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virgin islands on line : St. John : restaurant & dining reviews

Caneel Bay- Grande Buffet 02/24/2010
Reviewers Rating: Excellent
Caneel Grande Buffet was suggested to us by a number of people. We decided we would have a special (read expensive) night out there to celebrate Valentine's Day- albeit a day late. We arrived for our reservation early as we wanted to take advantage of the location to enjoy the glorious sunset. Armed with a wonderful Poma Margarita from the bar, a Presidente for hubby and Cokes for the kids we made ourselves comfortable on the second level patio. Island steel drum music played in the background and torch flames danced in the wind as we enjoyed the spectacular view. We were promptly seated for our reservation at 7:15. The attentive waitstaff filled our water glasses and we were off to peruse the buffet. The food selection is impressive. As instructed, we started with the salad/appetizer area. Honestly, I would have been happy stopping there. Beautifully, displayed, freshly prepared salads and seafood were all part of round 1. Off the top of my head, for seafood, there were: cracked crab claws, jumbo shrimp cocktail, marinated mussels, gravlax, calamari salad, and conch salad. The salads were a feast for the eye. Traditional salad bar offerings interspersed with prepare salads- my favorite being a fantastic avocado tomato salad with a lovely viniagrette. A special soup was also offered- conch minestrone. I forgot to sample it but those who did have it at their table seemed to be enjoying it. The main course buffet was as abundant and beautiful as the salad bar. Much of it is served by friendly kitchen staff who are more than happy to answer questions about preparation and offer suggestions. The pasta bar was the hot spot- offering different pastas with made to order sauces. Everything from red sauce to alfredo with fresh seafood and vegetables was offered. Some standouts on the buffet were a pork tenderloin with a plaintain and tamarind sauce, sea bass with arugula and sundried tomatoes, prime rib of beef and grilled caribbean lobster. I am not a fan of caribbean lobster but the wood grilled crustacean was phenomenal. Sweet, succulent and smokey. Also on the buffet was chicken and buffalo chicken pizza. Starch sides and vegetable medley was also offered. I did not partake as the fresh fruit and veggies on the salad buffet were more appealing to me. For dessert lovers, this is a HAVEN. Made to order banana's foster, ice cream and sauces, macadamia and chocolate torte, flan, cheesecake...oh my. I am not a dessert eater but I did enjoy a taste of the torte and a bit of my son's key lime pie. My husband raved about the Banana's Foster and the kids pretty much sampled everything and loved it. At $69 pp for adults and $35 pp for kids, I felt the buffet was well worth the cost. The ambiance coupled with the selection and the quality of the food made for a really special evening out.

Greenskeeper





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