Do they really say “Cheerio” in England? I should have asked our British companions while we were there.
We had reservations at Tao, the fine dining restaurant at our resort, the last night we were there. It has been named one of the “Sixty Hottest Tables” by Conde Nast and since we were on the company dime, I wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity to eat fancy. The restaurant is at the water’s edge and open on three sides. Even though it was dark out, we could see the glimmer of the moon play across the ocean and the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks was a beautiful soundtrack to our unhurried meal.
And I didn’t take my camera.
It was just one of those evenings where I wanted to make the memory with Craig and our dear friends Mark and Fran and wanted to be all in the moment and not think about how could I blog this for posterity. Because it was memorable and magical without having a camera to record it. The plates were beautifully and artfully composed – just as you see them in the magazines with fancy drizzles of color and flavor. I almost didn’t want to take a bite because I didn’t want to mess the plate up. They were that perfect.
I had the duck terrine AND the Vietnamese spring rolls for appetizers (the restaurant is part of the all-inclusive package, so everyone at the table took advantage of that and ordered several things to taste). I’d never had duck before (which is bizarre since I had a ton of duck-hunting friends in Arkansas) and I don’t know what duck is supposed to taste like, but that terrine was rich and bold and unctuous and ethereal all at the same time. And the spring rolls? Ha! Let’s just say they’ve ruined me for the ones I buy at Harris Teeter.
I had the mahi mahi for my entree (while vacationing on an island, I’ve learned that ordering the fish never disappoints), and it was perfectly grilled and sitting on top of a sweet potato cake. Divine.
And then the dessert menu came out and wouldn’t you know, they had my favorite item, creme brulee. But not just any creme brulee, my friends. Ginger creme brulee with a paper-thin, crispy hazelnut biscotti. And it was so divine that I broke my rule and told Fran she had to take a picture of it with her phone and send it to me, because it was a vision.
Craig, who does not share my love for all things custard-based, opted for the bread pudding
which is my other love language and as fantastic as my dessert was, his was even better. If you go to Tao for no other reason, go for the bread pudding.
We spent a few hours the next morning at the beach soaking up the last rays of sun and then loaded into the van to head back to the airport. We had the option of taking helicopters back and avoiding the winding, washed out roads, but it was a very windy day and
I didn’t want to die in a chopper accident Craig gets motion sickness very easily so we took the road less traveled by and that made all the difference.
We had a few hours to kill at the airport so after buying some t-shirts for the boys and soaps and locally roasted coffee and cashew nuts for my in-laws who graciously watched them for us, we headed upstairs to the food court and undid four days of healthy spa eating by devouring a plate of French fries and some fried Jamaican patties that we’d been missing since our trip two years ago.
Then we walked to our plane and boarded and started our journey back home.
The flight back was uneventful. I watched The Help and loved it just as much as the book. We had a bit of a layover in Atlanta before heading to Raleigh. We were getting worn out by this point and losing the island spirit quickly. The screaming babies at 11:30 p.m. on our flight didn’t help.
But we rallied and had enough spirit in us to take one last picture before heading home.
Well, one of us rallied.
The other one was humoring me.
And a good time was had by all.
Have a nice day.