The food scene on the island of St Croix in the US Virgin Islands, is evolving with new and fashionable restaurants that offer exotic farm-to-table meals. At the recently concluded 47th annual Agrifest, the island’s biggest Agriculture and Food Fair, the Governor of the US Virgin Islands; Hon. Kenneth E. Mapp said that the Virgin Islands is enjoying one of it’s closest relationships working for the recovery after recent hurricanes. “We want to promote and support our productive farming community which is essential for our cuisine.” Our recent visit to St Croix gave us the opportunity to dine at the hottest, trendiest and truly the best upscale eateries on St Croix, the largest of the three US Virgin Islands. Here’s a peek at some of the best.
17″/64″ KITCHEN & BAR is one of the island’s newest dining options catering to a well heeled clientele who prefer the finer things life has to offer. From the modern high-tech decor to the fusion of American & Caribbean meals, everything is done with a level of class and elegance befitting for royalty. Located in the Royal Strand Building at Numbers 2 & 3 Strand Street in Christiansted, this restaurant’s menu speaks to world travelers who appreciate food and cocktails that are of fine quality with a relaxed attitude. Popular picks include Mussels & Fries which seem odd, but, actually having them together, takes you on a serious gastronomical trip. Baked Wahoo served on a bed of couscous and asparagus was divine and a variety of tasty desserts add to the allure of the refined menu.
UPTOWN EATERY is another new restaurant that leads in the “chic and cosy” category. Serving lunch and dinner from 11am to 7pm, Uptown Eatery is in the heart of Christiansted, at 2220 Queen Cross Street. A colorful decor, spiked with keen attention to detail serves as the welcoming mat for guests. Culinary icons Jane and Dave Kendrick (he was the chef at The Buccaneer Resort) bring their unique food styling to Uptown Eatery. Some of the menu’s high points include: Edamame Wontons, Steamed Mussels, Detox Salad, Shrimp Salad Roll, Chicken Philly Cheese Steak, Handmade Sicilian Meatballs & Pasta, Dave’s Fish Piccata, Pan Seared Salmon Cake & Honey Chili Garlic Shrimp. In conclusion, I cannot talk about this fine eatery without mention of their delicate Jasmine Rice – the best I’ve eaten, period. No wonder Caribbean Journal named Uptown Eatery among the Top 50 Restaurants in the Caribbean.
ZION MODERN KITCHEN is one of the leading, if not the top of the tier for high end dining in downtown Christiansted. Known for their execution of new ideas and techniques, the menu is festooned with approachable farm-to-table dishes including; Grilled Mahi Mahi with roasted potato wedges, Crab Cakes, Salmon Delights and Calamari. Classic cocktails created with local and seasonal ingredients, are also featured, including the `Charlotte Amalia’ and a wide selection of Margaritas. The outdoor garden setting with surrounding `verandah’ add to the allure of the romantic atmosphere.
THE TERRACE RESTAURANT at The Buccaneer Resort, high atop of a hill just outside Christiansted is the place to see and be seen on St Croix. The Terrace provide fine dining at it’s best with luxurious seafood, cooked to perfection and served with exquisite wines. This `Wine Spectator Award’ winning restaurant highlights classic American cuisine with a Caribbean flair. Highly recommended are their Mussels, Lobster toast, Vegetarian Medley and Blackened Fish. Not to be outdone, are the magnificent views of this indoor/outdoor, open air dining experience – the Caribbean sea, Christiansted harbor and the manicured lawns of the resort property. Brides Magazine named The Terrace as having the `Best Sunset Bar.’