~ Restaurant revisited! ~

Occasionally, an evening is good enough to make one want to repeat it. Sometimes it could be the folk you are with that makes the evening so great; sometimes it could be because of the service, the wine or even the food. Well, actually, it is very often because of the food.

Not having had the opportunity to return to The Stone for quite some time, an evening came up that was too good an opportunity to miss. Great friends planned to meet at the lovely setting of this restaurant on the edge of Simpson Bay Lagoon one windless night recently.

I accepted the invitation with alacrity; I already knew what I wanted to order as the last time it was so good.

Arriving a tad earlier than most of our group that evening, I spied a couple friends and went over to chat to them. They were already eating and of course in the course of conversation, I asked what they were having and they started enthusing over the dishes set before them. I had not seen what they were eating on the menu last time I was there, their description of the dish sounded so amazing that I wanted to change my mind on what to order.

By the time we all sat down and conversation began about who was going to eat what, my mind was in a complete dither; someone else was ordering my fav dish – the one I wanted to order again – but then I wanted to try the new dish too, Oh, what to do? What to do? Oh, the indecisiveness on what to order because everything was so delicious!

In the end, some of us shared starters which gave us a chance to try the new (to us) dish. Starters were the delicious fish soup and the dish I had not tried before, superb fresh mahi-mahi (or swordfish) spring rolls. Tasty, freshly caught fish in a crispy spring roll wrapper with a mango relish can simply not be beat. I honestly could have (should have) had this dish as my main course.

Well, perhaps not, because my main was simply out of this world too. I ordered the duck breast with a side of orange sweet potato. When asked, I said I would like the duck breast medium rare. It arrived sizzling on the hot stone a tad underdone (as it should). The duck breast skin was crispy and the breast was semi sliced through so as I ate, I sliced a piece off and “cooked” it on the stone to my liking; just can’t get anything more perfect than that. The sweet potato dish was perfection as a side for the duck.

The others had various fish-dish orders on their stone. As soon as the fish arrived, most of them scooped the fish off the hot stone as it was perfectly cooked on arrival. This is what is so good about hot-stone cooking; each person can have their meal cooked as they like it right in front of their eyes. The sides ranged from mashed potato, the sweet orange potato, veggies, peppers and salad. No one opted for dessert this time round but I know for a fact that the desserts are all great.

Service was slick, the great wine list made us happy, the food was excellent, the setting was peaceful and the parking plentiful and close by. What more could one wish for when sharing a great evening with good friends.

The Stone

6 Welfare Road # 6 Laguna View Complex

In Rear of Building, on the Water

Phone: 1(721) 526-2037

Cuisine: Food cooked on Hot Stone

Good: Easy Parking

Price range: $$

Ratings:

Staff friendliness                        ****

Service speed                           ****

Restaurant cleanliness               ****

Food quality                             *****

Value for money                       ****

Ambience                                 ****

If you’re a former Milton Peters College (MPC) student or teacher, you can help rewind the clock in history at a grand reunion being hosted by the school tomorrow, February 24, from 7:00pm to midnight. The reunion is part of SVOBE’s (the school board) list of activities to commemorate MPC’s 40th and Sundial’s 50th anniversary in providing education on St. Maarten.

MPC/Sundial Director Wim de Visser urges all former students and teachers to attend the event, which will be hosted under a big tent outside the school’s gym. The event will be primarily for former students to socialise and go down memory lane together. There will not be any formal speeches.

Activities will include the continuous showing of a slideshow of pictures of former students, staff, activities and events that occurred at the school over the past 40 years, from when it opened its doors in 1976 to 2016.

A deejay will also be in the house to entertain with music covering the past 40 years so that students and staff from the various periods will get a chance to listen to music that was popular in their time.

SVOBE’s anniversary booklet will also be available and attendees will be able to purchase a copy for US $20. Entrance to the event is free. However, food and drinks will be available for a small contribution. “Hopefully, a lot of students will show up,” de Visser said.

Other activities planned to mark the anniversaries of the two schools include a gala fundraising dinner at The Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort and Spa on March 25, in support of technology at the school. Entrance is US $100 per person.

On May 26, an art exhibition and talent show will be held by current and former students at Princess Port de Plaisance. Entrance is US $10 per person.

From July 27 to 30, Sundial School’s reunion will be held. All former students and teachers from when the school first opened its doors 50 years ago in 1966 leading up to 2016, are urged to attend this event at the school from 7:00pm to 12:00 midnight.

The anniversary events will wrap up with an educational symposium on August 10, with special guest speaker Alan November.

SO French is SO Good!

 ~ Classic French Cuisine with Caribbean Charm ~

So we went out on Monday, February 13, looking for an early Valentine’s dinner and hoping for something very special! And we found it – SO French!

SO French is the kind of place you might drive right past, as you scoot up the hill to Pelican Key in Simpson Bay. That could be a big mistake, because you aren’t likely to find a better French restaurant on the island – and that includes the French side!

We arrived about 7:30pm without reservations, which could have turned out badly as the people arriving after us were turned away with the words, “I’m sorry we’re full.” We were given a small table by the window overlooking Simpson Bay’s lovely waters, lapping gently against the crescent shaped beach. The manager, Tony, told us we weren’t his customers but his guests. He said he doesn’t think of this as work, but like welcoming friends into his home. Well, this charming fellow was authentically joyful, and spread that attitude to every table in the place.

We began the dining experience with wine, as is our want. Soon we received an unexpected amuse-bouche of delectable flavours, a melange of veggies and spices, just enough to prime the taste buds. Then came our shared appetizer, which was very plentiful indeed – a green salad with frog legs adorning the top and a carved lemon as a crown. These frog legs were well seasoned and crispy, exquisite in flavour and texture, a cross between whitefish and chicken. The salad below was fresh and light. We gobbled it all up!

The main courses arrived with rich sauces and wonderful side orders of provincial vegetables that included asparagus, ratatouille and sweet potato. The plates presented lamb shank for my companion and a roasted Angus beef filet mignon with foie gras sauce for yours truly. We were in nirvana at the first bite.

The enjoyment of these meals was not rushed in the least, as great dining should be savoured and prolonged into the night. In time, we had cleaned our plates and felt like indulgence ruled the world, so we decided to split a dessert, asking our waiter what he’d recommend. Without a moment’s hesitation, he said, “This one,” as he pointed to something that translated to “a melting chocolate cake, crispy and warm in its custard sauce.” This was nirvana’s flip side – a dark descent into decadence that you simply have to try.

A double espresso ended the night. We exited with a hug from Tony, feeling nothing but happiness as we floated down the stairs to our car.

If you want to go upscale, it doesn’t have to be Valentine’s – any night can be special! Book your table at SO French and make some memories.

Info:

SO French

Citrine Road

Just off Billy Folly Road

Simpson Bay, Pelican Key area

St. Maarten

Reservations recommended

Open 5:30 to 11:30pm

Closed on Tuesdays

Phone: 1 (721) 544-1143

Email: restaurantsofrench@gmail.com

Ratings:

Staff friendliness: *****

Service speed: ***

Restaurant cleanliness: *****

Food quality: *****

Value for money: ***

Ambience: ****

 

Posh Productions launched this year’s Queen Show delegates in style with a roll-out fit for queens at Taloula Mango’s last month. Families and supporters came out to see the ladies performing an opening dance segment and an introduction segment to begin the launch.

Posh Productions Incorporated is an event and entertainment agency established on St. Maarten with a dedicated goal to provide and promote wholesome entertainment in the areas of fashion, arts, music, theatre, pageantry and all other forms of unified community enhancement events.

Their core objectives include assisting and strengthening the entertainment and tourism industry of St. Maarten through highlighting cultural heritage and natural talents with promotional packages and advertisements that will draw participants, spectators and viewers both locally and regionally.

For this year’s pageants, there are four junior-, four teen-, six senior- and five mature-delegates all vying for the Carnival Queen crowns. In the coming weeks, promotions will take place via the media for pre- and main events. The public is encouraged to support all the Posh events.

Participating in the Junior Queen Show are Jerinelle Louisa, Zidania Charles-Gumbes, Dashannique Pascal and Leesje Amancio; in the Teen Queen Show are Evelyn Marsham, Juli-Ann Richardson, Shakainah Arrindell-Pompier and Letishia Cozier; and in the Senior Queen Show are Stacey Richardson, Judian Francis, Jessica Langlais, Shanice Powell, Nasheka Bryan and Sjenaya Webster. The Miss Mature Carnival pageant features Michelline Hunte, Myris Hall-York, Victoire Citadelle, Anna-Lyse Eudovic and Jacqueline Brooks.

Posh Productions Chief Executive Officer Anna Rabess-Richardson is working hard to make sure all events are great, and said she hopes for the continued support of the public this Carnival. The mission of Posh Productions is to empower young women by helping them realize their potential through a competitive yet collaborative effort, building confidence through scholarship and professional opportunities. Posh also promotes philanthropy through strong community based services and involvement.

 

Returns to St. Maarten stage

Eight years and some 52 countries later, one of the original Jukebox Heroes of St. Maarten, Maestro Les DeShane, is back on the local live music entertainment scene!

DeShane has his own unique style and twist on reggae and is happy to be back on St. Maarten and its irie warm island vibes. He is basking in the sun after recently spending a month at Hard Rock Café in blistering chills of Helsinki, Finland. He also played at a special event for the American Ambassador and the embassy staff in Finland.

He can be found belting out tunes on Tuesdays at Divi Little Bay Beach Resort from 7:00 to 10:00pm. Skip over to IGY Yacht Club at Isle de Sol’s Fat Turtle Bar on Thursdays to catch more of what he describes as “classic white boy reggae” from 8:00 to 11:00pm.

Jukebox Heroes, which included Chris the Deviant, had created quite a wave on St. Maarten. They are even on the main stage of St. Maarten Heineken Regatta back in the day. The duo was also famous for the “Dutch side Song” – a tune that was and still is an instant crowd favourite.

DeShane invites all music loves to join him for a journey of original music and popular covers of all styles. He is not only an outstanding vocalist; he is also a talented guitarist and skilled pianist.

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