This Love Is A Shore Thing
Just like many days and nights before, the aroma of Conch Butter Sauce, Souse and Potato Salad, and many, many, other traditional Caribbean dishes wafts through the air. Like magic, the aroma beckons you, leading you to the heart of Estate Princesse, right off Northside Road to the Cast Iron Pot in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. And the man behind the magic, no other, then award-winning, Chef Burton Peterson. Peterson who once worked in the famed Waldorf Astoria in New York, is no stranger to creating eventful and intricate dishes for U.S. Presidents, celebrities, royalty, and brides. This is probably why the Cast Iron Pot possesses an air of seclusion that makes you feel like royalty from the moment you enter the main dining area. You know you have officially arrived to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, when you’ve had a meal or two, at the Cast Iron Pot.
Like so many before him, Peterson traded in the city that never sleeps, for island breeze, beautiful sun, and celebrated agriculture that has enabled him to create a farm-to-table restaurant that takes you on an amazing journey filled with bold flavor and the richness of the island’s history and culture.
A significant feature of the cuisine at the Cast Iron Pot is the method in which each dish is prepared. Each dish is cooked inside a cast iron pot, cooked to order, with the freshest ingredients the land and sea in St. Croix has to offer. Food like photographs, stir emotions and evoke forgotten memories while simultaneously creating new ones. And at the CastIron Pot, Peterson has been creating and re-creating memories with his authentic and traditional Old World Caribbean Cuisine.
As a writer, I am often not lost for words, but in this case, it was really hard to capture the right words. I could use every adjective in the dictionary and it still would not give the diversity and flavor of the cuisines at Cast Iron Pot justice, the cuisine here is Phenomenal with a capital “P” matched with exceptional service from its staff.
However, what I had a loss for words for, was describing the feelings that were associated with each dish. There is something to be said about consuming really good food after it has been made to order especially for you. The euphoria you will experience at the Cast IronPot cannot be simply explained. I guess if I had to compare this feeling, I would compare it to the feeling of knowing the love of friendship, or falling in love, or simply finding the peace within. Love is hard to describe, and there are so many levels to it, but we’ve all experienced it, and definitely, don’t, or cannot, live without it.
The cuisine at Cast Iron Pot not only tells the story of the people of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, it tells the story of every Caribbean family and the story of friendship. It tells the stories of traditional recipes passed on from generation to generation, it evokes memories of Sunday dinners past and Sunday dinners to come, it speaks the universal language that brings us together at the dinner table. The experience here is quite unlike anything else you will experience on the island. You will also find plenty of local favorites at the bar, along with some non-alcoholic refreshers that use ingredients like passion fruit, limes, tamarind juice, and of course, you will find local favorites, Maubi, and Ginger Beer.
However, if you’re looking for an adult cocktail, then try Peterson’s specialty drinks like the Cast Iron, Crucian Confusion, and Calypso Zackary, just to name a few.
For dessert try my favorite, Homemade Cruzan Rum Cake. But don’t forget to try the Old Time Red Grout dessert, a favorite of many locals on the island, the main ingredient in this favorite dessert is guava. And if its ice cream you’re looking for, the Cast Iron Pot also serves Armstrong Homemade Ice Cream.
But no matter what you decide to have during that romantic dinner, family dinner, or happy hour, “the food at Cast Iron Pot is cooked with love” said Peterson. If you have only one chance to visit this laid-back island and want to visit a restaurant that speaks to the soul and spirit of St. Croix, Cast Iron Pot is it.
“Cooking with love and with only the freshest and finest ingredients sourced from the island is the key to an unforgettable dish,” says Peterson. And since my palate feels that it was just involved in a whirlwind love affair, I think Peterson might be on to something here.
You will find no shortage of love, good food, warmth, and hospitality at the cast Iron Pot. If this was a romance novel, then the Cast Iron Pot and the Executive Chef and Owner, Burton Peterson, would be two lovers seducing all five of your senses in this love story. This is a restaurant that everyone should at least experience once in their lifetime.
Cast Iron Pot Restaurant and Bar
10A La Grande Princesse, Christiansted 00820