Image courtesy Bon Bagay Sailing. The lovely Bon Bagay leaving Frederiksted Pier for a sunset dinner sail.
How can a visit to the Caribbean be complete without a bit of time out on the sea, as the pirates and discoverers and native Taino in their dugout canoes did? St. Croix offers kayak tours through mangrove estuaries. We’ve always recommended the eclectic calypso singer and expert sailor Llewellyn Westerman and his engineless racing yacht Charis+ for visitors interested in a day trip to Buck Island – and most definitely still do. AND there is a wonderful sunset sail, not to be missed, aboard the non-profit educational historic schooner, the Roseway.
BUT… new on St. Croix this year is Bon Bagay Sunset Sail, another seafaring option that takes up to six visitors on a decadent evening of fine cuisine on the calm waters of the west end. While enjoying a foodies’ delight five-course locally sourced, expertly prepared dinner with wine and/or cocktails, inquire about Captain Jerry and first mate Yosi’s voyage here from California.
We found out about Captain ‘Jerry’ and his crew when they started showing up at ARTfarm on a regular basis to provision their boat for these evening farm-to-table dinner sails. Jerry and his wife Yosi are multi-talented individuals, but perhaps above all, expert sailors with many seafaring tales to tell. They are also deeply interested in preserving, promoting and expanding the cultural attractions of St. Croix, both for tourists and for local residents. This includes local farms and cuisine. Jerry has started producing a short film about agriculture on St. Croix for his “Live Local” cultural/culinary preservation campaign, and has interviewed and filmed Luca and Christina and the ARTfarm along with many other local farmers and chefs.
Dashi is our one-and-only sushi restaurant on St. Croix. Market economics would dictate that, given no competition, they don’t have to excel. But owners/chefs Ashley and Mike McKinnon both share a serious perfectionist streak and passion for great food – as evidenced by their multiple wins over the years at the annual, highly competitive and internationally judged Taste of St. Croix Food and Wine Experience. The food at Dashi is absolutely on par with many big-city sushi joints we’ve tried from New York to Portland OR, with a few creative twists toward the tropical, Caribbean locale.
Dashi has an online menu where you can get a sense of the variety of sushi and non-sushi options available (yes, even non-sushi eaters can find delicious options). Dashi is open for lunch and dinner (take-out is an option too), with live music two nights per week – check their website for days and times. The staff is friendly and flexible, and they offer both indoor (air conditioned) and outdoor (garden patio) seating, and dress is casual or fancy, depending on how you feel! The outdoor seating is particularly kid-friendly. Located in the Caravelle Arcade about a block south of the boardwalk from RumRunners. A walk on the boardwalk after your meal is a must.
Savant Restaurant on Hospital Street on the east side of Christiansted is one of our family’s favorites. Executive Chef Eric Nielsen clearly has a passion for creating new culinary experiences, and loves to source his ingredients locally from St. Croix fishermen and farmers, including ARTfarm. The menu is diverse and fusion, with everything from delicate Thai curries and spring rolls to Mexican fajitas to Caribbean fresh caught fish with tropical salsas to lamb shanks with garlic mashed potatoes and on and on… Owner Tom Miller’s theme is “We have what you want.” The specials are IN.CRED.IBLE, so be sure to study the chalkboards when you arrive!
Indoors, entering from the street side, the place has a gorgeous little wooden bar tucked into the corner and a bistro-like cozy feel with air-conditioned banquettes. There is also seating entering from the parking lot, in the romantic back garden, with a bar built into the ruins, candles and tiki torches, starlight overhead and an incredibly engineered sailcloth roof that is extended in the event of a tropical rainshower.
Parking is easy, they’ve got their own private lot behind the restaurant. You can tell the staff loves working there as they have all been there for years!
Check out their menu online and make reservations for a special night out during your stay at 340-713-8666. Dinner is served Monday – Saturday, 6-10pm. Dress is casual, but feel free to dress up if you feel like it! We love Savant and have had many memorable meals with their friendly, efficient staff. We recommend our Longford Hideaway guests don’t miss it!
It is officially summer and ARTfarm is open on Wednesday afternoons 3-6pm and Saturday mornings, 10am – 12 noon. Check the ARTfarm website or Facebook page, to see what’s growing now! Summer is the season for mangoes, papayas, passionfruit and other tropical fruits, as well as sweet corn, kale and collards, cucumbers, fresh herbs and salad greens!