Little Palm Island

I knew we were in for something special when we ordered margaritas and chips and salsa for an afternoon snack. The margarita came with freshly squeezed lime juice, the salsa homemade and the chips right out of the oven.

Making time for drinks at the bar before dinner and sampling one of their terrific house martinis is a must. Everyone is relaxed and in vacation mode and the conversations are fun and entertaining. Try the Paradise Found, Parrot Bay Passion Fruit Rum blended with mango, Midori Liquor, and topped with 151 Rum or the resort’s signature Gumby Slumber, coconut rum, Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, tropical juices, and finished with fresh coconut soaked in Bacardi 151 Rum.

The views would almost be enough to make this an amazing experience, but Executive Chef Luis Pous’s seasonally fresh menu with French and Latin influences make it a truly extraordinary one. The menus change daily but we enjoyed tuna tartare with a wasabi foam, Berkshire pork chops with an arugula and red onion salad and blue cheese and a delicious roasted organic chicken with a wonderful black bean salsa.

The wine list is excellent, with all the major regions of the world represented and surprisingly (for a place of this stature) there are lots of reasonably priced choices. We enjoyed an excellent Tocai Friulano, Bastianich, priced at $50.

Breakfast, served on the outside terrace overlooking the water featured freshly squeezed juices and excellent coffee. Our French toast made with homemade bread coated in corn flakes and served with mascarpone cheese and fresh fruit was absolutely amazing.

“It’s a short boat ride to paradise, aka this restaurant in a private island resort off Little Torch Key that surveyors rate No. 1 for Food, Decor and Service in the Keys; expect amazing gourmet French and Pan-Latin cuisine served by an attentive staff in an elegant dining room or on a torchlit, secluded romantic beach that’s straight out of a tropical movie set you’ll need a full wallet, but the only drawback is a yearning to stay longer.” ZAGAT