Restaurants & Bars

St. Thomas / St. John USVI Report

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Restaurants & Bars

St. Thomas / St. John USVI Report

MB (from Boston) | Jun 27, 2005 09:59 AM

Just got back from a week in St. Thomas, plus 2 days in St. John. Not much memorable, but will share a bit of what I learned, since it was tough finding 'houndish tips in the first place.

St. Thomas

On a budget this visit, I brought some food with me and hit the market for a few extras, dining out only a few times. Produce in the supermarkets sucks (everything is imported, like most other islands). If you crave a salad, get one in a restaurant. Lots of cheap local and imported liquor in the markets. At the Food Centre in Red Hook they deli area has hot foods - didn't like the saltfish (too dry) but the rice was decent, also had fungi, boiled banana, mixed veg, whole roasted chicken that looked great, some stewed chicken, a bit more. My favorite were the latin (Costa Rican imports) yogurts - absolutely wonderful pear flavor, good coconut, other tropical fruits.

Had a decent ceasar and burger at Caribbean Saloon, next to the Red Hook ferry dock. Good service, nice mix of residents and tourists. Good for a beer and a snack, but essentially just bar food.

THE BEST (!!) local food I had was at Red Snapper in Charlotte Amalie. (A chef friend who is from St. Thomas took me there, if that's any indication.) Stewed conch in butter sauce was absolutely divine. Cost $13. Went back a couple of days later and they were all out. :-( This is really a joint, old tables covered in plastic covers, order at a counter, old men sitting inside involved in deep discussion, etc.

Ended up at the oft-suggested Cuzzin's in Charlotte Amalie and and my reaction was just 'eh. It 's a nicer ambiance for local food, but not all that. Reminded me of Negril's in NYC or the old Rhythm & Spice in Boston (Cambridge). Decent food, but I don't have to go back. The one thing I had there that was the BOMB - their lemonade. The best I've had in many, many years. Fresh, house made, tart and sweet, mmmm.

St. John

Lunch at Caneel Bay - in the bar/restaurant not the buffet area. $16 for a Caribbean cobb salad. Too many ingredients - blue cheese AND big chunks of swiss? but everything else was good, nice grilled chicken, avocado, tomato, etc. and served with a grapefruit vinagrette. Lots of wraps and sandwiches on the menu, more like upscale bar food. Don't ever need to go back, but nice to have decent (and healthy) options on vacation.

Had a solo meal at Asolare. It was a good meal, rather expensive, the view from the balcony seating is lovely. App of tempura shrimp (2 big ones) was over an asian slaw with a sour/spicy sauce. Good, but came in at $17. Wow. Entree was a good value, yellowfin tuna - a BIG portion - sesame encrusted and cooked rare, served over a fried cake of pad thai noodles, tomato, and herbs (cilantro, basil, scallion) with long beans and a fantastic seared baby bok choy. All this plated with a miso/yellow curry reduction. LOTS of flavors going on and even though nearly overwhelming, I really loved this dish. Entree was $40. Wine list was ok.

My best experience - I must confess - may have been just drinking beers and eating chips at a street stall in St. John. Too fun.

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