At the heart of the throbbing district of Gros Islet in the north of the island is the Rodney Bay strip. It springs to life with an air of vivacity, not just on weekends, but also throughout the week, particularly after sunset. The “strip” has seen its fair share of restaurants and nightspots come and go. Others with more staying power have gone on to become household names with locals and visitors alike.
With the ushering in of a new year, came the face of a new and exciting restaurant along the Rodney Bay strip. It is called Matthew’s and brandishes the vibrant national colours. I first asked the owners Matthew and Catherine Chambers about that.
“Well although we are actually from England, coming here to Saint Lucia we fell in love with this place. I mean we love the people, the vibe, and when we saw there was this opportunity we decided to go with it and try to bring something new and rousing not just to Rodney Bay but Saint Lucia as a whole,” Matthew Chambers says.
The entrepreneur disclosed he and his partner have a background in catering and planning functions including banquets, weddings and special occasions. “We also do customer service training, staff training and have worked in the areas of food and bar as well,” he says. Added to that, the energy he exudes comes from years of working as a DJ with a sound system back in London.
“And so this is what we want to bring to this restaurant, a place where people could come, hang out, relax, be entertained while enjoying good dining and drinks all well priced,” says Matthews.
Catherine Chambers points out that they have gone all out to create an international feel in a relaxed atmosphere. “It is not fine dining yet it is great food not fast food, and we cater to groups, families, couples, you name it,” she says.
Matthew’s menu includes pastas, fish, steaks, tex mex, and gourmet burgers to die for. Trust me, I’ve tried them. They also offer an array of desserts and meals designed for children. Open daily from 11 am the restaurant offers late breakfast as well as brunch, lunch menus, afternoon specials and late night dining.
The main chef at Matthew’s comes from Sweden but the restaurant also boasts two local chefs who add a bit of Caribbean flair particularly on weekends.“We wanted a chef who understands the concepts and the international set of the menu and, working along with two very good Saint Lucian chefs, brings out a West Indian while maintaining an international flavour,” Matthew says. “And although we are not a creole restaurant we wanted to embrace the fact that we are in the Caribbean and bring out that flavour and zest,” he adds.
“Also we do recognize that a lot of people are now looking at what they eat. So we have also designed our menus to cater for them with some great salads and fresh fruits. In addition the chef can also prepare special vegetarian meals on request,” Catherine says.
The restaurant can also cater to special groups for various functions and occasions whether large or small. And with a well-stocked bar it can whip up just about any cocktail with a range of local and international rums, beers, whiskeys and liqueurs. As for me, on a warm day the local lime ice tea is heavenly.
And coming soon to Matthew’s will be special theme nights including a Spanish night complete with authentic Spanish dining and tapas as well as a monthly ‘grown folks’ night featuring a special DJ. This they say will complement and not compete with the thriving Rodney Bay strip.
“We are here to be a part of this community and to add something new and different to both Saint Lucians and visitors in a friendly atmosphere with our well trained staff,” Matthew Chambers ends by saying.