Monday, April 26, 2010

Weekend in St. Lucia - Local Seafood Done Right

Julietta's Restaurant and Bar - Marigot Bay, St. Lucia

This past weekend, I was fortunate to be invited to Saint Lucia by my brother Peter who has been working in the Caribbean for the past couple of months.  Of course I jumped at the chance, and even though I've been to Saint Lucia twice before, I couldn't turn down a mini vacation to this lovely, tropical spot.

While we ate at our hotel for the most part, we did have a couple of unique culinary experiences in which we got a taste of fresh, local seafood.  And what I'm going to highlight here is one such wonderful experience at
Julietta's Restaurant and Bar in Marigot Bay.  If you ever have a chance to visit Saint Lucia, I'd highly recommend it.


Located in the beautiful Marigot Bay area, just a short drive from the Marigot Bay resort, Julietta's boasts a great location that's convenient for visitors of this hotel.  In fact, Julietta's provides a complimentary shuttle service to and from the restaurant for hotel guests.  We of course took advantage of this and found it quite convenient.

The restaurant itself is very simple with no charm when it comes to decor, but much of it when considering the magnificent view you get of the Marigot Bay harbor.  Most tables are situated outside and many offer this spectacular view for diners.  It's really a nice way soak in your environment both during the day when the sun is shining and also at night when you can see the stars and the gorgeous yachts that deck the harbor.

Julietta's came highly recommended by a British couple we met at our hotel.  They raved about the incredible local delicacies and especially complimented the coconut shrimp.  They had us at coconut.

Conch Fritters - This is one of my favorite foods to get in the Caribbean and everyone else seemed into it too.  The portion was generous with two large fritters per plate, served with some fresh veggies to lighten up the flavors.  Overall I'd say these were some of the better conch fritters I've had - crispy on the outside but super light and almost pillowy on the inside.  They were coupled with a spicy mayonnaise that made it a bit more indulgent, leaving a sharp bite on your tongue.

Pan Fried Red Snapper - Although everyone ordered the coconut shrimp, I was interested in trying the red snapper, which is one of the most popular catches in Saint Lucia.  Yum! I was really glad I ordered it, as it had a beautiful golden brown crust, seasoned with garlic and baby spinach.  The fish itself had a great fresh taste and aside from the fact that it had a few bones that we had to pick out, it was a delight.  A side of battered fried plantains, rice and steamed vegetables made the meal complete.  Everything was delicious and it was nice to see some healthy components too.

Coconut Shrimp
- Julietta's signature dish was ordered by everyone else in our party.  They just couldn't resist the impressively large prawns, battered in fresh, grated coconut.  I had the pleasure to taste it - the prawns were perfectly cooked and the coconut crust was sweet and slathered in more sticky coconut goodness.  The flavors were really pronounced in a good way, and just like my red snapper, this dish was paired with fried plantains and veggies.

Dessert - Even though we were full, we saved room for two desserts, which were indicative of the Caribbean - bananas flambee and a chocolate/coconut rum cake.  Both were yummy but I had a strong preference for the bananas, which were doused in rum with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.  For some added drama, the bananas were lit on fire, and their flavors melded with the pungent rum.  It was quite tasty, and the sweet flavor of the bananas went perfectly with the slightly bitter taste of the liquor.  What a great island dish!

The chocolate/coconut rum cake was really enjoable too - it was soft and moist with an indulgent coconut filling that reminded me of German chocolate cake.  The only bummer was the chocolate syrup on the side, which was undoubtedly Herhey's so it lacked authenticity.

Service and Cost:

Julietta's is run by a friendly husband and wife couple who service customers.  Both are pleasant and easy-going and took care of us well.  Dishes were brought out in good time, which we found refreshing, as the service at our hotel lacked precision.  We were left to hang out and chat as long as we wanted and didn't feel rushed in the least.

Costs are moderate and although not as affordable as we would've liked, the quality of the food really delivered.  We payed a total of $30 each for dinner, which included an appetizer, entree, dessert and a drink.

3 Mmmms

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