There’s no question St. John offers a bevy of fine dining restaurants for residents and tourists alike, but the one thing missing was elegant dining on the waterfront — until now. At Waterfront Bistro, open since last month on the waterfront at Wharfside Village, diners can enjoy elegant French Caribbean-inspired fare while taking in one of the island’s beautiful sunsets over Cruz Bay harbor.
Love City’s lack of fine dining on the water inspired business partners Joe Decourcy and Tim Cliff to open the restaurant, explained Cliff.
“The direction was that there was nothing on the water on a higher-end scale,” said Cliff. “It was time for casual upscale dining. This is an amazing piece of real estate, and we wanted to maximize it.”
Cliff developed the down island-inspired menu with the help of Waterfront Bistro’s chef, Erica Miner, who previously cooked at La Tapa.
“Erica is phenomenal,” said Cliff.
Plenty of Seafood Choices
The menu features appetizers ranging in price from $8 to $21, including seared foie gras, crispy veal sweetbreads and seared sea scallops — a trio of scallops served atop cucumber-mint coulis, mango-saffron emulsion and tomato-tarragon puree. Salads, including the mache and roasted wild mushrooms with oranges, hazelnuts and creme fraiche vinaigrette, range from $10 to $13.
Seafood lovers will have no problem selecting an entree from Waterfront Bistro’s dinner menu. In addition to sautéed mahi-mahi and poached Caribbean lobster tail, the restaurant offers a yellowfin tuna nicoise with fingerling potatoes, roasted grape tomatoes, haricot verts, baby artichokes, nicoise olives and a warm herb vinaigrette with a “very French” finishing touch, according to Cliff — a poached egg. Plantain crusted wild salmon with sautéed greens, wild rice pilaf and mango-rum glace has emerged as Waterfront Bistro’s big seller.
“It’s giving the mahi a run for its money,” said Cliff.
Other entrees include a parsley-garlic crusted lamb loin with shallot-thyme jus, red bliss and smoked bacon potato salad and pattypan squash — which has been getting great reviews, according to Cliff — and for veggie lovers, a creamy vegetable risotto with baby carrots, pattypan squash, grape tomatoes, wild mushrooms, fresh herbs and parmesan. Rosemary roasted poussin, orange scented duck confit ragou and crispy duck breast and a grilled black angus filet mignon round out the dinner menu. Entrees range in price from $28 to $39.
If the delectable dishes aren’t enough to fill your belly, don’t worry, as Waterfront Bistro offers a mouthwatering selection of desserts as well, including pineapple crepes with a vanilla rum glaze, creme caramel with a blood orange and ginger sauce and profiteroles.
But diners will love more than just the well thought out French Caribbean-inspired menu at Waterfront Bistro. The elegant atmosphere sets the tone for a classy, yet casual evening out.
“It’s an aesthetically beautiful location with a beautiful dining room, and the food is fantastic,” said Cliff. “Having the waterfront is great, and we really wanted to incorporate indigenous materials, as you’ll see in things like the stone archways and mahogany railings. It’s all very ‘islandy.’”
The “upscale island-style restaurant,” as Cliff describes it, also features wood ceilings, tile flooring and Schnell lighting. The kitchen is open to the dining room and elevated 9 inches to give it a “stage appearance,” according to Cliff, and the bar, complete with coral bartop, is the perfect place from which to watch the sunset. Every last detail was paid attention to, even down to Waterfront Bistro’s restrooms — possibly the most stylish restrooms in Cruz Bay.
“We’ve gotten more compliments on the bathrooms,” said Cliff.
Extensive Wine Collection
Also getting rave reviews is Waterfront Bistro’s extensive wine collection, the restauranteur added.
The new Love City restaurant is already attracting a good mix of both locals and tourists, and many patrons are actually walk-ins, according to Cliff.
“People on vacation want to be on the water,” he said. “We get a lot of people walking by who decide to come in and have dinner. We’ve been getting great reviews from both our local and tourist clientele.”
Waterfront Bistro is open nightly for dinner from 5:30 to 10 p.m., and the restaurant plans to start serving lunch this week from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information or to make reservations, call 777-7755.