Dune, Paradise Island
The first Caribbean outpost of celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Dune is far and away the chicest restaurant in the Bahamas. The sleek, minimalist dining room—designed by Christian Liaigre with dark-wood tables and chairs, Asian-style rice-paper lamps, and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a terrace and the ocean—demands dressing up; this is the place to wear that linen suit or Laboutin sandals. The frequently changing menus are as rarefied as the atmosphere—and though most dishes echo Vongerichten’s signature French-Asian fusion, others incorporate Bahamian flavors and ingredients (some of which are grown in the property’s garden). Starters might include thin-shaved ribbons of tuna tartare, avocado, and spicy radishes; and the entrée choices a local-caught lobster, steamed with Thai herbs and served with a pile of crispy fried plantains.
Tip: After dinner, head to the open-air Dune Bar and order a fresh-pressed watermelon martini. On weekend nights (and some high-season weeknights), an excellent local reggae band plays.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.