Pusser’s East (Fat Hog’s Bay, 284/495-1070, 7 a.m.–late daily, $8–20) wins marks for its setting on the water’s edge and its reasonable prices. The menu features sandwiches, pizza, and Pusser’s fried chicken.
Casual is the name of the game at Josiah’s Bay Grapetree Bar and Restaurant (284/495-2818, 11 a.m.–4 p.m., $5–10), where you can grab a burger, sandwich, or barbecue chicken plate, not to mention a whole array of cold drinks. Open for lunch most days, Grapetree serves dinner by reservation only. It’s perfect for a day at the beach.
Put some spice in your life at Emile’s Cantina, otherwise known as the Blue Pepperoni (East End Rd., 284/495-1775, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. daily, $8–25). This roadside eatery, across the road from Harbour View Marina, offers colorful decor and cheerful service. Choose from Mexican-style food, including tacos, burritos, and enchiladas, or order pizza.
Italian chef Davide Pugliese personally describes the specials of the evening at Brandywine Bay Restaurant (284/495-2301, fax 284/495-1203, www.brandywinebay.com, 6:30–9:30 p.m. Mon.–Sat., $25–45), one of the finest restaurants on Tortola. The menu here fuses classic Tuscan traditions with Caribbean ingredients and style. For starters try fresh mozzarella cheese (made on the premises) or a plate of homemade lamb ravioli. Davide’s signature dish is his roasted duck in mango sauce, but the menu includes beef, ostrich, fresh seafood, and vegetarian entrées.
If you arrive before dark, enjoy a cocktail while you watch the sun set over the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Brandywine Bay is an intimate restaurant with limited seating, so make your reservation well in advance, especially during high season. The restaurant is closed from August to October every year.
Uncommonly sophisticated, Eclipse Restaurant (Penn’s Marina, 284/495-1646, www.eclipse-restaurant.com, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 4–10 p.m. Sat.–Sun., $8–32) serves upscale dishes in a casual seaside environment. There is an Asian flair to many of the dishes here. Chef and owner B.J. Turnbull writes a cooking column in the local newspaper. You can make a whole meal out of a few items from the creative “grazing” menu, such as cracked calamari, fresh mussels, or coconut shrimp, or choose a main course of filet mignon, shrimp tempura, or lobster ravioli. Reservations are a good idea.
Tucked away in the ruins of an old sugar mill, The Secret Garden (Josiah’s Bay Rd., 284/495-1834, noon–3 p.m. and dinner from 6:30 p.m. Wed.–Mon., $12–45) is worth looking for. Good food is the name of the game; fresh seafood, pasta, and meats are among the highlights. The ambience is romantic and intimate, and the service is attentive without being fussy.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Virgin Islands, 4th edition