Caribbean (and other) food on St. Kitts

St. Kitts has an enormous variety of food, from amazing Caribbean beach shack fare to upscale French food.  Even though some of the restaurants are fancy, the atmosphere is still extremely casual–neither Jon nor my dad ever wore pants or close-toed shoes to dinner.  Here’s an overview of some of the great food we ate while on St. Kitts.

Our first night on the island we walked from our hotel, on the Atlantic side of Frigatte Bay, to the Caribbean side of the bay.  The Caribbean side has a row of beach shack restaurants, all serving casual Caribbean fare in the sand.  We went to Cathy‘s, where the food is grilled fresh right in front of you and the service is sloooowwww.  Extremely slow, think island time multiplied by three or four.  It was fine, we weren’t in a hurry, and the food was AMAZING but, man, slow.

So that’s Jon and me and then my parents, all at Cathy’s.  Waiting for our food.  And here’s some food:

Grilled jerk (mild jerk) chicken with Caribbean rice, fried plantains, a potato salad, vegetables, and a green salad.  And this is a grilled Caribbean lobster with a lot of garlic butter:

And it was all delicious.

We spent our Sunday on Cockleshell Beach, and had lunch at the Reggae Beach bar.  Once again, simple, but delicious, Caribbean food in a beach shack overlooking the ocean.  Reggae Beach bar is fun because it is festooned with collegiate banners from all over the states–including a few Gator flags. Go Gators.

So that’s my lunch: the top is chicken roti (basically a chicken burrito stuffed with curried chicken and vegetables), Caribbean rice and beans, a salad, some veggies, and more fried plantain.  Also 100% awesome.

Sunday night we went to Ciao, an Italian restaurant within walking distance of our hotel, for their Mother’s Day price fixe.  I had a lovely lobster and avocado salad that was artfully presented in a lobster shell, lobster ravioli in a vodka sauce, and some sort of Neapolitan ice cream dessert that had little jellied fruit pieces in it.  The lobster parts were the best–one can never have too much lobster!

And here is the family (minus my sister, who hadn’t gotten to St. Kitts yet) post dinner.

Monday we ate at the hotel and then hit up a sushi place near the hotel for dinner–sushi is sushi, so no pictures, but if you’re jonesing for sushi when you’re on St. Kitts, check out Rituals Sushi in Friagatte Bay.

Tuesday we spent at Carambola, where we had lunch and dinner.  Lunch was simple, but fresh, salads and gazpacho.  But dinner, man.  Dinner was a four course, French-inspired meal, complete with wine pairings.

First, a few pictures of Carambola’s restaurant.  You saw the beach in my last post, but here’s the swanky building:

So dinner consisted of the following:

A delicious lobster vichyssoise  with a big hunk of lobster in it.

Chicken involitini with scalloped potatoes and mushrooms.

Mushroom risotto with tiger prawns (it was delicious, but I was so full by this point that I could barely take more than a few bites!)

Dessert was described as “opera,” which was basically a thick layered chocolate cake with coffee undertones, and some ice cream and some berries.

And then there was a dessert follow-up: little shortbread cookies with pineapple on them, and passionfruit juice with little crunchy seeds, marshmallows, and some more fruit.

So that was delicious.

Wednesday we did an island tour (more on that later), and during the island tour we stopped at Rawlings Plantation Hotel for lunch.  Rawlings Plantation does an amazing Caribbean West Indian buffet, and it is one of my favorite places to eat on the island.  Check it out:

And here is my plate, with lots of amazing food:

On my plate is: Caribbean rice, vegetable fritters, a pasta salad, Johnny cakes (cornmeal cakes that are light and airy), mango chutney, glazed sweet potatoes, jerk chicken that was legitimately hot, a Caribbean hot sauce that was even hotter than the jerk chicken (I like spicy food and this was HOT), and a curried chicken.  AMAZING.  We had chocolate chip banana bread for dessert.

Here are a few more shots of Rawlings Plantation hotel.  Like many hotels on St. Kitts, it exists inside a renovated plantation setting and in old sugar mill buildings.

Also, the hotel kitties who wandered around, meowing at us for food.

Thursday night we went to a restaurant called Nirvana, built on the grounds of a plantation manor called Fairview.  Here is my delicious dinner of braised lamb shank, and my equally delicious dessert of choux pastries.

Fairview has a restored plantation home, which you can wander through (see below).  Supposedly there are gorgeous gardens too, but it was too dark to see those.

Friday was our last day on the island.  We spent the day lazing around the hotel.  Jon and I ordered pizza from the pizza shack near the pool, and we ate our lunch while accompanied by the little resort stray that we “adopted” during our time on the island.  St. Kitts has a vet school, and many of the strays are neutered/spayed and are extremely docile.  This little guy was fixed and so friendly–of course, the chicken I fed him every night probably helped.  Regardless, he hung out around our pool chairs for most of Friday, receiving lots of pettings and some water, and then, of course, more chicken for dinner.  Look at this pretty kitty.

Friday night, we drove up into the rainforest on the slopes of St. Kitts’ dormant volcano to have dinner at Ottley’s Plantation hotel.  Ottley’s is an idyllic, secluded, romantic location, truly an island paradise.

The restaurant is, of course, built inside of an old sugar mill.

I had the shrimp penne, along with an amazing mango colada (new drink obsession), and also some homemade strawberry ice cream.

St. Kitts has a ton of amazing food, and as you can see we certainly ate enough of it!  You will not go hungry on your visit to the island.

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