Don’t let the casual, weathered-wood-and-palm-thatch exterior fool you—this is no ordinary beachside shack. Rather, Tippy’s is (in the apt words of owner David Barlyn) Planet Eleuthera: a superb restaurant that’s also a gathering place for all walks of island life. Sun-scorched expats, Bahamian families in church clothes, and affluent seersucker-clad visitors all happily converge here to carouse at the long, perpetually thronged bar; to listen to live bands (part-time islander Patti LaBelle rocks the mic when she’s in town); and most important, to feast on Austrian chef (and co-owner) Peter Birkwieser’s eclectic, refined cuisine. Lunchtime fare is casual but delicious—the day’s blackboard-scrawled menu might include crunchy coconut-crusted shrimp or fried grouper fillet on a chewy baguette. Evening diners (who sit at tables made from old wooden shutters) can try dishes like steamed stone-crab claws with drawn butter and roasted vegetables, or roasted rack of lamb glazed with guava sauce (made from fruit trees right on the property). The well-curated wine list includes labels from as far afield as Chile, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Tip: Don’t miss the rollicking, no-name rock band that plays Tippy’s tiny stage on Friday nights. Pianist and singer Don Buchat’s delivery is equal parts Joe Cocker, Dr. John, and lifelong, pack-a-day, unfiltered Camels habit.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.