If you have been going to Antigua, and particularly Jolly Harbour, as often as we have, you would have seen some things come and some things go. Some restaurants over the years have changed hands and in one or two cases, they have got better, but in the main, when something starts bad it is hard to push the vehicle up hill.
Melini's and Peter's are rock solid and will take some beating for providing a level of cuisine which is above that which one would expect, year in year out.
Coco's has a captive audience from their hotel guests and will always seem busy because of that. The ambience has not changed over the years, a little like Sheer, but the first of those cases, the menu is a bit restricted if you happen not to like the choices, set out as the hotel guests’ menu. You then appear to be stuck. Sheer had its change of Management and is now no longer the combination for romance and good food. Sometimes the two need to go together.
Al Porto has the appearance of being packed out but it is usually because of their deals which just tend to prove the old case that you get what you pay for.
However, Il Giardino has appeared on the scene and has spiced up the deck area at the golf club, and the first impression the ambience, with its table cloths and real linen serviettes and fine glass and cutlery, gives the impression that they wish to be there to stay. The clever touch is that you can actually speak to the chefs and get their recommendations for the evening specials. They are properly decked out in chef’s top hats and everything encourages confidence in that the setup has been made very thoughtfully.
For most visitors who are at the resort for 14 or 21 days, probably nobody is going to eat in their temporary home every night and on the basis that they will be selective then the prices at Melini’s, Peter’s and Il Giardino are very much the same.
Impression of the food at Il Giardino is that their Mille Foglie Tuna was fantastic. Their Chicken Milanese was very, very good, but as a mark of them being prepared to learn we suggested that there was perhaps an overdose of pepper. The next time we went, the one of us who had not had Milanese the first time round chose it, and it needed very slightly more pepper!
The music was quite a few decibels lower and one or two other suggestions had been taken on board.
There is absolutely no reason why Il Giardino should not be high on your evening dining out list (glass of very good house wine was $13 EC and don’t leave without the Panna Cotta).
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.