XpBonaire Feature Story
It has been 6 years since Jessica and Bart Tholen opened Joe's Restaurant. Formerly the restaurant, Sense, it is situated at 87 Julio A. Abraham Boulevard in a nice, quiet place with ample parking. After a thorough renovation, it became a cozy steakhouse under the name, Joe's Grill. Steaks, ribs and burgers, as befits a real steakhouse, were prepared in the semi-open kitchen with a large barbecue adjacent to the terrace. Unfortunately, various factors played a role, which meant that the outdoor kitchen with “open fire” was no longer allowed. Joe's Grill became a regular restaurant, without the charm of meat grilled in front of the guests.
Jessica and Bart changed tack. Although the old-time favorites remained on the menu, the menu was gradually expanded with beautiful dishes; the range of specialty beers and wines was supplemented with even more beautiful varieties; the soft drinks were served in small glass (!) bottles and the restaurant and the special children's corner had a facelift. Goodbye Joe's Grill, hello Joe's Restaurant!
We were received in a friendly and hospitable manner and brought to our table. Within a few minutes, there was a drink on the table including a nice small appetizer. After taking our order, a freshly baked bread roll was served with butter, this time seasoned with Vadouvan.
Our entree was a generous Caribbean Bouillabaisse with local fish and rouille served at the table. Because we shared the dishes, in addition to the Bouillabaisse, we also had the Garlic Shrimp in, as you might expect, garlic oil and served with a subtle compote of caramelized onion. When collecting the empty plates, the question was asked how much time we wanted between the starter and the main course. An old fashioned service that is all too often forgotten.
Our main courses consisted of a Pork Schnitzel and Duck Breast. The (Wiener veil) schnitzel is originally Austrian, but according to Wikipedia it may have been taken from the Italians, who in turn may have taken it from Ottoman cuisine. Wherever it comes from, it is an often underestimated dish. There are many variants and at least as many disappointments when it comes to a well-prepared schnitzel. The kitchen crew of Joe's Restaurant prepared a delicious schnitzel for us - buttery soft meat with a crispy breadcrumb layer and separately served mushroom sauce.
The plate was sufficiently filled with fresh vegetables and a variety of potato that changes regularly. This time it consisted of potato croquettes.
The Duck Breast, cooked to perfection, was served with maple syrup and the same garnish of fresh vegetables and potato croquettes.
Actually we were both satisfied, but a review is, of course, not complete without dessert.
We decided to share the homemade cheesecake. Completely in line with the starter and main course, the cheese cake also had an excellent taste. White chocolate, salty caramel and Dutch stroopwafel was the combination in this solid, and therefore quite dense, cheesecake. Too good to skip!
We finished with a cappuccino served with a small plate of Beau Choco chocolates, made by one of the friendly ladies of the service. These bonbons can also be bought separately at the restaurant. We happily asked for the bill, which was neatly placed on the table in a small box along with 2 glasses.
To finish, we received a glass of Yess!, named after the owner Jessica, who invented the recipe of this liqueur with a hint of pepper, fruit and caramel. Good food is possible in various places on Bonaire. But if you want good food in a quiet location and also want to be spoiled, Joe's restaurant is the place to be!