Camana Bay Key Tip
Visit Camana Bay on the second Saturday of each month for Musicians Showcase, from 6-9pm.
The free concert features local musicians, along with work from members of Visual Arts Society Cayman Islands, while promoting a local charity.
Key to Cayman’s Catherine MacGillivray spends the evening eating, drinking and making merry.
For a sophisticated night out, where you can watch a movie, browse the boutiques listen to live music and dine under the stars, then head to Camana Bay.
My friend and I did just that, exploring the night spots and joining the glamorous people enjoying themselves at Grand Cayman’s hottest destination.
We started off early evening with an iced treat from Ginger Lily Frozen Yoghurt to keep us cool.
I had a kid’s-sized mocha swirl while my friend tried the large three-fruit cup of strawberries, peaches and kiwi topped with chocolate drops.
Then it was a few steps across The Paseo to Hollywood Theaters where we watched a heart-warming film.
This six-screen, digital projection cinema has comfy, high-back reclining seats, showing the latest releases.
The movie finished just after 6pm so we had an hour to browse the shops, many of which open until late evening, before stopping for cocktails and nibbles at Abacus.
The bar tender recommended the Bellini - Champagne infused with peach puree – which is the restaurant’s signature drink. It was served in tall slim glasses from which we sipped while sitting at the bar munching on crispy calamari for two.
Abacus offers contemporary Caribbean dining inside, or at outside tables on The Paseo. The bar and lounge area is perfect for pre-dinner drinks or ladies like us who want to get glammed up and unbottle the bubbly.
Next stop was Ortanique for our entree of the evening, where they serve “cuisine of the sun”. Founded by American chef Cindy Hutson, Ortanique incorporates tropical flavours and seasonings so that food is bursting with everything from spicy to fruity tastes.
Inside, the restaurant is decorated in warm, sunny hues but we sat out in the waterside booths overlooking the bay, in the cool of the evening air.
The full moon hung above the palms trees on the small island facing us, making the green, glass-like sea shimmer and gleam with night time shades.
I had the catch of the day, which was crispy skinned local snapper pan-seared on a bed of wakame seaweed and spinach salad with jasmine rice and coconut soy ginger broth. My friend opted for the New York strip steak served with caramelised Brussel sprouts and pan-seared fingerling potatoes enriched with a Scotch bonnet compound butter.
Both were delicious and we washed the dishes down with sparkling water carbonated in the restaurant, just one of the establishment’s many measures to reduce its carbon footprint.
The waiter was pressing us to have one of their mouthwatering desserts but as we had arranged to eat each course at a different restaurant, we tottered the few yards along to Michael’s Genuine for our sweet.
Michael Schwartz is the award-winning chef/owner of this stylish eaterie which is the sister establishment of his renowned restaurant in Miami. Michael firmly believes in getting local produce onto the table by sourcing from Cayman’s farmers and fishermen.
Thomas Tennant, executive chef of Michael’s Genuine in Grand Cayman, presides over a menu that blends those fresh ingredients into an explosion of taste and texture. We snuggled into a sofa outside the restaurant, watching people strolling by and children playing in the fountain.
My chocolate cremoso was an unusual combination of sea salt, olive oil, sourdough crostini and espresso parfait. A few spoonfuls, along with a pot of peppermint tea, were perfect to round off a delightful gastronomic evening.
My friend had “pie in a jar”, in which she needed to dig through layers of banana, cream, chocolate mousse and crackers.
We were truly full but as it was only just after 10pm, there was the option to have a nightcap at KARoo, a popular bar at the corner of The Paseo and The Crescent. KARoo has an extensive list of after-sinner drinks, or if you want to party into the small hours, lots of designer cocktails to keep your spirits up. It is also popular for its “small plates of food”.
Camana Bay’s many shops, bars and restaurants in such a beautiful, intimate setting, make it an ideal place to spend several nights while on vacation, with plenty of venues to ring the changes. Or, like us, enjoy a film, shop until you drop and then eat and have a refreshment at each of the establishments. It’s an idyllic island night out.