By Nancy Baye
I recently visited the Caribbean gem of St. Eustatius, quickly falling into calling it by its local term of endearment, Statia. It didn’t take long to see why people fall in love with this place.
At the end of one day chockful of adventures, I was able to spend some time at a small beach near the harbor called Gallows bay (Oranje Bay). While digging my feet into the warm black sand, careful not to disturb any precious turtle eggs, which had reportedly just been checked on by the folks at STENAPA, I savored the calm and quiet that make Statia the ideal destination for a tranquil escape. Then I floated in the sea, taking in the sailboats, dive boats and other vessels tethered in the snug cove that boasts 18th century relics.
Refreshed and ready to refuel, I made the short walk to The Blue Bead Bar and Restaurant, one of the many lovely places that dot this strip of Statia.
Elevated and just across the street from the beach, the establishment offers a beautiful view. Their relaxed stylish Caribbean atmosphere, with its bright yellow and blue color scheme, open air dining room and friendly staff make it all the more inviting.
Blue Bead has a reputation for its pizzas, but the kitchen goes beyond those to include a wide range of menu items: burgers, ribs, curries, steak, baked chicken, vegetarian options, and more. The choice was tough, but I decided on slow roasted lamb. And I’m glad I did—it was succulent and big on flavor. I was delighted to find one of my personal favorites on the side—potatoes au gratin—which were richly divine.
As the place filled with locals and a few tourists, I had a chance to see some of the meals I had to pass up, all of which looked delish, with hearty portion sizes, and very reasonable prices. Blue Bead advertises some great specials also, with two for one deals, select $20 entrees, and fixed price holiday menus.
Amidst the happy hubbub of the dinner hour were a few faces I recently met, and this led to some warm tableside chat. And as if the night couldn’t get better, we all got to revel in a magnificent sunset over the harbor.