A Night at The Stone

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Each year on our trips to St. Martin, my former wife and I made a vow to find one new "Treasure" of a beach to visit, a new place to eat or a new shop to get those unique gifts for friends and people back home. In 2007 the new un-discovered treasure is a delightful restaurant called The Stone.

We found out about the restaurant totally by accident. We were on our way out of the lobby at the Sapphire getting ready to head toward our car when Regina was stopped short by the sight of the back of a person who was handing the concierge some brochures and coupons. She stopped short and said "Neil? , "is that you?". Indeed it was Neil Roebert, our good friend and captain of The Celine who was chatting with the concierge. We stopped and talked for quite a while as we discovered that he was there promoting his son, Johann's new restaurant that he had opened a week or so before. He handed us a coupon for buy one, get one free entree and then  wished us farewell as he headed off to a few more resorts.

We had a couple of errands to run, including getting some medicine for David's bronchitis and as we pulled up to the pharmacy we ran into him again... This time as he was picking up some supplies for the restaurant. We are a firm believer that there are no coincidences so we both agreed that the universe was telling us that perhaps we needed to give this new place a try.

It was not a hard sell for either of us. We had eaten Johann's food before on the Celine during two of our day sails with Neil over the years. We knew that Johan had studied culinary arts in a prestigious institute in South Africa. We also knew that he had been chosen to be chef on a number of the super yachts in the Simpson's Bay Marina as well as serving as head chef at Aqua where his food had developed quite a reputation.   On January 3rd the occasion of our anniversary was upon us and the decision of where we were going to spend it was sealed when we had a late lunch at Bay Watch along with a 2 mud slide happy hour with Willy at the Perch. We wanted something light, something close and some place we could have some private time. The intimate Stone fit all those criteria. So after a soak in the Jacuzzi with a glass of wine at sunset we dressed up and made our way to Simpson's Bay to find The Stone.

(Picture of Johann above is from 4 years ago in the galley of The Celine)


Finding The Stone was easy. From the airport, drive towards the Simpson's Bay Bridge. As you begin to see it coming in your vision look for The Rancho on the lagoon side. Directly across the street is a yellow building that houses Subway. nestled in a small stone building next door to Subway is The Stone.  (Since writing this article, the Stone moved to the Pelican Resort on Billy Folly Road) The bar at the Stone celebrates some famous "rocks" in the world. It is an eclectic place with the menus hanging on the walls. (See a copy below) The concept of the Stone is simple. Choice selected foods, cooked on hot stones to just the degree of  cooking you desire. Served with simplicity and elegance and seasoned for the most discerning palate.

Johann was waiting for us at the door, as was his beautiful friend Justine. Justine and Sean, both long time friends of Johan from South Africa had journeyed over to spend some time and lend support to Johann as he started up this new business venture. Sean was recruited to tend the bar while Justine pitched in as waitress, hostess, dessert chef and simply to give light to the place with her beautiful smile. It took a little bit of conversation to get Johan to place where he knew us from. When we told him that we had eaten his food before on the Celine and that we were the ones with the crazy "Nako" friends, then it all came back to him. The mud, the emergency run for ice. He joked with us the rest of the evening that it was the clothes that made it difficult to recognize us. <LOL> The conversation did intrigue Justine and Sean as they had not been to Orient beach yet. There was much fun as we made conversation about all of our trips to Tintemarre and sailing around the island with our friends. They were planning on giving the mud a try on a private sail with Neil the next weekend, and who knows, maybe even give skinny dipping a try too. Justine's stay on the island would be coming to an end and she was going to have to journey back to Cape Town and return to school.

As is our custom when we are trying a new chef, we placed ourselves in Johann's able hands. We asked him, what would he suggest for something light, something to delight the palate and he certainly did not disappoint us with his selections.

First was his wine selection. Since we were  sharing a bottle and having a mixture of foods to go with, he suggested a Sancere 2003, a French white wine that would stand up to the foods he had selected. It was an excellent choice.

Next was the appetizers. Johan said that the scallops were especially tender and tasty that day. He would prepare them on the stone with a light apricot sauce on the side. The salad would be just as light. The bread came with a dried tomato and spice spread that was just too good for words. There were four of the scallops on the stone and by the time I remembered I was supposed to take pictures we had already devoured 2 of them. A full plate would have been a whole meal for either of us, so we were glad we had decided to split the plate so we could have room for what was yet to come.

For the entree Johann had selected a pair of petite filets cooked on the stone. The filets melted in your mouth, were so tender that you could cut them with your fork. Veggies were a mixture of sliced and roasted veggies and a whipped sweet potato mixed with butter, herbs and some "special" ingredients that made them a delight on the tongue. Tried to find out what was in them and he just smiled. Steak was complimented by a light mushroom sauce. 

Normally for us, this is where we say good night and go back to our room to crash. Not so this evening... just as we were getting ready to call it an evening, Neil arrived. We invited him to share a glass of wine at our table and ended up staying the rest of the evening! Neil knew it was our anniversary and the next thing we knew there was a complimentary magnum of champagne. Life is Good!


After polishing off the champagne, the rest of the bottle of white and a good part of a bottle of red we decided to join with Neil as he had some dinner and we had some dessert. Otherwise poor Johann was going to have to just lock us in for the night! Neil had a wonderful looking tuna filet on the stone with the same mixed assortment of sliced veggies and whipped sweet potato.

I had a light mocha ice cream with some Baileys and Kahlua, the top was sprinkled with dark chocolate shavings and topped with a light whipped cream. Regina had something similar, but with shaved vanilla bean and Frangelico.



As we were enjoying our wine and dessert who should appear but our old friend Alana Busby. Alana is the former owner of Ms B's and the former chef of Mr.Busby's restaurant over at Oyster Pond. Alana is no slouch as a chef, educated in the best culinary institute in the Netherlands. She returned to help her father turn Mr. Busby's into a 4-5 star quality restaurant before the resort owners got greedy and tripled the rent. She brought a party of 5 to give the Stone a try.  She was delighted with their meal and word is quickly spreading about the Stone.) This was a deja vu for Regina and I.  7 years before we had hired Alana to cater a private dinner for the 2 of us at sunset on Dawn Beach for our 20th anniversary. She not only served us a delightful meal but she also treated us with the typical friendly and gracious respect that we have come to love about our island friends. It was serendipity that she would be there to help us celebrate another anniversary on our favorite island. 


The evening came to a close way later than we intended and we had such fun sharing and talking with our good friends. The Stone is a place that is conducive to that sort of thing. Excellent dining, good company, relaxed and friendly atmosphere all combine to make it a spot people will want to return to again and again. I know that is true for us. We returned a few days later with 6 more of our friends and we all had another great meal and a wonderful time.



More Photos from other times at the Stone




Call Johann at 599-526-2037 or email him at: thestonesxm@yahoo.com for reservations. Tell him David sent you!


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