Review: Blue by Eric Ripert, Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman

Review: Blue by Eric Ripert, Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman

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This Review of Blue by Eric Ripert at The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman is from our recent Grand Cayman site inspection visit. Years ago, I remember a corporate lunch at the 3-Michelin star Le Bernardin by Eric Ripert in NYC, and not being that impressed by my lunch, but I chalked it up to ordering the wrong thing, and to it being lunch rather than dinner. I've heard many glowing reviews since then of both Le Bernardin and Blue by Eric Ripert in Grand Cayman, so I was looking forward to our dinner.

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Blue by Eric Ripert Location and Hours

Blue by Eric Ripert is located at The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, on Seven Mile Beach. As the restaurant is on the lower level, after entering the resort, turn left and head down the stairs to the restaurant.

The restaurant is open for dinner only, Tuesday-Saturday, from 6-9pm (9pm is the last seating) and does have an annual closure during the off season, so be sure to double check that it's open before planning a trip, if you plan on dining there. Advance reservations may be made by calling the resort or emailing rc.gcmrz.restaurants@ritzcarlton.com

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Blue by Eric Ripert Menu and Food

At time of writing, there are 6 and 7 course set tasting menus offered for KYD 135 and KYD 155 + service charge, but we chose the more flexible 4 course tasting menu for KYD 110 per person, which enabled us to select one course each from the Almost Raw, Barely Touched and Lightly Cooked menus below, plus a dessert choice.

Blue by Eric Ripert, Grand Cayman Menu-Almost Raw
Blue by Eric Ripert, Grand Cayman Menu-Lightly Touched
Blue by Eric Ripert, Grand Cayman Menu-Lightly Cooked

Our meal started with a complimentary amuse bouche trio; my husband's favorite was the scallop with caviar on the right, while my favorite was the creamy celeriac soup in the middle.

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Amuse Bouche Trio, Blue by Eric Ripert, Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman

Celeriac Soup Amuse Bouche, Blue by Eric Ripert, Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman

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I'd seen high praise for the Tuna Foie Gras appetizer, so I ordered that as my choice from the Almost Raw menu. I have to say, I was a bit disappointed, since the tuna is pounded so thin and the foie gras layer on the toast (the rectangle in the center, under the tuna) is also so thin that the dish just isn't that compelling. It was ok, but I wouldn't order it again.

Tuna Foie Gras, Blue by Eric Ripert, Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman
Tuna Foie Gras, Blue by Eric Ripert, Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman

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In contrast, my husband's Hamachi with kimchi emulsion not only had more fish, it was bursting with flavor. It definitely tied for the best dish of the night.

Hamachi, Blue by Eric Ripert, Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman
Hamachi, Blue by Eric Ripert, Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman

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I often look at the set tasting menus to see what the chef and kitchen are most proud of, so I opted to pay the supplement to try the Langoustine dish, with sushi rice and seaweed butter. The langoustine were sweet and top quality, so I enjoyed them, but I thought the seaweed flavor in the seaweed butter could have been a tad more pronounced, similar to the excellent seaweed butter we've enjoyed at Le Cinq at the Four Seasons George V Paris. Certainly the dish lived up to the “Barely Touched” moniker, but I'd likely try something else next time, I'm not convinced the supplement was worth it here, especially as it was quite a modest portion.

Langoustine, Blue by Eric Ripert, Grand Cayman
Langoustine, Blue by Eric Ripert, Grand Cayman

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The chorizo-clam sauce really made my main of monkfish–without it, the dish would have been too plain, given the very mild flavor of the monkfish. The fish, as you'd expect from an Eric Ripert restaurant, was perfectly cooked, each medallion with a nice crispy skin.

Monkfish, Blue by Eric Ripert, Grand Cayman
Monkfish, Blue by Eric Ripert, Grand Cayman

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I thought my husband's King Salmon tied with his hamachi appetizer as the best dishes of the night. You almost never find salmon so lightly cooked and with so much flavor at a non-Asian restaurant, and the Indian spiced sea urchin sauce really elevated the dish. It was a surprisingly generous portion, which was fine with me, since I was happy to help my husband finish it.

King Salmon, Blue by Eric Ripert, Grand Cayman
King Salmon, Blue by Eric Ripert, Grand Cayman

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The dessert menu offered several tempting options, although I'd love to have seen a souffle choice–there were no hot dessert choices.

Blue by Eric Ripert, Grand Cayman Dessert Menu

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My husband chose the Pear dessert, with roasted chocolate cremeux, cayman honey yoghurt ice cream, and pear consomme. It was delicious, although I'd have loved a darker chocolate cremeux.

Pear Dessert, Blue by Eric Ripert, Grand Cayman
Pear Dessert, Blue by Eric Ripert, Grand Cayman

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I chose the Mont Blanc, since I've always enjoyed candied chestnut, and it was an excellent rendition, with superb vanilla bean ice cream accompanying it.

Mont Blanc Dessert, Blue by Eric Ripert, Grand Cayman
Mont Blanc Dessert, Blue by Eric Ripert, Grand Cayman

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The Verdict

Blue by Eric Ripert is an excellent place for a splurge dinner on Grand Cayman, and easily my top recommendation for those seeking the best fine dining on the island. While I was a little underwhelmed by the much vaunted Tuna Foie Gras appetizer, and I'm not convinced the supplement is worth it for the Langoustine dish, everything else we ordered was superb, particularly the Hamachi appetizer, my husband's scallop dish, my monkfish main, and his King Salmon main. The amuse bouche trio and desserts were also very good.

Service was very professional, and I was also impressed by the perfect pacing of the meal–there was just the right amount of time between courses. That said, we were celebrating a birthday, and there was no recognition of it, surprising since our server even confirmed it at the beginning of the meal. There also weren't any mignardises at the end of the meal, although there was a farewell boxed chocolate given. Overall, I'd say the restaurant is at a 1-2 Michelin star level.

If you've dined recently at Blue by Eric Ripert in Grand Cayman, what was your experience?

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