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Rachel Perlow

St. Thomas / St John USVI Dining

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Great pictures--they make me homesick. Nice to see those adorabl;e scamps Christian and Malachi are still on the job--and talking about fast cars. I guess I have to check out the sorbets. And my pal Ras-Bushman..I know just what he's saying: "Bless!"

Just watched your episode of A Cook's Tour. It was very nice to see Christian and Malachi again. And this time we got to see the third brother, who was busy doing his homework when we visited. I was laughing when you mentioned them being interested in cars, they certainly are. And they were very excited to tell us how they were going to be on Food TV.

We definitely plan on going back to St Martin. It is such a lovely island. Has anyone else been lately? After you covered him on your show, I'm scared I'll have to make a reservation at the Freedom Fighters Shack. :cool:

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It was great to actually see the places that I've been reading about for months now. The show covered everything I had hoped and more. Nicely done T.


"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." - H. L. Mencken

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Does anyone know if Citrus is open in June, and is the chef the same one?

Also any suggestions , for dining near grand case or marigot.

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My wife and I have been living in St. Thomas for the last 9 months or so, and have had some really bad luck dining. Only recently have we begun to find acceptable, and then exceptional places to dine. Tonight was an exceptional experience and I want to share with anyone living or visiting the island.

We headed over to Frenchtown and hit Craig and Sally's for the first time since living here. Reservations are highly recommended. The menu changes nightly with Sally's one signature dish remaining at the top of the appetizer list - eggplant cheesecake with Parmigiano Reggiano, roasted garlic, roasted eggplant all topped with a tomato basil confit. Excellent. Salad of spinach greens, goat cheese, sun dried cherries, prosciutto, and melon was also well put together. My wife had pan seared diver harvested sea scallops, 3 huge ones with 3 jumbo shrimp atop a cajun bean and crawfish chowder. I had a half roast duckling with pancetta peppered polenta cakes and a port wine poached pear stuffed with bleu cheese and chorizo all on top of a sweet potato sauce with cinnamon hints. The pear was delicious, although I'm unsure how the chorizo flavor fit into the sweetness of the duck dish. Regardless, it was excellently prepared. They offer 20 or so wines by the glass and have about 350 bottle offerings on their wine list. Apparently they have about a 5000 bottle inventory, which is probably the best you're going to find on an island with a tropical climate. Desserts all sounded great but Sally goes a tad overboard on the entree portions so we had no room left over to find out. Regardless, Craig and Sally's comes as my highest recommendation thus far on the island.

The only other places I can recommend so far are Randy's Bistro, where you pick your wine from his colocated wine shop and pay a $5 corkage fee - a bargain place to quaff some wine, and the Old Stone Farmhouse over near Mahogany Run. I've had well prepared, fresh meals at both of these establishments and have left happy - Randy's on a number of occasions. Additionally, I've had luck at Off The Hook in Red Hook for fresh local seafood prepared in a (somewhat liberal) local style.

Not recommended: Frigate East, Herve (It was acceptable fare, but you can do much better for the price), Molly Malone's (even a turnoff for casual bar food).

If anyone's interested, I'll keep this topic updated on my experiences.

Thanks for reading.

Mark


Edited by markf424 (log)

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We're leaving next Saturday (the 6th of September) for our first trip. Any news? I notice most of these posts are from this time last year, so I'm certain there have been changes. Can anyone update/advise, please?

Thanks!

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Thanks very much, Jason.

Tony, if you're out there in cyberworld: Have there been any dining changes since this time last year? I'm writing an article for our local lifestyles magazine here in Little Rock, so I'd like to definitely hit the "don't miss these" restaurants on both sides -- yours and Rachel's previous suggestions will be extremely helpful. I'd also like to hit the "off the beaten path" spots as well. Any further suggestions to complement what has already been posted? Thanks for your help.

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I would definitely be interested in hearing about more of your experiences. Will making a trip down there in just a couple of weeks. I'd also welcome any advice you might have about eating in St. John. Preferably cheap eats. Thanks a lot,

Josh

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Tell me, is the Crazy Cow still there? How about Harbor View, Galleon House, Mafoli, Cafe Brittany in Palm Passage, Lord Rumbottoms, the Red Rooster on Main Street, and King Davids on Back Street.

I moved from St. Thomas in 1969.

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I was on St. John in November and this was my seventh trip. My favorite is La Tapa (not a Tapas bar). They are next to Woody's in Cruz Bay. I have had great meals there, good service and the prices are about what I pay in DC. Miss Lucy's out past Coral Bay has a great Sunday brunch, Full Moon party and good West Indian Food. Shipwreck Landing out that way is quite good with fresh grilled fish. Both places are next to the water - very pretty, but the no-see-ums come out at dusk. I have heard Asolare has gone down hill. A new restaurant that has opened since I came back is supposed to be good - Rhumb Line.

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Just curious, as my family will be traveling to St. Martin (Orient Beach) to witness the wedding of my sister-in-law. We are planning on renting a car to tour the island during the non-wedding days, and my husband plans to cook for the family at the house. Other than the Epicerie Rachel Perlow mentioned on the first page, does anyone know of any quality grocery stores near Orient Beach? We will be traveling the third week of June 2004.

Thanks!

--Angela

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Not necessarily near Orient Beach, but there's a really big supermarket (Ram's?) on the way away from the airport, you can't miss it. I know people say "you can't miss it" and then you do, but really, you can't miss it (as long as someone can confirm it is still operating), it's right at the traffic circle. It only takes about an hour to encircle the entire island, so on your way leaving the airport (if the timing is good) stop in and buy most of your supplies. We tended to circle the entire island whenever we took the car out. As long as we were a third or more around to whereever we were touring that day, instead of going back in the same direction we'd just continue on the loop. :biggrin:

Oh, yeah, there is also a sort of gourmet convenience store next to Citrus restaurant (part of the hotel complex).

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Were the prices reasonable compared to the US at the supermarket? Also, what timeshare did you stay at when there. We will be at Pelican Club Resort and were curious as to the accomodations. Also, are you allowed to take cars by ferry to Angilla? Thanks so much! We want to visit the island but would rather take our own transportation!

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We stayed at Oyster Bay, which was pretty good. I don't know anything about Pelican, please let us know how you like it, since it is a member of our exchange organization. We visited a few timeshares for future reference when we were there, and thought Divi would be a nice place to stay next time.

Prices in the supermarkets were reasonable. Restaurants ranged from cheap to overpriced, just like anywhere else. Be sure to check out the Dinghy Dock recommended Tony Bourdain, upthread. We didn't take the ferry so I dunno.

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Thanks Rachel. Will definitely let you know how Pelican is. Are you with II? So far, we have been very happy with the exchanges we have gotten thru them.

Have been reading the threads above and taking notes! Will report back when we return! Any other info you can share will be great. Pelican is near Simpson Bay. Halfway btw French and Dutch side, I am told.

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Yes, we're with Interval. I know we saw one or two of the resorts near Simpson Bay and we didn't care for them. One was like a run down hotel and the other was more like spread out bungalows, but still very near town. But I don't want that to spoil your anticipation, I don't think we visited Pelican and your wants in a resort may be different from ours. Besides, if you are renting a car, you will be visiting other beaches and checking out the other sites around the island.

However, Simpson Bay is rather near the airport and I don't remember if you make it to the traffic circle before getting to your resort. So you may not just run across the Ram's supermarket as I indicated you would upthread. However, I'm sure that you can be easily directed to it from your timeshare.

Have fun!

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Anyone been to Bliss? All I know about it : "Simpson Beach Airport Rd." I have to go there for a rehearsal dinner and I'd like to know what to expect as far as food and how to dress. I'd ask the bride but she's somewhere in the Caribbean right now.

Thanks!

-Angela


Edited by angeltriano (log)

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Also, are you allowed to take cars by ferry to Angilla? Thanks so much! We want to visit the island but would rather take our own transportation!

Not that kind of ferry, from what I understand. We're headed to Anguilla next week and for the first time we'll be flying into St. Maarten and taking the ferry over....... Once you get to Anguilla, you should be able to rent a car close to where the ferry lands in Blowing Point, I've heard there's a rental agency nearby. Just ask anyone around the customs and immigration area. Getting around the island is really easy if you have a decent map, just remember they drive on the left and the roundabouts are tricky!

Can anyone recommend a nice place to have lunch in Marigot that won't be too, too expensive? I think my daughters and I will take a day trip from Anguilla to do some browsing and shopping.

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Not to be a spoil-sport, but I found the towns on St. Martin / Sint Maarten to be kinda dumpy. I was only there for a day, but the big three (Phillipsburg, Marigot, and Grand Case) all seemed somewhat run down. Grand Case was nice enough, but I have to say Marigot had a few nice blocks but I didn't find it charming. Mostly it seemed like KFCs, junque shops, and people offering to braid my wife's hair. Now, her hair is a foot and a half long, so maybe the braiders were hoping to retire on her, so your experience may vary. I did have a truly excellent and relatively inexpensive meal at Le Tastevin, a restaurant in Grand Case run by French expats. Very French food and service (lunch took well over two hours) with a wonderful view of a pristine beach. Very friendly folks, too. And, if you can't go one week without sucking down some grand cru Burgundy, they have quite a selection of wines from DRC in temperature controlled storage. [Confused]

St. John, especially was much more to my liking. More tropical forest, less scrub brush, and while still quite touristy, significantly less seedy. I didn't snorkel on St. Martin, but Waterlemon Cay in St. John was stunning and well worth renting a boat and traveling halfway around the island, even after our map blew overboard. Whoops.

Walt


Edited by wnissen (log)

Walt Nissen -- Livermore, CA

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wnissen,

You should try visiting Anguilla. It meets our primary criteria for a great vacation spot: no gambling, no nightlife, no shopping, no cruise ships, just great beaches and friendly people :biggrin:. But, I do have three daughters aged 9, 15 and 17 and they enjoy browsing around in little shops and the designer places, would love to have some braids put in their hair and I think they'd enjoy lunch in a typically French spot.

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St. John is lovely. It is much more pristine than St. Thomas and the beaches are less crowded and prettier. Especially liked Hawksnest and Little Cinnamon (which you can only reach by boat). As far as Snorkeling, Waterlemon Cay and Ramshead are exceptional. I am sure that Anguilla will be similar, but different, which is what we want. We like escaping from the hustle and bussle. That is why when we were in St. Thomas, we boated to St. John and Virgin Gorda (also and awesome, unspoiled place). The food choices were great in St. Thomas, however even with the more touristy setting(Craig and Sally's, The Sugar Mill, Cuzzin's,Off the Hook, Agave Terrace to name a few). We are anxiously awaiting experiencing the dining(and etc, etc, etc) in St. Martin. Only a few more months.:)

BTW, can you rent mopeds or motorcycles on Angilla??

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Just back from Anguilla. No cars on ferry, and the boats are pretty small. They run approximately every half hour from Marigot and Blowing Point and the crossing takes about 30 minutes. It can be rough, even on a nice day, but it's over quickly. The fare is $10 each way, with either a $2 or $3 departure tax, depending which way you're going.

No moped or motorcycle rentals on Anguilla. Car rental is around $40-50 per day for a small sedan, a little more for a Jeep-type vehicle. Taxis are very expensive, with set rates for point-to-point travel. The island is pretty small, just 16 miles long by 2-3 miles wide, and a sedan will be fine for most places you'd want to go. Feel free to email me or send a PM if you want more detailed information on good beaches, etc.

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Please PM me and let me know what you found, off the beaten path, restaurants and beaches on both Anguilla and St. Martin. Thanks!

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