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I am currently on the island of St. John, in the US Virgin Islands.  I am here for 10 days, and will be back for two weeks this summer, so I thought I would start a new thread to cover the current dining options on the island.  Between the two trips I will visit almost every restaurant on the island.

 

 

Our first real dinner was at one of our favorite restaurants: Zozos at the Sugar Mill.

 

 

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A special of house cured salmon over tagliatelle with broccolini, roasted peppers and cherry tomatoes

58bd741284f71_zozoscuredsalmontagliatelle.thumb.jpg.6a8748649d1297bf6de0d1b90b73e17a.jpg

 

lobster carbonara

 

58bd741732f1f_zozoslobstercarbonara.thumb.jpg.9a0b76a7e44b0ff9c4bc65690f8a71d0.jpg

 

jumbo shrimp with fave bean puree and asparagus

 

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striped bass with asparagus and salad

 

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We are not big dessert eaters so there won't be much sweet in this report.

 

Another day we ate at Caneel Sushi Bar

 

Tuna Island salad with mango

 

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Yellowtail koi

 

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A crunchy salmon roll

 

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a Sandy Beach roll (shrimp)

 

 

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Our final meal was at Turtle Bay Estate House.  It was too dark for photos most of the meal, but here is the bread service

 

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And the conch chowder

 

58bd740768c44_tbehconchchowder2.thumb.jpg.92f8eefcf34c740ce702273a19c3a76d.jpg

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Beautiful!  I spied this thread earlier but waited to look until I had a cup of coffee at hand as I knew there would be gorgeous photos to savor.  Thank you for sharing!

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I should have qualified in my last post that the last meal I posted was our final meal at Caneel Bay for this trip.  We are still here for another week.  My husband and I moved out into larger accommodations today.  I get really antsy in a hotel room.  The weather is lousy today so we had an early dinner at Rhumblines.  Our cocktails: husband's was a spicy guava margarita, and mine was a "Rockefeller" which had vodka, campari, grapefruit, and some other stuff.  Laurence Rockefeller purchased and then donated over half of this island to the National Park, so I felt compelled to order.

 

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Vegetable summer rolls

 

58bdf75d171fc_rhumblinessummerrolls.thumb.jpg.b4ddb860a1991e5681e8b7dd21b8a1b9.jpg

 

All the shrimp from their "pupu" offerings: blackened, cornmeal crusted, barbecue, tempura, and coconut, with accompanying sauces.

 

58bdf75b320cc_rhumblinesshrimp.thumb.jpg.9c774a0d9a19e9aa5c45498a21267bd5.jpg

 

Blackened scallops with sesame rice cakes and vegetables

 

58bdf75968f02_rhumblinesscallops.thumb.jpg.3aa8258baa30c9a4f54f80cf686298b2.jpg

 

Tuna with puffed rice noodles and bok choy

 

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Rainy setting

 

rhumblines.thumb.jpg.76bd0d3f7691948a33c97253011f62ad.jpg

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The weather is still lousy but at least I saw a rainbow

 

58bf5a2981b34_gallowsrainbow.thumb.jpg.e0417bee8d8d2a87deb0d256272d3ca1.jpg

 

Lunch at the Lime Inn.  Cracked conch

 

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Two snapper sandwiches...one blackened with pickled cauliflower salad

 

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One with local greens

 

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Dinner at Extra Virgin Bistro.  Cocktails

 

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Housemade ricotta with corn salad

 

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Crab cakes (background was the best dish of the night, a scallop and zucchini blossom special)

 

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Shrimp and crab pappardelle

 

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PattyO   

Thank you for doing this, Liamsaunt...  I am in the frozen tundra right now and will live vicariously through your blog!

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gfweb   

How many decent place to stay are there on St Johns?  We visited once for a day. Seemed that there was only the ex-RockResorts place. What have I missed?

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16 hours ago, gfweb said:

How many decent place to stay are there on St Johns?  We visited once for a day. Seemed that there was only the ex-RockResorts place. What have I missed?

 

There are lots of options, but only two "full service" resorts: Caneel Bay (which is the ex-Rock Resort) and the Westin St. John. The Westin is in the process of being converted to almost entirely time share units.  You can still rent them though.    Caneel is not for everyone. I have heard it described as "summer camp for grownups" and I would say that's pretty accurate.  There are no phones or TVs in the rooms, the rooms themselves are not large and not fancy in decor.  You are paying for the grounds and the access to their beaches, which are top notch with great snorkeling.  I personally love it there.  

 

There are a couple of eco options: Cinnamon Bay Campground, and Concordia Eco-Tents.  Plus, various smaller condo complexes and inns.  However, what most visitors do--and what I prefer-- is to rent a vacation villa.  It's more work than a hotel room obviously, since you are self-catering, but the reward is more space, more privacy, and various amenities, great views, upscale furnishings and kitchen/baths private pool, etc. depending on your budget.  When I come back this summer I will be staying in a villa, and cooking at least half of our meals at the villa from a mix of things we will bring from home and things we can buy here on the island.  

 

Today for lunch we went to Shipwreck Landing.  Blackened shrimp appetizer

 

58c06c48e3ea1_shipwrecklandingblackenedshrimp.thumb.jpg.a9007492bb3fa21ec17bac3d134167fa.jpg

 

 

A fish reuben

 

58c06c4c7de52_shipwrecklandingreuben.thumb.jpg.360bea5b22286abb102a0ea77292d03b.jpg

 

Tuna tacos with roasted pepper salsa

 

58c06c4fadf12_shipwrecklandingtunatacos.thumb.jpg.d8cdd8ac42846b85dd1b6c13d84100c7.jpg

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14 hours ago, Shelby said:

A fish reuben.  That's a new one for me.  Is the fish fried?  Looks like more of a cole slaw instead of the traditional reuben sour kraut?  What kind of fish?  

 

I might need to make this at home :) 

 

Yes, the fish was fried and it was cole slaw.  In this case, the fish was pollock.  Not a local fish, but i doubt the boats were able to go out the past couple of days due to weather.  Fish reubens are yummy.  I am going to a place that makes them with grouper tomorrow, and at one of my favorite restaurants at home (Mac's on Cape Cod) they do it with a pastrami smoked swordfish.

 

Dinner last night was at Ocean's 362.  We started with cocktails

 

58c14d4b4c497_oceans362cocktails.thumb.jpg.c69904a865f4e51525e13c186e8bb680.jpg

 

Bread service

 

58c14d4804e3b_oceans362bread.thumb.jpg.17cc212b257437db365dcc9369da34c8.jpg

 

A tuna tartare with plantain chips, feta, avocado mousse, and bermuda onion

 

58c14d449214c_oceans263tunatartare.thumb.jpg.5bf68a5cb5fe99c5edd331c62fa42b6a.jpg

 

Husband loved this.

 

Local tomato salad

 

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Husband had a butter lime curry seared mahi mahi with Caribbean lobster tail, roasted roots, kale, garlic, radish, and cumin aioli

 

58c14d5164e24_oceans362mahiandlobster.thumb.jpg.8589bf2860c8ccedb03895dfbdf43fac.jpg

 

I opted for the vegetarian plate, which had farro, roasted roots, greens, pickled carrots, sweet pea and shallot soubise, feta, radish, herbs and leek ash

 

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Too full for dessert.

 

Bonus random beach picture.

 

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and snorkeling shot:

 

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We went out to breakfast yesterday at High Tide.  It's on the beach in town--here is the view

 

58c2a91da83cf_hightideview.thumb.jpg.7fee8280929e78b6848b386921fec7a2.jpg

 

I had a standard breakfast with eggs over easy, bacon, and tater tots

 

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Husband chose the florentine benedict

 

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Then we drove across the island, stopping to photograph one of the beast beaches in the Caribbean (in my completely unbiased opinion, ha), Trunk Bay

 

58c2a9458bd77_trunkbay.thumb.jpg.d9da4a664a3022ab705b3cdf01f9d50d.jpg

 

We stopped into Aqua Bistro in Coral Bay for a snack of blackened mahimahi skewers

 

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and tempura shrimp skewers

 

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later that evening we went to Drink! St. John for a cocktail.  I had a mojito and husband had a margarita.  The glasses are slanted

 

58c2a9197701c_drinkcocktails.thumb.jpg.1a646fd030800a29d2cca408d4e94cc6.jpg

 

and then we had dinner at La Tapa.  Bacalao fritters

 

58c2a921c2ef9_latapabacalaofritters.thumb.jpg.edfa63e878f218fc0ced2905eae1e090.jpg

 

Langoustines

 

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Tagliatelle with langoustines, shrimp, and arugula in an albarino cream sauce

 

58c2a92ab21b8_latapatagliatelle2.thumb.jpg.daabe89b1ccca5de351033de84ad68c7.jpg

 

Tuna with crispy polenta cakes

 

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58c2a94e9396c_wednesdaynightsky2.thumb.jpg.9e428a0ba81e409cad06eead02ad9ec4.jpg

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18 hours ago, liamsaunt said:

Then we drove across the island, stopping to photograph one of the beast beaches in the Caribbean (in my completely unbiased opinion, ha), Trunk Bay

 

58c2a9458bd77_trunkbay.thumb.jpg.d9da4a664a3022ab705b3cdf01f9d50d.jpg

 

 

 

That is indeed, a breathtaking beach, and your photograph of is is gorgeous. Pop this out folks for best vicarious viewing. (Right click on image, select Open Link in a New Tab.)

 

18 hours ago, liamsaunt said:

later that evening we went to Drink! St. John for a cocktail.  I had a mojito and husband had a margarita.  The glasses are slanted

 

58c2a9197701c_drinkcocktails.thumb.jpg.1a646fd030800a29d2cca408d4e94cc6.jpg

 

Riiight, sure they were. xD Actually, I begged to buy some glassware like this from a Mexican restaurant and actually succeeded. A handmade stemmed margarita glass and a beer mug for my husband.

 

Lovely, lovely report, and thanks so much for sharing it with us.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Yesterday we had lunch with some friends that live on the island so I have no pictures.  They know I take food photos but I think they think it is a little weird :-)

 

For dinner we returned to Zozos, because my parents sent us a gift certificate.  Free dinner?  I will take it!

 

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We started with scallops Rockefeller

 

58c3f46b3b782_zozosscallopsrockefeller.thumb.jpg.b5d4712e632b5cd1249a380cc5354e1b.jpg

 

And tortellini in a bacon-parmesan brodo

 

58c3f46db8615_zozostortellini.thumb.jpg.7eb5da35941b7b4b222d799074182e99.jpg

 

Entrees were a pistachio-crusted mahi mahi with spinach salad

 

58c3f468556cd_zozosmahimahi.thumb.jpg.ccfd40d8be5eee624ceaa3b0dd617c48.jpg

 

And roasted fluke stuffed with crab, plus broccolini and crispy potatoes, and a roasted pepper sauce

 

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Too full for dessert, per usual.

 

A couple of snorkeling shots from yesterday

 

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Yesterday I was hoping to go to one of my favorite restaurants on the island for lunch.  They have traditional West Indian food as well as regular stuff.  I wanted a bowl of kalalloo soup, but it turns out that they were closed because they had held a full moon party the night before.  I really hope they will be open when I come back this summer.  They always close for a few months in the slow season.  

 

Anyway, we ended up back at Aqua Bistro.  Calamari

 

58c54a1adef85_aquabistrocalamari.thumb.jpg.9029893ea6b1f33e8c7affd87db0e837.jpg

 

Grouper tacos

 

58c54a1d30a34_aquabistrofishtacos.thumb.jpg.4d412699d3f07f9dcfcc75b945d5ce89.jpg

 

That night we visited the Terrace for dinner.   Cocktails

 

58c54a383e933_terracecocktails.thumb.jpg.139b5f0143021d7276110bcdb883731f.jpg

 

On the left is a Mexican cousin (Nuestra Soledad mescal, St. Germain, locally made ginger beer, and lime) and on the right is a Ramble on Rose (frozen Pinot Project Pinot Grigio rose, Grey Goose orange vodka, St. Germain and strawberries, topped with Montes sparkling angel)

 

We shared a roasted baby heirloom tomato tart with chèvre and locally grown greens

 

58c54a3ac6455_terracetomatotart.thumb.jpg.dc83f1ad9362652e7017e5ecceff9e23.jpg

 

and an app special that night of tuna tartare

 

58c54a3d58680_terracetunatartare.thumb.jpg.224f624046ca3dd139b517ac634cd245.jpg

 

 

My entree was a rare seared tuna with Parisian gnocchi, asparagus, wild mushrooms, and lavender scented port reduction

 

58c54a400ab61_terracetuna.thumb.jpg.201633991bbc0d1c61eea446ace947a2.jpg

 

and husband had the butter-poached lobster with roasted corn and grape tomatoes, tuxedo orzo, truffle, and lobster-herb hollandaise

 

58c54a33433c2_terracebutterpoachedlobster.thumb.jpg.2350bae7238670cd7b5e3efa2321f6c3.jpg

 

We then sampled the camembert beignets with stone fruit compote, spiced nuts and local wildflower honey

 

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Today is our last full day on the island, which my mind is sad about, but my stomach says is a good thing.  I think I am converting to veganism when I get home :-)

 

Finally, some snorkeling shots from yesterday

 

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I think it might be a parrot fish. The distinctive teeth give it away, although the coloration in these species varies amazingly. It does look happy, but since it can crunch up coral, I think I would give it a wide berth.

 

liuzhou bought one here and decided not to eat it after all.

 

The meals depicted here are so exquisite and enviable!

 

 

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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@Thanks for the Crepes you are correct, that is a parrotfish.  It was me who advised liuzhou not to eat it.  Ciguatera is no joke.  

 

We were originally scheduled for another fine dining experience last night, but I just could not do another elaborate meal, so we cancelled. We drove across the island, stopping for a few scenic photos along the way.  Caneel Bay--where I am heading in a hour to take the ferry to the airport :-( 

 

58c69f5c996c3_caneelbayuse.thumb.jpg.2a7689c9bef77fc2a7bd50e0ad55a42a.jpg

 

Beautiful Maho and Francis Bays.  I have a villa rented above Francis Bay for this summer's visit

 

58c69f3b8724b_mahoandfrancis3.thumb.jpg.33142f5ade1234807071327d3bc83609.jpg

 

 

and eventually ended up back at Shipwreck Landing

 

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Conch fritters

 

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Blackened shrimp quesadilla

 

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Grouper sandwich

 

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We headed back to our condo to watch the sunset

 

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kekoa.thumb.jpg.71f08d1966d6b37e8df8aaea970b2928.jpg

 

and then went to dinner at the Beach Bar

 

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Tuna Down Now

 

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Mahi tacos

 

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I will have one more meal to share with you, but it will have to wait until I am home and enjoying the blizzard that is approaching.  I think we might be coming in on one of the last flights in to Boston before the storm starts.  At least I have two more weeks of this island in just four months to look forward to while I am raking my roof!

 

 

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bonkboo   
On March 7, 2017 at 10:52 PM, gfweb said:

How many decent place to stay are there on St Johns?  We visited once for a day. Seemed that there was only the ex-RockResorts place. What have I missed?

I have to say that the best place to stay on St. John is Cabin 10 at Cinnamon Bay.  Yes, it's somewhat rustic and you have to hike to the bathroom for a cold shower, but the ocean lapping almost literally at your doorstep offsets any of that.  

 

Okay, there is also some newish resort on a horrible bay just outside of Cruz Bay on the south side.  Gallows Point used to be a nice place to stay.  I am not a camper, but grew up going to Cinnamon Bay and I don't think there is any better spot on the island.

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bonkboo   

@liamsaunt, did you get to any Reef Bay spots?  I am about 15 years removed from my last visit.  On that visit, I was able to take the rented Jeep out to the East End for the first time.  Skinny Legs was a good hamburger and similar spot.  Cruz Bay had a Fatty 'Cue since my last visit.  

 

These photos and entries took me back to a happier time and place.  Thanks so much for that.  I love that island.  Best present I ever gave my mother, a travel agent who believed that St. John is the best place on earth, was a copy of Grandma Raised the Roof.  A well out of print book about a woman who swam ashore to St. John from a ship and built a home and life.  

 

Thanks 

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16 hours ago, bonkboo said:

I have to say that the best place to stay on St. John is Cabin 10 at Cinnamon Bay.  Yes, it's somewhat rustic and you have to hike to the bathroom for a cold shower, but the ocean lapping almost literally at your doorstep offsets any of that.  

 

Okay, there is also some newish resort on a horrible bay just outside of Cruz Bay on the south side.  Gallows Point used to be a nice place to stay.  I am not a camper, but grew up going to Cinnamon Bay and I don't think there is any better spot on the island.

 

 

Cinnamon Bay is in the midst of a major renovation.  The tents will now be larger "eco-tents" and the cabins are being expanded too.  Details on exactly how that is going to work are fuzzy--they cannot change the footprint as per National Park rules, so it sounds like they will be going up--with a lofted bedroom and possibly even a private bath.  Prices will rise accordingly of course.  My husband flat out refuses to camp, or even to glamp, so we won't ever be staying there.  I agree that Cinnamon is a gorgeous beach.  We did not visit this time because the North swell was up, but I'll be there a lot this summer.

 

 

16 hours ago, bonkboo said:

@liamsaunt, did you get to any Reef Bay spots?  I am about 15 years removed from my last visit.  On that visit, I was able to take the rented Jeep out to the East End for the first time.  Skinny Legs was a good hamburger and similar spot.  Cruz Bay had a Fatty 'Cue since my last visit.  

 

These photos and entries took me back to a happier time and place.  Thanks so much for that.  I love that island.  Best present I ever gave my mother, a travel agent who believed that St. John is the best place on earth, was a copy of Grandma Raised the Roof.  A well out of print book about a woman who swam ashore to St. John from a ship and built a home and life.  

 

Thanks 

 

 

I've been out to Reef Bay but not this time.  My husband is dealing with a pulled tendon in his ankle which would have made hiking down there impossible.  Fatty Cue is long gone.  It was actually called Fatty Crab.  I ate there around four times, but it never caught on with the locals.  My island friends thought it was funny that the restaurant was called Fatty Crab but they never served any crab there :-)  Skinny Legs is still going strong.  I am not a big fan--I don't eat red meat so my options there are pretty limited--but will probably go there this summer anyway.

 

I've been trying to track down a copy of Grandma Raised the Roof for quite a while with no luck. I know the story though.  Her house is still there!

 

Last meal....we headed back to Caneel Bay to take the ferry to the airport. We did not have a lot of time, so opted for some more sushi.  A repeat of the delicious yellowtail koi

 

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A repeat of the tuna island salad

 

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Tuna tataki

 

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and tuna-crab wontons

 

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and then it was time to go...

 

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I'll pick this report back up again when I return this summer.   There will be a lot less fine dining and a lot more casual food and villa cooking, so you will get to see some new places.  Thanks for looking.

 

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