Four years ago, Chef Xavier Ribot added a Rodney Bay location to his reknowned and locally-beloved Coal Pot Restaurant at Vigie Cove, and diners in the north were delighted. On the first floor corner of Baywalk Mall, while watching the world go by, guests were treated to the same high quality Caribbean cuisine and French flair they had come to know in Castries, and the restaurant’s seriously extensive wine list was an immediate hit with fans of the glorious grape.
This summer saw a new sign erected at the corner of Baywalk, as the newly branded Blue Olive Restaurant & Wine Bar quietly launched under the partnership of Chef Xavier and wine specialist, Bruno Galon, who has brought fine wines to the Caribbean for the past 29 year – 15 of them in Saint Lucia. His passion and knowledge of wine is the perfect complement to Xavier’s culinary point of view, and while the relaunched restaurant has kept some of the Coal Pot classic favourites, Blue Olive promises to bring something new to the table – literally.
On the menu, guests will be delighted to see perennial favourites like the Baked Goats Cheese and Greek Salads, fresh fish and seafood with their signature sauces and St Lucian Crab Backs, alongside the newest comfort food sensation in Rodney Bay – home-made pastas.
But if you think you’re a pasta lover because you like mac & cheese, think again, and head straight for the Blue Olive! There is nothing like perfectly-cooked fresh pasta draped in a flavourful sauce to bring a smile to the face and a fullness to the belly, and Blue Olive has a fantastic array to choose from.
The team hand-makes standards such as spaghetti and tagliatelle as well as the lesser known cavatelli which look like tiny seashells, and the small twisted ‘braids’ called trecce. Stuffed pastas like tortellini and canneloni are also created in house, and a local twist in the form of the St Lucia Ravioli, is stuffed with crabmeat and served with a Creole broth.
Choose from traditional sauces like bolognaise, carbonara and pesto if you must, but Blue Olive’s Italian comfort food goes way beyond the normal so be as adventurous as you dare. For those palettes that like a kick of heat, the very local Garlic & Hot Pepper is simply delicious on its own or topped with shrimp.
For the hordes of workers and business-folks who are looking for an excellent and very affordable lunch in the Rodney Bay and Gros Islet area , Blue Olive has you covered with a pretty irresistable two- or three-course Special of the Day. The restaurant’s interior is air-conditioned against the midday heat, but its deck catches the sea breezes from the Rodney Bay lagoon, so even the most power-dressed execs can be comfortable in their suits!
With Chef Thomas a force in the kitchen, wine-expert Bruno the brain behind the bar, and a friendly, efficient staff, Blue Olive may be a new brand on the Baywalk block, but something tells me the combination of venerable classics and innovative new menu items will lead to even bigger successes as the restaurant heads into the busy season.