My wife and I are thinking of visiting CN in May 2012, but my wife is worried about the quality of the food as we are 'foodies'. I can relax a bit and sacrifice the quality a bit for beach side drink service. But my wife is worried. Yes it will not be 3-star Michelin quality but we also do not want Golden Corral/ Ponderosa/ Old Country Buffet feeling at the restaurants. We have been to other resorts in the Carribean and had high standards for food, but they were not AI so I think its a shock that to her that we won't have to search out dining options and that she is worried about the quality if they are just on-resort.
The buffet for breakfast is great. They have a cooking station for eggs anyway you like them, and also one for waffles. The pastries are fantastic and the fruit is fresh and locally grown depending on season. Lunch you have a choice of the buffet or the beach grill which has some fantastic sandwiches. The dinners are where you have more choices of restaurants and the food, IMHO is absolutely fantastic. Sure there are things I don't like, but I don't eat them, and if you don't like what you ordered, tell them and order something else. I do not think you will have trouble finding good food. From the pastry chef to the head chef they take a great pride in the food they offer, and IMO, that is what sets them apart from other AI's.
The food is what keeps us coming back year after year. I still dream about the food at Lychee at CN even though we haven't been since 2009! From the fancier restaurants down to the grill it is top notch. I went to an AI in Cancun and lived on french fries cause it was not good & had the same fears. It is the best food I have ever had on vaca. My husband & I are heading back in 3 weeks and much of our conversation is about what we are going to eat first! He loves the jerk chicken, I love the sushi & ceviche. We both plan on eating 3 deserts with every meal! Bon Appetit!
We are foodies too and we love the food at CN, especially compared to the other AIs we've been to. In fact, its one of the reasons why we will never go to another AI. You will definitely be impressed with the a la carte dinners. The buffets are much better quality than any GC/P/OCB junk. Food is not an issue at CN.
As a foodie couple our selves the food is fantasic. You have plenty of choices and I really love some of the food at Lychee. Get a Lychee Martini. They make the best ones there. I haven't been back to CN since '08 (DH loves the jerk chicken at CTI so we go there every year) but I do fondly recall the lamb chops. They were so fantastic. The Lobster tail was the best at the open air grill. Don't pass up the jerk chicken or the beef patties for a snack. Have a great time.
Felicia and Josh
Couples Negril Oct. '08
Couples TI Nov. '09
CTI and CSS Nov/Dec '10
I thought the food was good, 8/10. My suggestion is to go in with moderate standards... expect the food to be good (not "fantastic"), and you'll be fine. It is possible to be disappointed if you go in thinking you're getting something you're not (this is an AI, afterall). I don't think you'll find any difficulty finding some things good to eat, but you will probably not eat your favorite meal down there, either. That said, you can order anything you want, and change your mind mid-course, and change restaurants, etc etc.. without any added cost. I'm sure you will also find things you love down there. The jerk chicken had me coming back over and over again. We also had several dishes we thought were fantastic. We also had some meals we thought fell short.
The drinks... they do well in this department. I just ordered whatever the bartender wanted to make... and it was always great. If you drink one type of drink all the time, say a mojito, you might not get it just the way you like it, or you might. I think the best way to approach a vacation is to go in with mild standards and be impressed when you get there. Going in with high standards can only set you up for failure, or headache, because then you judge the entire vacation, instead of enjoying it.
Just trying to give an accurate account. We're going again, food or not.... That should say something.