Etta’s West Indian Cuisine Draws Loyal Followers


Etta Samuel, above, owner of Etta’s Kitchen, shows off the sign at her new location on the second floor of The Marketplace. Her chicken drummettes are in high demand, bottom (top left).

St. Johnian restaurateur Etta Samuel has operated Etta’s West Indian Cuisine in three different restaurants around Cruz Bay over the past 20 years, but her newest location on the second floor of The Marketplace may be the home she has been looking for all along.

“I think this is one of the best spots I could wish for,” Samuel said of her convenient new location just inside the entrance to the second level of The Marketplace.

“People love it,” she said of the reaction of her loyal clientele to the new location. “The taxi drivers are very happy because it’s a nice location with parking spaces.”

The small storefront restaurant space has seen a variety of tenants during the short history of the commercial center overlooking Enighed Pond, but Etta’s familiar sign looks just right propped up against the door.

Passersby can’t miss the aroma wafting from the warming table of curry chicken, fry chicken, dove pork, spicy grouper, conch in butter sauce and shrimp scampi.

With entrees ranging in price from $10 to $15, the heaping take-out containers let customers eat on the run or enjoy the cool shade and breeze at the tables dotting the entrance to the second level of The Marketplace.

The best bet might be the seafood platter at $15 which gives one a hearty sampling of all the tasty island seafood dishes ­— spicy grouper filet, succulent conch in butter sauce and spicy shrimp scampi on rice with sweet fried dumplings. And, don’t go without a pate — beef or saltfish.

The new Etta’s West Indian Cuisine is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.