggs or the amaretto French toast (get a side of bacon, you know you want to!)

Drink: mimosas… (it is brunch time, afterall)

The definitive BVI restaurant guide - all the tips on where to eat in the BVI post-Irma

The definitive BVI restaurant guide - all the tips on where to eat in the BVI post-Irma

Photos by The Barefoot Angel

For a varied menuBath and Turtle Restaurant, Virgin Gorda (+1 (284) 495 5239) ($$$)

Only footsteps from the dock in Spanish Town is a leafy courtyard oasis serving up delicious food and luscious libations. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the amalgamation of Bath and Turtle, Chez Bamboo and Rendezvous Bar are now all found behind that bamboo facade, and all the fan favourites are on the menu. Homemade pizzas, fresh sushi, steak, salads and tasty fish dishes can all be found on their varied menu. Rose is ever the attentive host, the service is great and there are nights with live music.

Eat: the Asian light bites and tasty sushi rolls

Drink: Whatever the bartender recommends

For a Breakfast BuffetBitter End Yacht Club, North Sound (+1 284 494 2746) ($$$)

As an occasional treat I’ve been known to visit the Sunday buffet at the Clubhouse Restaurant at BEYC. Catch the boat from Gun Creek (boats leave at half past the hour) and spend a couple of hours feasting on their bountiful brunch buffet with a range of options, from salads, cheese and cold cuts, through the breakfast favourites and finishing with a selection of desserts, all for $45 including mimosas.

Eat: all of it…

Drink: bottomless mimosas

EDIT: Bitter End Yacht Club suffered catastrophic damage during Hurricane Irma – there is no word yet on when rebuilding might start on the property and it remains closed until further notice. There is speculation as to a March 2019 re-opening of the marina and restaurant areas. 

JOST VAN DYKE

For the Best Burger – Corsairs, Jost Van Dyke (+1 284 495 9294) ($$)

Re-opened since the hurricane in May 2018, and looking a little bit different, in their brand new building Corsairs is back! Operating a limited menu but still home to strong drinks and damn good food, be sure to pay them a visit when coming over to Jost Van Dyke. I certainly will be, just as soon as I can! Read More.

Eat: whatever they have made that night (keep your fingers crossed it’s the smoked ribs)

Drink: rum

The definitive BVI restaurant guide - all the tips on where to eat in the BVI post-Irma

Photo by The Barefoot Angel

For lunch on Jost – One Love, Jost van Dyke ($$)

When you first arrive on the pristine shores of White Bay it is very tempting to head straight to Soggy Dollar (indeed you should for your first Painkiller) and camp out there for the afternoon. But, when lunch time comes and you find yourself getting peckish, I urge you to wander away from the crowds and down the beach to One Love. For the freshest seafood (and when you go out back and see the catch you’ll know what I mean), the best value lobster** and rum drinks as strong as you can handle (they’ll sometimes let you pour it yourself) One Love is hard to beat. The eclectic decor and live music is a bonus.

Top tip: Ask the bartender for a magic trick – the slight of hand is impressive.

Eat: the shrimp or lobster** quesadilla

Drink: all of the rum

OTHER ISLANDS

For a Meal out on the Water The Willy-T, Great Harbour Peter Island (+1 284 340 8603) ($$)

Following irreparable damage to their old boat during Hurricane Irma – the Willy-T is finally back! Bigger and better than ever (re-opened June 2nd 2018) and now floating at their new mooring at Peter Island’s Great Harbour. If you’ve ever visited the BVI, or even researched it as a holiday destination, I am sure that the Willy-T needs little to no introduction…

Eat: the catch of the day (the Willy-T gets the freshest fish from the fishermen on their way home, or caught by owner Ewan himself)

Drink: the shotski…

The definitive BVI restaurant guide - all the tips on where to eat in the BVI post-Irma

Photo by The Barefoot Angel (This is an extremely old picture on the old Willy-T, but you get the idea…)

For all the Rum… (and some tasty food too)Cooper Island Beach Club and Cooper Island Rum Bar, Cooper Island (+1 284 345 6725) ($$$)

Calling all sailors… Set in a beautiful eco-resort on Cooper Island you’ll find a rum bar stocking enough different rums to suit all pirate tastes. Choose your libation from a huge menu of rums from around the globe, sit and learn all about them from the experienced and informative bar staff. But it’s not just the rum! Cooper Island Beach Club also makes all its own beer and the restaurant serves up fantastic meals. There is something for everyone. I still need t o try out their dinner menu… Read More.

Eat: the fish and chips

Drink: the rum (obviously…) and the affogato with the salted caramel ice cream (for an extra special experience add a shot of the coffee rum… you’re welcome!)

Cooper Island Beach Club re-opened on October 25th, 2018 following their summer break. 

The definitive BVI restaurant guide - all the tips on where to eat in the BVI post-IrmaThe definitive BVI restaurant guide - all the tips on where to eat in the BVI post-IrmaThe definitive BVI restaurant guide - all the tips on where to eat in the BVI post-Irma

Photos by The Barefoot Angel

There are so many great restaurants in the Territory and I know that you’re going to have a fantastic trip, but these are just a few of my hand-picked favourites.

While I appreciate that most people don’t plan entire trips around their restaurant reservations in quite the same way that I do – hopefully my tips still prove helpful. I will be working hard to keep this post updated, as and when restaurants re-open following the hurricane.

Whew, that was a long post! Any that you feel I’ve overlooked?

 

* I have really strong opinions about pineapple on pizza which I refuse to apologise for…

**fresh lobster available in season.

All images sourced from their respective restaurants unless otherwise specified.

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