Accolades pour in for Straw Hat as they are named one of Fodor’s top 10 Caribbean Restaurant’s – owners Peter and Anne Parles say “we owe it all to our incredible team”
Straw Hat Restaurant has been an institution with visitors to Anguilla for 17 years. From its early days located in a charming, Caribbean house that sat on stilts over the water, to its current stunning incarnation at Frangipani Resort – where they overlook the powdery white sand and turquoise waters of world famous Meads Bay, the restaurant has consistently been described as one of Anguilla’s ‘must do’ dining experiences – quite an achievement on an island Fodor’s describes as “a culinary Shangri-la”.
Straw Hat has always attracted the attention of the travel and tourism media but this festive season the buzz grew increasingly loud and culminated in the restaurant receiving 3 major accolades in one month. In December Straw Hat was named as one “the Caribbean’s top 10 restaurants” by Fodor’s the world’s largest publisher of English language travel and tourism information; Straw Hat and Meads Bay were named as one of the “Best Places to Travel in 2014” by Travel + Leisure Magazine a monthly travel magazine with a readership of 4.8 million readers and also as one of the “50 Best Caribbean Restaurants – 2013” by the Caribbean Journal – the Caribbean’s leading digital newspaper.
Most visitors to the island make sure a visit to Straw Hat is part of their “Anguilla Experience” – despite hefty competition from Anguilla’s 100 plus restaurants. When asked how Straw Hat has retained its popularity and built such a strong reputation over the years – the owners, husband and wife team Anne and Peter Parles say they owe their success to their incredible staff – many of whom have been with them since they opened and the special relationship they have with their repeat guests.
“For seventeen years we’ve been given a unique opportunity – to grow older alongside our guests: getting their feedback, enjoying their support and sometimes organizing their children’s weddings! We think this is what helps us to keep the restaurant fresh and relevant after all these years. In Anguilla, seasons are not defined by the weather – more by our returning guests. We can almost mark our calendars by the arrival of certain families. We look forward to seeing them at the same time each year, and they have become part of the restaurant’s extended family.”
Straw Hat ‘s Executive Chef Nick Dellinger is constantly refining the menu – and his innovative approach to combining Straw Hat ‘favorites’ (menu items too popular with their regular guests to ever remove!) with exciting, ever changing daily specials featuring fresh local seafood, Caribbean flavors and produce from their garden has certainly paid off. Menu items such as Local Crayfish in Ginger Vinaigrette and Boneless Curried Goat Pot Pie have the reviewers salivating.
Peter says, “In 1997 shortly after we opened, Straw Hat was named as one of the “50 Hot Tables – The World’s Most Exciting Restaurants” by Conde Nast Traveler. 15 years later we have come full circle. Being mentioned by Fodor’s alongside Jose Andres and Eric Ripert, as well as many other internationally renowned chefs has certainly put us in a new class of restaurant and is a great honor. Chef Nick Dellinger and his team have really stepped things up in our kitchen and the reviews have reflected this. Our long-standing staff (both front and back-of-house) takes great pride in what we do and I have to say Anne and I are extremely proud of all of us!”
– Press Release