Red Hook. Seafood, steak. Dinner 6 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Mon.-Sun. $/$$. Cards:
V, MC, AX. 775-6124.
The Frigate is a St. Thomas institution. It originated at the old Mafolie Hotel overlooking Charlotte Amalie. Along with the grilled meat and extensive salad bar, it was know for its frozen Strawberry Daiquiris. When you wanted to impress your visitors, you reserved a window table and waltzed them up to Mafolie for a killer view watching the city's various lights.
When the St. Thomas sports fishing club rented out sections of their building, the Frigate expanded east. For some reason, the frozen Strawberry Daiquiri didn't seem to make the transition. The rest of the formula, however, traveled well. Unique view, well-seasoned meat over a hot grill, and bountiful salad ingredients satisfy most needs and desires.
Maybe my problem is the fact it has been around so long and is so predictable. The food is almost institutional. Steak, fish, chops, and a salad bar. A griller, waiter or two, bored manager and bar tender. Ho Hum.
As the night lengthens, the salad bar becomes a bit tawdry from use.
While the venue is spacious, the prime seats are on the windows both for the view and air. The drink and food prices are aimed at the well-heeled tourist who sits down and figures, "What the heck, it is only one meal, I'm hungry, I'll try somewhere else tomorrow."
All the above considered, however, the Frigate does have its local clientele. After all, the meat is tasty, the salad fixings are plentiful and varied, and the bread is warm.
While the Frigate is not going to make many hearts race with excitement, it does fill a plebeian need. There is some parking, the rest rooms are clean and well-stocked, the tables are adequate and the chairs will sustain your weight for a couple hours of dining. How about a Gentleman's C?
The Frigate is a participant in the Rotary East Dine Out program. If you don't already have a book, you are encouraged to get one from any Rotary East member or Color of Joy at American Yacht Charter, Red Hook. This fine dining program introduces you to some of the better restaurants on St. Thomas during the summer months, allowing for a free second entree, drink or dessert, depending on the establishment. (See St. Thomas Source/ Community/ Organizations)
Editors' note: The Tottering Taster is a senior citizen dedicated to enjoying good food. He will dine in one local establishment a week and bring you a totally unsolicited assessment biased in favor of an ultimate experience. We are using a pseudonym so that restaurateurs will not be able to identify the reviewer and try to influence the review.