We spent the holidays on several islands and ate (or tried to) at several places suggested by the 'hounds in response to my inquiries. With insignificant exceptions, all were delightful.
St. John's, Antigua. Although we had heard good things about Millers by the Sea, we were starved and couldn't wait so chose Commander's Grill on Redcliff St. (462-1883). The place was full of locals and we were the only non-locals during our 2 hour lunch. We had marinated conch with EVOO, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, onions and roasted tri-color peppers (35EC). Tasty, tangy and not at all tough. The fish soup (15EC) was a heady broth with potatoes and, I think, snapper. Excellent. The broiled snapper with herbs (55EC) (recommended by a little old guy at the bar)was very flavorful but a tad dry. Tried it with the foungee (okra and cornmeal mush)...I'd never heard of foungee before. Somewhat bland but with wonderful texture. Not bad, I think it grows on you. The stuffed crab back with creole seasoning, baked in the shell (22EC) had great crab flavor but again was a tad dry. Washed everything down with far too many Wadadli beers (7EC). Definately will go back.
St. Martin. Took everyone's advice and went straight to the French side. In Marigot we tried to find Bistro Nu - finally did thanks to college french. Everyone we asked for directions said it was great. What a disappointment. It was closed for lunch on the Monday we were there for kitchen maintainence. Open for dinner, but we'd be long gone. The menu read great (college french again) and we chatted with the owner for a while about food in general and french food in particular. A charming guy. Then took a cab to Grand Case for Talk of the Town, a beachside grill shack. The 'hounds advised that TOT was the best of the shacks and visual inspection of the grills confirmed this. The chicken and ribs had a great smoky char to them, although the ribs had a bit too much fat for our tastes. Also had curried conch which, surprisingly, was not rubbery at all. The potato salad and cole slaw were standard deli fare, the rice and beans were much better, but the standout was the stuffed celestine with green peppers and squash. Truly excellent. Lunch for three with too many Red Stripes was a steal - $14US. Then back to Marigot (for shopping). Had planned on having the thin crust pizza with anchovies at Bar de la Mer by the water, but their pizza oven was on the blink. Rats. We had to settle for more Red Stripes.
St. Thomas, USVI. Only had a brief lunch here (shopping again, you know). Lost my note with the name of the place, but it faces the harbor, is open to the air and is surrounded by an iron fence. They're big on happy hour, which we fortunately missed. More Red Stripes, and conch fritters and nachos. The fritters tasted like conch but had no spice to them. Also somewhat oily. Definately inferior to both Bo's and Half Shell Raw Bar in Key West. Surprisingly, the nachos were excellent and, for $6.50, more than three of us could eat. If you're starving this place will do but I'd try elsewhere. Note: not recommended by a hound, just a shot in the dark.