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A Taste Of The Bahamas Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM


Vacations.com reports on the Sip Sip Restaurant in Eleuthera
By Vacations.com
Jul 16, 2009 - 10:11:39 AM

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Photos: Vacations.com
Vacations.com - Have you ever flipped through the pages of a travel magazine and wondered how all the people in the photos could look so well-coiffed and serene? I discovered exactly how last week on my Caribbean vacation in Eluethera, Bahamas.

After a full morning of boogie boarding in the aquamarine waters off Surfer's Beach, my family was starving. We made our way to the northern end of the island and hired a water taxi to take us on the ten-minute ride to Harbour Island. Once there, we rented golf carts, the cay’s preferred mode of transportation, and puttered past the town’s colorful clapboard houses to Sip Sip’s, one of our favorite lunch spots.

As we pulled up, we noticed an unusual amount of commotion and thought that perhaps a large group had just arrived. As we walked in the door, however, we saw an over-sized camera, people holding light reflector panels, a woman running around with a make-up powder puff, and a stunning model. It was a photo shoot for Condé Nast.

Almost everybody else in restaurant had come straight from the beach and looked the part – bare feet, sandy cover-ups, wet hair and all. The impeccably made-up model, on the other hand, languidly sipped her bright-orange mango daiquiri while gazing out over the pink sand beach to the ocean beyond. The purple and red of her impossibly fresh sundress and matching stiletto heels stood out dramatically against the white deck railing. Two assistants used the reflectors to make sure there were no unwanted shadows falling across her unflawed face. After every couple of shots, the make-up woman went over to mist the model, powder her nose, and fix her hair. It’s the army of people working behind the scenes that make the models look so perfect.

It’s appropriate that I pass along this little tidbit of gossip, because the name of the restaurant, Sip Sip, means “idle chat” or “rumors” in the local patios. One thing that is certainly not a rumor is the quality of their food. There is a reason that Condé Nast is going to feature the spot – outstanding cuisine in a picturesque setting.

sip-sip-interior1Constructed in 2003, the restaurant mimics the traditional Nantucket style of the other buildings on the island. One difference, however, is the paint color, which can only be described as neon avocado.  A large mahogany bar is the central feature inside, but the coveted seats can be found outside on the umbrella-shaded patio. The restaurant sits on a small rise above the blushing beach, affording views of both the sand and the sparkling Caribbean waters.

Some restaurants blessed with such a fantastic setting might not feel the need to work very hard on the food. The American owner, Julie Lightbourne, has taken the opposite tack however, producing fresh, flavorful delights from her kitchen. While the menu has some interesting options, like hot dogs smothered in conch chili, and jerk chicken salad, the daily specials board is where the real treats can be found.

The standout dish the day we were there was the lobster quesadilla with chipotle cream sauce. Imagine lobster thermidor on a tortilla. The huge chunks of meaty lobster, washed down with an ice-cold Kalik beer, were heaven on earth. Other delights we sampled included a creamy mahi-mahi dip served with pita chips, jerk pork tenderloin with fresh island greens, and a fried grouper filet sandwich with tangy tartar sauce. Everything exceeded our expectations, including that mango daiquiri that the model had sipped so seductively. We might not have looked so good, but I bet we were a lot more comfortable.


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