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Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

speee1dy
February 11, 2015 05:01PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 8,600

thank you

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

caribstx
February 12, 2015 08:49AM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 466

In my opinion, the owners of Tutto Bene gave up on the restaurant a few years ago. The menu hasn't changed much over that time and certainly didn't exhibit much creativity nor any real southern Italian cuisine, as touted on their website. Chef Negust Kaza did have a few interesting specials from time to time but not enough to keep me coming back regularly with the boring, over-priced menu. Some would say that the pizza was his best dish.

The Galleon was another unexciting venue that failed to change with the times. I always found the owner to be an overbearing, pretentious @#$%& and it showed in the menu. She always had issues keeping a chef and it showed. As the island economy changed, she stuck to the over-priced steakhouse model which led to the inevitable demise.

Hopefully, these two vacancies will allow new operators with a passion for food to take over since the old owners seemed to lack this basic necessity.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings
avatar

bathiel
February 12, 2015 12:56PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 518

Quote
caribstx
In my opinion, the owners of Tutto Bene gave up on the restaurant a few years ago. The menu hasn't changed much over that time and certainly didn't exhibit much creativity nor any real southern Italian cuisine, as touted on their website. Chef Negust Kaza did have a few interesting specials from time to time but not enough to keep me coming back regularly with the boring, over-priced menu. Some would say that the pizza was his best dish.

The Galleon was another unexciting venue that failed to change with the times. I always found the owner to be an overbearing, pretentious @#$%& and it showed in the menu. She always had issues keeping a chef and it showed. As the island economy changed, she stuck to the over-priced steakhouse model which led to the inevitable demise.

Hopefully, these two vacancies will allow new operators with a passion for food to take over since the old owners seemed to lack this basic necessity.

I agree with this 100%. The closing of places like these is indicative of the fact that they haven't kept pace with changes in how and what people eat, not that STX is going down the drain. Those places are reflective of another era, whereas new joints like 40 Strand, Zion, Eat, and others are more contemporary. As the outdated establishments depart, it opens up opportunities for innovative new places that meet the needs of today's diners.

Along those lines, it's amazing to me that Duggan's is still open.

Bernie

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

caribstx
February 12, 2015 02:50PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 466

I think Duggan's continues to survive because the snow birds still flock to the east end every year and like his tired, decades old menu because its safe and familiar. I eat there once in a while, but only if I have guests visiting and we've run out of other choices.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

Stxer1
February 12, 2015 05:46PM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 281

I disagree about Duggan's menu being tired and old. During the off-season, Duggan's slimmed down the regular menu simply because there were less diners coming in.

Once season started up again, there is a very new menu with creative dishes for Duggans, and a handful of daily specials as well. No, I don't work there, but appreciate how Duggans changes with the times. The last few times I've been there its been packed.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings
avatar

CruzanIron
February 12, 2015 09:23PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 2,388

I won't ever go there to eat again.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

caribstx
February 13, 2015 08:35AM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 466

Absolute BS...Duggan's menu stays the same all year round. The only thing that's new over the past few years is the burger. The specials change daily however.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

speee1dy
February 13, 2015 08:52AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 8,600

i like duggans. i have only been there a handful of times but have never been disappointed in what i have ordered. besides, i do like frank

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

Stxer1
February 13, 2015 08:54AM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 281

I enjoy readings posts by folks who are so sure of their point that they totally dismiss the facts! We see it often on this board as in caribstx's claim about the "tired old Duggan's menu".

I'll list just a few new additions to the current menu:

Escargot
Grilled scallops
Poached lobster and prosciutto salad
Roasted beet and lobster salad
Roasted pepper and seafood Alfredo
Grilled mahi piccata
Pan seared Atlantic salmon
Grilled swordfish
Pan seared duck breast

These dishes are new. There are many more new sides and specials.

Being negative about a business is fine but only if you state the correct facts. I don't work at Duggans and have no connection to Duggans other than being a dining guest.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

speee1dy
February 13, 2015 10:24AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 8,600

thanks for making me hungry

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

NugBlazer
February 23, 2015 10:36PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 309

Quote
vicanuck
Other restaurants have been opening while older, established places like Tutto and Galleon are closing. This is pretty normal. Recently, we enjoyed an awesome dinner at new comer 40 Strand and are looking forward to trying Zion Modern Kitchen. We've eaten at the new Kendrick's at The Buccaneer several times and enjoy it just as much as the old location. No Bones has upgraded significantly with the move to their new location. No need to worry. Change is good.

Couldn't disagree more. Nothing about those two places closing is "good". Both have been there for a long time, far longer than most other restaurants on STX, and seeing them close is not a good sign.

Those newcomers? Both will most likely be gone within 24 months. How many times have we seen new restaurants close soon after opening? A lot: I could name 20 right off the top of my head. In fact, I'd say that 90% don't make it 5 years. Which is why a place like Tutto Bene is special: because it beat the odds and then some. When a place like that closes, it's bad. Tutto has, at times, had nearly 50 people on staff, which is far more than just about anywhere else. Does 40 Strand employ anywhere close to that number? Doubtful.

And Zion Modern Kitchen? I got news for you: it's not new. Sure, it's a new name, but it's being run by Frank and Kat, the ones who led Bacchus to great heights and did the same with Eat. It's just Eat with a twist. It has the Food Shot and everything. What happened after F+K left Bacchus? The new owners couldn't handle WAPA exploding and ran it into the ground, that's what. Same will happen with Eat, you just watch. F+K are the reasons Zion is doing well. Sure, they're not technically the owners -- they can't because they signed a 5-year non-compete -- but they've gotten around that by being consultants...

As for the "new" Kendricks, everyone knows that Dave is just doing that as a temporary holding spot. It will not be there for long. If he wanted to stay in business he wouldn't have left his longtime location.

Regarding No Bones, I disagree completely that it's been upgraded. It's just different, but not better. They just robbed Peter and paid Paul. That place is/was my favorite bar on island. I was in there 4+ nights a week for years. I love Chuck, Tony, Kury and everybody in there. But, it's not the same. The "feel" of the old place has been lost, and many of the regulars -- the people who are in there all the time -- feel the same way and don't hang there as much. Yes, the staff are still intact, but it's louder and more expensive now. They're doing well for the time being, but, once the newness wears off, we shall see if they can keep the place full. It's a lot bigger with more overhead. I truly hope they make it, because I love that crew. Lastly, let's not forget that the only reason No Bones is in the new place is because another longtime local favorite, Case Place, failed a couple years back. A shame... I loved Case Place. One of my fave lunch spots.

In summary, I'm saying that the loss of two juggernaut, long-time successes is no where near made up for by the opening of a couple newcomers and the changing venue of another. It's a net loss and it's bad for the island.

Quote
caribstx
In my opinion, the owners of Tutto Bene gave up on the restaurant a few years ago. The menu hasn't changed much over that time and certainly didn't exhibit much creativity nor any real southern Italian cuisine, as touted on their website. Chef Negust Kaza did have a few interesting specials from time to time but not enough to keep me coming back regularly with the boring, over-priced menu. Some would say that the pizza was his best dish.

The Galleon was another unexciting venue that failed to change with the times. I always found the owner to be an overbearing, pretentious @#$%& and it showed in the menu. She always had issues keeping a chef and it showed. As the island economy changed, she stuck to the over-priced steakhouse model which led to the inevitable demise.

Hopefully, these two vacancies will allow new operators with a passion for food to take over since the old owners seemed to lack this basic necessity.

Totally disagree on Tutto, but I'll agree that Leslie at The Galleon was an ass. But, it's BESIDE THE POINT. The point is: they beat the odds and were there for a long time. They were booked to capacity night after night after night for years on end and employed a lot of people for a long time. Whatever the reason, they found a winning way that worked and got the job done. That's much harder to do on STX than you think. The chance that "new operators with a passion for food" will do better than their predecessors is slim to none. They have big shoes to fill.

Quote
bathiel

The closing of places like these is indicative of the fact that they haven't kept pace with changes in how and what people eat, not that STX is going down the drain.

Bernie

Bernie, are you on the same island as me? The closing of those places is COMPLETELY indicative of STX going down the drain! Have you looked around lately? There are literally half as many places open as there were a decade ago. Go into Christiansted at 11PM on a Saturday night these days and the place is deader than a doornail -- you can hear crickets! A decade ago, town would be so full on Saturday night that you wouldn't even be able to find a parking space!

What are you referring to when you talk about "changes in how and what people eat"? That's just sounds nonsensical. What's changed? Last time I checked, people still make reservations, sit at tables, order from menus, etc. As for food, people still eat seafood, steaks, pasta, etc. What is this change you are referring to?

Let's take 40 Strand. Go to their FB page and you can see a pic of a specials menu that has: Duck Confit, Sea Scallops, Duck Breast, Strip Steak, Pork Chop, Mahi Mahi, Fried Chicken and Red Snapper? What's new about any of that? Those dishes have been served a million times by just about every restaurant onisland. Sure, they have intersting preparations, but so does everyone else.

Again, I don't see any difference. If 40 strand is still in business nearly 20 years from now like Tutto, I'd be amazed. To do what Tutto did was not easy, not at all.

IN SUMMARY: when longtime businesses fail on STX, it is not a cause for optimism. It's a cause for concern. I hope I'm wrong. Time will tell.

Ok, now I'm hungry...

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings
avatar

bathiel
February 23, 2015 11:37PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 518

Quote
NugBlazer
Quote
vicanuck
Other restaurants have been opening while older, established places like Tutto and Galleon are closing. This is pretty normal. Recently, we enjoyed an awesome dinner at new comer 40 Strand and are looking forward to trying Zion Modern Kitchen. We've eaten at the new Kendrick's at The Buccaneer several times and enjoy it just as much as the old location. No Bones has upgraded significantly with the move to their new location. No need to worry. Change is good.

Couldn't disagree more. Nothing about those two places closing is "good". Both have been there for a long time, far longer than most other restaurants on STX, and seeing them close is not a good sign.

Those newcomers? Both will most likely be gone within 24 months. How many times have we seen new restaurants close soon after opening? A lot: I could name 20 right off the top of my head. In fact, I'd say that 90% don't make it 5 years. Which is why a place like Tutto Bene is special: because it beat the odds and then some. When a place like that closes, it's bad. Tutto has, at times, had nearly 50 people on staff, which is far more than just about anywhere else. Does 40 Strand employ anywhere close to that number? Doubtful.

And Zion Modern Kitchen? I got news for you: it's not new. Sure, it's a new name, but it's being run by Frank and Kat, the ones who led Bacchus to great heights and did the same with Eat. It's just Eat with a twist. It has the Food Shot and everything. What happened after F+K left Bacchus? The new owners couldn't handle WAPA exploding and ran it into the ground, that's what. Same will happen with Eat, you just watch. F+K are the reasons Zion is doing well. Sure, they're not technically the owners -- they can't because they signed a 5-year non-compete -- but they've gotten around that by being consultants...

As for the "new" Kendricks, everyone knows that Dave is just doing that as a temporary holding spot. It will not be there for long. If he wanted to stay in business he wouldn't have left his longtime location.

Regarding No Bones, I disagree completely that it's been upgraded. It's just different, but not better. They just robbed Peter and paid Paul. That place is/was my favorite bar on island. I was in there 4+ nights a week for years. I love Chuck, Tony, Kury and everybody in there. But, it's not the same. The "feel" of the old place has been lost, and many of the regulars -- the people who are in there all the time -- feel the same way and don't hang there as much. Yes, the staff are still intact, but it's louder and more expensive now. They're doing well for the time being, but, once the newness wears off, we shall see if they can keep the place full. It's a lot bigger with more overhead. I truly hope they make it, because I love that crew. Lastly, let's not forget that the only reason No Bones is in the new place is because another longtime local favorite, Case Place, failed a couple years back. A shame... I loved Case Place. One of my fave lunch spots.

In summary, I'm saying that the loss of two juggernaut, long-time successes is no where near made up for by the opening of a couple newcomers and the changing venue of another. It's a net loss and it's bad for the island.

Quote
caribstx
In my opinion, the owners of Tutto Bene gave up on the restaurant a few years ago. The menu hasn't changed much over that time and certainly didn't exhibit much creativity nor any real southern Italian cuisine, as touted on their website. Chef Negust Kaza did have a few interesting specials from time to time but not enough to keep me coming back regularly with the boring, over-priced menu. Some would say that the pizza was his best dish.

The Galleon was another unexciting venue that failed to change with the times. I always found the owner to be an overbearing, pretentious @#$%& and it showed in the menu. She always had issues keeping a chef and it showed. As the island economy changed, she stuck to the over-priced steakhouse model which led to the inevitable demise.

Hopefully, these two vacancies will allow new operators with a passion for food to take over since the old owners seemed to lack this basic necessity.

Totally disagree on Tutto, but I'll agree that Leslie at The Galleon was an ass. But, it's BESIDE THE POINT. The point is: they beat the odds and were there for a long time. They were booked to capacity night after night after night for years on end and employed a lot of people for a long time. Whatever the reason, they found a winning way that worked and got the job done. That's much harder to do on STX than you think. The chance that "new operators with a passion for food" will do better than their predecessors is slim to none. They have big shoes to fill.

Quote
bathiel

The closing of places like these is indicative of the fact that they haven't kept pace with changes in how and what people eat, not that STX is going down the drain.

Bernie

Bernie, are you on the same island as me? The closing of those places is COMPLETELY indicative of STX going down the drain! Have you looked around lately? There are literally half as many places open as there were a decade ago. Go into Christiansted at 11PM on a Saturday night these days and the place is deader than a doornail -- you can hear crickets! A decade ago, town would be so full on Saturday night that you wouldn't even be able to find a parking space!

What are you referring to when you talk about "changes in how and what people eat"? That's just sounds nonsensical. What's changed? Last time I checked, people still make reservations, sit at tables, order from menus, etc. As for food, people still eat seafood, steaks, pasta, etc. What is this change you are referring to?

Let's take 40 Strand. Go to their FB page and you can see a pic of a specials menu that has: Duck Confit, Sea Scallops, Duck Breast, Strip Steak, Pork Chop, Mahi Mahi, Fried Chicken and Red Snapper? What's new about any of that? Those dishes have been served a million times by just about every restaurant onisland. Sure, they have intersting preparations, but so does everyone else.

Again, I don't see any difference. If 40 strand is still in business nearly 20 years from now like Tutto, I'd be amazed. To do what Tutto did was not easy, not at all.

IN SUMMARY: when longtime businesses fail on STX, it is not a cause for optimism. It's a cause for concern. I hope I'm wrong. Time will tell.

Ok, now I'm hungry...

I know that things are different today from 10 years ago. There's no denying that STX is not as vibrant as it was and could be. But I'll also say that I see a lot of pockets of optimism. I was at Savant last Saturday and it was packed. At Zion a few weeks ago, same thing. And last Friday at Galangal, a full house. I'm just saying that something new and fresh will attract buyers, and these places are doing just that. I'm absolutely not denigrating old, established landmarks...as long as they remain relevant. It's when they cease offering what people want, they eventually will die. (And this doesn't even consider the situation in which the proprietors of these establishments eventually tire and decide to pack it in for quality-of-life reasons, which is a common occurrence in the hard-driving restaurant business.)

As for my comment about how and what people eat: It's no surprise that the trend has been for some time toward smaller plates, healthier options, and more innovative cuisine. Big (and pricey) steak dinners, fancy dishes with lots of sauces, and tired recipes are out; more affordable, smaller plates that allow people to sample different dishes are in. In any city in the states, there's always a cycle in which restaurants that don't keep up with consumer trends and interests eventually close (even those that have been around for ages), replaced by ones that are more relevant to what consumers want. And, consumers today are more fickle than ever, so a restaurant needs to stay on its toes to remain in business, unlike a decade ago when a place could coast on its reputation for a long time. STX is no different.

I'm not saying that it's great news when a revered institution closes its doors...unless that institution is no longer putting out offerings that consumers find are worthy of their reverence. Then its time for them to step aside and let fresh, new ideas blossom.

Bernie

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

divinggirl
February 24, 2015 06:19AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 887

Quote
bathiel
a restaurant needs to stay on its toes to remain in business, unlike a decade ago when a place could coast on its reputation for a long time. STX is no different.

I'm not saying that it's great news when a revered institution closes its doors...unless that institution is no longer putting out offerings that consumers find are worthy of their reverence. Then its time for them to step aside and let fresh, new ideas blossom.

Bernie

Agreed. People don't have as much disposable cash to go out to expensive dinners anymore. So if your restaurant only serves expensive meals then many won't/can't go. When restaurants fail to see the changes in their community they will fail. I haven't been to Tutto in over a year because there wasn't much on the menu that interested me for the prices (I can make spag for way less than $18-$24 a serving). I hadn't been to the Galleon for dinner in over 5 years because of the prices. I'm not saying the food wasn't good but I spend my money elsewhere so I can enjoy a meal out more than once or twice a year.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

denvertired
February 24, 2015 10:28AM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 113

Has anyone seen a new BBQ restaurant. There was an episode of Caribbean Life that featured a couple relocating from S.C. I think they intended on opening a restaurant.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

speee1dy
February 24, 2015 05:00PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 8,600

would that be stj stt or stx? any idea of the name or is this blues backyard???

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

vicanuck
February 24, 2015 05:02PM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 2,285

Blue's Backyard BarBQ rocks...but those Kay and Dave have been here for many years.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

denvertired
February 24, 2015 05:19PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 113

I was wrong on a few things..

they did move to stx
they were from West Virginia
Billy and Deanna

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

Beeski
February 26, 2015 07:48AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 643

Had a delicious dinner at Tutto last night . Shrimp & Flank steak, a spicy sausage roma sauce over angel hair, misto salad, great service. Enjoy it while you can.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

speee1dy
February 26, 2015 07:51AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 8,600

going there tomorrow

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

buck
February 26, 2015 09:21PM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 223

Lovely atmosphere and great dining at Zion on Wednesday Evening ! Packed!

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

vicanuck
February 27, 2015 08:40AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 2,285

We're going to Zion on Saturday evening for the first time. I'm excited to try something new.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings
avatar

CruzanIron
February 27, 2015 11:41AM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 2,388

I thought it was just OK. But what pissed me off was that we were the first table that evening (a week ago) and they sat the second group right beside us, and then the 4th table on the other side of us. All other tables were open.

I also found that having to sit on a wooden bench not very comfortable.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

vicanuck
March 02, 2015 10:11AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 2,285

So...we went to Zion Modern Kitchen on Saturday night with a party of 5. I must say that my expectations were low because of several mediocre reviews, including one from friends who went on Friday night before and said it sucked.

However, we were all pleasantly surprised. Our reservation was for 7 and the place was quite busy when we arrived. We were seated right away in a nice spot. Overall, the service was very attentive and the food was excellent. Everyone enjoyed the appetizers although the ricotta dip thingy was a bit bland. The mains were all good size portions and no one left hungry. We even had desserts which were delicious too.

Although I didn't see the final bill, the menu seemed fairly priced relative to the portion size and quality. The restaurant still had a bit of a Kendrick's feel to it but that just made it feel more familiar.

Overall...a good experience and I anticipate returning again.

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

speee1dy
March 02, 2015 10:33AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 8,600

pet peeve-went to pickled greek. server was very nice. took our order, brought drinks and food in timely manner-food was excellent. but after that when we needed something we had to flag someone down because she never came back and we could never get her attention.
please attend to your tables, its not that hard especially when you only had 3 tables and they all got the saturday special.

i hate when servers think their job ends when the food is brought out.

went to cheney bay on friday and that was good and service was excellent and food was good

Re: StX Restaurant Ratings

vicanuck
March 03, 2015 08:17AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 2,285

Typically, when a server makes me wait too long for the bill, I just get up and start to walk toward the door, then stand there impatiently. The server usually gets the message right away and comes running. Then we have the talk. I know this strategy makes some uncomfortable but it is effective.

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