Although I have lived far away from “my home and native land” for a long time, I always make a point of celebrating Canada Day in Dominica.
This year, I decided to treat myself and a Canadian friend to a meal at a Roseau restaurant that was unfamiliar to me. But I didn’t just splurge, I had a gift – yes, another one (!) from Hike Fest 2013 – a certificate that would cover both our meals quite well. I was very excited about this other prize, and David, the Administrative Officer at the Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association (DHTA) was equally pleased for me. That only added to the anticipation of an unfamiliar dining experience. But I should have known – as the DHTA office is right next door to 15 Castle Street, I am sure that David frequents the Old Stone Grill and Bar.
now I know why!
When I arrived around 4 p.m., I was greeted warmly and offered help by Marlene, who was our main server that afternoon. While I waited for Nancy, I admired the tasteful artwork on the walls, warm red table settings and lush green plants surrounding the dining room.
Soon Nancy appeared, looking very refreshed and `Canadian` after her recent trip to Canada for her sister“s wedding. We did joke about my affinity for celebrating Canada Day, which I honoured by wearing red and white and tacking a maple leaf pin on my lapel. As my friend teased me, Marlene brought us our menus and asked if we would like something to drink. Before we made a selection, I spouted out: `Do you know what day this is.` `Why, it`s Canada Day, of course,`she replied confidently. `How did you know,`I queried. The pleasant young lady just smiled. No doubt, I had given it away somehow, or maybe she has Canadian connections. It`s entirely possible on the Nature Island!
When our drinks arrived, I savored the delicious mix of tropical fruits (mangoes, bananas and others) in my non-alcoholic cocktail. It was divine. Nancy sipped on a sweet chardonnay wine while she recounted her sister`s wonderful wedding (congratulations Heather and Chris!), described some of the rides at Canada`s Wonderland and impressed me with her attendance at a Toronto Bluejay`s Baseball Game (go Jays go!)
Then Nancy queried Marlene about possible menu choices. She graciously described several of the items and assured us of their freshness. There were so many options. Marlene made this monumental task easier, although there are a number of offerings I want to try next visit!
It seemed like no time at all when our dinners arrived and we oohed and aahed over their exquisite presentation before we even
took a bite! While soft jazz music played in the background, Nancy relished a tasteful chicken salad extraordinaire. I practically inhaled my grilled Mahi-Mahi fish with a herb sauce, lightly fried breadfruit croquettes and delicately steamed vegetables. Of course, we cleaned our plates! (to use a Canadian expression)
And what would a Canada Day feast be like without a bit of sweetness to round off the meal! Nancy didn`t waste any time as she spooned up a delectable slice of cheesecake with strawberry topping. There were no regrets about my choice either: a springy and light Alsatian cake with home-made coconut ice cream on the side.
As we lingered a little longer over the last crumbs, the tables around us filled with eager diners. Now I could easily understand why this restaurant is so popular. When the bill arrived, I was very pleased that the gift certificate practically covered everything and we ate a lot, I confess (but with no regrets!).
I would like to thank Leonard Lewis, proprietor of Old Stone Grill and Bar for his generous support of Hike Fest through this wonderful donation of a complimentary dinner for two. As well, I am very grateful to the Hike Fest Committee of the Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association for awarding me with this delectable prize. It was worth every step!
This flavourful and substantial meal was the perfect way to celebrate Canada Day – in Dominica!