Bonaire – C’est La Vie

During our visit to Bonaire, they were supposedly having the Bonaire Day celebrations, to recognize their independence. We tried and tried, though unsuccessfully, to find all the festivities that were “supposed” to be taking place, but other than seeing a large bike parade (motorcycles), we didn’t really see anything. Better luck next time I guess. However, during that time, we did discover a fabulous little restaurant called C’est La Vie. What caught our eye about this restaurant at first, was they were advertising they had lionfish ceviche. If you have never had lionfish ceviche, you should definitely try it if you ever get the opportunity. It is so good!

Lionfish are beautiful fish, but they are NOT indigenous to the Caribbean waters and one lionfish can kill a whole reef if left unchecked. In recent years, there has been a lionfish pandemic in the Caribbean waters so the locals were coming up with creative ways to eliminate them. One of those ways was by creating cooking contests on how to cook them. Lionfish ceviche is a definite winner, though there are many other ways to enjoy this fish too. We have been fortunate enough to try lionfish prepared in many different ways, all of which have been delicious.

We dive all over the Caribbean, and for quite a few years, lionfish were a huge problem everywhere from Mexico to the ABC’s, and everywhere in between. Though we saw quite a few of them, and every time I saw one, I pretended to spear it with my imaginary spear gun, it seems as though the problem is in control and is not nearly as problematic as it used to be, which is very good news.

We went to C’est La Vie the next day, still hoping to dine on some delicious lionfish ceviche, only to find that they only had it for the one day of Bonaire Day, and even then they ran out of it within a couple of hours. But we were not disappointed in the slightest. The lunch we had was scrumptious, and we could see everything, as the chef was preparing it right in front of us.

C’est La Vie is a little tiny restaurant located just outside the main part of Kralendijk, closer to where the cruise ships dock. It was within walking distance of where we were staying too.

C’est La Vie is a charming little restaurant with a big personality. This is it. This is the whole restaurant. But don’t let its small size deceive you. There were a lot of big flavors coming out of this tiny little kitchen.

The menu is written on the chalkboard. Once we made our choices, we cozied up to the counter and could see everything.

The chef and has assistant were hard at work preparing our delicious lunch.

As our lunch was being prepared, we were given some delicious French bread with a tomato tapenade and the creamiest butter I have ever tasted to hold us over until our lunch arrived.

Nancy and I both ordered the scallops en papillote (cooked in paper). The scallops just melted in our mouths. They were cooked to perfection and served atop some julienned vegetables.

Larry ordered the fresh catch of the day. I think it was mahi mahi, but I don’t really remember. I was too focused on my scallops. His was every bit as good as my scallops were though, and it came with some roasted potatoes and sauteed vegetables.

We walked around a bit and let our lunch settle, then it was once again time to get wet again and go back to our diving. The water was definitely calling out to us.

I just love being a tourist. The things we see and the things we learn is just oh so fascinating. 🙂

Never loose your sense of adventure. Be open to anything and everything and you will have some amazing experiences.

Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.


Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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