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Oct 16, 2009 06:08 PM

St. Thomas Dinner Recommendations

Heading to St. Thomas next week and hoping to get a handful of restaurant recs. I'm most interested in island cuisine but am willing to entertain any suggestions. Upscale . . . Casual . . . Neighborhood or Scenic. . . . all ideas are welcome!

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  1. I have a friend who lives over on St. Thomas and he just went to a new Middle Eastern restaurant called Hooka that he really liked. The chef is Syrian and they have fattoush, sfihas, chicken shawarma, that sort of thing. Might be more of a lunch place but it sounds good.

    It's been a while since I went over to St. T so haven't been to any of these places recently but Cuzzin's, Gladys' and Fungi's used to be good places for local food. Herve's is popular but I found the food mediocre and expensive. My husband likes Oceana in Frenchtown but I haven't been. And I've always had a soft spot for Virgilio's, a sort of old world Italian place with very attentive waiters, kind of a throwback, but I like it.

    1. For casual, we like Molly Molone's in Red Hook , Wikked which is in Yacht Haven Grande & the Shipwreck, which is across the street from Havensight. Havana Blue at the Marriott at Frenchman's Reef is very good for dinner & a little more upscale. If you do get over to Red Hook, stop in Duffy's Love Shack. It's literally a shack in the middle of a parking lot, but their drinks are great & the food isn't bad. Off the Hook in Red Hook is also good for seafood.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Jerzeegirl

        I agree with everything except for Havana Blue. We were there 6 months ago, and the portions extra small, almost everything overcooked, extremely slow service, and the red wine was served 10-15 degrees too warm. It is also extremely expensive. Place that I would rec. is a Middle Eastern pizza place run by a guy named Ahmed. Excellent pizza and great salads. 99% locals. We stay in St. Thomas about 1 month a year and love it. Get ready for smoke in restaurants. I would also avoid the food at Duffy's, but the drinks are excellent, the crowd rather wild.

        1. re: aadesmd

          Just got back from a week in St. Thomas, and went to the following places. I'd done a lot of work to determine where to eat (ask people who had been, who go frequently, talked to chefs while there) and ended up at the following places.

          Blue Moon Cafe - Secret Harbor in Red Hook.
          We were staying @ Secret Harbor Resort so we had breakfast here every day. Breakfast was simple but very good, and lunch was very good too. The dinner was shockingly good (more so b/c the place is very nondescript and doesn't seem like it would crank out such good food). For apps, the wife got the local salad - greens, feta, vinagrette and I got the tuna three ways (sashimi, blackened, poke) and both were very good. For dinner, we had the pork chop (best pork chop I've ever had) which was in a crimini mushroom sauce, over garlic mashed potatoes. Wife got the wahoo which was simple but great, also served over garlic mash. Markup on wine is probably the least outrageous here, and a good selection. I ended up meeting someone from the Ritz who says he typically sends guests here and The Cellar b/c of how good they are.

          The Cellar - Red Hook
          Very good place. Had a potato/cheese/bacon soup that was very rich and very good to start. Wife got the lamb entree and I got the lobster pasta. Lamb was good - standard fare over lentils and was solid. The lobster pasta was one of the better dishes we had and very unique. A creamy sundried tomato sauce and was very rich. We also ordered desert - a brownie/ice cream sundae which was very good. overall, we really enjoyed the cellar.

          Oceana - Frenchtown/Charlotte Amalie
          Supposed to be one of the best restaurants on the island. Presentation and view is spectacular. Very secluded place in an old villa in Frenchtown. The food was very good too. We probably made a mistake by getting the tapas as appetizers, rather than getting something on the menu. We did 5 tapas (conch fritters, plantains and guava pork, pineapple salsa on crostini, hummus and ribeye salad) and enjoyed them, but nothing really stood out. Dinner was very good, they had two fish specials - one was a focaccia encrusted sea bass on lentils which was very good, and I forget my wife's dish unfortunately.

          Agave Terrace - east end ~10 minutes from Red Hook.
          This was a solid meal - nothing spectacular. Got the shrimp/scallop risotto to start - very underwhelming. Risotto is either excellent, or it's wet rice - this was wet rice. For dinner, my wife got the grouper which she really enjoyed, I thought it was good. I got the filet with mashed potatoes. I thought both were good, not great. The view is very good presunset.

          Havana Blue (2x) - Marriott frenchman's reef near Havensight -
          We went here day 2 and had such a fantastic experience, we went back. We should have just left it at the one experience. After speaking with a number of people, this isn't uncommon; it can be very hit or miss.
          Night 1 - Started with the Tacos Di Filet - Nothing spectacular, but very solid. 4 bite-size corn tortillas with tiny bits of filet, some cotija cheese and a little pico. Wife got the Miso Sea Bass and I ended up with
          Night 2 - Started with the same tacos (wife got the price fixed so those were the options we took). Wife got the Mojito skirt steak and I got the Relleno Snapper. Wife's steak was good, the snapper was bland - I didn't finish it.
          We did do desert and both were good - selection of 3 ice creams and the Havana Banana, which was great. Overall, it just wasn't quite the dining experience we had the first time. That being said - the view is extremely nice. It is more of a trendy atmosphere than any of the other restaurants.

          Asolare - Cruz Bay in St. John -
          Best view in town, food was underwhelming considering it was the most we paid during the trip. Apps were a pork belly nigiri (thick cut bacon over sushi rice) and duck dumplings (again, not bad but like dumplings). Dinner was a seared tuna which I enjoyed and the wife got the mahi mahi. Again, neither were really outstanding - good but not great. I unfortunately forget the name of the restaurant a couple of chefs were in agreement in attending on st. John. That being said, this is a spectacular view, and a very good experience.

          We didn't make it to Thirteen restaurant, but heard from many locals that
          this is currently the best restaurant on the island but a little tougher to get to.

          Not in the same league, but did hear good things about Latitude 18 in red hook too from many of the people we spoke with. Limited menu, but very homey and good.

          1. re: bvops

            I had completely forgotten about Blue Moon. We stayed at Secret Harbour a few years ago & ate there quite a bit. And Latitude 18 is fun too. It was recommended to us by some of the locals. We'll have to try Thirteen & The Cellar when we go next year. I don't believe they were open when we last went in 2007. We're going next December & are always looking for new places to try.

            1. re: Jerzeegirl

              Seriously....Try Banana Tree Grille if you go back!!! One of the best meals and restaurants I have ever been to.

              1. re: cherel

                Oh, God. How can I have forgotten Banana Tree? We usually go there the night before we leave so we can watch the boat Christmas parade in the harbor. I LOVE the Lobster Tail Tempura and wasabi mashed potatoes. Thanks for the reminder.

                1. re: Jerzeegirl

                  went for the first time in Dec, 1 week,
                  Local- Gladys -good curried goat, a little touristy
                  Victors Hideout- best conch stew- local hine fish steamed with sauce was very good, excellent view, a little obsure to find, but worth it.
                  Casual Fine Dining- Craig and Sallys eclectic menu offerings, must try eggplant cheesecake- excellent, no joke!
                  Pizza- Pie Whole, fenchtown, excellent small local pizza thin crust great toppings, homemade pasta, was shocked by the quality, very small and quaint place.
                  Casual-Hook 'Line and sinker, great view in frenchtown close to town, hometown feel, friendly bar.
                  Sushi-Budda Sushi, good quality, excellent early bird sushi menu, friendly bar
                  Overall- many choices, if i had more time i would do more local places, i like the west indian flavors very much but STT has flavors for everybody...