May 29, 2001 – Restaurant Marisol bills itself as specializing in "Pacific rim cuisine." My favorites among its offerings, however, are the Caribbean and African adaptations.
The establishment (where Zorba's used to be) consists of a lounge and bar accessed from the front porch directly off the street, and a rear courtyard. For meals you generally have your choice of locales, and it all depends on whether you are an inner or an outer — of-doors, that is. Personally, I enjoy both. The courtyard can be cool and relaxing at the end of the day and into the evening. The inner lounge is more intimate and, given the heavy local clientele, lends itself to socializing.
One of the menu items I particularly enjoy is the peanut chicken. Of course there is a fancy name for the dish, but the essence is firm breast of chicken with a wonderful mellow peanut sauce that gives the bland meat just the right amount of piquant, yet sweet flavor. I would be perfectly happy with a simple mound of white rice (say a cup or more) topped by a full chicken breast saturated in sauce. Oh yes, while we are at it, a basket of sourdough bread to further accent the sweet and sour — and sop up any remaining flavor buds.
Cooked bananas is another menu item Marisol has perfected. The soft, sweet banana with a touch of coconut keeps you tasting and tasting and tasting. Is it a vegetable, a fruit, or a dessert? I don’t know, nor do I care. It is simply ambrosia.
Another local dish which has received that Marisol touch is Kallaloo — greens, fish, shrimp, conch and any other available seafood. Boil it all up with okra, onion and who knows what else, and you have a succulent, filling, healthful and down right good dish. Pita bread, corn bread or other bread all complement the stew. Add a good beer, ginger ale or some other active libation to clean your palate, and you have a meal in itself. Yes, you can get a cup, not a bowl — but who would want to stop with a few spoonfuls when you can really pig out and be satisfied?
The Marisol Lounge was a great setting for the artists and attendees of the "Africa in the Heart of the Virgin Islands" exhibit at the Grand Gallery. For the gallery opening "after party," the lounge and bar were packed with Virgin Islanders listening to Eddie Bruce and his friends drumming. Eddie also showed his guitar talents, leading the group in numerous lovely tunes. Jon Euwema proved he was more than a pretty face with his own drumming, and several fellow artists sang and danced the evening away.
Marisol's organization, venue, cash bar and succulent snacks really made for a rousing evening. Highlights in the finger-food department included a top notch pick-up saltfish and a black olive paste.
Maybe Marisol could try hosting "after-Reichhold" parties. We really need a place to unwind after a good evening enjoying the arts. The Wendy's drive-up window just doesn’t do it.
The restrooms at Marisol are comfy and clean with plenty of supplies. While the building is historic, the owners have worked at providing a fresh environment. Parking is catch-as-catch-can on Government Hill, but there is usually something available within an interesting walk. If you park down below at Emancipation Garden, you would be well advised to walk the up-sloping road, rather than taking the stairs from Main Street to Hotel 1829. It has to do with the heart rate and the effects of gulping that first drink.
Restaurant Marisol
Ambiance: 5 stars
Food:5 stars
Service: 5 stars
Value: 5 stars
1854 Government Hill
(340) 776-1200
Lunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday
Dinner Wed./Thurs./Sun. 6-10 p.m.; Fri./Sat. 6-11 p.m.
Tex-Mex/ Southwestern menu
Amex, Visa, MasterCard

Editor's note: The Tottering Taster is a senior citizen dedicated to enjoying good food who periodically dines in local establishments to bring Source readers unsolicited assessments biased in favor of an ultimate eating-out experience. The individual uses a pseudonym so restaurant personnel will not be able to identify the reviewer and try to influence the review.


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