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What's new in St Thomas?

dcbbq Feb 24, 2014 04:30 AM

We're heading back to St. Thomas after a few years and are hopeful that there has been a pick-up in the restaurant options. Are there any new spots that are worth trying? Have any spots improved markedly or gone downhill?

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    bear Mar 24, 2014 03:36 AM

    I thought I'd bump up this thread to see if anyone has suggestions. My husband and I are heading to St. Thomas in April and have never been so we would welcome any suggestions.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bear
      dcbbq Mar 24, 2014 06:58 AM

      We are just back from 10 days at the Marriott (both villas and hotel) and were very pleased with the food.
      The highlight of the trip was Havana Blue -- perfectly prepared fresh seafood, excellent sauces and sides, great wine, great service -- all for just under $100/person. It's certainly not an every night place for us, but a memorable meal for all.
      We also had good meals in Frenchtown -- Hook, Line and Sinker (fresh fish - we also stopped for lunch there on the way to the airport), Pie Whole (good pizza and the homemade pasta looked great as they went by - and a huge selection of beers, mostly Belgian), and the Twisted Cork, formerly Craig and Sally's. This is a nice place with a slight French inclination, mostly non-seafood - and with very well prepared food, locally sourced where possible. Highlights included a chicken breast stuffed with cappicola and roasted red peppers, and slender french fries cook in duck fat with sliced truffle aioli. Wonderful!
      Also on the west side, we took the short ferry ride
      ($5 each way) from Coral Bay to Water Island. The island only has 200 residents and people get around on golf carts. At one end of the the island there's a WWII fort with a great 360 degree view. It's a long walk - maybe 2 miles uphill and down each way - but people will offer you rides and also redirect you when you get lost. You can rent a golf cart for $40/day, but you can also skip the fort and easily walk from the ferry to the main attraction, Honeymoon Beach -- a lovely, lovely beach with food-truck type bar/restaurants at each end. Edith's - the first one you get to -- has good grilled sandwiches and fish tacos. Water Island is a must-do.
      We did not spend much time in Red Hook. largely because the road is so bad and we were almost hit by other cars who crossed the line to dodge potholes. We spent a day at Lindquist beach with a break for lunch at nearby Off the Grid, an outdoor barbecue place on the top of a hill overlooking the Caribbean. The barbecue lacks a smoke flavor, but it is slow cooked and tasty. The sauce is on the sweet side, but you can add a few drops of one of the wide variety of hot sauces for a better balance. And they have a grilled/smoked vegetarian plate that actually was very good. They have cold beer and give you a koozy. A good place, and Lindquist is nice beach (no services -- there's a semi-permanent portable toilet at lone end that's disgusting, but a clean one at the other end next to a building (bathrooms? food service?) that is under construction, although they seem to be adding some). This is a must visit - good food, good beach.
      We also went to Mim's, which is impossible to find and has no parking (park in the Iggie's lot and walk) but which is pretty good, and at Iggies, where we stumbled into a buffet and entertainment extravaganza -- dancing on stilts, eating fire, dancing on broken glass. The $38!!! buffet was pretty bad -- flavorless roast pork?? -- except for the ribs (actually oven-cooked, but tasty), the macaroni and cheese and the potato salad. I hear the desserts were good. The entertainment was a hit with the crowd.
      We had 2 lunches in CA- Gladys' and Fresh something (part of Grand Cru in Yachthaven) and enjoyed both - sort of different ends of the culinary spectrum. At Glady's, we had good goat and chicken curries with a variety of carbohydrates, and at the fresh place a very fresh/local salad with real local tomatoes (in March! Madness!) and a griilled chicken sandwich that was moist and flavorful, unlike most grilled chicken sandwiches. It was worth the money just to taste a real tomato. Both places were $15-20 per plate. Closer to 20.
      We also had a day trip to St John but just went to Caneel Bay this trip. Lunch was good but pricey. The Honeymoon Beach on Water Island is much better than the one at Caneel Bay, and much, much cheaper.

      1. re: dcbbq
        bear Mar 24, 2014 08:56 AM

        dcbbq, this is just awesome. I really appreciate your taking the time to write this up, and you will help to make our trip lots more fun and the planning easier.

        I'll report back after our trip. Sounds like you had a great time. We're staying at Bolongo Beach Bay Resort for five nights, and Iggie's is one of their spots, so we will probably hit that up Wednesday night despite the lackluster food just for the entertainment.

        I can't wait!

        1. re: bear
          dcbbq Mar 24, 2014 09:12 AM

          My pleasure.

          Iggie's has entertainment every night -- in the past we've enjoyed Jimmy Buffett-style music there, and have mainly had sandwiches and the like. It;s a nice place for a casual drink and dinner. Check their calendar to see what the entertainment is. You might want to stroll along the beach over to Mim's for an early dinner on Carnival Night rather than hitting the buffet, and then back to Iggie's to watch the show.
          One place in Red Hook I wanted to try was Latitude 18, and I heard some good things about Banana Tree and Room with a View in CA. I'll be interested in any places the folks at Bolongo Bay recommend. I'm sure we'll probably return.

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