Known for its serene historic ambiance, phenomenal food and delicious drinks, Emilio’s has been one of the island’s hotspots for chic dinners and legendary Sunday brunches for years. But since last week, Emilio’s also serves a luxurious lunch on their breezy patio with mountain views and ample parking – perfect for business meetings, workday lunches and midday meals with friends and family. Of course, the Out N About team came in for a taste test!
Emilio’s is located inside a beautifully restored old sugar cane boiling house of an 18th century plantation. The boiling house, which was built in 1724, also served as the living quarters for Emilio Wilson, the deceased owner of the estate and grandson of one of the enslaved working on the plantation. So at Emilio’s, you truly brunch, lunch or dine with the location’s impressive history.
Every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Chef Sidney and co-owner Su Wathey serve up wonderful salads and entrees such as their Orange Grilled Duck Salad and Mount Gay Rum Shrimp Kebab for lunch. For all those stopping by for their midday meal, they also brought back fan favourite – their famous Plantation Creole Fried Snapper.
What is a luxurious lunch without a dessert and a glass of wine or a cocktail? Emilio’s Patio Lunch menu features Su’s newest dessert creations, such as the Caribbean Guava Bread Pudding. The restaurant’s wine expert, Marianela, selected some classic cocktails and fabulous Chardonnays, Roses and Pinot Noirs to pair with the light and flavourful lunch dishes.
Don’t have a long lunch break but still want to enjoy the soothing atmosphere and fantastic food? No problem; you can contact Emilio’s with your order and arrival time, and they will have the food ready for you.
Emilio’s breezy open-air patio offered a cool and relaxing respite on the hot Thursday afternoon we visited. While we got situated at one of the many inviting tables overlooking the historic property, an adventurer zipped on by from Rainforest Adventures’ Flying Dutchman zipline on top of Sentry Hill.
Joining our table to discuss the restaurant’s new lunch menu, Emilio’s co-owner Norman Wathey told us that it is smaller and has a different concept than Emilio’s dinner menu. Whereas the dinner menu is more about scrumptious plates, The Patio is about high-quality, light and tasteful dishes that won’t give you that dreadful after-lunch dip.
Norman envisioned what he likes to call a “Chardonnay lunch” – crisp leafy salads and easy-to-digest dishes paired with a good glass of wine and enjoyed on a breezy patio. Well, he did not have to tell us twice because we were there to try just that.
First up for our taste test was the homemade Pumpkin Ravioli with cinnamon, basil, vine tomato sauce and toasted pumpkin seeds. We were blown away from the first bite, which was delicious and warming without being heavy or greasy.
Next up was the Gazpacho with chilled watermelon, cucumber, roasted red pepper and cilantro. Norman told us the recipe was inspired by a gazpacho he and Su had from a street vendor in Spain. We understood why they recreated it – the gazpacho was so refreshing and flavourful on a hot November afternoon. Bonus point: It did not need hot sauce, which was the biggest compliment from a hot sauce-addicted team.
Then came the Oven Roasted Beet Salad with its crispy goat cheese balls, organic crisp mixed leaf, red and gold roasted beets, pecans and crispy roasted chickpeas in ginger oil. In one word, wow! What an amazing salad, even for a self-proclaimed salad-connoisseur. The beets and leaves provided a soft texture, while the goat cheese, pecans and chickpeas offered that lovely crunch. The best part: the flavours paired perfectly with a glass of Emilio’s excellent house chardonnay.
Of course, we could not leave without trying some of Su’s new desserts. At Norman’s recommendation, we shared a guava bread pudding with guava cheese, nutmeg and whipped cream and an apple crisp with salted caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. Both were delicious and not overly sweet – our plates were clean within minutes.
Emilio’s is open for lunch on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11:00am to 3:00pm. Dinner is served Tuesday to Saturday from 6:00pm until 10:00pm and their legendary brunch buffet takes place every Sunday from 11:00am to 3:00pm. For reservations or more information, contact +1 (721) 522 1848 or check out emilios-sxm.com.