Any place that served rose-shaped ice with starfruit in a glass of water is a place I’m going to love. Café Christine in Christiansted, Saint Croix reminds me of one of my favorite French bistros in Fort Worth that closed a few years ago. Situated inside a courtyard on the street across from the fabulous boutique Adorn, Café Christine is the kind of place you meet a friend you really want to catch up with. I say this because you’ll want to stay long enough to enjoy coffee and a dessert or two.
There’s seating inside and out, local art on the walls, and old photographs on the table. The place was packed with locals by 1:00 pm. Café Christine was named after the original French owner Christine, who split her time between Saint Croix and Paris. Café Christine has since changed owners in its 20+ years but maintains the Parisian feel, including a menu that changes daily. You order off a chalkboard. Très French indeed!
The food is truly exquisite at this hidden little cafe. The portions are generous and you can easily eat multiple courses without feeling guilty, as many of the dishes are loaded with fresh, local veggies and high-quality ingredients. Thank goodness, because it would be a travesty to visit Café Christine without getting dessert.
Here are a few of my favorite dishes:
I wish you all could have seen my face when I took a bite of the tuna tartare salad. I must have looked like a cartoon character with my eyes bugging out of my head. I’ve had plenty of tuna tartare in my day but none with such a wonderful punch of bright ginger. Served with green and blue corn chips in a soy dressing with scallions and ginger, this is everything I want in tuna tartare. It’s salty, it’s sweet, and is loaded with flavor.
I had high hopes for this because our server mentioned that she eats it for lunch every day. I don’t blame her one bit! It’s a huge plate of healthy lunch options: a fantastic vegetable quiche with a flaky, buttery crust that will you have you excited to try the dessert pastries, a pasta salad with peas, olives, and herbs, a lemony lentil salad with tomatoes and onions, a couscous salad that tastes a lot like toubbleh, and greens tossed in an elevated caesar dressing.
I’m not the quickest person to order duck but I trusted Chef Lisa and her terrine did not disappoint. The duck terrine at Café Christine is smooth and not game-y at all. Served with salad, soft baguette, cucumbers, and pickles, this is a hearty starter.
I so love a good chilled soup. Café Christine’s pea soup is thick and a gorgeous shade of green. You can really taste the watercress. It perked me up in the August heat.
Chef Lisa’s friend supplies her with copious amounts of mangoes during their season from a backyard tree. What’s more French than that? The tart has almond paste and caramel drizzled over the thick mango and starfruit slices. It’s almost too pretty to eat and yet we didn’t leave a crumb on the plate!
Flourless Chocolate Torte
Last but certainly not least is the flourless chocolate torte. It’s out of this world. A deep, dark, rich slice of chocolate torte sits in a pool of thick raspberry sauce. This is not for the faint of heart. It’s like eating a whole row of chocolate truffles. I can personally attest to the fact that this dessert goes great with a cup of coffee and an island storm.
My face while eating this torte:
This ruby-red chill is as refreshing as it is beautiful! I’m not a big tea drinker but a table nearby ordered it and it sounded oh so thirst-quenching. I loved the flavor of this beautiful drink, especially because it wasn’t too sweet. It’s served with adorable heart-shaped ice cubes. Isn’t the simple things in life you treasure, don’t you agree?
One last thing: you absolutely have to visit the restroom at Café Christine. It’s the most charming bathroom I’ve ever seen! Nearly hidden in a corner on the opposite side of the courtyard order blooming vines, you need a real set of keys to access it. It’s positively charming, just like Café Christine.
Watch a special extended episode of The Rose Table featuring Saint Croix: