Friday, February 13, 2015

USVI 2015 - Day 4, Part 3: A Wonderful Dinner at Sweet Plantains, Coral Bay, St. John

Snorkeling excitement done for the day, we went back to the boat, had a quick lunch, then we raised the main, dropped our mooring ball, and headed back past Ram Head, around the corner, and on up into Coral Bay (you can see all of this on the chart for Day 3). From here I'm just going to copy my journal verbatim (previous entries have involved some rewriting but I wrote up our dinner pretty well - only thing I sort of missed was the decor, which was gorgeous - big windows looking out on the water, warm colors, silk hangings, jewel-toned hanging lanterns, stained glass, so, so pretty).

We anchored on our first try after a little tooling around -- that was nice after our frustrating experience on the first day. That left us time for a nap, reading, talking story, and for Kat and Lenore and I to make a run into town for shopping and provisions, and then we all cleaned up and changed and went in to Sweet Plantains for dinner. Spectacular! We had known that Jen's brother Prince and sister-in-law Rose had a restaurant but Jenn had not mentioned that her sister-in-law was a graduate of the New York Restaurant School -- we were expecting good local cuisine, what we got was local cuisine cooked in the most amazing fashion, with great drinks (Prince tends the bar and mixes the drinks with the same care as the food gets from Rose). 
Dave and Quint enjoyed the local ale, I went for a Dark n' Stormy on Kat's recommendation, best I've ever tasted, I think Kat had the same, and Jenn had a luscious concoction flavored with anise, cinnamon and vanilla in a martini glass, to which I nearly switched on Round 2 except that the Dark n' Stormy was so delicious - don't know what he did to it, a Dark n' Stormy is not that complicated but there was something especially scrumptious about this one and I don't think it was just the atmosphere (although that certainly had something to do with it). Jacob had something yummy his dad fixed for him - no rum there!

And what a spectacular meal. We started with an appetizer sampler with jerk chicken drummettes, ceviche with plantain chips, and bacalao cakes over pickled red cabbage, plus a order of yucca fries with two spicy dipping sauces. I had the fish special, line-caught fresh red snapper, simply but perfectly pan-fried with a brown butter reduction, with a side of tender local spinach and more yucca fries (Rose offered to replace those with sweet potato fries to mix it up a bit, since we'd had the yucca fries as a starter, but they were so good I stuck with those). Quint had a red curry with chicken that was also scrumptious (in fact he couldn't finish it and brought the leftovers back to the boat and served it rolled up in flatbread as an afternoon snack a couple of days later - soooo good, and so nice of him to share that way). Didn't note what everybody else had but everything was delicious.

We would've skipped dessert but Prince wouldn't have it, out came the dark chocolate mousse, the mango lassi panna cotta, and the coconut flan with caramel sauce, plus ginger wine, spiced rum, and tawny port (all of this AFTER the two Dark n' Stormies). 

Post-dessert kitten video sharing - not just any old Internet kittens, no! Jenn had brought a beautiful pregnant cat into her home earlier in the winter so that she would have a safe place to give birth and raise the babies until they could be adopted by forever homes, and she'd posted a series of adorable kitten videos following their progress. 

After that, it was time to say goodbye to Jacob and his folks. They sent us off with a bottle of ginger wine, a bottle of Malbec (we were delighted by that, Jacob isn't old enough to drink but he's clearly a chip of the old block and already at least one firm opinion about wine, that being that Malbec is simply the best wine there is, so we knew that was probably in there at his request) and a bottle of rum (good timing as the bottle we'd started with was somehow gone, that being the nature of rum and all) and we dinghied back to the Kinja, with ballyhoo (funny little needlenosed fish who can skip themselves like skipping stones) skittering over the water ahead.

End of another wonderful day.

Update - Sweet Plantains closed not long after our visit and Rose, Prince and Jacob have moved to Maine, where Rose and Prince are the innkeepers at the Center Lovell Inn. I'm so glad we were there in time to dine with them, this was a high point of the trip! 


Rebecca Olkowski said...

Sounds like a delightful trip. We did a 3-week sail to the Grenadines a few years back on a 50-foot sailboat. Don't you hate when a great restaurant goes bye-bye? I know I do.

bonnie said...

Oh, it was amazing! I'm just so glad we went when we did. I am a little bummed out that TQ and I haven't made it up to Maine yet - when we heard about the move we thought we would be able to get up there but it just hasn't happened yet.