What is your favorite restaurant? This page lists the reviews submitted to us in the second half of 2000 by travelers to St.Maarten/St.Martin. Our favorites and recently submitted reviews can be found on our other Restaurants-page. You can have your favorite restaurant listed here as well by e-mailing your report to email@example.com.
- Hibiscus, Grand Case and other (not so) favorites by GhostinYou [December 28, 2000]
- "Just returned from Grand Case and a one week food orgy on the boulevard. Has anyone mentioned Hibiscus? We ate there on Christmas and declared it our most outstanding meal. We were charmed by the endearing service and loved the French food with an island flair. The menu listed meals as either traditional or creative. The delicious scallop and diced vegetable soup that you didn't order but is your gift from the the chef sets the tone. Our appetizers included a delicious, creamy pumpkin soup, baked oysters in a cream and vegetable sauce with a flavor I don't ever want to forget, and some kind of mushrooms in a ceramic crock that made my son the vegan swoon. The salads were beautiful, we enjoyed the "hodge podge" so much we re-ordered it when we finished the first one. Main courses included the most tender baby lamb chops I have ever tasted and an oustanding lobster rum flambee. Desserts were the best we had in Grand Case. I did not see this restaurant reviewed and hope that people will stop there because it is located in a section of the boulevard that is closest to the Grand Case beach club where we stayed and really enjoyed the breakfast every morning, epecially the french toast withthe flavor of creme brulee and the gorgeous fruit plate.
Also, right on Baie Rouge for lunch the funky shack Chez Raymond serves the most delicious and generous lunch and equally generous drinks with a menu as extensive as any "real" restaurant. Sitting there on the sand it is the second shack. An aggresive women named Janet will beg you to eat at her shack, Gus and says she wants to take good care of you. Forget about it. Food was not good, portions were small and once we sat down service was slow and rude and Janet ignored us. Chez Raymond rules at Baie Rouge as does The Friars Bay Cafe on Friars Bay Beach which beats out its rival, Kali"s, with a full french menu and live music right on the beach"
- L'Etraminet, French Cul de Sac recommended by Dennis Flagg [December 28, 2000]
- "We have been to St. Martin many times but found this new restaurant this year to be the best! During our visit in November 2000, we dined three evening and was most pleasantly surprised with all three meals.
Proprietor Frank Marrot and chef Sebastien Savary are a wonderful working pair to watch in action, each meal was outstanding. the menu is written on a blackboard in French, however Frank , is more than able to translate and carefully explain each meal.
We have recommended this outstanding restaurant to four other travelers, and none have been disappointed!
All have this new restaurant has moved up to the number 1 on there list!
L'Etraminet restaurant is located on the French Cul De Sac across the road from the Texaco Station (look for the overhead Texaco sign). Parking in the Texaco station is o.k., cross the street and up the stairs for one of your most enjoyable meals."
- Favorites of Pgcfrogger [December 23, 2000]
- "We recently stayed at the Esmeralda Resort in St. Martin. We were extremely pleased with the service, friendliness of the staff, and the food was great. The beach was a mere 3 minute walk from our villa. It is clothing optional, which spills over to the pools at the villa. Defineltly not a place for children. The restaurant at the Esmerelda was the best on the French Side.
Del Sol was our second favorite. You must rent a car for a few days and view the island and meet it's friendly people (shopping is great too). We are going back this spring."
- Food reviews by Oooggie [December 19, 2000]
- "Took many suggestions from this board and a few new ones.
LeCharolais (French side) - My husband said the best escargot he ever had (still talking about it! Husband had the five different meat plate served with five different sauces, said it was great. I found that they flavored everything with too much rosemary, but would have been excellent without it. Everything served with roasted potatoes in garlic and olive oil (yummy). Total bill for one appetizer, one salad, two entrees and one dessert $48.00 !!!!
LeCharolais (Dutch side) - Started with a wonderful goat cheese salad. My husband ordered the t-bone steak which he found a little tough. I had the rack of lamb which was a huge portion and delicious.
Tutta Pasta (Simpson Bay area) - We both had the seafood and pasta. It was wonderful and great prices!
Rancho Argentinean Grill - OK meal. Would probably not go back.
Paris Bistro (Maho area)- On the suggestion on this board went to Paris Bistro on our last night there. Great service and atmosphere. Disappointed they were out of lobster. Had a wonderful lamb in pastry shell, husband had a seafood dish. Dessert out of this world..a raspberry and citrus concoction with a sauce to die for! Would definitely visit again.
Jean Dupont (Marina area) - I never saw this restaurant mentioned, but we had our best meals here (went twice). Service fantastic and one of the best red snappers I ever had. Don't miss the apple dessert. Total bill for one appetizer, two entrees and one dessert $55.00.
Il Nettuno (Grand Case) - Sorry folks, but this was our WORST MEAL on the island in two weeks! Appetizer of raviolis in lobster sauce was hot in some areas and cold in others (maybe it was microwaved?). My grouper in parchment paper was ordinary with no taste. The vegetables and mashed potatoes served with it were ice cold. My husband's veal chop was OK, but small, and the pasta served with his veal was floating in oil..he could not eat it. We left without dessert (you know it was bad)
Had some other meals in between, Lees, Seafood Gallery, Boathouse and Mamma's Pizza (I really don't know the exact name behind Cheri's) always a great meal. It must have something to do with the good exchange on the dollar, but we found most of our meals to be $20 less than two years ago."
- Good and unbelieveably bad by Judy and Vic [December 17, 2000]
- "12-2-00 to 12-16-00. First the worst--Argentine Steak House-- in Simpson Bay. I should have known when they made the Sangria with canned fruit cocktail that this place should be avoided. The veggies were soggy, and the small filet steak was overseasoned with meat tenderizer and was terrible. La Rosa II was nice, the fish soup entree was well done, and my husbands veal was good. Mario's was wonderful like every one says. Rainbow was good, also Tropicana in Marigot. Zee Best had good omlettes and coissants, the "french" french toast was too sweet and soggy for our taste. Food at L'espanade was good, but the warm halfbaked chocolate souffle cake I had was the best dessert I've had in years, and worth going for just to get it."
- Bistrot Caraibes, Grand Case recommended by Cheryl and Craig Clark [December 8, 2000]
- "I can't tell you what a wonderful meal we had at Bistro Caribe! My husband had the snail appetiser and I had the duck breast with goat cheese. What a start. I then had the nightly special of Sea Bass with leaks and my husband had the Red Snapper. We both had the warm chocolate cake for dessert and coffee. The total bill was a little over $100.00 even with wine. I was absolutely great! We will definately be back in June for some other tasty meal at Bistro Caribe!"
- restaurant ratings by Dr. Owen C. Jones [December 2, 2000]
- "We have just returned from spending four weeks on St. Martin/Sint Maarten. This was our fourth year going there and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves as before. We still look forward to our next visit and doing more things which we still have not found the time to do yet. We stayed at both the Atrium Resort in Simpson Bay for two weeks and at the Oyster Bay Beach Resort in Oyster Pond for the other two. As always, the Atrium was a spectacular experience. The Oyster Bay Beach Resort left a lot to be desired.
Restaurants: Ratings a la Zagat on a scale of 30 for food, service, décor/ambiance.
Il Nettuno, just east of Centerville Rd., Grand Case. Excellent mussels in tomato sauce, tomatoes and mozzarella supurb with mozzarella flown in from Italy being especialy light. Pollo Scarporiello (with mushrooms and sausage) was the most tender chicken brest imaginable (the chef said the secret was youny chicken along with "zee best chef in the Caribbean"). Il Cioccolato "Nettuno" mousse desert was rich and chocolatty with rasberry sauce. 20,24,18
La Planteur, Oyster Pond: beautiful setting and view, limited menue, mediocre food presented artfully. Octopus salad on the border of going bad, lacking imagination. 12,18,15.
Indiana Beach Restaurant, at the Atrium in Simpson Bay. Fridays and Saturdays, a large pot of fresh mussels flown in Thursdays from France…the first time we had them they were the best we have ever had outside of Nova Scotia. The second, time, mediocre at best. Good ribs, too. 15,15,15
El Rancho Argentine Grill, just east of the airport in Simpson Bay. Argentine beef and sporadically excellent ribs. Service sucks. Occasional strong sewerage smell. 18,5,10.
L’Alabama, Grand Case. Still one of our favorites after four years. All food artfully presented and guaranteed to please the palate. 25,25,22.
La Bistro Nu, Marigot. Mixed…did not live up to its reputation. Excellent duck, poor shrimp with very off flavor sauted in the shell. Excellent chocolate souffle. 18,20,15.
Captain Oliver’s Restaurant, Oyster Pond. . Setting and atmosphere relaxing on the edge of the harbor overlooking the hill to the west. Not on our list of places to try but a pleasant surprise…we will go again. Lobster bisque thick and tasty. Fried food light and fresh. Filet mignon wonderful as was the duck. 25,20,20.
La Main a la Pate, Marina Royal in Marigot. Snails the equal of those anywhere. Good ribs. Always fun watching the people go by. 22,25,18.
Harbor View Restaurant, Philipsburg. Down a narrow alley off Front Street to the water, obviously catering to the cruise boat trade without caring about repeat business. Stringy and tough ribs. 10,15,8.
Lee’s Deep Sea Fishing & Roadside Grill, just east of the bridge in Simpson Bay. Food mixed, service forgetable. We ended up getting things for ourselves. 12,5,8.
The outside grills in Grand Case. These open-air grills called "lolo’s" give the impression of quick and cheap but the ribs were succulent and the grilled chicken tasty. Other creole-style dishes for those whose tastes run in this direction. Servings plentiful. These are a certain repeat for us after four years. 18,12,5.
Everyt’ing Cool, down an alley next to the beach in Philipsburg. This was a surprise last year to us with great ribs and good service. 18,18,12.
Le Chantclair, not even close to its reputation. Food and service both terrible. 8,10,15
Le Charolais, Rue Felix Eboue (3 blocks east of Marina Port Royal, Marigot). Marigot’s answer to El Rancho, this steak house has a broad selection of red meats of good quality with good servicde at reasonable prices with a rather pedestrian dicor. 18,20,12.
Shivsagar, east end of Front Street in Phillipsburg. Some of the best Indin food we have ever had. Tandoori was spectacular, moist and beautifully spiced. 25,22,18
Messalina, facing the beach in Marigot. Pleasant with a nice atmosphere. Great lamb, great snapper but the lasagna was dry. 18,25,22.
Don Camillo, 68 Marina Port Royal, Marigot. Year after year, still our favorite restaurant. Always marvelous food, impeccably prepared and served at very reasonable prices. Dinner for six with wine, coffee and deserts cost us $35 each after an extra tip, service included. 28, 25, 25.
Mario’s Bistro, Sandy Ground Bridge in Marigot. Still a great restaurant. All four meals were winners at reasonable prices. 20,22,20.
Le Tastevin, Grand Case. Less than meets expectations. Tasty sole but disappointing snapper which was tough and rubbery. Cockroaches kept us company in the rest room. 15,25,18.
Da Livio, 189 Front Street, at the west end of Phillipsburg. Beautiful setting but restaurant living on its reputation. An extraordinarily less than mediocre meal for six with mediocre service at very high prices. 12,15,25."
- Restaurant Reviews by Tony and Marlene Speca [November 28, 2000]
- "We just returned from a week at Green Cay Village (November 20-27).
We had a wonderful time sampling some of the island's many fine
restaurants and want to share some of our experiences with you. Before I
write about the dinners, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Willy's
Bakery (Bushroad 24, Sint Marteen, 54-21526). His store is on the right
as you drive from Philipsburg to Cole Bay Hill. It is just passed the salt
pond and before the roundabout. This place makes the very best Almond
Cookies (Gevulde Koek) you will ever eat. We stopped there each time we
were on the Dutch side and bought cookies for breakfast the next day. Go
early because he sells out by mid-afternoon. If the Gevulde Koek is
soldout, try one of his other pastries or a baguette of crusty bread.
Yes, you are still on the Dutch side.
On Monday, November the 20th we ate at Le Cottage in Grand Case. We had reservations for L'Etraminet in Cul de Sac but the restaurant was dark when we arrived. A sign on the door read 'Sorry we are closed temporarily. Big technical problem.' So we drove to Grand Case in the hopes of getting dinner there. Le Cottage was crowed but had a free table. We dined at this restaurant during our October visit to SXM and we liked it very much. In fact, it was the first dinner we had on St. Martin.
Marlene ordered the conch and lobster ravioli flavored with an Asian soy based sauce. Accompanying the raviolis were match stick sized slivers of crunchy vegetables. I ordered the mussel soup. It arrived from the oven in a goblet shaped bowl topped with a high dome of phyllo pastry. Marlene's raviolis were excellent but the mussel shop was more like a mussel consommi, nary a mussel in site. The waitress obligingly changed it for the raviolis. For the entrie Marlene ordered sea bass and scallops on a bed of vegetables. I ordered scallops. Each scallop was in its own little phyllo pastry nest. For dessert Marlene had a fresh fruit dish called 'Pineapple Soup', which was chunks of pineapple and pistachio ice cream juice infused with rum, vanilla bean and specks of vanilla seeds. I ordered the chocolate cake with melting chocolate sauce center. It was served with a scoop of homemade pistachio ice cream. With a bottle of Dopff & Irion Gew|rztraminer from the Alsace the bill was $88 without tip.
On Tuesday night we dined at Chez Martine. I ordered the fish soup for an appetizer. The soup was accompanied by a small dish of fine threads of Gruyere cheese and toasted rounds of bread with a chili flavored aioli spread. The cheese quickly dissolved when stirred into the broth and added a subtle flavor. For the entrie Marlene ordered the salmon in foil served with a chutney of kiwi, mango and papaya fruits. I had the pork tenderloin served with cauliflower, Portabello mushrooms and a Portabello mushroom risotto. These were not the large beefsteak sized mushrooms that you find in the States but very small in size with a very intense flavor. For dessert Marlene choose three flavors from an assortment of sorbet. She liked the coconut sorbet the best. The other two flavors were nut and mango. I had the cheese assortment with fresh fruit. With a bottle of Le Bourgonge Pinot Noir the bill was $84 without tip.
On Wednesday we dined at Mario's Bistro in Sandy Ground. Because we made reservations two weeks earlier from the States our table by the railing was waiting when we arrived. For the appetizer Marlene ordered the seafood chowder, a tomato based broth filled with fish chunks, scallops and mussels. I had the rabbit rolls. These were a taste sensation! Two large wraps filled with rabbit meat and an unbelievably good sauce served on a bed of Oriental vegetables and endive with a soy based sauce. For the entrie Marlene ordered the pan-seared tuna, cooked medium-rare and served with sun-dried tomatoes, finger potatoes and haricot vert. I had the grilled swordfish served on a bed of lentils with a side of saffron, pistachio and raisin Basmati rice. The swordfish was seared on the outside and pillow soft on the inside. The rice medley was surprisingly good. For dessert we shared a warm apple tartin with vanilla ice cream. With a bottle of Higo Gew|rztraminer the bill was $106 without tip. Our first time at Mario's in 1999 left us with the impression that this was the best restaurant on the Island. For our second meal in May we were both disappointed with the entrie s - my Osso buco was tough and Marlene's duck was stringy. This third time was great - back on top as before.
On Thursday we had dinner at Don Camillo's in Marigot (www.doncamillo.com). This is the spot for our Italian food fix. Since it was Thanksgiving Day in the States we decided to have a feast. For appetizer Marlene had ( ). I ordered the baked eggplant in tomato sauce. Both were very good. The eggplant was without any seeds or bitter taste. The latter are a sure sign that the eggplant was grown too large. The ones in my entrie were small and sweet. For the primi piatti Marlene ordered Penne Enzo, a dish of penne pasta served in a tomato sauce of peas, prosciutto and ricotta cheese. I ordered the tagleotini (angle hair) pasta in a cream sauce with chunks of salmon. Both were excellent. For the secondi piatti Marlene had the swordfish served with capers, olives and tomatoes while I had the pollo delicato, a rolled chicken breast stuffed with spinach and mozzarella cheese. Both were served with eggplant slices and mashed potatoes. For dessert we had tiramisu and cannoli. As always the food and service were excellent. With a bottle of Leone de Castris Salice Salentino the bill was $169 without tip.
On Friday we tried Rainbow in Grand Case. This is a very pretty restaurant with white wood, white stucco walls and tile flooring. The dining room faces the beach and the water. I noticed a second dining area as we approached the beach side of the restaurant. It is several steps down from the main room, about five feet wide and as long as the restaurant. There is room for one row of tables which effectively doubles the number of tables with a view of the beach and surf. We had a table on this lower level. The beach was lighted and it was fun to watch the sandpipers run back and forth keeping perfect pace with the ebb and flow of the waves. For an appetizer Marlene ordered a cold Vichyssoise soup and I had the Caribbean crab cakes. The soup had a complex flavor of seafood and Marlene said it was very refreshing. My plate had three crab cakes, arranged with three little mounds of a vinagrette salsa. In the center was a bouquet of young field greens held upright in a 'pot' made from a hallowed cucumber section. The cakes were loaded with crab and very good with the salsa. For the main course Marlene ordered the blackened halibut and I ordered the duo of scallops and tiger prawns. The halibut was a thick steak, charred on the outside yet with a soft and moist interior. The taste combination was outstanding. It was served on a bed of lobster risotto and a medley of eggplant, zucchini and roasted red pepper. My dish did not work as well. The scallops were very good but the tiger prawns were small and slightly tough. In the States we would call this size 30-35 count. Certainly too small to be featured in a seafood entrie. The Basmati rice was too bland but the pear chutney had an exquisite taste and went well with the scallops. For dessert Marlene had the white Belgian Chocolate bread pudding. It was so delicious that I asked for a second taste. My white and dark chocolate mousse was just as good. Each dessert was served with slices of papaya and star fruit. In addition to these we each had a small yellow-orange globe, the size and shape of a cherry-tomato on our dishes. The 'husk' was still attached and looked like the dried husk of an ear of corn. The waiter said that this way a Brazilian fruit called a Phryizzi (sp?). It tasted like a cross between and apple and a pineapple. With a bottle of Chateau de Chamirey Mercurey Chardonnay and an added 15% tip the bill was $135.50. In all fairness to the mandatory tip I will say that Rainbow was the only restaurant with a more up-to-date exchange rate of 1 USD to 7.5 FF. In comparison the others which were 7 FF to the dollar. We will have dinner here again.
On Saturday we dined at Le Pressoir in Grand Case. We 'discovered' this restaurant during our May trip and Marlene has been talking about the Rabbit Ravioli appetizer ever since. Although this appetizer was not offered when we visited this time, the food quality, presentation and taste lived up to our expectations. For an appetizer Marlene had the fish soup with freshly made aioli, toast rounds and match shreds of cheese. Le Pressoir's soup had more of a shell fish flavor than the one I had at Chez Martine. Both were good. My appetizer was a cream of pea soup with shrimp. This was a dynamite combination of flavors. I could have ordered a second bowl full. For a pasta dish we shared the seafood tagliatelle. I guess we can't go too long without pasta in some way or other. The sauce was a light tomato cream and the pasta was covered with shrimp, scallops and chunks of Caribbean lobster. For the entrie Marlene ordered the crispy duck breast with a banana plum sauce. I had the date stuffed rabbit breast. The meat and fruit combinations of the two dishes were outstanding. We savored every bite. At Pressoir they are very artistic with plate presentation. Each entrie was accompanied by a medley of snow peas, cauliflower and zucchini pieces arranged on the plate to resemble a palm tree. For dessert I had the chocolate cake with melting chocolate center and Marlene had the chocolate-passion fruit mousse. Both were very good. The flavor combination in the mousse was exquisite. Again the plates were artistically prepared. This time a combination of strawberry and green apple(?) slices were arranged to resemble a spiny fish. With a bottle of Chateau de Chamirey Mercurey Pinot Noir added in the bill was $130 without tip. We think the food quality, flavors and presentations put this restaurant slightly above Mario's Bistro. This is another on our must dining list.
On Sunday, our last night in SXM, we dined at L'Auberge Gourmand. The restaurant was recommended by Ariuelle of Le Gout du Vin on Rue de l'Anguille in Marigot (www.grandsvinsdefrance.com). She said that L'Auberge Gourmand had recently reopened with new owners and the food was very good. We had passed this restaurant by many times on Boulevard de Grand Case but never went inside. It is small and intimate, perhaps with 8-10 tables of various sizes. The dicor is very pretty and there is a small walk in wine storage area. For an appetizer Marlene had the special puried lentil and shrimp soup which she said was very good. I had a classic French onion soup. It was very flavorful and without a hint of saltiness. It was topped with two slices of crusty bread and a thin layer of melted cheese - just the way I like it. For the entrie Marlene ordered the sesame pork fillet and I had the veal chop with morel sauce. Both meats were very good. The morel sauce was out of this world. I must have used a half basket of bread just in sopping up the sauce. The morel mushrooms that accompanied the sauce had an earthy, woodsy flavor and a delicate texture. They were so good that I ate them one at a time and slowly to pace the rest of the entrie. For dessert we both ordered the medley of sorbet and ice cream scoops served in spicy tweel cookie. With a bottle of Sancerre added in the bill was $103 without tip."
- Paris Bistro, Maho recommended by Joan Korenchuk [November 27, 2000]
- "I was in St. Martaan 2 weeks ago and dined with some friends at the Paris Bistro on the Dutch side of the island. The food was great and so was the service. The open atmosphere only helped to make the experience more enjoyable. I would definitely recommend eating at the Paris Bistro."
- St. Severin, Marigot recommended by Fentzline [November 26, 2000]
- "This little gem is hidden on the road out of Marigot Marina. On thursdays thru Sat, they offer FRESH shellfish that is out of this world (but is flown in from France). We shared a bucket of mussels for 13.50 in a delicious cream and white wine sauce (with a side of fires). Our waitress suggested appropriate wines with each course and nearly everything is offered by the glass. Our meal was leisurely and filling. They do not take credit cards and our dinners came to $140 with appetizers, mussels, $25 entrees and wine with each course but worth every franc."
- Favorites of Lynn & Joe, Pennsylvania [November 19, 2000]
- "Our favorite restaurant is the Boat House on Simpson Bay. We have been going to St. Maarten for 10 years now and every time we have dinner or lunch there it is always good. Their filet mignon rapped in bacon is awesome. I can't find anything nearly as good here in the States. Their fresh fish dinners are always mouth watering and the presentation is great.
Another one that is great for lunch is Rick's Place in Phillipsburg. You can look out over Great Bay and watch the cruise ships if they are in port. It's a great sports bar and their chicken taco salad and hot crispy chicken finger sandwiches will give you a burst of energy to finish shopping the afternoon away."
- Paris Bistro, Maho recommended by Tim and Rhonda Dame, Evansvill, IN, USA [November 14, 2000]
- "We just returned from our trip to St. Maarten 5 days ago and I am already missing our wonderful meals at Paris Bistro. We ate there several times and every meal was fantastic. The food is French and is presented in such a beautiful gourmet fashion it was sometimes just as exciting to see how our entree looked as it was to actually taste what we had chosen that evening. Be sure to choose an appetizer (or entrance) as they call them, these too are wonderful. Each time we had a vegetable salad and smoked salmon served with toast. We did not have the onion soup, but another couple we were with had it several times. All of the soups are made fresh there in the kitchen.
The staff at Paris Bistro was also one of things that kept us coming back. They were so friendly and personable, always taking the time to be sure we were happy and comfortable. They definitely added to the wonderful ambiance of the restaurant.
Paris Bistro is located right across the street from Casino Royale in Maho. It has a Paris flair with beautiful depictions of famous sights in Paris painted on the walls. There is seating inside that is more intimate and outside (which is covered) where you can watch all of the excitement going on around you.
On our next trip to St. Maarten, we will definitely frequent Paris Bistro more than once!"
- Restaurant Reviews by Susan Russell [November 14, 2000]
- "Busby's Beach Bar: We had lunch there. It was very good. It is a good place for lunch while you are at the beach.
L'Escapade: The service was awful. The food was not that great. We had a really bad experience there. We could not wait to get out of that place!!! It was pricey too.
Tastevin: We had dinner there twice. It was excellent both times. We had the shrimps and scallops in lobster cream sauce. We also had chicken stuffed with lobster in a sauce. We had mushroom soup and the iced cucumber soup for appetizer. Scallops in a fruity passion sauce was excellent for appetizer. We had the chocolate mousse cake with pistachio for dessert. It was well worth the price of dinner. The atmosphere is nice too. The service was great!!"
- St.Martin Restaurants by Tomlois [November 2, 2000]
- "Astrolabe-(at Esmeralda Hotel on Orient Beach) -Nice food, at a decent price by the pool. Say hello to Arielle the Swiss manager who is truly a delight and will work hard to please you.
L'Escapade-in Grand Case-overpriced for the value. The grouper was tough and tasteless. I had to ask for the afterdinner rum. The service was much too gauche.
Restaurant du Soleil-a wonderful surprise, even for Grand Case. The Creole specialties were perfect, the fish soup had a deep flavor, the prices, reasonable. The restaurant is small, and the staff did not seem to be obsessing on whether or not there were enough customers. I had a chicken stuffed with snails (the special for the night) which was perfect.
Bistro Caraibe-just keeps getting better and better. The fresh lobster was out of this world as were the desserts.
Fishpot-pricy as ever and soooo elegant. They do tend to push the high priced specials, and the lobster weighed a lot more than we expected it. But it is worth it.
Il Nettuno-just keeps on going along. The pasta is just so-so, but the fish is excellent. Try not to pretend that it's an Italian restaurant, and you'll enjoy.
Belle Epoque-on the Marina in Marigot--had the best aioli (garlic mayonnaise) with the fish soup on the island. The steak of all things was outstanding at $13! The salads are meal sized--share them.
We missed out on Le Cotage-it wasn't open yet
L'Alabama--still the best meal on StMartin!"
- Seafood Galley, Phillipsburg recommended by Neek2u2 [October 8, 2000]
- "This restaurant was great! I had a small lobster, and it still would have been enough for 2 people. It was cooked to perfection and then split in two so it was easy to remove from the shell. For an appetizer, I had the conch fritters which were very tasty too. They were flat like a pancake. I am used to them being round. I recommend this restaurant for any seafood lovers."
- Séjour du 17 août au 02 septembre 2000 by Sabine Mauclère [October 7, 2000]
- "Suite à mes précédents commentaires en archive de ce site en bas de page(Avril 2000,août 99, avril 99, octobre 98) je tiens à vous faire part des restaurants à véritablement connaitre sur l'ile !
Je recommande tout d'abord vivement le restaurant MALANGA à GRAND CASE, restaurant créole au 103, boulevard de GRAND CASE. Vous ne pouvez pas le manquer par ses peintures extérieures orange et ses lumières. Le restaurant estsoigneusement décoré de fagon exotique et la nourriture y est excellente. Au fur et à mesure de mes séjours j'ai pu y apprécier plusieurs plats. L'assiette créole en entrée est fabuleuse avec accras de morue (morue achetée quotidiennement chez les meilleurs fournisseurs de l'ile), boudin créole (ou lambis)et autres combinaisons qui vous feront découvrir les entrées créoles et très joliement préparée par HILDA qui cuisine. Le crabe farci est également un délice!
A ne pas oublier le fabuleux planteur avant même toute dégustation, fait par Chago lui-même, le propriètaire. Le plat principal : curry de poulet, boeuf au safran, crevettes en sauce, colombo de cabri, lambis, vivanneau grillé, etc. bref un vaste choix de plats accompagnés de riz et légumes du pays. Pour le dessert je vous conseille le merveilleux flan coco banane fait maison ou la banane flambée tout simplement et pour finir en gaieté un petit rhum maison que Chago saura vous recommander!
Tout ceci dans une ambience locale et musicale typique de l'ile oy vous apprécierez sans aucun doute la salsa, bachata ou merengue!!! ouvert tous les soirs en diner uniquement dès 18h30. De temps en temps le spécial avec un groupe live (mais celà sera précisé). Si vous avez l'occasion et la chance de passer vos vacances à st martin dinez au restaurant malanga de ma part (sabine Mauclère /Monte-Carlo)un petit rhum à la fin du repas vous sera offert.
Après celà je recommande : le MERENGUE BAR dès 23h30 chaque mercredi pour apprécier la bachata et autres musiques pour danser une bonne partie de la nuit....
PS: Le restaurant CABANE BAMBOU à grand case (mentionné sur ce site) est désormais fermé !
Sabine Mauclère (stay from ugust 17 to september 02, 2000)"
After all my comments in this site from april 2000, august 99, april 99, and october 98) I highly recommend the RESTAURANT MALANGA situated 103 boulevard de Grand Case in Grand Case the gourmet capital. You cannot miss it with the orange paintings and lights outside. The decoration inside is really nice in an exotic style and you will find here a typical restaurant for the creole food. Hilda is cooking and I recommand as a starter the plate creole with a combination of all typical starters of the island, or the crab. Do not start your meal without drinking a planteur cocktail homemade by Chago the owner. Then let me tell you the big choice of meals as chicken curry, beef with safran, prawns in sauce, colombo of cabri etc. cooked with rice and local vegetables. As a desert, the merveillous banana & coco flan is delicious!
If you go in grand case try this restaurant a must! on my behalf sabine mauclère/monte-carlo and Chago the owner will offer you at the end of your meal a homemade rhum with fruits!!! restaurant open daily for dinner only. Local ambience a nice salsa music with live band sometimes (once a week). then after this I recommend at 11h30pm the MERENGUE BAR for dancing...with salsa, bachata & merengue!!!
PS: Restaurant CABANE BAMBOU in Grand Case (mentioned on this website) has closed down!
- Richard's Creperie, Simpson Bay recommended by Hugh Higinbotham [September 9, 2000]
- "Our favorite resturant is a charming French place called Richard's Creperie. It is right across from the Lightening Cassino but it's not visible from the road because it is right on the Lagoon.You can sit there and watch the boats while Jean Marie serves the most delicious crepes (breakfast, lunch or dinner) in the world! They also serve wonderful French wines and Champagne. It's a great gormet experience at a very moderate price. (the people are great too!) We go there every visit we make to the Island and it hasn't disappointed yet."
- Restaurant Reviews by Chez Eynard [September 6, 2000]
- "Chez Eynard, Restaurant Review, May 20, 2000
L'Alabama, Boulevard de Grand Case 93, Grand Case, St. Martin F.W.I., Phone 590-87-81-66, Propriétaires Pascal & Karin Potin, Chef de Cuisine Franck Vuillettin, Ouvert Tous Les Jours
This one of our favorite places to eat while in St. Martin. Dinner is a long leisurely meal which can last for two to three hours. Pascal and Karin provide gracious hospitality and impeccable service. The setting is like a garden and the restaurant is very open. The unfortunate part is that this restaurant is open on the main street of Grand Case and the motor and motorcycle traffic outside to can be very loud and distracting. This is only periodically when a teenager screams their motorcycle down the main street. All in all in Grand Case the ambiance is one of the finest. The menu has many wonderful selections.
Our entrée selections were as follows:
Les Asperges Gratinées a la Crème de Camembert leur Vinaigrette au Xérès: The dish consisted of a piece of baked Camembert with ten green asparagus laid on the plate in the shape of a fan. The dish was finished with some aged Spanish sherry wine vinegar. The acidity and flavor of the vinegar complimented the asparagus and the Camembert. It was wonderful.
Les Ravioles de Lambis et Crevettes, Crème de Saffran au Poivre de Jamaque: These raviolis were made from a very delicate thin pasta and were filled with ground conch and shrimp meat. The sauce was a saffron cream sauce with a hint of Pernod. Flavors were light and delicate making it an excellent entrée.
For the main course we choose:
Le Duo de Saint-Jaques et Gambas Poulées au Parfum de Jardins de Provence et leur Jus au Basilic: This dish was composed of scallops and shrimps sautéed with Herbs de Provence and basil.
Le Magret de Canard, Sauce Hybiscus, Canne a Sucre et Cassis: This main dish consited of thinly sliced duck breast, which was cooked very rare. The sauce was a demi-glace made with a hybiscus cane sugar syrup and Cassis. The flavor complimented the duck breast. It was served with sliced boiled potato and Pomme de Terre Dauphine. Unfortunately the Pomme de Terre Dauphine had a slight taste of the refrigerator.
We returned several days later with a group of our friends. Some of the differend choices were:
Le Salade de Chèvre Chaud au Miche et aux Noix: This chèvre is baked on a piece of miche, or a peasant round wheat bread round.
L'Escalope de Foie Gras Frais et sa Tartelette de Mangue en Chutney, Vinaigrette de Figue: This tartelette of foie gras was like a Napoléon wit the foie gras layered between three circles of pate feuilletée. The mango chutney also contained some confit of onions and was a great accompaniment. While slightly sweet it had enough acidity to balance all the flavors. A glass of Sauterne was a must with this entrée.
Le Mignon de Porc Rote a la Cannelle et sa Sauce Aigre Douce au Caramel de Pomme: This pork filet is roasted with cinnamon.
Terrine de Crapes et Chiboust au Chocolate Crème Infuse au Gingembre: This was a dish of crepes served on a chocolate flavored sauce. Chiboust was a pastry chef in the mid 18 hundreds who opened a pastry shop on rue Saint Honoré. He is credited with developing the recipe for the GC"teaux Saint Honoré. Crème Chiboust is similar to a crème pattissière but has beaten egg whites folded in to it. The recipe is basically a vanilla cream made from gelatin, flour, eggs, and milk. Chef Vuillettines Crème Chiboust variation of uses chocolate and is infused with ginger. It was excellent as an after dinner chocolate fix.
For consistency over the years we have found L'Alabama as one of the best restaurants in Grand Case. You should make an effort to have diner there but take your time. The experience will be unforgettable.
Chez Eynard, Restaurant Review, May 22, 2000Accras de Poulet aux Pignons de Pin, Sauce Bleu: This signature entrée is a fritter made with chicken, pine nuts, and parsley as compared to the normal fish or vegetable. They were done to perfection, the ground chicken inside was tasty with plenty of chicken, not just fillers and not at all greasy. The sauce bleu was a creamy, but not overpowering, sauce made from Bleu de Auvergne, a cow's milk cheese made in Auvergne. We shared this entrée which contained five Accras.
L'Estaminet, Rue de Cul de Sac, Cul de Sac, St. Martin F.W.I., Phone 590-29-16-72, Propriétaire Frank Marrot, Chef de Cuisine Sebastien Savary, Fermé a Dimanche
Pronounced Les Tam E Nay, this new restaurant in Cul de Sac, opened in December. It is on the main road across from the Texaco station. The name refers to an 19th century word for "bistro" were people would congregate for a drink or a bite to eat but the building would also have a "back-room" where it is rumored that plans for a revolution were being formed. The restaurant is small with seating for about twenty-eight. It has a small bar, and is decorated in Creole style with green table clothes. Parking is available across the street. The menu is written on a blackboard in French, however, the proprietor, Frank, is available to translate if necessary. Our selections were as follows:
Brick de Chévre et Tomates au Pesto: This is another signature entrée which was a good size piece of chévre, or goat's milk cheese, wrapped in feuille de brick, which is similar to filo, and then baked to perfection. The garnish was sliced tomatoes with pesto sauce drizzeled over it. The combination of flavors was exquisite.
Tartare de Thon au Balsamic: The tartare of tuna was four good size portions, plenty for an appetizer and enough for a small main course. They were spicy made with three different Caribbean peppers.
Blanquettte d'Aile de Raie aux Moules, Riz Palif: The skate wings were tender and flaky, served on a rice pilaf with a light cream sauce accompanied with some small Brittany mussels. The sauce was made from a fish fumet with cream and a hint of leeks.
Brioche Fa'on Pain Perdu, Glace Vanille, et Caramel Laitier: This was a brioche soaked in egg and cream and then baked, served with vanilla ice cream and a caramel cream sauce. Excellent for any one's sweet tooth.
All these choices were magnificent. The wine list was a little limited, however, we had a crisp white Savagnon Blanc which complimented the meal.
After the meal we were served a complimentary selections of flavored rhums, banane, orange, and annais.
The price for two with two bottles of wine was $ 68.50.
The next evening we returned to the restaurant. We again had the Accras, Birck de Chévrè, and the Tarter de Thon. There were new menu items so we tried them.
Filet Mignon de Porc au Oignons Frits et Mimolette: The filet was done to perfection, juicy and tender, however it was slightly salty. It was served with sautéed onions, polenta tandori, a broccoli flan and Pommes de Terre Darphin. The Mimolette was melted on top of the sautéed onions. Mimolette or Boule de Lille is a ball shaped cow's milk cheese that is similar to the Dutch Edam. It is said that during the 16 hundreds the King of France forbid all imports. Therefore the people of Lille started making this cheese in there town. The aged version, which is aged for about three years, looks like a melon and the cheese is dark orange with a complex taste. Because this cheese does not melt readily it is best to use the younger variety of this cheese, aged about one year, for this dish.
Mi Cuit au Chocolate, Sauce a l'Orange et Glace Vanille: This Mi Cuit or half cooked chocolate dessert is a chocolate cake with a velvety chocolate filling. It is served warm with vanilla ice cream and an orange sauce. For the chocolate lover this is an excellent choice.
The wine we had with this meal was Chablis which was a little more expensive, but the bill was only $77.00.
The third time we returned the L'Estaminet we brought some friends to experience their good French cuisine. New menu items the we tried are as follows:
Soupe a l'Oseille et Sesame: This cream soup was made with pureed sorrel and roasted sesame seeds. The citrus flavor of the sorrel and the nuttiness of the sesame blended nicely.
Sauté de Porc avec Rosette de Lyon, Saint Nectaire, and Lentle de Puy: This dish was sautéed pork fillet served with a brown sauce made with Rosette de Lyon and French green lentils. Saint Nectaire, a French semisoft cow's milk was melted over the dish. It was a little salty but the combination of the ingredients was good.
All dinners were typically French and excellent and it is a restaurant well worth visiting."
- Restaurants On Sxm by Cranshaw21 [August 27, 2000]
- "We have eating at some of the finest resturants in St. Maarten, we just returned yesterday and have to agree that Il Nettuno was great. The owner was very polite and the food was great. It is located in Grand Case with a healty selection of dinner entrees. We also ate at the Malanga in Grand Case. The owner opened the resteraunt just for us since we did not know that on the French side people did not eat until late. The Food Was supberb. If in St Maarten try these two restaurants. For Breakfast try the Village Baker you will love it. One recommendation, Dont eat at the Boulevard it was Horrible. It is located on Airport road near Simpson bay. It is terrible."
- Favorites of Bob17 [August 18, 2000]
- "La Cigale - Laguna Beach Discovered this restaurant on last visit. It was wonderful and a definite keeper for next year. My friend had the special of the house which was chicken wrapped in lobster, I had to sample it and can say first hand that is was great. I ordered a salmon wrapped in vegetables served over mashed potatoes, it was among one of the best meals I had in the 2 weeks we were there. My boring boyfriend had a plain steak with none of the offered sauce. He said it was very good, I passed when offered a sample. The owner and waiter for the night was Olivier who was a delight, he was so animated explaining the menu which was written on a black board, I had the urge to break out in applause when he was finished. I have never seen this restaurant mentioned on any of the boards and I can only guess that it may be one of the newer places, but will soon catch on. We also tried another new one Dario's at the Port de Plaisance resort which again was fantastic, the host and waitresses were very friendly, food was fantastic, and you can't beat the atmosphere, very romantic."
- Health food on St. Maarten by Brad Mattick [August 16, 2000]
- "Had a number of great, healthy lunches at Top Carrot near the airport towards Phillipsburg [in shopping center at Simpson Bay Yacht Club - aj].
I recommend it to all vegetarians, vegans, etc."
- The Village Baker, Simpson Bay by Deb [August 13, 2000]
- "Breakfast: We have to agree with the review on Village Baker across from the Atrium. Bill and Phillipe made each morning a pleasure with their friendliness, kindness, and great food. We tried everything from croissants, quiche, bread to pastries. All were excellent and we still miss our mornings with the Village Baker's since we've been back. We tried Zee Best and Maria's but neither one could beat the great food and company of Village Baker. Bill and Phillipe go out of their way to make your day special. Please tell them that Dave and Deb say Hi and send their best! We really miss them!"
- The Village Baker, Simpson Bay by Mike & Jan [August 11, 2000]
- "Just returned last week. Four great weeks on the island. Was disappointed to find the the Summit Resort no longer has Bill and Philippe running the bar and restaurant (Grandview Cafe). They just opened a new place across the street from the Atrium. It is called The Village Baker. If you are in the mood for "a little bit of France" on the Dutch side; croissants, quiche, baguettes, patisserie, or a deli sandwich to take to the beach or on your plane, this place is a must!!!! Their hours are 6:00a.m. - 6:00p.m. (providing daily goods are still available). The food is mouth-watering and the company very pleasant in this little French Creole house. It was definitely the "talk of the town" during their opening week. Make sure to say that "Mike & Jan sent us"!"
- Not the Best by Mike & Jan [August 11, 2000]
- "The worst of the trip was Lynette's (by the airport). Food was just average. Service was terrible even though there were only 4 tables filled. After dinner, we waited for 35 minutes to get our check. Definitely not worth the price. We will never return to this restaurant."
- Some St. Martin restaurants by R. Bailey [August 1, 2000]
- "Here are some brief reports of the restaurants we tried in June. Most of these are repeats of ones we have previously reported on.
Shiv Sigar in Philipsburg remains top notch for Indian food, with a good selection of vegetarian dishes and the best nan and condiments.
The Wan Yang Doll, also in Philpsburg, has an excellent Indonesian rijstaffel (19 or so small dishes; plenty of food overall in case one or two don't appeal; we down everything but the rice with difficulty) and has added some additional entrees since our last visit. It is one we do not miss when we are on the island. The most expensive of the restaurants listed, but not excessively so.
Yvettes in Orleans has authentic St. Martin food, is popular with locals, and is a very large cut above the barbeque food of the lolos. Excellent complementary johnny cakes. Be careful with the pickled peppers unless you know what you are doing.
Bistro Nu is a small place in an alley off the main street in Marigot, and has a wide menu of excellent French Bistrot and Creole food. Jean Claude is a great host. This has become a must with us.
We tried California in Grand Case for the first time and liked it very much. The menu has a wide selection including Creole and some interesting looking crepe dishes that we will try next time. Nice service, nice fruit flavored rum.
Malanga is a little Creole place in Grand Case that has good and bad points. It has a small menu, and even then not everything on it may be available. Our main courses, kingfish and conch, were OK but the local vegetables and home made hot sauce with them were very good and made the meal. The owner makes half a dozen kinds of flavored rum, which come gratis. When we complimented him on them, he insisted that we have another. The cost can't be beat, but they have trouble making change even for francs and prefer credit cards. If you like Creole, want a budget balancer, and like the posted daily special, it is worth considering.
Also had a very good pizza at La Main a la Pate and a couple of lunches at La Belle Epoch, both at the Marigot marina. They both seemed fairly busy for the off-season."
- Seafood Galley Restaurant, Philipsburg recommended by Fifthkuhn [July 31, 2000]
- "WHAT A DELIGHTFUL FIND- SEAFOOD GALLEY RESTAURANT!! HAD TO GO TWICE-ONCE FOR LUNCH AFTER DIVING WITH DIVE SAFARIES AT BOBBYS MARINA AND FOR DINNER. THE WAITRESS WAS SO FRIENDLY TELLING US ABOUT THE ISLAND AND THE FOOD WAS GREAT. HAD SHRIMP NEWBURG FOR LUNCH THAT WAS SO TASTY AND FOR DINNER THE LOBSTER WAS OUT OF THIS WORLD GRILLED TO PERFECTION. IF YOU GO TO ST MAARTEN, YOU MUST STOP BY SEAFOOD GALLEY FOR A GREAT DINING EXPERIENCE AND TERRIFIC DIRTY BANANA DRINKS - THEIR HOUSE SPECIALTY!!"
- Seafood Galley Restaurant, Philipsburg recommended by Bluze1 [July 31, 2000]
- "Just returned from a wonderful vacation in St. Maarten. We had the chance to go to many great restaurants - such as La Rosa II, which had super homemade pasta dishes and to Seafood Galley. There we had a perfectly grilled snapper dinner and caribbean coconut shrimp dinner. Service was terrific at both restaurants and we were made to feel very welcome at Seafood Galley, especially our children. They enjoyed picking from the Kid's menu and feeding the mullet right outside the restaurant with the owner Frank. We would certainly return to these restaurants and the island!"
- Le Bec Fin, Philipsburg recommended by Mike Hattes [July 20, 2000]
- "Had lunch at Le Bec Fin last February. Was delightful! Went in because of Le Bec Fin in Philadelphia, PA a 5 star dynamite place. Was told by server that owner in St Maarten worked at Le Bec Fin Phila. Quality of food, drink and service superb! We were on cruise only for day trip, sorry we couldn't stay for dinner too. Highly recommend!"
- Merengue Bar B.Q., Cay Bay recommended by Donna [July 13, 2000]
- "I just wanted to let you know about this great little bar and restaurant that I found while visiting St. Maarten. It is called Merengue Bar B.Q.. It is owned by a guy named Pascanel Ferreras. He used to be Cheri's Cafe's most infamous bartender. He serves all kinds of seafood, BBQ, Ribs, Chicken, creole at very reasonable prices.... He also has a two for one night for drinks. He has bands come in and D.J.'s also. It is quite the favorite with the locals but also with the tourists. We became very good friends with him just visiting each year. He is located on Welfare Road across from the Lightning Casino. I recommend it highly."
- Restaurant Reviews by Trish [July 11, 2000]
- "When they say St. Martin is the gourmet captial of the Carribean they are not kidding. I go there every year for 2 weeks and every year the food gets better. My personal favorites are:
Mario's Bistro - The food is out of this world!!! My fiancee and I went with his parents here for dinner and we all loved it. The view is gorgeous. There is nothing like water front dining especially when the water is lit up and you can see fish swimming. The mussels here are to dye for. I also recommend the sea scallops and to top it of with creme brulee for dessert. It's the best on the island!!! Definitely make reservations to go on your next trip.
Bistro des Arts - Another one of my favorites. The food and atmosphere is wonderful. Their deserts are presented so beautiful. You have to bring your camera when eating here.
Tropicana - This is another wonderful restaurant to try. Our waitress was so nice that we felt right at home. I had the lobster theramidor which was very good. And the complementary after dinner drink of banana rum is a perfect ending to a perfect meal.
Luguna's - I typically go here a couple times during my two week stay. The stuffed carribean lobster and ravioli in a blush cream sauce are my two favorite dishes here."
- Chesterfield's, Philipsburg recommended by Geri Laemers [July 10, 2000]
- "Chesterfields at Bobby's Marina - great food and a good value - surpasses the fancy French and Italian restaurants on the island. I've been vacationing in St. M. for 11 yrs. and it's the only restaurant I can't wait to get back to."
- SXM Review by Micki [July 2, 2000]
- "Relaxed meals at Lynette's, Lee's and Goodfellas (Simpson Bay area); Beach eating at Chez Raymond's (Baie Rouge) and Booboojam's (Orient); Lolo style at Talk of the Town (Grand Case) and fining dining at Il Nettuno (Grand Case) all were very satisfying. Grand Case at night for fining dining was most enjoyable. Four of us all at outstanding veal dishes at Il Nettuno where the service and food were fabulous!"
- Our SXM Favorites by Peter Shaw [July 1, 2000]
- "In May we spent another wonderful ten days in SXM - much different from November when we were visited by Hurricane Lenny. A few of our favorites from this visit:
Le Saint Germain on Marina Royale in Marigot. We have previously been here for wonderful breakfasts, but this time discovered their great dinners which are fairly priced. Patrick is now in charge and keeps everything moving and lively. The staff is friendly and efficient, especially Heloise who is a beautiful and professional waitress. The food was excellent, the escargots and the mussel appetizers were the best of each we have ever tasted. Also the mixed fish grill and the shrimp and chicken special. If anyone thinks running a restaurant is easy, just stay around at closing when they get all the tables and chairs in for the night. Don't miss this restaurant.
Bar de la Mer on the harbor in Marigot. A busy casual place with good food, again priced fairly. The salad Nicoise was great as were the beef and salmon tartares. Also the pizza Neopolitan. Great for poeple watching.
Grand View Cafe at the Summit Resort overlooking Simpson Bay behind the Sapphire Beach Club. Once again the exotic chicken was superb as were the salmon and mahi-mahi entrees. The bar can be lively in the late afternoon and early evening with refugees from the nearby Ocean and Sapphire Beach Clubs dropping by to meet more interesting people. Also leisurely breakfasts and lunches. Philippe is the chef and William the host.
Mario's Bistro. We were able to walk in and get a waterfront table within a few days. The food superb and the service friendly and professional. Surely give it a try if you can get a reservation in advance. We did not find it any more expensive than similar comparable establishments and the food was among the best.
We look forward to our return in November, this time with no hurricanes!"
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