Cristal: Wine, Dine & Bites

Located on the outskirts of Pietermaai, Cristal is one of the few wine bars on the island. Housed in a former residential property and historic building, the atmosphere is definitely homey. So be prepared to chit chat with the staff.

Cristal is the perfect place for a pit stop on your way home from work. The menu boasts a large selection of affordable, palate pleasing wines and freshly prepared snacks. If you love a beautiful sunset against a cityscape, the balcony at the front of the restaurant is the place to be in the early evenings.

However, Cristal is more than just a wine bar. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and serves delectable, well-thought-out dishes. Having lunch at Cristal almost feels like having lunch at a close friend’s place. Ask for a seat in the back as that is the airiest part of the property. Besides, it’s a real treat to see the chef walking by with freshly rolled dough. Lunch with sandwiches filled with goodness, such as smoked salmon, Carpaccio or Vitello tonato, a soup or a salad. Yes, the bread is baked in-house and is always fresh. And yes, the chef is always in for a quick chat.

In the evenings, as the traffic wanes and the surrounding office buildings close, Cristal transforms into a romantic dining spot. It’s the place for a sophisticated candle-lit French inspired dinner, without the formalities. Whether you choose the fried fish or the risotto, finish your meal with the tarte tatin. It’s delicious.

Food: 8– even haute-cuisine-hating people will love it

Location: 7– it’s housed in a historic building

Ambiance: 8– balcony, early evenings!

Service: 7.5– attentive and homey