Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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Gastronomy takes center stage at Hammock Cove led by Michelin-trained Italian

Executive Chef Marco Festini Cromer, bringing years of international culinary expertise to Antigua’s newest luxury, boutique property. Marco is setting the highest standards for the all-inclusive dining experience overseeing every aspect of the resort’s two restaurants, four bars and 24-hour in-villa dining. No detail has gone unnoticed including the choice of chic Italian and French porcelain tableware and crystal glassware, reflecting the refined sensibility prevalent throughout the 42-villa property. 


From the casual Irina’s Restaurant to fine dining at the Lighthouse, he showcases ancient cooking methods and a culmination of forward-thinking flavors highlighting sustainable regional ingredients, the freshest imports and inventive interpretations of classic and internationally influenced dishes. The beverage program features an extensive wine selection of the world’s best reds, whites, roses and bubbles from France, Italy, Argentina and beyond. 


Lighthouse, the resort’s signature dinner restaurant, has a dining room seating 14 persons and offers a wealth of choices, with a nightly changing menu and degustation menus. Indulgent items include Wagyu Rib Eye, corn and Stilton soufflé, compressed red cabbage in a Madeira and Perigord truffle reduction and Poached Lobster with creamy buffalo mozzarella, lime drops and mint courgettes. The Lighthouse Bar offers guests a proper Italian aperitivo and a full range of cocktails, along with the extensive wine list. 


Irina’s is a chic bistro located on the first floor of the Great House overlooking the swimming pool, serving á la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with light savory and sweet snacks such as caviar, salmon, and a freshly baked selection of viennoiserie, which rotates throughout the day along with afternoon tea and customized coffees. A locally made copper and hardwood bar serves as a central meeting place offering up the classics, handcrafted cocktails, and a selection of beers and soft refreshments. 


The Chairman’s Lounge, located upstairs in the Great House, is an analog throwback featuring classic games like billiards and chess, and a record player with a curated vinyl library. The bar offers premium liquor, Champagne, and a Caribbean rum selection created by the property’s rum sommelier. Cigars are also available for an extra charge. 


Nobody Knows, is the carefree barefoot bar that overlooks famed Devil’s Bridge, a perfect spot for a cold beer or rum cocktail while the spray of the waves cool the day. Just below the swimming pool on the boardwalk overlooking the beach is On The Rocks offering beer, wine and fruit infusions. 


A native of Italy, Marco began his career working in Italy then moved across some of the finest restaurants and hotels including three-Michelin starred Les Pres D’Eugenie; Relais & Chateaux Hotel Helvetia & Bristol; London’s Chez Moi; Brufani Hotel in Perugia and Ristorante Caffe Italia in Desenzano Lake Garda, to name a few. Marco comes to Hammock Cove most recently from St. Lucia’s Harbor Club by Curio Collection, and prior to that was the Executive Chef at the famed Daphne’s restaurant in Barbados for 13 years. 


Marco is committed to creating an exceptional culinary experience for his guests, in what is poised to be the most inventive kitchen in Antigua, if not the entire Caribbean.



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