Roy Simmonds, the owner of the Jamaican Pimenta restaurant in downtown Fredericksburg, grew up in Jamaica and learned how to cook from his mother. As he became more experienced, he added some American-style preparations to her Jamaican specialties along with his own unique influence to create the cuisine that is on offer at his Pimenta eatery. The restaurant takes its name from “pimenta dioica,” which is also known as allspice and is a premier ingredient in authentic and spicy Jamaican jerk. Allspice brings hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, and cloves and offers an intriguing mix of flavors that have been described as “wild and racy yet pure and delicate.” And the restaurant Pimenta is just like its namesake.
The venue has the vibe of a waterside sunset with its pink and blue walls, and with Bob Marley tunes and photographs of iconic Jamaican locations like White River and Treasure Beach, it is easy for diners to lose themselves in a Caribbean dream. The menu features fanciful headings like “Pon di River” for seafood and “Di Main Tings” for regular entrées, which add to its overall ambiance.
In addition to jerk, Pimenta offers Jamaican patties, which are dough pockets filled with spicy mixes of beef, chicken or vegetables; the Kingston Egg Rolls that are stuffed with cabbage, carrots, and green and red peppers; and The Sailing Buffalo Wings, a hearty and traditional wing dish with a Caribbean kick. The jerk dishes include Momma’s Jerk Chicken and Jerk Shrimp, while other island favorites like Oxtail cooked with garlic and scotch bonnet peppers provide authentic Jamaican heat. Pimenta’s Escovitch features not only fish but a whole crab in a red and green pepper blanket. They also serve Curry Goat spiced with cumin and turmeric. Desserts include Jamaican Rum Cake, cheesecake with tropical fruit topping, and coconut pie with Myers rum.