When a well-renowned restaurant closed its doors on St. Croix in 2020, the entire community was left with a void that many were unsure could ever be filled. Less than two years later, the doors to this former popular eatery opened again. This time, a locally owned fine dining restaurant was discovered on the other side of its doors. With clean, minimalist decor and a warm, inviting ambiance, the true surprise is what awaits guests once they cross the threshold.

Unda de Gooseberry Tree is the vision of owner Michael Rey. “The focus for Gooseberry – as it’s affectionately called – is to keep our local heritage, culture, and traditions alive through food,” said Rey. “As the richness of Caribbean flavors continue to spread across the world, we want to remind everyone – locals and visitors alike – of where the explosion of taste began.” No stranger to hard work in the kitchen, Rey has had his fair share of successful restaurants on St. Croix. From the delicious slices of piping hot pizza slices from Pizza Mar  to the hearty, home cooked meals of Oceanview Cafe, Rey has fed St. Croix masses for over 20 years. Once he learned that the former restaurant’s location was available, he stepped in to start the process of revamping the space to give it a modern look and feel. “We want guests to have more than a delicious meal, but also a restaurant atmosphere that provides an overall dining experience that keeps you coming back for more.”

Gooseberry focuses on preparing food that combines recipes passed down from generations with bold, new pairings highlighting the darling tangy fruit, the gooseberry. The Caribbean gooseberry differs from other gooseberries found around the world. Green in color and tart in flavor, it is often cooked down into a stew and sweetened with brown sugar, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Rey has successfully incorporated the fruit in a variety of dishes ranging from appetizers and entrees to cocktails and desserts. Gooseberry opened to the public on February 14, 2022. Much like its predecessor, the restaurant hopes to be around for decades to come as the backdrop for their guests’ most memorable moments. Unda de Gooseberry Tree is currently open for dinner Thursday through Saturday from 6pm to 9pm. To make a reservation, visit their website at www.gooseberrytree.com or call (340) 690-5115.

Written by Anquanette Gaspard (agaspard@cruzanfoodie.com)