So far, the best restaurant we've been to on Angilla is Koal Keel, and by a wide margin (although we're going to Blanchard's tonight, and have high hopes for that one as well). Koal Keel didn't open for the season until 11/10, and we were fortunate enough to get reservations on their opening night. The owner was there to welcome us and give recommendations.

We sat in large armchairs at a table next to the edge of the porch. All the tables are on a large old plantation porch. We didn't get a tour of the building (it was dark when we arrived for dinner), but the house attached to the porch is one of the oldest in Anguilla. It's inland, so I suspect that's what has saved it from hurricanes over the years. The music selection was a sophisticated mix and played at a pleasing decibel, loud enough to hear, but not so loud that conversation was difficult. There was a small bar on one side of the porch, but this is not a place to go for drinks, really, it's all about the dinner.

And what a dinner it was! I had the pumpkin soup (pumpkin is a staple here on the island), which was superb. Then the crayfish ravioli. The entree looked small (three raviolis) and the sauce looked quite similar to the pumpkin soup, so I was initially worried that I would not have quite the variety that I had hoped for. Not to worry, as soon as I had my first bite, I was in heaven. The sauce was very creamy and tomato-based. I didn't spend time trying to identify the herbs and/or spices flavoring it since it was such a perfected blend that no one flavor predominated, it was just its own delicious thing. And the raviolis were just right, and I'm not even a huge fan of crayfish but here it all just melted in my mouth. Surprisingly, the three raviolis was the perfect amount, I was not left hungry (although I did have a few bites of my husband's red snapper in crispy rice paper, also perfectly prepared).

Desserts are ordered at the beginning of the meal, since they're prepared to order in the patisserie, which operates as its own entity during the day. Terry and I shared the "Triology" which was a sampler of several different sweets. It would have been too much to eat one each after appetizers and entrees, so I'm glad we shared it. Everything on the plate was as delicious as the dinner. Koal Keel really has found both a talented chef and gifted pastry chef.

The prices are in line with other restaurants on Anguilla. More expensive than many places in the states, but nothing shocking if you're used to dining in NYC. But the food was so much better than the other restaurants we've eaten at (and everywhere has been pretty good) that if Koal Keel had been open at the start of our vacation, I'd have tried to book a second dinner there.

I can't speak to their wine list since both Terry and I have been abstaining lately, but other reviewers have praised it. I've no reason to doubt it's any less wonderful than the rest of the dining experience here.

If you're planning a vacation in Anguilla and appreciate fine dining, do yourself a favor and book a reservation at Koal Keel as soon as you know your travel dates, I can't imagine anyone would be disappointed.