“There is a difference between dining and eating. Dining is an art.” – Yuan Mei
The owners of Little Palm Island Resort & Spa have clearly taken this quote to heart, and have perfected the art of fine dining at one of the most unique settings in North America.
The tropical resort, isolated on a 5.5-acre island off the Florida Keys and accessible only by boat or sea plane, is routinely named one of the world’s best luxury resorts. Little Palm’s unique dining experiences contribute to that distinction.
It’s true that at Little Palm Island you get the rare, Robinson Crusoe-like experience of waking up in the morning to dolphins and manatees swimming around you and falling asleep at night to the sound of ocean waves against the sandy shores of your remote island. But during the day, you’re not exactly searching for fallen coconuts to eat or trying to spear fish to survive.
In fact, the resort’s dining room on the beach, created by distinguished executive Chef Luis Pous, was named “Best Hotel Dining Experience” in Florida and third best in the entire U.S. by Zagat Survey. Pous’ Cuban heritage and love of the Caribbean have inspired him to create unique dishes such as Foie Gras Cuban sandwiches and Key West lobster with apple, truffle, tarragon and Key Lime risotto.
The cuisine at Little Palm received Zagat’s highest possible scores with an “extraordinary to perfection” distinction. As my wife and I discovered during our visit this May, the food at Little Palm compares favorably to that offered at high-end restaurants in the heart of “foody” cities such as Vancouver and New Orleans, but the incredible setting is what takes it to another level.
To demonstrate the point, allow me to use photos and videos to walk you through a typical dining day at paradise island.
"All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast."
– John Gunther
Suffice it to say John Gunther would be the happiest man on earth if he lived at Little Palm Island. Why? Well, see for yourself.
No, you're not really hungry three hours after eating a gourmet breakfast at Little Palm, but that doesn't mean you can't force down some chips, salsa and guac at the pool-side bar, or, perhaps, a platter of cheese and crackers aboard the Lilyana during a private afternoon sailboat ride.
From shore or from boat, it's a pretty spectacular setting for an afternoon snack.
Dinner at Little Palm Island is an experience unto itself. They have indoor and outdoor seating at the award-winning Dining Room, but clearly a table on the beach is the way to go.
My wife and I enjoyed many dishes that would have delighted anywhere, but the setting certainly added to the flavor as the attentive wait-staff kept bringing out course after course.
To borrow one more dining quote, Art Buchwald could well have been speaking about Little Palm Island when he said, “Dinner is not what you do in the evening before something else. Dinner is the evening.”
Rest assured, you definitely go to bed nice and full after a day at Little Palm Island Resort & Spa ... only to wake up the next day and do it all over again. Life is good at paradise island. And the dining, well, it doesn't get much better than this.
The website for Little Palm Island Resort & Spa is www.littlepalmisland.com. For more information, call 800.343.8567 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For tons of information on other fun things to do in Florida, including great spots to stop along the Keys as you drive to Little Palm Island's base camp on Little Torch Key, go to VisitFlorida.com or Fla-keys.com.