Asolare gets thumbs up from people who know

If you’ve never had dinner out with a couple of restaurant pros, you have something to look forward to.  Grace and Bob Rood, owners of five restaurants in the Washington, DC area over the past 25 years, joined us at Blue Tang last week – and we did a lot of comparison eating on St. John.

Asolare_logo_bigOverlooking Cruz Bay at Sunset, there is no more atmospheric and romantic spot on the island than Asolare.  But some years that’s all the place offered.  Chefs came and went, and the food ranged from great to so-so.  It’s Great again.

With many years of cooking and plating and preparing menus, the Roods know what makes a restaurant a success.  Asolare won points from them at the start, with the menu.  Offering about a dozen entrees, and about half a dozen of appetizers and salads, the kitchen’s not trying to do everything for everybody.

And the food!  Five stars.  Rack of lamb, locally caught Mahi Mahi, and some kind of Asian chicken dishP_about3
that Bob had all were rated high.  (The Shrimp Tempura appetizer on a
bed of local greens with a balsamic dress were fantastic, too.)  Ever
the restaurateurs, Bob and Grace rated the food presentation as top
flight, too.

From the standpoint of service, another knockout.  Our waitress recognized Mrs. Inquiring Iguana (Donna) from our one visit last year, and Donna remembered our waitress had been expecting a child.  That led to "How’s the baby?", which led to baby picture. A welcoming beginning.

Yes, I know the place is expensive.  $60-$70/person with a couple of beers  (Watch out for the La Crema Chardonnay at $15/glass.  We pay $12.99/bottle at Costco.)  But you have to have one splurge night on St. John, and Asolare is a best bet choice.

Ask the restaurant experts!  Bob’s summary: "Grace, this place could make it in Washington."

Asolare Web site: http://www.stjohnrestaurants.com/asolare.htm

7 thoughts on “Asolare gets thumbs up from people who know”

  1. Good to hear that Asolare is doing better. The last time we were there in 2004 it was not a good value compared with La Tapa and the recent menus at Paradiso.
    Cheers, RickG

  2. Regarding the article about Asolare. Well things most have changed dramatically. In 2007 we didn’t bother going there at all because of past meals. Poor service, and poor quality food. This past January two of us decided to give it a try again. When they got there the hostess said the person who wrote down the reservation down made it for the night before. She then said they would try to fit them in. 20 minutes later they said the ovens weren’t workin so they couldn’t serve dinner and everyone had to leave. Don’t think we will go back in 2009. There are bad nights at every restaurant. Best consistent meals and service on St. John, take me to ZOZO’s and The Lime Inn anytime.

  3. Won’t go to Asolare again. When you arrive on time for your reservation, they very often tell you that your table isn’t ready (when it is). They direct you to the bar, with it’s inadequate seating, and you often have no place to set your drink down. When they finally call you to your table (it’s been in your sight-line, fully set up, all this while) the barender tells you that you have to “settle up” at the bar rather than having your bar bill added to your dinner tab. Extremely annoying and unprofessional conduct for what is supposed to be a first-class place. “Your table isn’t ready” is a downright lie. And that bit about paying at the bar before being seated at dinner adds insult to injury. Have any other of your readers experienced this?

  4. We’ve always enjoyed our meals at Asolare. We go for our wedding anniversary every year. (So we’ve been five times, didn’t go year 1 on the honeymoon). Two years ago, there was no gas in the propane so they sent us all home, but they gave us our drinks free and we had dinner the next night. Last year, food was good but there is one wait person there who annoys us and we got her. This year, we may head for Zozos. I know RickG loves La Tapa but we need that view.

  5. I’ve always enjoyed Asolare, although they have had their ups and downs the past few years.
    We had our wedding reception there in 2004, so it always holds a special place in my heart.
    Glad to hear it is back to its former glory.

  6. We dined at Asolare several night ago. We had the shrimp tempura appetizer which was fantastic. But the entrees were just ok, not worth the price. We are here for 3 weeks and we won’t head back there. The best chefs on the island right now are the Sanchez brothers, Omar at Chloe and Bernards and Yamil at Chateaux Bordeaux. Fabulous food and awesome presentations.

  7. The food here was very ok! We had been waiting to eat there and moved our plans so that we could get a nice table outside – the hostess was rude and said the only table they had available was a crappy indoor table. We then waited at the bar for a table (told 20 minutes and took ~60 minutes). The food was totally ok – we ate the Ahi Tuna Appetizer and it was probably one of the least flavorful. My wife had the mahi mahi special which was good but my steak was just ok if not below average. Definitely not worth the effort, time lost while on vacation and cost.
    got there and they had a table

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