Located in the Marina area of Cole bay, which runs along the coast of the Simpson bay Lagoon, Lagoonies is off the beaten path, and is geared mainly towards the boating crowd and locals in general that work and live in the area. It features a large central, well stocked bar, and a french bistro style menu offering things both common, like the ubiquitous Steak and Frite, and the less common, like the Grouper with Quinoa & Chia seed Risotto. My friend and I decided to check out the Happy hour at Lagoonies, which unlike most places in St. Maarten was actually one hour, from 5:00 to 6:00. We arrived at about 5:15 pm, and was somewhat surprised to see it was quite busy for a Wednesday afternoon. After greeting a few friends and waiting for several minutes for someone to notice us and offer us seating we chose to just seat ourselves, as there seemed to be only one waitress and one bartender at the time, which was not enough considering how many people were in the restaurant.
We sat for another 10 minutes chatting before we realized that no one came to take our drink order, and that we had to order at the bar, not a problem, but a sign of some sort would have been helpful as I generally do not get up and order at the bar myself if I'm sitting at a table in a restaurant. So maybe it's me?
After drinks we decided to have a little something to eat, I went with the Charcuterie plate, which included three types of thinly sliced salami, some cornichon and french bread, and my friend got the Baked Camembert plate, which included the titular ooey-gooey camembert, some mushrooms, a small salad, and of course some french bread. It was too dark for photos, but both meals were pleasing to the eye as well as the pallet. Pricing was what you expect for a french bistro, and our bill was around $60 including tip.
I had been to Lagoonies for lunch a couple times before Hurricane Irma, as I do like a nice Steak and Frite now and again, as you can see in the photos, and the food has been consistently very good, but the service has been somewhat underwhelming.
The dress code is obviously very casual, tank tops, shorts, flip-flops, and even bare feet were in attendance.
Parking is hit or miss, sometimes you can find parking right next to the restaurant and sometimes you are going to have to park along the side of the road. The area is quite busy, well lit and relatively safe, but be careful with traffic as the area lacks proper sidewalks along the road.
The venue also offers live music on the weekends, which is wildly popular, and they also have occasional theme nights, the last of which was a Pirates night, and sure enough there were pirates aplenty I have been informed.
There is room for improvement on the service side of things, perhaps this is how things are there, seat yourself and order for yourself at the bar, but if you have never been there for dinner, how would you know that? This seems somewhat inconsiderate. Signs are all over the restaurant, perhaps if one of them said to seat yourself and order at the bar, it would have been more cordial.
That said, I will indeed visit Lagoonies again, it is such a fun, casual atmosphere, I can overlook my issues with the service, because the food, decor, and overall ambiance is pretty great.
So what's the verdict? We gave Lagoonies Bistro & Bar 3.5 out of 5 EatSxm Approval badges.