June 1, 2002 - July 1, 2003
What is your favorite restaurant? This page lists the reviews submitted to us through 2011 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Big Fish Review by Randy Halley [December 12, 2011]
- "Just returned from St Maarten. We ate at Big Fish twice during the week and should have eaten there every night. The food was spectacular! The flavors were wonderful and the service was as good as you get on the island."
- Dining Experiences in SXM May and November 2009 and May 2010 by Peter Shaw [June 10, 2010]
- "I have been remiss in commenting on our dining experiences on our last three visits to SXM. We stay at the Sapphire and do not do as much driving as we once did. Therefore our comments are mainly on restaurants between Simpson Bay and Marigot.
One of our favorite places is Les Boucaniers in Baie Nettle. Chef Nicolas prepares wonderful meals - of particular note this last trip was the crab tartare appetizer and the grouper and catfish specials. They were probably the best meals we had on the island this past visit.
Another favorite is La Gondola in the Atlantis Casino complex. Owner David Fioni and his staff put out delicious Italian specialties in a very nice setting. Of note this past visit were the salmon carpaccio, the grouper special, the sea bass flamb√and the sausage risotto.
David's newest restaurant is Izi Italian Pasta Lounge on Welfare Road heading toward Cole Bay. The setting and food are more casual than at La Gondola, but equally enjoyable. Marco, who has been with David since his Sandy Ground days, is the executive chef and manager. He is very out-going and brings a nice feeling to the restaurant. Especially delicious were the Mediterranean guazzetto (seafood soup), the pasta arrabbiata and the emiliana (traditional) lasagna. Organic whole wheat pasta is available.
In November 2009 we ventured into Phillipsburg to try Fusion which was highly recommended. We were not disappointed. The crab cakes and spring roll appetizers were great as were the entrees. We were delighted to find in our May 2010 visit that their sister restaurant Fusion 2 had opened in Maho. It was just as good and easier for us to get to. The spring rolls and crab cakes were just as good and the red snapper and the tiger shrimp entrees were outstanding. The staff is efficient and friendly. We chose to eat inside to get away from the noise at Cheri's.
We enjoyed Mooi in Simpson Bay for several meals in November. We particularly enjoyed the Argentinian tenderloin which was cooked to perfection (very rare). We did only lunch this May and it was very good. Many of the staff speak Spanish and little English - try to get Ivan if possible. The setting is very interesting, though the wait staff get their exercise going up and down the stairs. We suggest eating upstairs and inside.
For casual dining in casual setting, Pizza Galley on the lagoon in Simpson Bay cannot be beat. Owner J P oversees the preparation of one of the best Caesar salads I have ever had and a variety of great pizzas.
We tried to go to the Marina Royale in Marigot on Sunday evening to go to either Tropicana or Le France. The marina was locked up at all entrances and dark at about 8pm. We drove over to Bistro Nu, but it was also closed. The only place that appeared open for business was Bar de la Mer on the waterfront. We opted to return to Les Boucaniers.
We had planned to drive to Grand Case to eat at La Villa, a relatively new restaurant run by Christophe, formerly of L'Auberge Gourmand. We learned that Christophe was off island, so we delayed our visit until next November.
You cannot get better burgers, turkey clubs or pizzas for lunch or for a casual evening than at Blue Sapphire Cafe at the Wyndham Sapphire Beach Club.
For breakfast we enjoy Mary's Boon, Turtle Pier and Zee Best (Simpson Bay). We have heard good reports about The Bagel House in Simpson Bay and will try in November.
In recent visits we have found Temptation, Mario's Bistro, Mary's Boon and Saratoga to be excellent. Also Toppers for very casual dining. We did not have time to go to any of them on our latest visit.
Some readers may note that several restaurants we praised in past visits are not listed now. These places changed hands last year and in November we did not find them to be as good as with the previous owners. "
- St.Maarten by RealTwin21 [September 29, 2009]
- "September 2009 visit to St Maartin and the best food at this time was served at Fusion on the Dutch side. Service was excellent and prices moderate. Located on Front Street in Philipsburg open lunch and dinner. We indulged in both. Chesterfields was a good place to eat. Tried the French side and many were closed this time of year and the open ones were very pricey."
- Dining experiences in SXM - May and Nov 2008 by Peter Shaw [February 27, 2009]
- "We once again had a total of five wonderful weeks in St. Martin in
May and November of 2008. We can't wait to return in a few months.
Our dining choices are not that much different from my previous
posting just prior to our May visit. At the risk of some repetition,
here are my thoughts.
While we enjoyed many wonderful meals at a number of SXM restaurants, we find that arguably the best food on the island is at *La Gondola* in the Atlantis Casino complex. David and his staff consistently put out exceptional meals in a nice setting. I particularly enjoy the various risottos and pasta creations. It was one of the few restaurants that was crowded during our November visit.
We always return for multiple visits at *Les Boucaniers* in Baie Nettle. Chef Nicolas and his wife Frances are delightful, the food is excellent and the setting relaxing. We particularly enjoyed the crab and avocado appetizer, the calamari stew, the veal slices with goat cheese stuffed pasta and the grouper on wild mushroom risotto. My wife ended each of her meals with the ice cream bowl consisting of dark rum, rum raisin ice cream, diced pineapple, sliced bananas, chopped almonds and whipped cream. Oink! Oink! (I should note that Nicolas and Frances provided us refuge when we were being led and followed by "suspicious" vehicles when leaving the Marina Royale to return to the Sapphire.)
We always return to *Le Petite Auberge des Isles* on the Marina Royale next to where Le Saint Germaine once was. Host Bruno and his wife Chef Francoise offer very good food at very reasonable prices. I enjoy their ham salad which is delicious and their mussels with pomme frites. Francoise will make anything you want as long as she has the ingredients. Francoise even serves the customers when Bruno gets carried-away talking with the diners.
We also made several visits to *Bistro Nu* opposite the stadium on the way from Marigot to Grand Case. Chef Michael was on holiday in November, but his replacement did an excellent job. Of special note were the chicken liver salad and the lamb and beans. Host Jean-Claude always makes the experience enjoyable.
After probably 30 visits to SXM over a 15 year span, we finally went to **La Santal** in Sandy Ground in May, and then again in November. Both times were most enjoyable. The setting is beautiful and the service and food are of the highest quality. The duck fois gras appetizer is worth every penny (I recall 33€). They do 1€ to 1$ for cash. It is a place to revisit for a special occasion. We were the only persons there on a Sunday evening in November - I hope they will not fall victim to this economy.
Another favorite continues to be *La France* on the Marina Royale - this despite the fact that by November, Owner Morris and Chef Monique had gone to Thailand. We were well served by Chef Erik and his girl friend Aura Lee and waiter Laurent. The food was every bit as good as before, and the tuna tartare even better. The goat cheese and walnut appetizer and the fettuccine were both excellent. They were always closed by the time of our May visit - perhaps that will change. Rick Kranz's latest SXM-Info Newsletter says that La France is now offering 1€ to 1$.
New for us in November was *Le Saint-Severin* in Marigot, a favorite of many GoBeach respondents. We went fairly late on a Saturday when they were out of a number of specials, including the fresh mussels. We found other choices to enjoy, especially the asparagus risotto, and the chicken raviolis in a white mushroom sauce. In May we shall surely return, but on a Friday or for lunch on Saturday.
We always save *Saratoga* in Simpson Bay for our last evening. The setting is beautiful, the service impeccable and the food excellent. Of particular note were the spicy red snapper seviche and the salmon in puff pastry.
When we are looking for more casual dining but with good food we enjoy *Marty's Gyro* or *Toppers* literally back-to-back on the Airport Road in Simpson Bay. The burgers and salads at the *Sapphire Beach Club Bar* are very good with the burgers actually cooked rare if you request. Also the *Buccaneer Bar* next to the Atrium on the road to the Pelican is a nice change of pace.
For breakfast we always enjoy *Mary's Boon* for Jeanette's American breakfast and *Zee Best* in Simpson Bay for their omelettes and croissants. After hearing poor reviews for several years, we returned in November to *Turtle Pier* and found it even better than we had remembered. Other breakfasts were enjoyed at *The Bagel House* in Simpson Bay and *Le Belle Epoque* on the Marina Royale.
I do not like to publicly pan a restaurant, as all restaurants live and die based on their last meal. If we have a poor meal, I usually do not proclaim it on GoBeach. However, two experiences in November stood out and deserve mentioning.
We did not have a good experience at **3 Palms** between Simpson Bay and Cole Bay. It is a lovely setting, but our breakfast was not good and my wife's pasta sauce at dinner extremely spicy. It was not so noted on the menu - I tasted it and found it way too spicy, and I like spicy food. We mentioned it to the waiter and the manager, but to no avail. I had ok meal, but the other three diners did not. The restaurant is relatively new and I hope they get their act together.
We walked out of **Bajatzu** in Maho when my Tanqueray martini was undrinkable. They showed me the bottle, but it had evidently gone poorly. Again, no attempt was taken to remedy the situation. Also, the wait staff was far to aggressive in attempting to take our order even before we had ordered a drink and then again before and immediately after the drinks had arrived. We do not like to be rushed. Friends dining here the next evening had a similar experience with the aggressive wait staff and experienced a "tasteless" steak. Too bad - we enjoyed this restaurant in a past visit."
- St Maarten Restaurants by René Walton [February 6, 2009]
- "We have been going to St. Martin/St Maarten for almost 20 years. We went there first on our honeymoon in 1989 and this year we will be going back to celebrate our 20th anniversary.
My favorites are mostly already listed on this website but I'll name a few of my favorites. Mark's Place for local food cannot be beat !!! Oxtail, all you can eat ribs, very good food and value and very inexpensive too. Mark's Place is on the way to Phillipsburg, next to the big supermarket. In Phillipsburg the Greenhouse is pretty good, especially on the weekends and lively too.
We usually stay at the Atrium in Simpsons Bay. There are a lot of good places there !! We like Los Gauchos for Argentinean steak, it is located on Billy folly road, just past the Atrium. Across the street there is Lee's seafood which has really fresh fish. Speaking of fresh fish, get up early and try the fish market at Simpson bay. Our last trip we rented a villa and would get up early and buy the fish (get the blue ones!!!) and grill them by the pool.
Montmartre and Cafe de Paris at maho we like as well as a little Italian place behind casino royal (Sopranos). At Port Royal we like Chantclaire and go there once each trip. We usually go to La Bar de la Mer in Marigot. They grill snapper and lobster right there on the street.................Don't forget the Lolo's in Grand Case....and go back often to Mark's Place !!!
Got to go now as I'm getting hungry !!!"
- Restaurants 12/8 to 12/18 by Don and Barbara [December 21, 2008]
- "Restaurants were empty when we were there 12/8 to 12/18. While usually at this time of year there is no need for a reservation because there is almost always a table available, this year there were nights when we were the only customers. But that did not stop the good food. When the euro was €1.35 to $1.00, Spicy was offering 1 to 1 (although the prices reflected the exchange rate bonus) and was quite good. The linguini with seafood (€26) was quite tasty and the sea bass (€32) was excellent with a nice mushroom risotto. Chocolate fondant (€13) was also good. Le Taitu on Mt. Vernon was only fair but very reasonable. Garlic soup ($6) was tasty as was the fish ($18.25). One of our favorites is Bistro de la Mer on the waterfront in Marigot. We share a whole large Sea Bass (€24) washed down with beer. This year we also tried Astrolobe and had their surf and turf special with a pair of nice singers (€31 a la carte or €44 with appetizer and dessert), it was quite good. We had one dinner and one a la carte, sharing the appetizer and dessert. Their soups are excellent. Our grandchildren were with us but not for dinner. They liked the Safari Grill at Orient Beach.
But the best meals were at Le Cottage and Mario's Bistro. Both restaurants always exceed expectations, especially Mario's Bistro. Gazpacho and mushroom risotto appetizers, a fresh sea bass with a crabmeat crust and a salmon with a smoked salmon crust were both outstanding at Mario's but the sea bass was especially outstanding. Le Cottage was also excellent and they were offering a €1 for $1.15 promotion. I hope the restaurants survive what may be a dismal season."
- Fusion recommended by Carole Palmer [November 21, 2008]
- "Fusion is absolutely the best in St. Maarten. Located in Phillipsburg on Great Bay next to Sea Palace we've never had a better meal. The service and friendless should also be mentioned and the view is superb."
- Restaurant Reviews by Gert and Annemariek [November 9, 2008]
- "This summer we spend three weeks on St.Maarten, having 2 six-year olds limited our restaurant experience, resulting in more take-out. Finally finished writing up some of our highlights, not in a specific order:
Big Fish, Oyster Pond - the food is very nice. Excellent seafood. We only had take out but we heard that the service is not that great.
Captain Oliver's, Oyster Pond - the restaurant has been here for years, but now has a new manager, Philippe (who is also a moderator on the Friendly Island Forum). He told us in August that a new exciting menu will be introduced soon. We had lunch here and it was very tasty. Nice place to sit on the water. It is also great for kids since they have a turtle, some sharks and lots of fish swimming around.
Mama Pizza, Oyster Pond - Local pizza place. Very nice outside restaurant (there are no awnings or anything, so don't go on a rainy night). Good thin crust pizza but also have some non-pizza dishes. Great for kids as long as they know that they have stay away from the road.
Surinamese Food Truck, Pond Fill Road, Philipsburg. This is one of the food trucks on the Pond Fill side of Pond Fill Road in Philipsburg. It is located close to the Heineken plane. The food is excellent, esp. the sate with peanut sauce. It is more a take-out place for lunch. They usually close by 3 or 4 depending on when the food has run out.
Safari Grill, Orient Square, French - Surprisingly one of our best meals on the island. I had a 'prime rib' which was cooked like a steak, very tasty. Very nice sauces and great wine. On the Square are many other restaurants, some French, some pizza, some mixed and a 'Thai' food place. No problem to bring kids, they can just run around on the Square while you enjoy your gourmet dinner. On the same square Cote Plages and La Chapelle were also recommended.
Lal's Indian Food, opposite the Airport. If you have a graving for Indian food this is the place to go. They also have some nice Belgian beers (don't drink them like Heinekens or Presidentes!.
Mullet Bay Beach. Local Food. There are two beach bars at Mullet Bay. We visited the green one a couple times. Great barbeque. Very good ribs. Not expensive.
Lolo's Grand Case. Local Food. Most of the food is 'a la carte' so a great opportunity to try some local food like Johnny Cakes, Acras, plantain (banana), crab backs. Or for a great local sitdown dinner Yvette's in Orleans is also great.
Toppers (formerly Banana's), Simpson Bay. We had lunch and dinner take out. Good food. Nice prime rib and good brisket. The waitress adored our kids :-)
Pineapple Pete, Simpson Bay. Tasty food, burgers, wraps, salads. We went there for lunch. Kid friendly (they can keep the 'plate').
Buccaneer Bar, Simpon Bay, next to the Atrium. Nice hangout for happy hour. Friendly people behind the bar. Live music saturday night. They serve food as well, ribs, fish, burgers and pizza. Kid friendly.
Saint Severin, Marigot. Traditional French food, off the beaten track, when you drive into Marigot from the Dutch Side, turn left at the first roundabout and you will find it on your right, across from the Pharmacy. There is a new owner but the food is still really tasty. Although they don't have a kids menu they can whip up some food for them. You can sit outside next to the kitchen windows if you like, and talk to the chef directly.
Madinina, Nettle Bay. Excellent local food, excellent curries. If you are nice he might let you try some of his best rum! (Ti-Punch)
Uncle Harry's, Airport Road. If you like lobster/seafood, this is a fun place to bring kids as well. It is local, not Maine, lobster, cooked in Uncle Harry's special 'secret' way, which makes the meat just cooked right! It is on a boat in the lagoon and Uncle Harry will be more then happy to show the kids the Lobster pots that are hanging overboard."
- Review by Pat Burke [November 6, 2008]
- "My husband and I have been to SXM two to three times a year for that
last eighteen years. We have eaten at many of the restaurants talked
about on this website. Over the years, our favorites have included;
Mario's Bistro, Temptation, Zee Best, The original Alabama and our
very favorite, Montmartre. Since we go to St Martin so often we are
always looking for something new to add to our list of must do
places. On our last rip we discovered Karakter a beach
bar/restaurant/lounge on the beach next to Mary's Boon. It had just
opened when we were there. At that time its hours were 10am until
8pm. They are serving very fresh healthy foods and drinks under the
trees on Simpson Beach. It's casual, low key and reasonable."
- My Visit to St. Maarten by Ramin Khalilzadeh [July 6, 2008]
- "We stayed in St. Maarten for two weeks. We visited so many different restaurants, but, our favorite was Big Fish in Oyster Pond. The food and service are fantastic. Try Halibut with the Lobster Sauce. It is to die for. They are also open for breakfast. We went to Mr. Busby next door. The food was OK, but the service was not friendly, especially with kids. I saw that all tables with kids were treated differently. Another favorite place was Marrakesh. Great food. They close in Summer though. Don't waste your money by going to Captain Oliver. The food was tasteless."
- 40th anniversary celebration by Tom Armstrong [July 2, 2008]
- "June 11th . 17th, 2008
Yes, there is still romance after 40 years and St. Martin's was the perfect place for a week of rest, relaxation and romance.
We used this computer site as a reference when planning our trip and have a few other tips we wanted to share.
We stayed in Grand Case at Le Petite for 4 days and then moved to L'Esplanade and we don't think there could be any better accommodations. Le Petite has only 10 guest rooms on the beach. L'Esplanade is the sister hotel with a pool and you can walk down to Sunset beach at another hotel. It is a long walk to get from one hotel to another. From what we read we thought they were next door. At Le Petite we had the oversize deluxe studio on the ground floor with a private covered porch and just a few steps away from the beach. We had the beach almost to ourselves with an occasional person walking by. Every morning right outside our door awaited FRESH squeezed orange juice and pastries plus coffee and 2 newspapers. The same breakfast is available at L'Esplanade but it is $15 per person so we walked to Sunset Café one morning to eat and enjoy the beach view and further into Grand Case another morning for breakfast. Le Petite has a microwave in the fully equipped kitchen which came in handy because we couldn't finished our dinners most nights so brought leftovers back and heated them up for lunch the next day. Rooms were very clean and fresh sheets every day. Stephanie (Le Petite) was extremely helpful and even got us dinner reservations. On the French side you will need a converter for your electricity (220 volt) which Le Petite lent to us for no charge, Dutch side same electricity (110 volt) as U.S. At L'Espanade there is a pool with bar and food available. The grounds at L'Espanade were lush with plenty of blooming trees and plants with lots of singing birds.
We did rent a car and were able to drive all over the island. Heard one man saying they used the bus system. It is $30 ride from the airport to the hotel so with round trip and 2 people the car wasn't that much more for a week. Only 2 traffic lights and they drive on the same side as U.S. We enjoyed touring the island at our leisure.
The food was absolutely fabulous. At some of the restaurants $1 = E1 (l Euro) if you pay in cash, US dollars. We used this web site as our dining guide and we raved about every dinner. Always choose to sit outside. The restaurants we choose didn't open for dinner until 5:30 or 6:00 and the first three nights we were the first people in the restaurants and maybe that was the reason we had excellent service. First night ate at La California (Grand Case) sitting outside almost at water's edge-food beautifully displayed and delightful to the taste buds, just a short walk on the beach from the Le Petite. Fabulous sunset view, take a camera. Next night choose Spiga (Grand Case) and sitting on the porch can be a little noisy as it is open to the street. I had a pork dish with potatoes and sausage that tasted just as good the next day heated up for lunch. On Friday night ate at Mario's Bristo in Sandy Ground on the canal, just passed Marigot. Once again we sat on the porch by the canal that stayed busy with boats coming and going. Food and service good. Every restaurant had scrumptious bread that you could have made a meal of. Next night drove to Big Fish at Oyster Bay. The porch sits over the water and the waite staff was very attentive. I choose two appetizers (crab cake and shrimp in four sauces) for my dinner and my husband had fish that he loved. The last night we choose Le Cottage (Grand Case) also highly recommended by a couple at the pool that day. Sat on the porch and there is a steady stream of cars but this was my favorite restaurant. I had a beef medallion that melted in your mouth. We shared a chocolate soufflé to top off a fantastic week.
Drove into Phillipsburg to shop but didn't make any purchases. It is a little intimating with all the men standing around in suits and very few customers in the jewelry stores.
Did go to the Butterfly Pavilion and had a most interesting time. Go early because it is cooler and the butterflies are emerging from their chrysalis's. Had a guide who showed us around and was full of information pointing out various butterflies, their habits and egg deposits. This is a must for any nature lover or family with children. Also, saw a hummingbird nest for the first time."
- SXM Restaurants by Peter Shaw [May 5, 2008]
- "As our May visit to SXM approaches, it is about time I wrote about our
favorite restaurants from our last two visits.
Perhaps our favorite is *Les Boucaniers* in Baie Nettle across the street from La Flamboyant. Chef/Owner Nicolas was once an assistant at Le Chanticlair and his wife Frances is the hostess. This is a place we visit at least twice per SXM trip. We particularly like the duck pate with beef confit appetizer, the sea-salted beef, the slow-roasted lamb shoulder with pasta and their wonderful parmentier. The prices are fair. With luck, their young daughters Mathilde and Laura will be there.
In Marigot we enjoy *Le France* on the Marina Royale. Chef Monique always prepares excellent choices, especially the coquille appetizer, and the grouper, fish rolls and tuna tartare. Unfortunately we will have to wait until November to return as they close in mid-May for the summer.
*Les Petite Auberge des Isles* also on the Marina has three-course reasonably priced (23? last November) dinners. Their ham salad, onion soup, mussels pasta and sea bream were all very good. Bruno is the host and his wife Francoise is the chef.
We had not been to *Tropicana*, also on the Marina Royale, for some time. It was wonderful as ever. Their grouper and red snapper were excellent.
We returned to *Bistro Nu* in an alley opposite the stadium on the way out of Marigot heading to Grand Case. It was as good as we remembered. We particularly enjoyed the chicken liver salad and the mussels meuniere.
*La Gondola* in the Atlantis Casino complex is always an excellent choice and always crowded. The pasta fagoli and the sausage and seafood risottos are the best. Owner David Fioni watches over everything and make sure things run smoothly.
*Mary's Boon* in the Simpson Bay/Airport area is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The place changed hands last year, but breakfast and lunch cooked and served by Jeanette were as good as ever. This is a great place to have a relaxing lunch before departing from Princess Juliana Airport for the flight home.
We had not been to *Saratoga* for several years. Our loss! Of particular note were the "hanging" surf and turf, the squid and seaweed salad, the penne with trumpet mushrooms and the salmon wrapped in phylo. Hostess/Waitress Stephanie was a delight.
We enjoy the omelets at *Zee Best/Le Piccolo* in the Simpson Bay Yacht Club complex. Host Dominic watches over all. We much prefer this location to the one in Marigot.
For a great, but expensive (due to the $ vs. ?) lunch, you can't beat *Coco Beach Bar* at the far end of Orient Beach. Their tuna tartare is the best I have ever had ANYWHERE, and their nems, beef carpaccio and pizzas are outstanding. Owner Sophie is gracious and waiter Ness is great.
For a casual "beach-type" lunch, the *Sapphire Beach Club Bar* offers very good salads, pizzas and burgers. We find the lunches preferable to the breakfasts and the more formal dinners in the dining room.
We tried *Halsey's*, so often recommended on this site. It was not to our tastes and quite expensive for what we got. In our opinion, it is geared to Americans who would rather eat than dine. That said, our waitress, formerly from the closed Bananas, was great.
*Le Chanticlair* on the Marina Royale, *Temptation* in the Atlantis Casino complex and *Mario's Bistro* in Sandy Ground remain favorites. Time constraints prevented us from visiting them during our last two trips. *Sol e Luna* in the French cul-de-sac area is also wonderful, but a very long drive from the Cupecoy area. There are wonderful choices closer to where we stay. We look forward to returning to *Terra* in the Maho complex when Chef Scott and Hostess Edina return from their extensive travels - it was not the same without them there.
Perhaps for our May splurge we will finally (after 15 years) visit *Le Santal* in Sandy Ground."
- St. Martin 2008 by Lisa Grindle [March 13, 2008]
- "We just returned from St. Martin on Monday.......we had a fantastic time! We go every year with one of my best friends and her husband....fun time! we were worried this year about the exchange rate and how this may effect our meal choices but we were pleasantly surprised that many of the great places in Grand Case was 1-1 euro for dollar. one of our favorite restaurants is Spiga, lower end of main road in Grand Case and around the corner, I had the pasta with beef and mushroom gravy and my husband was envious so when we went back for a second night he made the better choice, the two of us only spent 70.00 for a shared appetizer, entrees, shared dessert and drinks, very reasonable. We also ate one night at The Gondola in the Atlantis complex on the Dutch side but I would recommend reservations......we had the lobster bisque for appetizer, the best I have ever had. We also ate at a pizza parlor on the main drag in Grand Case that we returned to for a second night, the spring rolls were out of this world and we had the margarita pizza, excellent! We spent most of days on Orient Beach, the eateries on the beach do not do an even exchange rate and in general can be a little pricey so we chose to eat at the small deli at Tap Five, a small convenience store/deli just off the beach, sandwiches made on freshly made baguettes; $20.00 bought us each a huge sandwich, chips and beer and the best clairs I have ever had. Hopefully, this is helpful to future travelers. St. Martin feels like a second home to us and we are never disappointed."
- What can you say by Deborah O'Connell [January 30, 2008]
- "My family and I have just returned from another wonderful time in st. maarten. We are owners at the Pelican and this trip is always a favorite.
This year a few new restaurants were tried by us and we were not disappointed. First off Le Santel in sandy ground. It is on the other side of the bridge by the wonderful Mario's bistro. Le Santel was absolutely fab.. Of course we were hit by the euro to dollar but the food was so worth it.
I had the duck which was half on the bone with cooked pineapple slices in between. Nothing I could ever make at home... You sit up from the water and you can hear it hitting the surf. The desserts were souffles and they were unbelievable.
What can one say about Marios. We eat here every year and all I can say is go go go.. The service and atmosphere and food are all tops. Another new and good one for us was La Vien Rose. My husband and I sat outside on the balcony overlooking the very quiet streets of marigot.
The food was spectacular and the price was 1-1 euro for dollar. It was not very crowded but I think the falling dollar has alot to do with the emptiness.
Now for the dutch side. Over the years the dutch side has grown in good restaurants and one of those new good ones is Toppers. It is on Airport Road by the dolphin casino. The food was home cooking done to a T. I had the shrimp scampi but most of the table had the brisket...which they raved about..
If you are a lobster lover.. go to Uncle Harrys.. He catches them fresh daily but they go fast so call ahead and ensure they have them.. This is a fun place .. It reminds one of being on a house boat.
Another good new one is Valentinos.. Homemade pastas and pizzas.. A bit on the noisy side but well worth it.. It is owned by the folks who own Jimbos cafe and it right in the same little mall by the Simpson Bay Pharmacy.
For a fun afternoon take your party to the sunset beach bar.. Good drinks and lunch and the planes overhead are something to see.. If planes are not your stick then go to the Yacht Club when the bridge will be going up. We had the good fortune to see one of the yachts leave the harbor. These vessels are beautiful. The drinks were great and the crowd alot of fun.
For good fun at night.. Don't miss The Red Piano. The owners Colin and Jason will welcome you with a warm smile and the craic is the best... The Red Piano is located at the Pelican Resort...
If you are a shopper and looking for jewelry go to Ore Diamonte. They have good prices and a very friendly staff. Ask for Peter ...
enjoy enjoy enjoy"
- Monmartre by Robert from the Netherlands [January 11, 2008]
- "After 10 years Christmans & NewYear on Sxm we finally discovered a fine French cuisine restaurant called Montmartre next to the Casino in Cupecoy. Wanna escape from having a bite with a beer or a cocktail, go to Montmartre for a nice evening out, dining can easily take you 3 hours, just like in France, with the fantastic gentle French style of service and serving including the fabulous French wines. Every dish you get is a painting as such, take your time to enjoy, nobody is beating you up, to the contrary. Price/quality is good balanced. Our son asked his girl to marry him and the restaurant even made a fantastic event around it. I can assure everybody, you will have a warm welcome when you arrive and a comfortable happy feeling when you leave."
- Returned from St Maartin 12-30-2007 by Msrpa [January 1, 2008]
- "First time on the Island and after reading months of reviews I can now add my favorites so here goes, Dutch side Temptation was so chic, just like being in New York, wonderful service and food do not miss this one. On the French Side Spiga excellent but order the pasta that looked wonderful I had fish which was also a winner, desserts are weak though, Would not go to Sol E Luna, the service is awful. took over an hour for an appetizer to come out. I was ready to leave when I told the hostess if the food is not out in 30 seconds we are out of here so it ruined the rest of the dinner for me over 3 hours for dinner for two not worth it at all, Next Mario's Bistro what else can I say I would have eaten there a few times excellent service and great food,. desserts are to die for so leave room, as well as La Cigale in the Laguna Beach Hotel another must go to so romantic right on the beach and the owner and staff could not be more accomodating, the food and presentation is outrageous a must go to, in Marigot we ate at tropicana what a funny host and hostess, a little disorganized but the food is the best. we had pizza and salads in Marigot at Le Belle Epoque and that was great. nice to sit outside on the water and look at the beautiful people. I cannot wait to return, now i must go on a diet."
- Planet Orient B by Barbara and Paul Eakin [December 27, 2007]
- "Last week, my husband and I and another couple visited SXM for the 20th time. During our 9 day visit, we had several wonderful dining experiences at the recently re-opened Planet Orient B Restaurant across from the main entrance of Orient Beach Village.
Planet Orient B is very comfortable with very classy upscale decor and food that rivals or exceeds the best Grand Case restaurants. Their head chef, Alex, did an outstanding job on all the scallop, shrimp, beef, lobster, and pasta dishes that we ordered on our multiple dinner visits. The sauces were delicious but not overpowering , the portions generous, food preparations perfect, and dinner presentations top shelf.
The manager/owner, Rachid, and hostess Joey, were extremely gracious and helpful to our party and all other customers we observed. Their bar area is lively and upbeat but not beach rowdy. Bar/Restaurant clients are very well dressed locals and visitors that are fun but polite.
Clearly, Planet Orient B is the best restaurant we have experienced on St. Martin for some time. By far, it has the best food, the best staff/chef, and the best restaurant facility in the Orient Beach area.
I hope you share this information with your readers so they can try it for themselves.."
- Thanksgiving Week by Paul Miller [December 13, 2007]
- "we just returned from 9 wonderful days and do we miss it. We have been visiting sxm for over 12 years and this is the first time we did not go to a repeat restaurant during our stay. We went to Peg leg pub for the first time and were pleasantly surprised. The steak was tastier than Tempations ans so was the price. Excellent and consistent meals were Tropicana, La Gondola, La Rosa Too (suprisingly). Spiga and La Lonconda were the best the island has to offer. Hats off to Ciro and Laura on the birth of their new child. I look forward to returning in January."
- St. Martin Fab Dining by Jo, Washington DC [December 4, 2007]
- "My family and I have just come back from eating at Exclusive Bite. It is a Mobile Bar-Restaurant in Marigot Front de Mer. As usual Derek Hodge prepared another delicious meal for the seven of us. We are going back tomorrow for one of his famous lobster dinners. We were lucky enough to have feasted on the gastronomic delectations last year, while visiting St. Martin. It is a dining experience I recommend to anyone visiting the island. Derek and his wife Edith offer other Caribbean delicacies such as grilled fish, ribs, and steak, as well as stewed beef, oxtail and goat meat. His baked "Journey Cake" is also worth the visit. The food is so tasty and tastefully presented you will continue to think and talk about it after you have left the outdoor restaurant. Exclusive Bite is a must do on St. Martin. I will definitely carry the memory of the meals I enjoyed there during the drab, cold, winter months in DC."
- St Maarten Restaurant Reviews by MB [September 17, 2007]
- "We just got back from St. Maarten yesterday. Never been there before; what a great place! Our best dining experience was at Big Fish, near the Oyster Bay Beach resort. The service was very friendly and the food was simply fantastic. We also enjoyed the Ocean restaurant at the nearby Westin resort. The food and service were great at the Westin, but the portions were a little small. Captain Oliver's was a distant 3rd in our experience (not bad but not great. It's worth going there just to check out the restaurant's zoo and aquarium, though!)
As for so-so experiences, we found Busby's Beach Bar and Beau Beau's to be sub par (just walk right across to Big Fish instead, really! We stayed at the OBBR for a week and ended up eating at Big Fish about a half dozen times, counting breakfast, lunch and dinner. We liked it that much).
We had heard good things about Los Gauchos, the Argentine steakhouse near the Pelican resort in St. Maarten. Wanting to explore some of the better restaurants on St Maarten, we decided to give it a try.
We were disappointed with the experience at Los Gauchos. Our 1st bottle of wine was bad and had to be sent back (in fact, the chef came out to taste it and agreed). 3 of us ordered 12oz tenderloin steaks (their 'best' steak; 'equivalent to a filet mignon') medium-rare for $31 USD each. All 3 steaks arrived in completely inconsistent sizes and shapes. Worse, they were cooked poorly (one was practically raw, the others were nearly well done). Taste was so-so; at $31 per steak we expected better. We didn't complain, though. After the long waits and the bad wine experience we just wanted to leave. When I tried to pay with my Amex card, I was told that there would be a 5% surcharge for using Amex and that I should use a different card. I told the manager that the surcharge violated their merchant services agreement with Amex and that we shouldn't have to pay it. She said "a lot of merchants on the island do it" and refused to budge (fyi, I wasn't charged a fee for using Amex anywhere else in St Maarten). So, I paid in cash and left. None of us were satisfied with the experience at Los Gauchos."
- St.Maarten Revisited by Matt, Jodi, Lary and Jay [July 28, 2007]
- "Visited St. Maarten again June 2nd - June 9th 2007. We took along my Dad and Brother. We have a time share at the Flamingo Sunterra Resort. The room was nicely updated. We finally made it over to the french side. very nice. And now for the Resteraunt reviews.
Our first night we ate at the Laguna. Alex was our server. He was really on the ball with the service, the food was delicous as usual. the owner came over and thanked us for stopping by. On a scale from 1 to 10. A definate 10+. The Lasagne is to die for, as well as the Tiramisu.
We ate at Peg Leg Pub our second night. We had Sandy as our server. What a delight she was with her beautiful smile and friendliness. The appetizers were plentiful and good."
- Recent Trip to Grand Case, St Martin by Ray Leibman [July 18, 2007]
- "My wife and I have been going to St Martin for the past 20 years and
continue to find a little Nirvana each time we go.
Since we do not own a time share, we have had the opportunity to enjoy some of the finest hotels on the Island, namely Le Petit Hotel and L' Esplanade both owned by an American family that truly knows how to keep up with the standards of great hospitality.
This time we decided to stay at the Grand Case Beach Club, and although we found the room clean, it just did not even come close to the feel of the above two hotels. Although the service was fine, the element of mid price was apparent throughout our stay. Furnishings were in need of some updating and repair. Colors were more from a Florida timeshare but the value was fine.
We opted to go to our favorite restaurant in Grand Case, L'Auberge Gourmande. We try to go there at least once or twice on every trip. With great expectations we sat down and ordered. I am not sure if this was an off night, but the service dropped down to a 15 on the Fodor scale and the food even lower. I ordered the Dover Sole (39Euros) and specifically asked that all remnants of bones be removed, which is a normal request, since I have had Dover Sole around the world, my request was acknowledged and assurances made. When it came to the table, the waiter asked me if I wanted to have the bones removed, that scared me, since that was my initial request. It came back and I think they not only removed the bones but lost half of the sole in the process, since that which remained my have been at least 3 ounces of fish. Never the less, I found 5 bones in my fish, which was very disturbing. The waiter noted my annoyance, and simply took the plate and said he would talk to the chef. He sent someone else to our table with a dessert menu as if my annoyance was his annoyance as well.
My wife's dish was the scallops and shrimp melange, well my wife asked me to taste the scallops and the shrimp since she felt they were over cooked and rubbery, I did and she was right. We both looked at each other as if, is this the same restaurant we have come to love and admire? I think not. I believe that given this meal, this restaurant in my opinion is now, overpriced, under managed, and a poor representation of fine cooking. The chef needs to rethink his offerings, and the staff needs to acknowledge mediocrity when it occurs.
Needless to say, we ate at 9 different restaurants on both the French and the Dutch side and had very pleasurable experiences on all the other nights."
- sxm may 20 trip by Paul Miller [May 21, 2007]
- "We just go back from 9 unbelievable days and as usual wanted to give our reviews of the food. La LaConda is the best Italian restaurant on the island and Eileen makes you feel like you are at home. Don Camillo's as usual the food was really good and John is one of the best waiters on the island. He goes out of his way to insure you enjoy your meal. Tropicana has excellent and consistent food. We tried Lee's roadside Grill, the snapper was one of the best I have ever had and my children enjoyed the music and the relaxed atmosphere."
- SXM Restaurant Reviews by BedfordNYC [February 26, 2007]
- "Just came back from a one week stay in the friendly island. Spent most of the time in Grand Case and here are some restaurant comments:
Le Pressoir - for a romatic fine dining experience this can't be beat. It is pricey but worth the special occasion. The 3 course lobster menu was $49 Euro which is not that much more than other 3 course lobster menus in a fine dining establishment. The lobster tail entree was grilled as contrasted with some other places where it might be out of the shell. The service was top notch also.
Il Nettuno - The meal is always a pleasant surprise because i don't expect too much from an establishment with a wandering guitar player and Washington Redskins memorabilia at the entrance. The rolled veal with pancetta and cheese was outstanding and the fussili pasta was just the right al dente. My wife had the red snapper with a light tomato, onion and caper sauce.
L'Alabama - The friendly wait staff and fresh, creative ingredients make this one of the top restaurants on the island. I had the mahi-mahi and my wife had the shrimp dish. Can't remember all the veggies but there were none left on my plate and I'm not a veggie eater. A real pleasant surprise was the warm apple tart and Iced Coffee. The apples were sliced oh so thin and melded in a circle with fresh berries around the plate. It was not filling at all but very refreshing. The iced coffee really hit the spot with strong local coffee on the bottom a scoop of vanilla ice cream and then fresh whipped cream on the top. It really hit the spot after a wonderful meal. it was so good we came back another night just for the apple tart and iced coffee!!
Chanticleer - At the marina in Marigot. For a restaurant in this area it is the best. Don't expect special service or a romantic setting but do expect great food and enjoy the people watching. For a change from fish my wife had the lamb shoulder and was pleasantly surprised how well it was prepared. Worth the trip.
Bistro Nu - Across from the soccer stadium down a well-lighted alley. Don't be taken aback by the location. This small but large culinary outpost is so friendly and inventive that its a must go to. The mussels w/garlic appetizer was to die for and we weren't the only table that thought so. The Dover sole was very fresh and the shrimp/grouper entree was too much to handle. Give it a try, its worth it.
Finally, for a small more native restaurant try L'Hibiscus in Grand Case. Its down the road away from all the other restaurants but you won't be disappointed. The owners are serving and cooking for you so the service can be alittle spotty but don't let that stop your visit. They also have a terrific 3 couse lobster menu and it was very filling and good.
We go to SXM for the sun, beach and great food and have never been disappointed in any of those. Can't wait until next year !"
- Favorites by Deborah O'Connell [January 26, 2007]
- "What can I say.. I just returned from another lovely trip to SAINT Maarten... We stay at Pelican which is great and once again the restaurants were all good. However, here are those of note...
Once again Mario's Bistro was the best.... They do mussels there that are unsurpassed... The service is so good and you can sit right on the canal and actually see the fish swimming around. We were all so pleased with our meal.. We actually call them from the states to make reservations...
Another big favorite is Saratoga in Simpson Bay . The food is so good . They have good seafood and the beef dishes are also spectacular.
For the best grilled lobster...go to Uncle Harrys on airport road. You need to look for the sign and drive in as he is directly on the water. The place is not fancy but they have the best lobsters and margaritas in town... You can go in your most comfy clothes and get big warm welcome from Harry.
A fun place to go and the food is soooo good is Jimbo's..This is tex-mex and alot of fun.. they have a pool you can swim in and the best frozen lime margarita.... They have sangria and the music they play is fab... This place is a good time for all... The staff was lovely....
We had lunch at the Mini club in Marigot... It is like sitting in a tree house overlooking the marina.. A lovely spot... and good food. A very nice wine selection too
On our last night we ate at Le Bec Fin right down from Pelican on Billy Folly Road... the food is so good and they have very good desserts... The prices here are not cheap but thae place is worth it....
If you really want a good night out go to The Piano Bar at Pelican... The music is good and the owners colin and jason are the best... You can have a really good time....
I could go on but I think I have said enough... It is a great place.............................."
- Restaurants in St. Martin by Lynn Lillico [January 23, 2007]
- "I highly recommend L'Estaminet Restaurant which has been open at 139 Bd. Grand Case, St. Martin for about 3 months. Excellent food, service & ambiance, friendly people, reasonable price for dinner out, great after dinner liqueur. We ate there three tmes during our stay in St. Martin.
Also, high on our list of restaurants in St. Martin is Le Taitu, Cul-de-Sac, Rue de Mt. Vernon. Excellent food, service & ambiance, friendly people, reasonable price for dinner out, great after dinner liqueur as well. We ate there twice while in St.Martin. They are open for lunch and dinner."
- Restaurant reviews by David Fogel, Massachusetts [January 22, 2007]
- "Just got back from St. Maarten two days ago and, as usual, ate our way around the island! Best meals were at Los Gaucho, an Argentine Grill in the Pelican resort, Beratzu, a fairly new steakhouse in Maho Plaza, Laguna near the airport, and Pizza Pasta, also in the Maho area. Don't miss Zee Best for breakfast. Turtle Pier was very good, as well. LOVED THEM ALL!
Mario's Bistro continues to be overrated, overpriced, and was the only BAD meal we had all week. The duck was overcooked and dry. No one came to ask how the food was until we were finished eating. THEN the woman (owner, I believe) said, "I wish I knew sooner when I could have done something about it." Four of the six in my party did not enjoy their meals. We will NOT be back. Too many great places to eat!"
- St Martin Restaurants by Joel Wolfe, Michigan [January 7, 2007]
- "We vacation yearly on St Martin and have used this website extensively to help us plan where we are going to eat, which after working on our tans on Orient Beach, is the highlight of our day (our year?)!
This year we vacationed from Nov 26 to Dec 2 and tried all new restaurants except one. As predicted by Murphy's Law, our only bad meal was at our repeat, Bliss. STAY AWAY! We loved this place in the past, very romantic setting and all. The service this year was terrible and the food only so so, something others we met later also confimed. Maybe if you're a celebrity they won't treat you like crap. BEWARE!
In Grand Case we had 4 great meals, but were again left with the impression that the food on the non-ocean side of the street can't be beat. We finally ate at Auberge Gourmande and have to agree that it's reputation is deserved. Also had a nice meal at Restaurant du Soleil and enjoyed the view. Our best meal in Grand Case was at Bistrot Caribes, can't believe all the times we've walked past here to go to Le Cottage. Also really enjoyed L'Hibiscus; the food and especially the service are worth walking down to that end of the street. All these restaurants were 1 euro : 1$ for cash, quite a savings.
This year we tried Temptations in the Atlantis Casino complex and it was fabulous! The portobello mushroom appetizer was beyond belief, and the Rack of Lamb is second to none (sorry Mario's). We finally got tired of french cooking and stayed close to home on Orient Beach and had a great last night out at Tai Chi, a vietnamese/thai place in the village square. The square was hopping with live music and mostly locals."
- Favorites by Ray Kuchler [August 2, 2006]
- "We did travel to St Martin on 5/18 to 5/24/06 as mentioned in my review below. While the trip was wonderful as usual, we were saddened to discover that Little France is now closed. The owner, Olivier, went back to France. It is a big loss to those lucky enough to experience his hospitality. However, we did have fabulous experiences at Temptations (with live piano music), La Vie En Rose (very romatic setting overlooking Marigot harbor), La California (waterfront view of Anguilla in Grand Case), Citrus, and Sol E Luna. While there are still many memorable places to dine, you do miss Little France which treated you like a favorite relative coming into town."
- SXM Restaurants by Peter Shaw [June 22, 2006]
- "We spent our usual ten days in beautiful St. Martin. Our picks from
* *Montmartre* in the Atlantis Casino complex. A favorite where we return each trip. Hostess Karen is delightful and the wait staff friendly and efficient. The lobster raviolis and the duck duo were outstanding as were the tuna tartare and sweetbreads.
* *La Gondola* in the Atlantis Casino complex. We liked David's Sandy Ground restaurant and this was our first time at the "new" location. David recommended the pasta e fagioli which was the best we ever had. Our seafood and homemade sausage and broccoli rabe risottos were to die for. The decor, service and staff made the evening perfect.
* *Terra* in the center of Maho. A great little restaurant serving wonderful food. American chef/owner Scott and his Croation wife Edina made the evening special. The short ribs (recommended by Edina) and tuna tartare done three different ways were particularly wonderful.
* *Le Boucaniers* in Nettle Bay (across from La Flamboyant) was recommended by Rhonda at the Sapphire Beach Club Activities Desk. What a great suggestion. Chef Nicolas got his start at Le Chanticlair and his wife Frances is in the dining room. The codfish cakes were excellent as was the "Off the Bone" entree (duck confit, pork and andouille sausage) baked in a sausage shape and served with "real" mashed potatoes. I had the Caribbean guacamole and the roasted cod, also excellent. We could not have been more pleased by Rhonda's suggested and the one following.
* Rhonda also recommended *La Petite Auberge des Isles* on the Marina Royale. We had their three course prix fixe menu which included a choice two appetizers, any main course from their menu and a choice of two deserts all for 23 euro. We each had a Tanqueray on the rocks, a glass of the house cab and expressos - the total bill before tip was only $73. We had the salmon and sole "braided" and roasted - wonderful, as were the mussels with pommes frites. Chef/owner Bruno said they had been in this location for 16 years, almost as long as we have been going to SXM. We shall definitely return.
* *Banana's* on the Airport road near the Atrium. A great place for a casual meal with wonderful food. I especially like their spicy calamari and their burgers are great. A nice change of pace from fine dining. Banana's is also great for lunch.
* *Sol e Luna* in a lovely Antillean home in the Mont Vernon section near Orient Bay. Our second time here and just as good as we had remembered. The fois gras appetizer and the lump crabmeat spring rolls were very special as were our main courses of the "open" ravioli of sweetbreads and beef tenderloin with morels. This was the perfect setting and dining experience to end our vacation.
* As for breakfast and lunch, one can't go wrong with the food and view at *Mary's Boon.* Jeanette has been doing it all since the place opened. Her sister Carmen is the evening chef, but time prevented us from returning for their always outstanding dinner.
* For a late (after 10am) breakfast, *Le Saint Germaine* on the Marina Royale can't be beat. The mimosas, savory galletes, the eggs and the potato pancakes are excellent.
We were disappointed that *La France* on the Marina Royale was closed until August.
Time also prevented us from going to such favorites as *Le Chanticlair*, *Mai's*, *Tabba Khady*, *Temptation* and *Coco Beach Bar*. But we will be back in November for nearly three weeks."
- Review from May, 2006 by Gail Kedrus [May 23, 2006]
- "Le Tastevin - Grand Case continues to impress - elegant French cooking overlooking the beach =- very romantic
Le Ti Provencal - Grand Case - awarded Taste of St Maarten 2005 chef of the year award - for chef Herve Sageot-- French bistro meets Caribbean flavor -- more casual than Le Tastevin - overlooking beach - delicious fresh fish without rich sauces --a little less expensive than some of the other French restaurants in Grand Case -- you could order two appetizers instead of a main course-- the fish soup Marseille style was " out of this world" -- nice touch with tapenade - chef's compliments - to start."
- L'Hibiscus, Grand Case recommended by Mark Rosenfeld [May 22, 2006]
- "L'Hibiscus in Grand Case, Saint Martin has provided the most wonderful dining experience I can ever remember having. An intimate, casual and very warm setting is combined with a generous, attentive and charming waiter and the most extraordinary food - imaginative, unbelievably delicious and presented with flare. One hears gasps of admiration from neighboring tables and perfect strangers are united as they discuss their amazement and delight with the food and service. The result is that by the end of the evening it feels like one big happy family. The chef, who recently bought this restaurant from a previous owner, comes out at the end of the meal and with modest generosity plies guests with a fruit based rum he makes himself and plates of delicious cookies, this on top of the exquisite free soup at the beginning of the meal. At a table nearby was a resident of the Caribbean, a restaurant owner himself and a connoisseur of the restaurants in the area and he too had no hesitation in proclaiming this the best restaurant he has been to in the Caribbean. Truly a memory to be cherished. "
- Little France, Grand Case recommended by Ray & Donna, New Jersey [May 10, 2006]
- "One of the reasons we have gone to St Martin 21 times in the last 18 years is the dinning experience. About 4 years ago, as we were walking in Grand Case trying to decide on a restaurant for dinner we discovered Little France. One of the owners, Olivier, mentioned that he had worked at the Esmeralda Resort where we were staying in Orient Beach. That was a good thing as the next day he called the hotel to let them know that he was holding my credit card I had forgotten the night before. My response was simple: a quick thank you and an instruction to hold the card and a table for that current night as the food was so delicious we were returning that night. Fresh ingredients makes a quality meal at Little France. Service is attentive but not overbearing. Reasonable prices are one of the big pluses as well as their willingness to customize your meal as long as they have the ingredients. Next week ! we return to St. Martin for a week. Little France is the first restaurant we will visit not only because of the great meal but the friendliness of the staff makes you feel like your are family."
- Last week in paradise by Erich S. Kranz [January 22, 2006]
- Note that most of these restaurants are clients of the author's webhosting company.
"We went to La Samanna for our anniversary on Sunday and started with an amuse bouche of smoked salmon with a glass of Perrier-Jouet champagne. Our first course was a terrine de foie gras with a glass of Domaine de Tariquet les Dernieres Grives (gros manseng). Dinners were chicken with black trumpet mushrooms and a veal chop with morels and a 1992 Savigny-les-Beaune from Lupe Cholet. Dessert was an extravagant chocolate cake. An expensive evening, but the view, food and wine were very good.
We continued celebrating the next night at La Vie en Rose on the waterfront in Marigot. More champagne with a sauted jumbo shrimp ap, dinners were the filet of yellowtail snapper with a sliced potato crust in a light coriander and saffron sauce and a veal loin with a poultry and vegetable stuffing. Another Savigny-les-Beaune, this one a 1999 from Antonin Rodet was quite nice with all these dishes. Coffee on the terrace looking out to Anguilla finished another wonderful evening.
Tuesday evening was the first Harmony Night in Grand Case as the previous week was rained out. We wandered the streets listening to bands and checking out the craft booths, ending up at Restaurant du Soleil. We started with a napoleon of tomatoes and goat cheese. We had the sea scallops with vegetables in a cream sauce and the shrimp with Japanese vegetables on a polenta cake wrapped with bacon. With a bottle of Marsannay, the total cost was $94 - not bad given the lovely place, good service, and great view of Grand Case Bay. 1 to 1 on the exchange helps.
On Wednesday evening we stopped in for sunset and free drinks at Bamboo Bernies. Mudslides, maragaritas, and some beers are free from 5:00 to 5:30 and cheap until about 7PM every night of the week. Sunsets are free and pretty good.
On Thursday we went to Thai Garden Restaurant in Sandy Ground. We had the steamed pork dumplingsas a starter while the sushi chef prepared the super sushi and sashimi platter .The platter had lots of tuna and salmon with salmon roe, and some very tasty yellowtail, shrimp, octopus, two whole baby octopi, and plenty of rolls, vegetarian and otherwise. Good stuff and with a couple beers, a bit extra tip, and a 20% bump for the euro, we had a great dinner for two for about $80. There's some parking in the enclosed lot at the restaurant and lots out on the street.
On Saturday we headed to Sunset Café in Grand Case and enjoyed the view from their dining room built out over the water. We were there to get some of the mussels in white wine, onions, shallots, parsley, a bit of cream, lots of pepper and a few secret ingredients. They were great: plump and fresh with this very tasty broth. The seafood salad, which was also very good and fresh, was loaded with shrimp, scallops, and fish."
- Spiga, Grand Case recommended by Frank and Carole [January 13, 2006]
- "Without a doubt the best restaurant in Grand Case and possibly the entire island. The owners really have a handle on how to run a restaurant. The food the service and personal touches by the owner made the evening memorable"
- The best lobster in St Martin's by Linda [January 9, 2006]
- "Having returned from our first week in St Martin's we were overwhelmed by the amazing food we found there.
However we asked about the best lobster on the island and were told to seek out "Exclusive Bite" in Marigot. It's a very unassuming mobile-bar restaurant, but don't let that fool you. Grilled lobster with secret island sauce served with "Beautiful rice and peas" takes our vote for the best Caribbean lobster we've ever had! Chef Derrick Hodge also prepares ribs, chicken, steak and fish as well as stewed Carribean fare such as goat, beef, oxtail and pork. The view of the harbour is spectacular. The restaurant is situated near the Marina, between the cemetery and the north side (that's as in Anguilla side) of the island, close to the roundabout. Very reasonably priced, it's a good place to experience the local ambiance."
- Grand Case Review by Bob & Kathy [January 2, 2006]
- "We are on Island 2-3 times each year and we always stay in Grand Case so there is seldom anything new to report. This past year (2005) there were some GREAT new developments in the village of Grand Case. First, Calmos has a new owner, Alex, who was a waiter there. The food is still excellent and they have added live music on Sunday nights and a the have friendly attitude toward everyone, incuding Americans. Beautiful setting day and night too! Blue Martini is new and is in the site formerly occupied by Cha Cha Cha. The bar is great and the food we have tried is quite good. Lots of fun and Abbe Leffe on tap! Lastly, the old Michael's Cafe is reincarnated as Marcel's but Marcel is gone. However, he left behind a really cool neon sign so I guess that was enough incentive to keep the name. It is now owned by a young French couple who are in the water sports business also so it usually attracts the wakeboarder etc crowd. A bit young for us but they have done a great job with the place and I'm sure our adult kids will love the place this summer. "
- Reviews by Paul Miller [December 6, 2005]
- "We just returned from 8 great days. Here are our restaurant reviews. IRare is not as good as Temptations and not worth the money.There wine list is over priced and the selections are not that good. Don Camillo's continues to be a consistent good meal. The new chef is very good and Enzo is on top of everything especially his excellent wines. Spigais unbelievable. Ciro should be cooking in NYC he is right there with the best of them. La Gondola is excellent and another must visit. I heard from the locals that Tatoo is an excellent French restaurant but I didn't get a chance to visit. Hopefully in April. Zee Best in Simpson Bay has a great pasta dish for lunch. Lunch is Marigot Marina is always a treat."
- Restaurant review by Vera & Dick [November 28, 2005]
- "We had another great two weeks in St Martin (May 2005). Following is our review of the places we dined:
The Wharf - we had the surf and turf- filet mignon and half a grilled lobster. My filet was tender and tasty: however my husband's was not. He had a tough chewy piece of meat. The lobster was very small and we had to pick the meat out with our fingers since it didn't want to leave the shell. We should have sent my husband's filet back but we didn't. The entertainment was enjoyable. Lot's of popular country western ballads.
Pineapple Petes - my husband had a fantastic lobster bisque- very reasonably priced at $6.50. Last year they wanted $20 at La Samanna for their bisque.I had a very good grouper - again reasonably priced. Their French Fries were excellent.
Talk of the Town in Grand Case- Ribs were very good. Scoop of homemade coconut ice cream also good even though a little too melted. Place seems to be clean. Price was great at only $ 4 for ribs.
Mai's in Marigot - beautifully decorated restaurant. One of pettiest presentations of food ever seen; glass -handled appetizer plates with silk flowers, tea pot in the shape of a fish, tureens for entree; however, you can't eat silk flowers or tureens. Although my husband had a good serving of duck, my sauteed crab with angel hair and lilly flowers was all angel hair. Could hardly find the crab. One friend ordered shrimp and mushrooms and was satisfied with the portion. Fresh spring roll appetizer plentiful and tasty but shrimp beignets scimpy for price especially since shrimp is currently inexpensive. Resaurant would get better write-up if they increased their portion size.
Pizza place by Lady C's - we had a Polynesian pizza (pineapple, ham and carmelized onion. I enjoyed the very thin crusted pizza but my husband thought it was too light on ingredient. Our friends had a vegetarian pizza and raved about it.
Bavaria- consistently good German food at reasonable prices. We had rouladen and sauerbraten. The spaetzl and red cabbage are always first rate. Their entertainment on Wed. night was a bit too loud. We had a hard time hearing each other and out friends.
Temptations - near Atlantis Casino has become our favorite restaurant. The ambiance and service are unsurpassed and their food is unbeatable. We had their mussel shooters(tempura mussel with sauce and seaweed on individual shell to be downed in one bite), shashimi tuna encusted with black bean and rack of lamb- absolutely delicious, and last but not least, a very decadent wet chocolate crumble with peanut butter ice cream. This was the most expensive restaurant but well worth the price.
A few words about the French side and the euro. We intentionally tried not to eat at the very fine restaurants in Grand Case, Marigot or Marina Royale. If you are like most Americans. you like to use your charge card. Unless you paid cash, the euro was an overpriced $1.30. and therefore your meal almost 30 % higher than the stated price. Not all restaurants listed $1 for1 euro even if you used cash. Most of the places in Marina Royale did not give you the break which caused my husband great annoyance.
If you enjoy spending several beach days at Orient Beach, be aware that there is a wide range of prices for renting chairs and umbrellas. The highest was Kakao at $20. We found a great, friendly spot called the Friendly Bar, between Paradiso and Tex Mex., that rented for $14 and included two drinks even drinks like pina colada. They also had showers and bathroom facilities. The place also had the friendliest, adorable young Frenchman named Ludwig who was the server. We had a great time talking to him and the females enjoyed looking at his California-like good looks and blue eyes.
I'd like to add, that at every place we dined, the service was excellent and the waiters were very personable and gracious from the lovely woman at Mai's to the wait staff at The Wharf. They always aimed to please. We never had to wait for service.
This year was the first year we bought food at Cost-u-less . It is located across the street from Le Grande Marche in Phillipsburg near the KFC rest. The food selection was good and the prices were lower than any other place we've shopped so far."
- Halsey's, Simpson Bay reviewed by Abby Gottsegen [September 11, 2005]
- "I have just returned from a delightful stay on this lovely island in the Caribbean and felt compelled to write about the best restaurant I found there. It is called Halsey's Restaurant and Lounge at 86 Welfare Road, Simpson Bay, St. Maarten,N.A.( 544-2882).
This restaurant is run by a young chef and his wife who have brought haute cuisine to the Dutch side of the island. The menu features local fare, such as Caribbean Satay, Lobster Bisque and Pan Seared Scallops among the appetizers with great wine pairings as well. The dinners feature, Asian Tuna, Rack of Lamb, Grouper withBlue Crab and Lobster sauce, and Mahi Mahi, as well as a Duck breast & Foie Gras Napoleon. Each item was beautifully presented and the Salad Corinne and the homemade rum with pineapple and watermelon at the end of the dinner was exceptionel. All of these items were so equisitely prepared and done to perfection! I was amazed that this small new restaurant on the Water with a view of the Caribbean was a **** star restaurant. As great as anything I've eaten in New York or Paris. This restuatrant should go into Zagats next guide! The prices were low for what you received. All prices are in US dollars which avoids a hassle as well. I'd go back as often as I could since the dinner with wine and service was less than 100.00. In addition, the service was sensational with the owner's wife, Cindy, taking special care of every need or want.
Don't go and miss this incredible experience!"
- Antoine's in Phillipsburg reviewed by Karen & Craig from NM [August 25, 2005]
- "We took a cruise of the western Caribbean and had only one day in Phillipsburg. After searching the internet we decided to try Antoine's. We sent him an e-mail to make a reservation and Jean-Pierre answered sent us a conformation back the next day. We had the lobster thermidor and it was outstanding. They also have a nice French wine selection for any budget."
- Review by R. Bailey [July 15, 2005]
- "A few comments on eating from our trip 6/27-7/6. One thing we found is
that the old staple, conch, is missing from many menus, or is high
priced, because of scarcity - over-fishing is doing this in. As for
restaurants, I must first rave about the Wajang Doll. We used to
go to it regularly in Phillipsburg but lost track of it over the last 2
or 3 years when it moved to Simpson Bay. Found it again, and it was
great. Our appetites don't handle the signature rijsstaffel too well any
more, but they have added a number of individual dishes to the menu. The
nasi rames is a mini-rijsstaffel and delicious. My wife also was
impressed by the nasi gado-gado - vegetable salad with rice and chicken
sate. If they have their fresh mango dessert, have it at all costs. Le
Mambo in Grand Case is a really good place that does not get much
attention, and doesn't seem to be popular with visitors who don't already
know it because they do not give 1:1 exchange. However, if anyone likes
Creole food, the Assiette Creole is outstanding and the best I have ever
had. They have other Creole and more standard French style dishes,
usually with a slightly different flair, and very good. Spiga was
the only restaurant that was totally new to us; it lived up to its
reputation as an outstanding "nouvelle" style Italian
restaurant. Others were old favorites, all as good as ever.
Yvette's in Orleans remains top-flight for local style food. The
conch in Creole sauce, not listed on the menu, is excellent. Mark's
Place near Philipsburg continues to offer high quality at a good
price; the fact that it is in a supermarket parking lot should not turn
anyone off, as once inside you will not notice, and you never have a
problem with parking. Bistro Nu in Marigot is excellent
French/Creole and Le California in Grand Case is rightly known for
good food including excellent pizzas, and a nice waterside view."
- Le Moulin Fou recommended by Vanessa [July 13, 2005]
- "I loved this restaurant. We were in St. Martin this past week. We found this Le Moulin Fou the first night we arrived and couldn't have enough of their food. It's southern French cusine at its best, presented beautifully and served by friendly and good looking waiters! The location is perfect being right in the center of Maho Beach by Cherrie's Cafe. The trendy decor adds to the flavor of this restaurant.
'll be revisiting this place when I travel again to St. Martin."
- st martin dining by Jane [May 19, 2005]
- "Just back from 2 glorious weeks! Had great meals and service at Lee's, lobster night at Turtle Pier, wonderful lobster sauce (once on pasta, once on snapper) at Bananas, and found great new place called Pineapple Pete in Simpson Bay. (I had great crab-stuffed grouper and my husband raved about his ribeye.) I enjoyed the mixed seafood fusilli at La Rosa but my husband's portion of ravioli was very small. Am pleased to report that the Boathouse seems to have regained its old glory --both service and food were really excellent. Most entrees everywhere were in the $16-20 range; lobster night at Turtle Pier is $30 with a small lobster, choice of appetizer (excellent coconut shrimp) and choice of dessert (bread pudding good; coconut pie not very). We went to Bamboo Bernie's EVERY night for happy hour and sunsets. Cafe Atlantique in Simpson Bay (across from Hot Tomatoes) has the most wonderful pastries; pick some up and walk across the street to sit on the dock and eat them. Would give more reports on desserts but we developed a Dove Bar habit that necessitated stopping by the Shell station on many evenings.
One of the most fun things we've EVER done was the pub crawl on the Celine. At $55 per person it's a great deal: all you can drink while you're on the boat, then one free drink and appetizers at every stop. We had really tasty samosas at Lal's and good conch fritters at Turtle Pier, and good steak and swordfish bites at Pegleg's (but see note about Pegleg's below). Good music, good time. Pub crawl is HIGHLY recommended!
Am afraid that Pegleg's and Mark's have both succumbed to the too-common "Indifferent St. Martin Server" problem--slow, surly, uninterested help. It's too bad since the food was really great. But: We won't go back to either place; there's too much good food elsewhere."
- St. Martin/St. Maarten Dining by KC Crew [April 26, 2005]
- "We have traveled to this lovely island for years. I always check yourwebsite for new dining experiences and the latest review. I decided to write a review from our travel experiences. Rainbow is our favorite restaurant in St. Martin. The food is always great and we love the location on the water (with the upstairs open air deck to enjoy dessert/coffee)! We also enjoy Spiga. The Italian food is prepared well and the prices are reasonable, for Grand Case. We tried LeTastevin for the first time this year and it was very impressive. The service was attentive and the French food was fabulous! It is also located along the waterfront. Talk of the Town is a yearly lunch stop with great BBQ ribs, chicken, and lobster at great prices! We did have a terrible experience at LeEscapade in Grand Case. We stopped by their for creme brulee and coffee one evening. The waiter was rude and insulting to our group. He was obviously prejudiced toward Americans and made it very clear. When he approached our table, he said to my husband, "You look like the Donald Rumsfeld type, you love war and weapons!" It got much worse from there....At one point, he said to the table next to us as they were leaving, "these people are our friends, they are from England" and glared at our table. Needless to say, it is a wonder we made it out of there without "a fight"! I would definitely NOT recommend that restaurant for any Americans! I can't leave LeChanteclair out on Marina Royale, the lobster trio menu is divine! Looking forward to another visit next year in St.Martin..."
- St. Maarten Restaurants: April 6-15, 2005 reviewed by Jackie and Tom from NJ [April 21, 2005]
- "I was very excited to discover your web site before we left for our annual trip to St. Maarten this year. We have been traveling there for six years and our five year old daughter has been there six times. We love the "Friendly Island". Your entries led us to some new spots which added to our trip and others that did not. I hope our "finds" and reviews are helpful to the future visitors to the island.
Thai Garden in Sandy Ground is one of our favorites. We visit every year and our daughter thoroughly enjoys sitting on pillows and eating her plain white rice. Our pallets are much more varied. For appetizers we enjoyed the shrimp wrapped sugar cane and the chicken Satay. For dinner I had the pork Laarb salad and Tom enjoyed the Green Curry (spiciest) pork dish. I do have to mention that the Euro is out of control. This meal used to cost around $50 with a 1/2 bottle of wine and a couple of Heinekens. This year it rang up over $110.00.
The next night we were off to Grand Case to meet friends who were sailing the islands surrounding St. Martin. We made reservations at Le Tastevin. This restaurant can rival any NYC fine French restaurant. Having been to Paris and Nice, I would recommend the short 3 hour plane ride to St. Martin vs. the seven hour transatlantic flight for the same food. The complimentary creamy cucumber soup was refreshing. You cannot go wrong with any appetizer, but my husband says that if you are a Fois Gras connoisseur, Le Tastevin's is not to be missed! All the fresh seafood dinners were impeccably prepared and the Lamb and chicken were well prepared. We knew the bill would be steep but $480 for 4 was also comparable to NYC and Paris.
With a five year old you have to balance your nights out with some evenings of BBQ at you Time share. Mom and Dad do not object in the least! On the way home from the beach some days we like to stop at Taoula Mango's in Phillipsburg on the Boardwalk. Friday's there is live music at 6:30 PM. After Happy Hour we stop at "Johnny B's Under The Tree" or the Lido BBQ. The amount of ribs and sides you get for $10-15 can feed at least 4 people.
One of your reviews recommended the baguette's at the US Supermarket by the bridge in Sandy Ground. Wow, what a find!! Great bread, incredible looking pastries and Cheese section in the supermarket that I believe to the best on the island. Tom and I consider ourselves to be a good judge of the cheese selection because we start talking about the Camembert in St. Martin around January and long for it till we arrive in April. We eat our fair share of a variety of cheeses and Pate' over the ten days and then let our waistlines recover for another 355 days, It is our ritual to pack the cooler will these delights and head off to the beach each day. Our daughter has enjoyed her cheeseburger and French fries at various seaside locations such as the Tidal Wave at Le Galion Beach, Kako Beach on Orient and Diego's Beach Grill at Mullet Bay.
Two years ago we were so sad when we discovered the Lolo's in Grand Case had been shut down by the Department of Health. You can imagine our delight in 2004 when we discovered that they had been cleaned up and renovated and were feeding large crowds on Tuesday's Harmony Nights and back in business. This year we headed to Grand Case on Tuesday and enjoyed the stuffed eggplant, christophine, boudin(conch sausage), stuffed crab, ribs, chicken and beans and rice. There are 4 or 5 different establishments and all are good.
The gobeach reviews also lead us to l'Ozeiu Rare in Marigot which was very good. Everyone should try the warm chocolate cake. Another good recommendation was L'Taitu in the French Cul de Sac region.
If you yearn for Pizza we would recommend Hot Tomatoes in Simpson Bay. Don't fall for their "Best Blood Mary" advertisement. They may want to change the "Best" to "Worst" in their promotional efforts.
Now for the one disappointment, Halsey's. Twenty days later I don't know if the garlic has left our bodies. The owner's wife was very nice and that is where the enjoyment ended. The food was awful. The dipping sauces were pesto and butter. Not very inventive. The portabella mushroom with goat cheese had an intense tart balsamic glaze which made it hard to eat. Tom had the chicken satay that could not compare to Thai Garden or the road side stand next to the Heineken airplane. I had grilled Mahi which was delicious alone and was ruined by the Kiwi sauce and garlic sauteed vegetables. The shrimp etoufee doesn't even deserve mentioning. Halsey's was a first time, last time experience in St. Maarten.
The beauty of St. Maarten is that it is the culinary jewel of the Caribbean. One bad meal in 10 days is a great culinary vacation. Bon Appetit!"
- Restaurant reviews by LF [April 13, 2005]
- "Our 7th visit to St. Martin (April 1, 2005) was wonderful, tried several new restaurants on the Dutch side which we thoroughly enjoyed.
Hasley's - Extremely good food. We had the sashimi appetizer and the special raw oysters. Both were excellent. The sashimi was fresh and the oysters were large yet sweet. We usually get ½ dozen in an order back home so we were delighted to receive a full dozen. I don't recall the individual price of the special but there is a sign that says Oysters on the half shell every Wednesday night on the chalkboard. For dinner I had the Mahi-Mahi in a fruit sauce that was cooked perfectly, husband had the tuna. Very nice size portion. Several cocktails, no room for dessert. Total bill was $115 including a 15% service.
Aqua - Very good Sushi. The have a sushi menu, and also a very eclectic menu with a variety of dishes but we ate sushi both evenings. Very sexy inside with a Moroccan feel with the gauge drapes, cushioned benches (couch-like). One of the bigger tables surrounded by nice pillows and cushions is also a fish tank.
Pineapple Pete's - Heard so much about this place, which our friends on the island confirmed was good so we made reservations from New York. As soon as we entered and said we had made them on the Internet, Pierre (owner) said yes you are the couple from New York and greeted us by name. What a fun, well-run restaurant. They were so busy that evening but didn't skip a beat! The waiters are also the bartenders and they work their "butts" off. My mudslide was the best I've ever had. They were so friendly and checked up on the tables throughout the evening. I had the "monster" as Pierre called it. A 3-lb lobster thermidor that was out of this world. Husband had the pork tenderloin, which he loved. Both were served with rice and mixed sautied veggies. Too full for dessert. Dinner with a few cocktails was $97 including 15% service charge. I asked the waiter if he got the SC and he said 12% was SC and the other 3% was tax? We left more."
- Favorites of Sailinhere [April 2, 2005]
- "We stayed at Grand Case Beach Club and dined in the area for the most part. We had breakfast in the restaurant (Sunset Cafe) at the hotel almost every day. Can't beat strong coffee and waves crashing beneath you to get you moving in the morning. We had their mussels for lunch one day, fabulous, and a few salads on a couple other days. We had dinners there on two nights and really liked the lamb in puff pastry and the fresh fish. The wine list was long and had some in our price range, but the euro was very strong. The waiter suggested their other restaurant in Grand Case, Auberge Gourmande, as they had similar food and wine, but were offering 1 to 1 on the euro for cash. He even gave us a card for free drinks. We had a very good dinner there with veal tenderloin in a mustard sauce and fresh snapper.
We liked the look of the Ti Coin Creole cottage as we passed by and had a great dinner there and several fine lunches. The conch cocktail is wonderful and the seafood pasta shouldn't be missed. Spiga was the next closest restaurant and it had wonderful food in a bit more elegant setting. The tuna was the best I've had. A bit further we found Marlin's, also doing 1 for 1 and open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It's not as fancy, but was pretty good at the price with a water view. Just a bit further was Soleil>, doing 1 for 1 with a water view. It's a lovely place with very good food with some Asian influences. One night was spent munching food at various stalls during Harmony Night. That was great fun with bands, artisits, and parades."
- Halsey's Restaurant and Lounge, Simpson Bay recommended by Oni Adler [March 31, 2005]
- "We travel to St. Maarten about 8 times a year. My favorite restaurant is Halsey's. The food the ambiance the service, is beyond what you would expect. The people are so nice, you feel you are going home for dinner with a superb chef. If you have an opportnity to visit Halseys in the Dutch Side you will not be disappointed.
My favortie appetizers: Ceviche is excellent, Spinach ARtichope Dip, Caribbean Satay you can have it as a meal, Maguro Sashimi and their soups are great especially their bisques.
Main Courses: Stuffed Chicken, Asian Tuna is my favorite, Blackened Mahi-Mahi, Shrip Etoufee are just a few of what they offer, they also have steaks and lamb. They always have specials of the day and they are now opened for lunch.
Their salad dressing is so good they sale it to the public. Their bread and the dips they bring when you first seat, is so good you ask for a second helping. I've never had dessert because I'm always so satisfied with dinner. They have a full open bar and the service is great.
Halsey's is located at 86 Welfare Road, Simpson Bay, ph. 544-2882"
- Some favorites of Lisa Mathis [March 29, 2005]
- "My husband and I frequently travel to St. Martin to escape from the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, and as I was doing a Google search to find some new internet sites of our favorite island, I came across gobeach.com. As I read, I see that there are several restaurants that are not on the list of places for people to dine at. Here are a few of our favorites:
1) La Dongola; near the Atlantis Casino on your way to Cupecoy Beach. The MOST exquisite Italian cuisine your tastebuds will taste! For a moment, you might just forget you are on an island in the caribbean, you might think you are in the Mediterranean!!! WONDERFUL service, GREAT atmosphere, and the food is outstanding!!! Our favorite is the homemade lasagne with meat; you think you have had a great lasagne, but you haven't until you have eaten here!
2) Citrus; also on your way to Cupecoy Beach, just past the Atlantis Casino. A GREAT little restaurant that has an AMAZING bar, great for the start of dinner to have a few cocktails, and then you wind up eating there as well great wine; WONDERFUL espresso martinis!! Each meal is started with either a mini quiche, salmon, sushi. It is fabulous!!!! The meal that we love the best is the mini-lobsters with pasta; mmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!"
- Restaurant Reviews by A.R. Bolton [February 13, 2005]
- "Just got back from an all-too-short trip to St. Martin. Unfortunately we could only make it for a week this year, and it's always hard to leave--even after visiting for 30 years! Here are culinary highlights of our trip... Breakfast: I've never understood why people rave about Zee Best. Its Marigot location is situated next to a busy road, garbage dumpsters. We'd much rather visit Le Croissanterie on the Marina for fresh, hot croissants, heavenly crepes, and the best paysanne salad on the island. For pastries, we head to the bakery inside the U.S. Magasin du Pont (supermarche in Sandy Ground, located at the French drawbridge). I don't know its name, but their baguettes are always fresh and hot with that perfect crusty/chewy combo. (I resisted their pastries this time, but each looked worthy of a magazine cover, and in the past they've always been great.) We also picked up a baguette at La Parisienne, a boulangerie/patiserrie next to the library and post office in Marigot, but found it disappointing compared to the bakery in Sandy Ground.
For lunch: Our new favorite is Le Bistro Nu--I can't believe we waited so many years to visit this place. It looks and feels like a real European cafe--the way all restaurants on SXM should be! Get there early for lunch so you can sit under an umbrella in the alley, which is pleasantly overrun with gold finches and geckos, thanks to saucers of sugar-water hanging in the trees. Our two fish dishes were spectacular, as was my father's steak frites--the mix of spices and flavors was so wonderful and exotic that we were left pondering them for the duration of our lunch.
For lunch and dinner: Mango Mango, next to La Parisienne, across from the library in Marigot. I hesitate to mention this place because right now it is almost purely visited by locals and hasn't been discovered or overrun by tourists...and while I'm glad of that, I can't understand it for the life of me. This place is incredible! Try the sea bream encrusted in pastry, the salmon and goat cheese salad--even the low-priced, simple sandwiches and pizzas are divine. To top it all off, there's Belgian beer on draught.
Another night we went to a fairly new restaurant in Phillipsburg called Le Blue Peter, right next to Bobby's Marina. The oysters were terrible--they were so small, they hardly constituted oysters at all--but the mahi mahi, shrimp chowder, and atmosphere were great. If only they didn't rely on local radio (rap) for their music--definitely detracts from the experience.
Two dining disappointments: We have frequented the Sunset Beach Bar since it was opened, and while we love its view and drinks, the food is WAY overpriced. My dad ordered ribs for $10 and received 5, one of which didn't have any meat on it. I ordered Bahamian Grouper Fingers and received what looked and tasted like frozen fish sticks! Seriously, they were terrible.
Also, Lee's (can't remember full name) on Simson Bay. We visited for the second time and, once again, did not have a good experience. Let's just say we had to seriously dig into our fish fillets with KNIVES (no flakiness there), and it took us more than an hour to get our meal. The ribs were just alright. We won't go back there.
Oh yeah, one more thing. As always La California in Grand Case was excellent. Their Trois Fromage pizza--which oddly enough features 4 cheeses, not 3!--is perfect for lovers of strong cheeses like roquefort, goat cheese, etc. AWESOME. As always, our trip was an adventure in everything culinary and I can't wait to go back. Thanks to everyone who posts their reviews here--you've totally broadened my SXM dining horizons."
- st. maarten dining/beaches by debo [January 26, 2005]
- "we were just there for three weeks in january.. I must say we have been going here for years as we own a timeshare and I never tire of the experience. Each year we try new restaurants and go back to old favorites this year we tried Marios bistro in sandy ground. I had seen other people rave about it and boy were they correct. This place was absolutely fab. The attention given by the staff was so wonderful and the dishes were superb. I had a special of tuna with blue cheese on top that could not have better.
another restaurant and i encourage folks to go was Laguna. The food wasso delicious . They have many homemade pasta dishes. The shrimp scampi was excellent and they will let you switch items on the menu which is always a plus. This restaurant is on airport road.
My third favorite was la gondala. This was also a restaurant that folks from this site had talked about and it was another good choice. It actually reminds you of a ny restaurant as you are indoors and it is quite classy though you can dress in casual clothes. The food is superb and the desserts are excellent.
I have one more I would like to talk about and that is le bec fin. This restaurant is on the same road as the pelican resort. The staff is wonderful and the food is excellent and worth the trip .
for beaches, go go go to bikini beach at orient... It is so much fun .. the restaurant was great.. best chips and gaucomole and fresh fish appetizers. the french woman come along selling lovely jewlery and the surf is great...
for beauty go to dawn... the sand is like velvet.. and the water is the most beautiful blue...
new piano bar on pelican resort... great time.. go to the casino and stop in... alot of fun with a group"
- Just got back from St. Martin! by Bob and Barb, Boston MA [January 23, 2005]
- "We'd like to add some raves for Le Rainbow in Grand Case (French side) - reserve a seaside table, if you can, to go with the lovely setting and superb food! The French onion soup was the best and the shrimp/scallop dish a delicious meld of flavors and spices! The veal piccatta and homemade sorbets were excellent and the service was fantastic. A great romantic spot on the beach with prices to match.
Don't miss Antoine's in Phillipsburg (Dutch side) - the lobster thermidor and garlic shrimp dishes were to die for - as much as we loved our Rainbow meals, these beat those by a nose! The Grand Marnier souffle waswonderful and the view of the palms on the beach at night made this a lovely location. Jean-Pierre was most charming and the perfect host!
Less expensive places caught our palate, too: Talk of the Town (lolo in Grand Case) had quick service, great chicken/rice/beans/slaw and yummy homemade coconut ice cream for a great price ($20 for 2 people w/ Caribs and dessert); little bar across from Le Meridien in Anse Marcel marina made great thin crust mozzarella pizza w/ French music and complimentary after dinner liqueurs, and Le Taitu on the road to Mount Vernon near Orient Beach had lovely atmosphere w/ excellent Creole dinner, seafood specialities - we met many repeat customers who ate there two and three times in their week on the island!"
- recent dinners by Erich S. Kranz [December 28, 2004]
- "Last week we had a casual, but very nice, dinner at Belle Epoque on the Marigot Marina. We ordered the fish of the day, the pizza of the day, and the wine of the week. The prices were quite good, portions were large, and the food was very good. The fish was from the Med, a sar, crisped up on the grill. The pizza was a Landaise, featuring duck breast, mushrooms, and honey on a tomato and cheese base.
Next we went to Montmartre in the Atlantis Casino complex. Olivier recommended a very good Burgundy, 97 Beaune Premier Cru Champs Pimont with our very flavorful dinners: pigeon with foie grasauce that included a rather large slice of foie gras and a capon leg stuffed with porcini and foie gras. Both dishes included a medley of vegetables. It was a wonderful dinner in a lovely room with great service.
On Friday night we went to California in Grand Case and had another good Burgundy (Volnay Premier Cru Les Cailleret) with a first course of foie gras pate with toast points and Alain's homemade mango and onion chutney. The foie gras was light as a feather and melted in my mouth as the crunchy toast points and savory chutney added many more sparkles of flavor and texture. Our dinners were very tasty small mussels in a mussel broth of creamy garlic, onions, and a hint of pepper and a lotte (monkfish) in a creamy curry sauce. It was a very good meal and as they were doing $1 for 1 euro, we paid only $118 (although about 40% was the wonderful wine)."
- St. Martin Recommendations by Tony Wallace [November 16, 2004]
- "Our favorite restaurant was Mario Bistro in sandy ground, the food was exellent from the appetizer to the dessert, nice atmosphere, Mario the owner and his staff was very friendly. Le cottage and Pressoir in grand case were great as well. Little France located in grand case also was the one, let`s experiment and try a new restaurant, service and food was exellent, we were impressed with the quality of their menu for only 18 euros, they offer some home made rum shots after the dinner.we will suggest also zee best in simpson bay for breakfast and layla in baie nettle for lunch."
- Restaurants St. Martin by Linda and Joe Stein [November 14, 2004]
- "Have just returned from a week in St. Martin.. November 5-12. Still our favorite island but we made several great restaurant discoveries I want to share.. First, O Plongeoir.. A moderate bistro - restaurant on the Marigot Marina near Fort Louis. It faces the sea.. Has oodles of parking and the food is superb.. French with Asian overtones .. Not a false note anywhere..we ate there twice in one week and could have done more. Also, Temptation lives up to its billing.. Very good, a wee bit pricey but great food, service and ambiance.. Right near the Atlantis Casino.. We liked it better than Citrus which is nearby.. Good but not great. A charming place for lunch is Layla's in Sandy Ground... Good food, great atmosphere..right on the Sandy beach... Lovely...and Le Marraakech did not disappoint.. Very lovely atmosphere, service and food.. On the rue de Hollande in Marigot... Enjoy, enjoy!!!!!!"
- A nice restaurant by Andrew Andy [November 13, 2004]
- "We had a wonderful vacation in st-martin, of course, we have our favorite restaurants that we dine at every year but always like to add new ones to our list.We had a superb dinner at LITTLE FRANCE in Grand Case, exellent service, and delicious food.We started with snails in puff pastry with a creamy blue cheese sauce and some pan fried jumbo shrimps with eggplant caviar, it was outstanding!We followed with a superb beef tenderloin grated with st marcelin cheese and a whole sole filleted at the table.They have a large selection of wine by the glass, so we could enjoy each course with different glass of wine recommended by olivier our friendly waiter.That a good find!"
- Favorites of Owen & Mary Jones [November 13, 2004]
- "Review of Don Camillo Da Enzo Restaurant: Mary and I celebrated Owen's fifth birthday in a row at Don Camillo Da Enzo in Marina Royale on the French side and were again delighted with the result. As in past years, we have come to appreciate this establishment as our favorite eatery on this tiny island. Its fare is consistently superior, flawless in its presentation and flavor. The service provided by Jon and Francesca was as impeccable and friendly as always. The interior of the enclosed restaurant is air conditioned but not unpleasantly chilly, the chairs and tables comfortable and the walls decorated by pottery from various artists in Sicily. The atmosphere is one of comfortable elegance but not ostentatious.
Whatever you enjoy from the menu, and we have sampled virtually everything offered over the years, you are sure not to be disappointed. This time we dined vertically...that is, we each shared one each of an appetizer, pasta course, main course and then dessert.
The first consisted of delicately deep fried calamari and zucchini along with complimentary bruccetta. Mary also had a glass of white sangria, unique for us, and somewhat on the sweet side but quite refreshing. OJ had his usual Sapphire rocks.
The pasta course called Pappardelle Mari e Monti consisted of pappardelle pasta, very thin, almost square flat pieces about 2-3 cm wide combined with jumbo shrimp and mushrooms, all in a delicate, white-cream sauce. Their specialty pastas are all home made and also include gnocchi, lasagna, agnolotti and tagliolini.
Third dish on the list was Pollo Delicato, rolled chicken breast and bacon, spinach and mozzarella in a caramelized balsamic vinegar sauce. The chicken was tender and not overly cooked or dry. The combination was spectacular.
Our finale was...well...tartufo, but topped with sparklers and candles. We not only shared OJ's birth day with Jon, but also with two other celebrants. Needless to say, it was the perfect way to, again, start off a new season in the Caribbean.
On the Zagut 0-30 scale we rate this restaurant: food, 27; ambiance, 25; service, 27; price, 27. Cost for our meal including 15% service and a slight additional tip was $110.
Review of Mario's Bistro ...Waterfront Restaurant: Although somewhat into the second tier in our estimation, Mario's Bistro still has one of the best ambiances on the island. We reviewed this establishment a number of years ago for GoBeach.com and find the same, trademark cream of onion soup that was OJ's favorite in his memory. Thick and "creamy" and chock-full of onions, this is a one of a kind. The waiter, on ordering, said, "I hope you aren't afraid of cream." Garnished with a long, diagonal slice of pan covered with zesty cheese and fried crisp, the soup alone with its finishing touch of fried parseley makes the trip worthwhile.
Overall the experience was good, one that we might repeat in 2-3 years. The setting by the Sandy Ground Bridge is open air with tables set along the balcony adjacent to the Simpson Bay inlet as well as in the interior. Service was good in a Parisian kind of way. Be sure to make a reservation.
We visited Mario's with two acquaintances, minimizing on the appetizers and sharing a $30 bottle of Washington-state Chablis, slightly fruity and on the sweet side. Don had a Caesar salad while OJ and Mary tried the aforementioned onion soup. We each had a different meal: Mary the veal scaloppini, Don and Marilyn had half duck and chicken tenders while OJ tried the breast of duck. Each came with marvelous presentation and for the most part rich, tasty sauces but on balance, each was slightly disappointing each in its own way. The duck breast, although perfectly seared and beautifully red inside, was slightly tough to chew, that's okay for rare duck, but also slightly gristly. Similarly, friends duck was also somewhat on the chewy side. The chicken was somewhat lacking in taste whereas the veal was quite disappointing, the one meal really lacking overall in flavor and also not as tender as it should have been.
Desert was a cocoanut tart, nicely chewy with fresh cocoanut and vanilla ice cream on the top. This was delightfully presented and a tasty way to complete the meal. Overall the experience was good, one that we might repeat in 2-3 years.
On the Zagut 0-30 scale we rate this restaurant: food, 20; service, 23; ambiance, 27; price, 27. Cost for our meal including 15% service and a slight additional tip was $110.
Review of Le Saint Germain: Le Saint Germain is on the dock at Marina Royale in Marigot. Unfortunately, the interior is not air conditioned and is largely closed off from the breezes by large, mostly stationary glass windows so, being very uncomfortable inside, we ate our desert al fresco on the dock.
Having previously eaten, we, nevertheless, went there late for their desert crepes although they do have a full menu. We were not disappointed. Of the 31 different types available, Mary had chocolate with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream while Owen had one with Banana slices and Nutella (chocolate and hazel nut mix). Both arrived on an oversized dinner plate and both were exquisite. The Cuban coffee added a nice finishing touch. Unfortunately, the interior is not air conditioned and is largely closed off from the breezes so, being very uncomfortable inside, we ate our desert al fresco on the dock.
On the Zagut 0-30 scale we rate this restaurant: desert, 26; service, 22; ambiance, 22; price, 29. Cost for our desert including a small bottle of sparkling water but excluding any charge for service was over $26 (prices are high and in Euros with direct conversion).
Review of L'Alabama: On this Thursday, our last night to howl on Sint Maarten, Mary and I went to another of our old-time favorites, L'Alabama in the epicurean center of the island, Grand Case. This delightful, open-air restaurant having vaulted ceiling and stained beams with original paintings on the walls, boasts some of the finest food in the Caribbean, equal to our all-time favorite, the Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola.
This is not a place to eat on the cheap. Rather, this is a place to forget the pocketbook, delight in a varied menu of soups, salads, entries and dishes from land, sea and air to suit the palate of the most discerning gourmand.
Mary started her dinner with and ultra-smooth and creamy vichyssoise while Owen delighted in a lobster pot, really a thick soup ni stew loaded with good sized chunks of lobster and much shaved shitake mushrooms, the flavor an enchanting mixture of the two. Following the soups, we both feasted on seafood main courses, Mary the red snapper fillets in Dijon mustard & lime crust and Owen with monkfish medallions roasted with smoked duck, green peppercorns and fig sauce. These were accompanied with a glass each of house pouilly fuse, a nice, smoky accompaniment to our dinners.
What can we say? Simply ambrosia. And, on the desert menu, they have an excellent selection that also includes three items requiring advance ordering at the beginning of the meal. We did, in fact, order one of them, warm dark chocolate cake filled with melting chocolate cream, served with mint ice cream, along with a demitasse of decaffe espresso with a brown foam top. The perfect way to end a perfect meal! Then, to top things off, Host Pascal Potin served us both a complimentary snifter of banana rum, a favorite of the islands. He and his wife Karin are to be congratulated, again, for their again providing us with excellent food, unparalled service and an enjoyable ambience for our most perfect meal.
On the Zagut 0-30 scale we rate this restaurant: food, 27; ambiance, 23; service, 27; price, 28. Cost for our meal was $108 excluding the normal 15% service and a good tip added brought the total price to tip was $130."
- Favorites of Peter Shaw [October 3, 2004]
- "SXM Restaurant Comments from November 03 and May 04
Even with the best of intentions when we return from SXM, we never seem to be able to sit down and write comments about the places we have eaten. With our three weeks in November coming up, here are a few thoughts about the restaurants we frequented last November and May.
During our visits, we always try places new to us. Most outstanding was Mai's, a Vietnamese restaurant on the second floor near Bistro Nu and Marrakech. Mai's is in an exotic setting - her home - and she is as gracious as the food is excellent. A must for Asian cuisine. Several days later we went to the newly opened Moroccan restaurant Marrakech where the setting is equally exotic and authentic. It is run by Tofik, late of Citrus, whose attention to detail makes you think you are in Morocco. (We never realized there were so many Moroccan's in SXM). Monmarte in the Atlantis Casino complex has been taken over by the owners of L'Auberge Gourmand and vastly improved. The service and food were excellent.
As for places where we had previously dined, l'Alabama and Mario's Bistro continue to be outstanding. Paris Bistro remains a favorite (call ahead and ask when they are serving cassoulet). Citrus was very good, but be careful when ordering the prix fixe menu. Be sure there are no (cheaper) substitutions. And in May the service had suffered, perhaps as a result of Tofik's departure.
After probably 30 visits to SXM, we were treated by dear friends to dinner at La Samanna. The setting and company were wonderful, but the food was disappointing considering the expense.
On a lighter note, breakfasts and lunches at Coco Beach Bar cannot be beat. The tuna tartare, carparcios, Vietnamese spring rolls (nems?) burgers, pommes frites and pizzas are as good as you can get anywhere. The service and setting are the best and the price right.
With so many wonderful places, you can't visit them all. On our next visit we will surely return to La France, St. Germaine, Temptation, Spiga, Chanticlear and the new La Gondola.
We always enjoyed Splash, but we hear that is no longer run by Philippe and William. And Bitta's had closed when we returned in May. Both are losses and we hope their owners will be in other SXM ventures.
Can't wait to return to SXM - just hope the hurricanes stay away and the beaches have sand."
- La Cigale recommended by D. [August 16, 2004]
- "I have been going to St. Maarten for about 8 years now, and I have been reading the reviews and agree with most of them, but no one has mentioned one of my favorite places La Cigale, its located in Baie Nettle. This is a french family and the owner and host Olivier had his parents move to St Martin to help him run it. His father is the pastry chef and his mother the hostess. This restaurant is incredible, its on the beach and Olivier is always very entertaining. The food is absolutely fabululous. Next time your there I highly recommend you try it."
- Restaurant reviews week of June 19-26, 2004 by Greg and Pat Young [July 15, 2004]
- "This was our 18th trip to St. Martin. The weather throughout the week was perfect with an occasional speedy shower once or twice during the week. This year we decided to stay again with our favorites and to try to venture out and try at least one new restaurant. Even though not necessary during the low season, we usually make reservations a week or two in advance for later seating.
LePressoir: We were here in November of last year and Stephan, the owner and host was in France. This time, he was in France again opening a new restaurant in Normandy. So once again, Jerome was at the helm, who is also opening up a new restaurant for breakfast and lunch in Philipsburg with his girl friend on Old Street. On our first day, my wife and I both had duck l'orange, accompanying with au gratin potatoes. Presentation, hot plates to keep the food warm, and an excellent fusion of tastes kept us both happy. For dessert, we always pick the warm chocolate cake with pear coulis. We enjoyed the meal so much, we decided to have it again on the last night of our stay on the island. Jerome always makes us feel at home but we do miss Stephan who we heard will be back in the fall. There is an element missing without him being there.
Spiga: This is turning out to be our favorite. This will have been our fourth and fifth time at Spiga. Lara and Ciro have done wonders with this restaurant. On our first visit there this week, I had their house salad and their scrumptious veal ravioli. My wife had the red snapper with capers, asparagus and delicious garlic mashed potatoes. Both of us had their fantastic tiramisu for dessert. And to complete the evening, I had a grappa and my wife had lemonjello. The next time we were there, I had gnotti in a gorgonzola sauce and we shared a veal moon ravioli. And the best dessert on the island, their tiramisu once again. One great idea they have is keeping smokers contained to the outside porch, which is good for everyone. Seeing Lara and her staff is like seeing old friends. She really makes one feel at home. We wish her and Ciro the best of success.
Fish Pot: An established winner for my wife and I. On our first visit, we both had the red snapper in a citrus sauce. And we topped off the evening with their Grand Marnier soufflé that is served warm and usually takes 20 minutes to prepare. When we arrived the second time, our table was not quite ready so we were treated to two espresso martinis on the house. I started with a fantastic Caesar salad that was wonderful. We both decided to try the grilled lobster with garlic butter. All we can say is wow and wow again! It was so wonderful and the waiter asked if we would like to meet dinner before we started. Just so you know, we both declined. That night we had their profiterolles for dessert. At the end of that evening, we were given a small decanter of home made island rum as a gift. What a great establishment.
Le Gaiac: This was the new restaurant to try out and also the most expensive of our trip but well worth it. We started with a bottle of chablis recommended by the manager and maitre de, Laurent Cartier. For starters, they gave us foie gras crème brulee with mango. It was delicious, we could have had more but there were more surprises to come. Next we were served scallop with a sweet and sour sauce. Then for toppers, our main course was lobster medallions with truffles and stewed tomatoes, green beans, and snow peas. For dessert, they started us with fruit in juice, a traditional crème brulee, and finally home made ice cream. We were ready to roll out of the restaurant. Laurent has an exquisite establishment and Chief Andre Morel has done his homework. The wines, the atmosphere, the food, the staff make Le Gaiac a place to visit time and again. Its location on the second floor of the West Indies mall in Marigot overlooking the harbor just makes it even better. We'll be back and Le Gaiac will be one of our restaurants to always visit when we are on the island.
Lunch: Consisted of Papagayo at Club Orient or Coco Beach on Orient Bay. A sad note is that Joseph, the beach attendant at Esmeralda was tragically killed in May and will be missed by all who were lucky enough to meet know him at Coco Beach. In Marigot, we always had lunch at La Belle Epoque for those great French mini-pizzas and Belgium beer on tap. Lunch normally ran around $20-30 for both of us.
Final Note: We were disappointed by the overcharging at L'Amedier and the poor excuses given when confronted with the incorrect bill. We hope that it was only a greedy bartender and not a way of doing business that is rampant at L'Amedier. Thanks go out to Mike at Unity Car Rental who is always there waiting at the airport and always gives you a great deal.
We want to thank the wonderful staff and Kristin Petrelluzzi of Hotel LíEsplanade for making us feel at home.
And thanks to the people of St. Martin, who truly make up the Friendly Island."
- Zee Best in Simpson Bay!! Yea!! by Janine Penta [July 1, 2004]
- "We are so happy Zee Best is in Simpson Bay. We love that place in Marigot but sometimes its hard to get to. The pastries there are out of this world. We also ate in the restaurants near the marina in Marigot. The Main Pate was wonderful The desert was out of this world. A moltin cake with three kind s of ice cream. Amazing. We also like Ricks and Lees for inexpensive good food. Citrus has a price fix menu that includes wine with each item for 60.00 per person Wonderful dinner."
- St Maarten Restaurants by Fam. Massey [June 8, 2004]
- "My husband and I just got back from a wonderful vacation to St. Maarten.Here's a list of our favorites;
4/4 stars. Citrus at Cupecoy. Excellent food,Atmosphere, and Service. It was just a romantic evening. Price was well worth it.
4/4 stars La Rosa Too. Again, Excellent food, Service, and Atmosphere. Very nice decorated.
4/4 stars Ristorante Laguna Very good food,service for the price.
3/4 stars Le Bec Fin Very nice place.Food portion was small and very pricey!
4/4 Stars Peg Leg Pub We had a great lunch! Food was good. Service impecable!!!! Nice, Fun Place great teeshirts.
And now for the bad news.
Turtle Pier: Very bad service, Food was terrible, Just an overall Bad Pick.
Mezzanotte Service was okay, Food was okay. The price of a half bottle of champagne, Ridiculous!!!
Overall, The restaurants we went to were great. St. Maarten is a wonderful time. can't wait to go back."
- Restaurant Reviews - Dutch Side by Vera & Dick [May 24, 2004]
- "Trip: May 2-May16,2004
Temptations- Fabulous restaurant. Rack of lamb and duck delicious. Death by cheesecake heavenly but sinful.
Johnny B's Under the Tree in Cole Bay - a full rack of ribs for $6, a skewer of shrimp for $6 etc. The barbecue service is open starting at 6:00 p.m. He will aslo grill freshly caught lobster. The food is really good and inexpensive.
Spartaco - mediocre and overpriced.
Turtle Pier - convenient place to have lunch before your plane leaves. The hamburgers are cooked the way you want and the french fries are thin and tastey.
Cheri's - food is average . My salmon was very dry and their Ceasar salad is poor. We had to ask for anchovies and parmesan to dress it up. Entertainment however was fun."
- Temptations, Mullet Bay recommended by Vera & Dick [May 24, 2004]
- "Temptations Restaurant located behind the Atlantis Casino in Dutch St. Maarten is a gem of a restaurant. The ambience is excellent. If romance is what you want, it"s ideal. You can eat outside under a tent or eat inside under air conditioning. The host is the chef's mother and is very gracious. The food may be the best on the island and you don't have to worry about the euro exchange rate. The average entrees are about $25-$30. The desserts are quite unusual and exciting. The presentation of food is excellent. We were referred to the restaurant by our jeweller,who is a full-time resident. We're glad we took his advice. If you want a special restaurant and don't want to drive to Grand Case, this is the perfect place."
- SXM Review by Louise [May 7, 2004]
- "Bikini Beach - I was pleasantly surprised by our dinner. It was very good and you can't beat having dinner practically on the beach. We had seen a small crowd each evening and decided to give it a try. We had lunch at Bikini several trips ago and were neither happy with our server nor quality of food so we sort of boycotted it. The service was a little slow but we were not in a rush and enjoyed prolonging dinner that evening. There was a great breeze and I even used the wrap I brought with me.
We had baked garlic mussels as an appetizer that was delicious with breadcrumbs and lots of garlic. I had the Thai noodles with shrimp, which was very good and spicy. My husband had the duck special (healthy amount of duck) and daughter had the chicken plate, which came with an enormous amount of rice and a salad. Several drinks, cocktails, and one double scoop of ice cream for $108. Bikini Beach, Cote Plage, and Bistro Belge were doing 1 euro to 1.10 US while several places in Grand Case were doing 1 to 1.25
Cote Plage - what a find! Nice menu selection, good service, love sitting outside when there is a nice breeze which there was that evening. Daughter and I had pasta dishes served in caste-iron crocks, which keep the pasta hot the entire time we were eating it. A great heat source! My daughter had the penne alfredo which was very flavorful. I had the penne with salmon and cream, which was a little subtle for my taste but still good. We both could not finish our dishes. Portions are quite large. Husband had the salmon appetizer, which was more pickled than smoked. Very nice. I had a salad with goat cheese and cambert fritters. The goat cheese was melted on toasted baguette with bacon wrapped around it. There were two of them, very delicious and two cambert fritters. The Cambert was a bit strong for me but it was certainly a grand dish, again too much for me to eat. Daughter had the same salad but with shrimp. Bill with beverages, and wine was a little over $100. We were too full to try dessert.
Talk of the Town @ Harmony Night - another restaurant we gave a second chance and were very satisfied. In fact I thought it was one of the best-grilled lobsters I've ever eaten. At $15.00 for 1/2 lobster it was large, meaty, moist with a bit of very flavorful breadcrumbs. We had the best-grilled lobsters I've ever eaten. At $15.00 for 1/2 lobster it was large, meaty, moist with a bit of very flavorful breadcrumbs. We had the combo rib/chicken bbq, which came with 3 sides, and one shrimp skewer. We were still hungry so ordered another plate of ribs with sides, and two chicken legs. Their bbq was delicious. Check was only $44.00.
Bistro Belge - is a small bar/bistro in between both Tap 5s on Village Orient Plaza. What a hit! It's popular with the local French/Belgium people and always had a nice crowd so on our last night after taking a quick trip to Grand Case to say goodbye to our friends we decided to eat local. Had wonderful moules and frites, panini, and chicken hero. Several glasses of wine, soda all for $53. Erwan who also works the front desk at Cap Caraibes was our waiter and forced us to share some banana rum shots with him. We enjoyed our meal and the atmosphere.
Bamboo Bernie's - let me start by saying I was skeptical about the sushi being good. I'm from New York and can get wonderful sushi so I've been leery although the past reports of great sushi, and the Pu-Pu Platter made it a must stop this trip. The sushi did not disappoint. Although service was very spotty and the restaurant was not full even on Easter evening I would recommend the sushi. Found out the chef spent 5 years in Manhattan although I did not find out the name of the restaurant. The Pu-Pu platter was another matter. At $19.95 each I wasn't impressed. The most flavorful item, the dumpling was the smallest portion. The largest being the wings and ribs, neither of them being to my liking. I tried the place once but unless I had another sushi craving while on vacation, I doubt I'd revisit.
Sunset Beach Cafe at Grand Case Beach Club - We probably like the view the best that is why we returned but I have to say they make a very nice omelet. Somehow they manage to brown the edges but still keep it light and fluffy. A bit sparse on the plate, no bread or potatoes but if you're counting carbs it's a good thing. You can order a breadbasket but I think the cost is a bit high and the breads always look very average. We have only eaten breakfast here."
- Little France, Grand Case recommended by newton nach [May 4, 2004]
- "we often come in saint-martin and try a new one who named "little france", it's in grand case to the french side, they serve outstanding french food at cheap price. It's a high recommandation!"
- L'Oizeau Rare, Marigot recommended by Terry Libich [April 30, 2004]
- "We just returned from SXM. Twelve wonderful days from April 15 to April 27, what a way to end tax season. I just wanted to take a short time and let everyone know about L'Oizeau Rare. It is diagonally across the intersection from La Vie en Rose in Marigot, next to the new West Indies mall. The food is beyond excellent. The service is outstanding. The price cannot be beat. They offer a $31.00 special which lets you pick an appetizer, main course and dessert from any combination of the regular menu and their daily specials. The special board is longer than the menu and everything the four of us tried in two visits was beyond compare. Plus they still give a One Euro for One Dollar exchange rate. They also have an extensive selection of cigars for those people who like to finish off their meal with a good cigar. For those who do not smoke do not worry. The restaurant is open air so all you get is a pleasant aroma wafting over occasionally if someone is smoking. L'Oizeau Rare truly lives up to its translated name of Rare Bird."
- SXM Highlights by Joanne Houseman [March 28, 2004]
- "Here are some highlights of our trip to SXM last week:
1. Dinner at Montmartre near the Atlantis Casino. We had looked at the menu last year but didn't get the chance to go--now I wish we had, because it was superb. Our party of four had excellent fish soup with all the trimmings, and an assortment of smoked fish with chive cream, as starters. We then ordered the prime rib for two, carved at the table and served with a huge platter of vegetables and a choice of sauces, a 'seafood pot' with shrimp, scallops, and fish in a saffron sauce under a puff pastry crust, and a tuna steak with roasted tomatoes and artichokes. We each sampled everything on the table and couldn't decide which we liked best--it was all so good. We could manage only two desserts, so we went for the classics, raspberry creme brulee, and profiteroles, both excellent. It is a beautiful place inside and out, as they have just repainted the exterior and added some plants and lighting to make the outside tables very attractive. Olivier, our excellent waiter, said they are going to make some changes to the menu for spring. I wish we could go back soon to try it.
2. Lunch at Oizeau Rare in Marigot. We ducked in to get out of the rain and found a gem. This is the old Maison sur le Port, right on the waterfront near the West Indies Mall. It is set back from the street a bit, so you can't tell until you climb the stairs that the back of the restaurant is a garden with three waterfalls! They serve very good very French salads, tuna tartare with homemade french fries, pizzas with thin crisp crusts, and a "formidable" hamburger. We were having such a good time that we stayed to drink coffee with our homemade tiramisu. What a find.
3. The Celine Pub Crawl. We had a blast, even though the weather was rotten."
- Los Gauchos (Philipsburg) recommended by D.E. Maring [March 14, 2004]
- "We dined at Los Gauchos one Friday night last December after six days on the Island as our "Farewell to Sint Maarten" meal. Fairly new, it was still awaiting a sign to mark its location at 87 Nisbeth Road in Philipsburg. We heard about it at our timeshare resort. We made reservations for a 7:30 PM seating. From one of the managers, we learned that Los Gauchos is an offshoot of an Argentinean beef exporting enterprise which supplies some other upscale restaurants on the Island. My wife, having spent much of her childhood in South America, prefers Pampas-raised beef to that from the Midwestern US. I enjoy the two varieties equally. Indulging in an above-average (at least for us) bottle of red wine, plus sopa del dia ($6.50), plus flan for desert ($6.50), our tab for food and drink was $93.00 for the two dinners before gratuities. Our entrees (12 oz cuts of prime beef loin billed as "Vacio") were only $18.50 each. A salad and garlic potatoes came with each meal. We bypassed the appetizers which were in the roughly $8-$12 range. The service was attentive. The dicor was pleasant and relaxing, including a very nice waiting area and bar. The exceptional feature was an exhibition of tango dancing which was performed several times throughout the evening. Our table was well placed to see these remarkable dancers. There are plenty of places to get superb food in Sint Maarten, but Los Gauchos is suited to the serious beef-eating appetite. The phone number we used was 599-542-4084."
- Sebastiano's Restaurant by Richard and Donna Criscuolo [February 18, 2004]
- "We have two time share weeks, wks. 3 and 4, at the Towers @Mullet Bay and have been enjoying our yearly visits there for over 15 years now.
Of course, we have our favorite restaurants that we dine at every year but always like to add new ones to our list. Through the years we probably dine at Sebastiano's a hand full of times. Usually enjoyed our meal but a bit pricey. We deceided to dine there again this past January and made it a four some. We received a warm welcome among the wait staff as well as a wine list and menus. Our dinner companion ordered two bottle of wine for our dinner. The red wine was brought to the table and the waiter was in the process of opening it but we asked to look at the bottle, the year of the wine was not what we ordered. No mention of this was brought to our attention. The appetizers arrived, the two ladies ordered mussels. They were very salty and did not taste fresh, we did mention this to the waiter.
The main courses arrived and not only one but two dishes were returned to the kitchen. At this point we were not interested in ordering another entree. We were paying 5 star prices but served meals far below those standards. Desserts and coffee were ordered and served, check was paid and we left vowing never to return again. Throughout the entire meal the owner, Christine, never came over to our table. We were so disappointed and embarrassed that we subjected our friends to an evening of bad dinning."
- Favorites of Paul & Chuck [February 12, 2004]
- "We can only say good things about St. Martin (French side). "California" in Grand Case; we went here two different nights for dinner. Both nights were great. All the food is good. One night, we had the pizza (very fresh) and the desserts are presented with style. Prices are reasonable for what you get. There are specials each night. Great ocean view (right on the beach).
Another night, had a superb dinner at Spiga, also in Grand Case. Excellent service, and delicious food. Priced in line with food & service.
Lastly, at Orient Beach, you have to stop at Baywatch (on the beach). Make sure and say hello to Cheryl (owner). Good food, especially the margarita shrimp and cheese steak sub. Only open for breakfast and lunch! Decorated with llicense plates from all over the USA."
- Trip by Darlene Smith [February 10, 2004]
- "Highlights from our trip 31Jan-7 Feb. Tired from traveling, we went to Hot Tomatoes Saturday for a quick and easy dinner: excellent pizza from a wood-fired oven, and a Caesar Salad with shrimp. We went there last year, and were happy to find they had maintained the same high quality and interesting menu. Lots of parking is a plus. Having heard a lot of good things about the new crop of restaurants at Atlantis Casino, we went on Wednesday to look around, and settled on Montmartre. What a wonderful find on the Dutch side! The service and ambience rival Grand Case, and Karen, the owner, could not have been more charming. Our fish soup with all the trimmings, and Salmon rillets and smoked salmon plate made excellent starters. We followed with a superb rack of lamb and a whole sole filleted at the table. Olivier, the waiter, does the filleting and slicing operations tableside with beautiful efficiency and a minimum of fuss. The sweets-loving person at our table had a warm fruit crumble for dessert, which he loved. Again, lots of parking at the Casino. They steered us to their sister restaurant on the main street of grand Case, L'Auberge Gourmand, with the offer a free welcome cocktail, which turned out to be quite good, as was the meal. We started with sea scallops in soy sauce and a baked goat cheese and Roquefort in phyllo salad and continued with the beef filet with blue! cheese and a roasted rack of lamb. Just enough room for their three chocolate dessert! Driving out of town we noticed the 1 euro = $1sign at California and came back the next day. It's right on the water and we had another great meal on our last night on the island. We split a foie gras with a mango chutney and then had the duck breast and the pork tenderloin, splurging on a bottle of Volnay."
- Restaurants visited by Bob and Debbie Sacks [February 8, 2004]
- "We just returned from our first trip to St. Martin and here goes: La Cottage was an excellent dining experience. The 4 course lobster menu was delicious, but the portion of soup was way to small and the lobster ravioli dish had scant lobster meat. My friend ordered a whole foie gras for 2, very expensive, delicious, rich and more than adequate for the 4 of us. The scallops were great, as well as the seafood casslolet. The deserts were elaborate and well presented. Unfortunately, they made an error on the bill charging us an excess of over $25. They did apologize, but I had to wonder how it happened. La Marine, a relatively new restaurant in Grand Case, has valet parking at no charge. I had a fabulous lobster ravioli appetizer and the lobster medallion entree. My friend had an excellent duck dish, and the fish in parchmenrt paper was very well presented. Their desserts were small and just average. Overall, however, a great meal overlooking the ocean. Chanticleer in Marigot has a beautiful setting on the marina. I had a very tasty lamb chop and shredded lamb dish, but there were no veggies or starch. It was a very lonely plate. My wife had free range chicken with morels that came out too dry. The waitress replied" It doesn't look too dry to me" The gave her something else and to their credit did not charge her for either entree. They had the best desserts, including their special unnamed chocolate special. Lunch at Tropicana was very pleasant, the ladies having a delicious seafood salad. My friend and I ordered skate with a cream sause which was only fair, the fish was too chewy. We loved Y'vettes, a creole restaurant in Orleans with great oxtail, curried goat, pickled conch, chicken wings, red snapper, lobster and shrimp creole style, and Johnny cakes. Prices were low and quality high. We ate there 2 times in one week. We also enjoyed to a lesser extent, Poulet de Orleans, another local creole place, with above average ribs and creole chicken. We ate at an Indonsian place next door to Lee's Roadside. My friend badly wanted a rijsttafel. The food was poor and we could not eat very much of it. We had lunch at Saint Severin in the business district of Marigot. The mussels and frites were very good , but my wife had a terrible chocute on sauerkraut, with mostly fatty ham on top. I saw a very impressive Dover sole. The owners are connected to La marine. The best time to go to these restaurants is on Thur, Fri, Sat when fresh fish and seafood comes in from France."
- St. Martin Restaurant recommendations --Trip of Jan.11-19, 2004 by Glenn Gilman [January 27, 2004]
- "We're from Philadelphia. We went to St. Martin for the first time recently, and those who have written about restaurants on this site were very helpful to us in picking places to eat. We stayed at L'Esplanade in Grand Case, which we highly recommend to all who are looking for a quiet, boutique type of hotel, with excellent service and a gorgeous pool, for those times when you want a break from the many beautiful beaches to explore on St. Martin. Plus, you can walk to all the great eating eatablishments in Grand Case.
There is a superlative breakfast place in Marigot called Zee Best. It is well named. Their croissants and brioches are the best, to put it simply. The owners have Zee Best II somewhere in the Simpson Bay area, but we never got to it. Marigot is a fun town to shop in. Every day they have a local craft market, where you can find the usual tourist stuff, but also some creative and unusual crafts for souvenirs and gifts. In the section called Marina Royale you will find Zee Best, which is a sidewalk cafe that is intended to, and actually does, feel like Paris. Besides the croissants, their omelets and crepes are terrific, and the coffee is strong. It will fortify you for the day of shopping ahead. Marigot also has a fancy indoor mall called The West Indies Mall, with upscale stores (and prices to match). The greatest thing about the Mall is the quality of the restrooms. Vessel sinks, classy art, etc. A welcome respite from walking the streets!
On Pinel Island, which is a wonderful, tranquil beach accessible from the little town of Cul de Sac by a 5 minute ferry ride, there are 2 restaurants. We ate in Koklatuni, and had their ribs, which unlike the American kind, do not come with barbeque sauce. Nonetheless, the flavor is magnificent. Wash them down with the local beer, Carib, which is actually made in Trinidad, but passes for local in St. Martin. This little island also has a fun outdoor souvenir shop run by a Dutch emigre who used to be a schoolteacher in Holland. It's fun talking to him about island life and the absence of stress.
Our favorite beach was Friars Bay. Go there if you like small, relatively tranquil beaches with laid back sunbathers and very cool waiters in the 2 restaurants on site. By far the best lunch we had on the island was in the Friars Bay Beach Cafe, whose motto is "Open every day, even when it snows."
You can eat just steps away from the sea. Their foie gras is amazing, as is a delicate fish called sea bream, that I hadn't heard of before. A bottle of French Chardonnay complements it perfectly. Before you know it, it will be sunset. The giant birds will dive bomb into the sea, looking for dinner. The sun will set behind a grand rock formation at the far left end of the beach. Peace will be in the air. You will swear to return.
Many have written about this wonderful Italian gourment place at the bottom of L'Esplanade's driveway. We ate there twice in 1 week--that's how good it is. Lara is the hostess, and her husband Ciro is the chef. Veal scallopini is just astoundingly tasty. Lara will recommend a wine to go with your meal. Lobster ravioli also wonderful. Tiramisu to die for. Just get it--you'll be happy.
A classic French place on the water in Grand Case.. Call and reserve a table at the seaside. It makes the evening more special (if that's possible). A top quality meal, with prices to match.
3. La Marine
We're happy to recommend a place no one has written about so far on this site. It's fairly new--a couple of months old. It's also on the water, near Rainbow. The young owners grew up in the restaurant business, and they know their stuff. Because they're just starting out, their prices are lower than most of the comparable French restaurants in Grand Case. But the quality is up there with the best.
Another wonderful place, on the water in Grand Case. Escargots en croute are magnificent, especially when accompanied by a glass of excellent champagne. Very friendly service, and as an added bonus, they accept dollars on a one for one basis with euros, which most of the good restaurants do not. Expect to pay about a 20% premium these days, thanks to the weak dollar.
A very colorfully decorated place, with lots of Caribbean influences in the cooking. Not on the water. Wait staff quite good at their job, but not as relaxed as in many other Grand Case establishments. Try the Dover sole, filleted at tableside very competently. Not much English spoken here.
6. Sol E Luna
This is an elegant restaurant in Cul de Sac, about a 5 minute drive from Grand Case. It is extremely beautifully decorated, with flowers in long vases. Lots of red on the walls. Good place for a Valentine's Day type meal. Expensive, but worth it. Lamb cooked for 7 hours falls off the shankbone, and into your mouth. Savory as all get out. Wine are costly, but necessary in this environment. The check comes in what the proprietor calls "the magic box." After dinner they serve you 1 or 2 of their wonderful artisan rums, with fruit flavoring. The service is exquisite. You'll remember this night.
Have fun in St. Martin!"
- Review by Gaby Kleinjans [January 27, 2004]
- "Even though we still have 2 more weeks in St Maarten, I would like to take time away from our vaccations to post a review regarding some restaurants we visited these past 10 days, after reading about them on this website and before I mix up my notes....
The Cottage in Grand case is excellent. Bruno the owner was very kind and professional. Their service was great, and we tried the "sea scallops in a phyllo dough with mushrooms" which seems to be the specialty, and the roasted quail. We were both very satisfied, the price was expensive but fair for what we were served, and also taking into consideration the dollar/Euro rate exchange. I also wanted to mention their excellent wine list.
In the same street of Grand Case but at the opposite side of the town we found Spiga. I could classify it as an upscale Italian restaurant ( pricy too....) , I had the gnoccis with shrimps and a truffle sauce , and my husband had a veal chop with some mushroom ("sauce") on the top. It wasn't our favorite.
Talking about favorite, our was definitly SPLASH in Simpson Bay. We already went three times...Much more simple and casual than the other restaurants we visited, but with a very cumfortable island flair and caribbean spirit ( the little house is gorgeous..) and we preferred it by far. The food is very diverse and ecclectic as well as inexpensive. The first time I had some home made pork and shrimp egg rolls and a beef cajun with mango chutney. Both were outstanding! My husband had the escargots in a cream of garlic. they were from another world and the best he ever had. As a main course he had a Marlin with a Provencal tomato sauce. He loved it. The second time we shared the escargots (just to confirm they were the best he ever had...) and I had a grouper flambe with a pernod sauce while my husband had a stir fried beef in a Thai red curry sauce. Extremelly flavored and tasty. It was again very good and inexpensive. The third time we went at s! plash ( after a day on a boat) we just had pizza and they were great too. We loved their thin crust. The service is done by one of the owners, very friendly and accomodating. We will certainly go back again during the next two weeks we have left. On their reccomendation we went to Saratoga and Bavaria both in Simpson Bay.
We were very pleased with Saratoga. The ambiance was extremly romantic and the meals delicious. The cuisine is very creative and attractive. The flavors are mixed and accorded to perfection, and it was one of our favorite where we will go back. The prices were fair for the quality provided.
Bavaria, was very different, but excellent as well. This is a small and casual German Restaurant, and both of our main courses were very good (we didn't choose any appetizers this time) . My husband had a beef rolled and baked in a brown gravy, served with red cabbage saurkraut, and I had the traditional snitzel. It was also inexpensive.
We also went to La Gondola at the Atlantis Casino. It was good, traditional Italian food the way we like it. I had veal parmeggiana and my husband had some amazing lobster raviolis. The service was good too and fast. You cannot go wrong.
Sol e Luna was not what we expected according to the review we read and, we were a bit disappointed but the food and service were fair.
Temptation, even though it was excellent, is very sophisticated and we almost felt being at home in NYC....Anyhow the frog legs with a buffalo sauce were original and different than what I am used to but it was good. As main course I had a rack of lamb, cooked to perfection and my husband seemed to be a bit disappoinred with his Mahi mahi.
I will post another review at the end of this week about the restaurants we will visit or re-visit."
- Reviews by Scott and Jill Shanker [January 22, 2004]
- "Just got back from spending a week in St. Maarten. This website was so helpful that we wanted to share our thoughts as well. Le Cottage and Spiga, both in Grand Case were our two favorites. Le Cottage was expensive but everything was excellent. The Lobster four course dinner was amazing and rather reasonable for the amount and quality of food (lobster bisque, lobster ravioli, broiled lobster or cooked with gruyere cheese and bananas wrapped in phyllo with chocolate sauce for dessert). Each course was delicious. The dessert was our favorite on the island. However, the best dish on the entire island is the scallops wrapped in phyllo. Ask for a table either by the doors so you can look outside or outside on the porch. Service started off good but then seemed to have forgotten about us as the evening progressed. Spiga is an Italian restaurant also in Grand Case. It was more reasonably priced and we had much better service. We liked the lobster ravioli better than Le Cottage (thicker noodle). The ravioli with pork and lamb with a red sauce was my second favorite meal (next to the scallops at Le Cottage). Gorgonzola gnocchi was also excellent. The tiramisu was the best we've ever had anywhere. Le Pressoir, in Grand Case, also really good (and also expensive). The shrimp and scallops on sweet potatoes was incredible. Rack of lamb was also really good. It was the best service we had on the island. We recommend requesting to sit in the main house, as opposed to the house next door. Saratoga, in Simpson Bay, had our favorite ambience but we liked the food at the above three places better. Service was mediocre at best and it took over an hour for the food to come so you need to be in the mood to relax and have a long dinner. Best table is inside next to the windows so you can see outside into the marina, but still sit inside. Shrimp with curry and soba noodles good but not excellent. The pork dish with mango chutney was really good.
For more casual dining, we went to Splash, in Simpson Bay. This used to be a bakery and the two owners changed it to a restaurant for dinner. It wasn't very crowded when we were there. The pizza was really good and the chicken salad was tasty and different but the chicken was very tough. Reasonably priced for those items but I'd probably try somewhere else on the island before I'd go back. We also went to Cheri's in Maho. It's a fun place to go, the food is good but not spectacular. We recommend going for the entertainment. Make reservations and request a table in the center of the restaurant.
For breakfast you absolutely can't miss Zee Best. They have two locations- one near Saratoga in Simpson Bay and one in Marigot. We always went to the one in Simpson Bay. Danny and his wife, Tamela, are the owners and he runs the one in Simpson Bay and she runs the one in Marigot. They are extremely nice and exceptionally accommodating. The pastries are incredible and extremely reasonably priced. The chocolate almond is our favorite and the cinnamon sugar is also delicious. The savory crepes and the quiche were also very good. We brought two dozen pastries home with us!
For a very casual lunch we tried Joe's BBQ, on the side of the road as you are going to the Pelican from the airport. It's easy to miss. The ribs were excellent and very reasonably priced, but don't expect anything fancy. I would definitely return. Also for lunch we went to Le Escargot in Philipsburg. They have six different kinds of escargot and they have a sampler plate that is very reasonably priced and fun to try.
- Favorites of Nicolaj Siggelkow & Deborah Watson [January 15, 2004]
- "Just returned (1/04) from St. Martin. Wanted to reciprocate the great tips we got from this site. Here are our votes (if you're like me, you go to places that many recommended, hence we wanted to add our suggestions). As many before us, our only response to Bitta's French Toast was "WOW." It'll keep your cholesterol level up for a week, but it's worth some clogged arteries. (Bitta's is in Simpson Bay in a small strip mall, right across from a big Pasta place. Across from Ric's but a few buildings closer to the airport.) Our favorite restaurant was La Cigale (Nettle Beach). The "Cigale" appetizer plate is wonderful. Le Cottage and Spiga in Grand Case were great as well. Le Cottage has great wine by the glass. Splash in Simpson Bay was ok (and inexpensive) but not terribly exciting food. If your days are few, I would try something else. Lastly, the LoLo's in Grand Case are fun. Great ribs for $4! How can you go wrong?"
- Restaurant reviews week of November 15-22, 2003 by Greg and Pat Young [December 29, 2003]
- "This was our 17th trip to St. Martin. The weather when we arrived was partly cloudy and it had rained for the past eight days with significant flooding the previous Thursday. Also one of the Salt Pond pumps was broken, which did not help things. The no-seeums and mosquitoes had a people feast following the rains and the island was significantly greener than times past. This year we decided to stay with some favorites and to venture out and try something new. When you're easily spending over $100 for two meals with wine and tips (the cost of a drink in cash seems enough), you want your meals to be inventive and memorable.
Le Pressoir: Continues to be our favorite, Stephan was in France so Jerome was at the helm when we were there. Again, the wait staff makes one feel at home without being too intrusive. On our first day there, my wife and I had the veal medallion special that was superb. Presentation, hot plates to keep the food warm, and an excellent fusion of tastes kept us both happy. The wine selection is a large one and many being on the pricey side. The only thing that I would hope that Stephen returns to is that the wine special that he has daily posted with the dinner specials (you can't go wrong) is more within the price of the dinner specials. We found many times the cost of the special wines in the $50-60 range. The dessert: we always pick the warm chocolate cake that was fantastic as always.
We usually go to LePressoir the first day on the islands as well as our last evening. On our final night, my wife had halibut in grapefruit sauce and I had the duck breast, boneless of course, in orange sauce. Both winners! And to finalize the evening we had the warm chocolate cake again with pear coulis. You can't go wrong with a dinner at LePressior.
Spiga: What a find. This was our third time to Spiga. Lara and Ciro and Terry are the perfect hosts for an enjoyable evening. Both times there this year we ate out on the porch. We began with their buffalo mozzarella salad that was great.. Next we both had the home made ravioli stuffed with ricotta cheese and spinach. Fantastico! We finished the evening with their exquisite tiramisu.
A note here, Lara and Ciro had an Italian merlot wine special for $25 a bottle. What a deal, so much so that the second time we were there that week, we had it again. That night my wife had yellowfin snapper and I had the veal. Prior to that we had the gnocchi appetizer recommended by Lara. It was great. And we wrapped up the evening with the tiramisu. Really, when you go to St. Martin, give Lara and Ciro at Spiga a try and you will not be disappointed.
Fish Pot: An established winner for my wife and I. The first time we ate there that Monday evening, we both had the red snapper in vanilla sauce. It was excellent. For dessert we shared a Grand Marnier souffli that is served warm and usually takes 30 minutes to prepare. The second time we ate at Fish Pot that week , my wife had salmon and I had the swordfish. There are 7 chefs at Fish Pot and they know what they are doing. The restaurant had some remodeling done and it looks great. We also ask to be seated with a table near the water. A truly memorable dinning experience.
Sol E Luna: this was the one, let's experiment and try a new restaurant since we heard many good things about Sol E Luna. First of all, we couldn't find it. We saw the signs but because it's set back some what, we kept driving past it. Anyway, my wife had the French sea bass and I had the filet of beef. Both meals were very good if not a bit pricey. The total without tip for two meals, wine, and one dessert to share without tip was $134. Also, for the claims that it is very romantic, it was very well decorated but way too bright. There were spot lights shining in my face and throughout the establishment, as beautiful as it is decorated, the bright lights don't do it justice. Dim the lights, damn it!
Lunch: Consisted of Papagayo at Club Orient and Coco Beach on Orient Bay. In Marigot, we always had lunch at La Belle Epoque for those great French mini-pizzas and Belgium beer on tap. Lunch normally ran around $20-30 for both of us.
Final note: The dollar is taking a beating. Last check it was 80 cents to one euro. All your meals will be more expensive and many charge in euros so when the conversion takes place, you get hit with the conversion factor as well. And finally, my wife on our third day there was toppled by a huge way and came crashing down on her hand, which she broke. All the people on the island from the staff at Coco beach, to the pharmacists at Grand Case, the physician next door, Dr. Martin, and the staff L'Esplanade were truly outstanding and helpful. Thanks to all of you. You are exceptional people.
We'll see you all next year. "
- Great Food by John and Marguerite, Toronto Canada [December 28, 2003]
- Reviews for Great Food by Linda Hannah [December 24, 2003]
- St. Maarten dining Review by Matt and Lynne [December 1, 2003]
- "Just returned 12/1 from 8 wonderful sunny days in St Maarten. It was my first trip but Lynne has been several times. We received a list of dining recommendations from some business associates that reside on the island.
First, when dining out in St Maarten always always always bathe in insect repellent. I prefer the no scent brand of OFF as it doesn't interfere with your meal. Now then,
We stayed at the Pelican Bay Resort on the Dutch side. Skip the Captains restaurant located on the property. Air conditioning so cold you could hang meat in the dining room. Very loud rock music destroyed what little ambiance remained. I had the surf and turf. The Caribbean Lobster was fair but the accompanying beef left me wanting. Lynne stuck to the Lobster and was pleased. Our waiter insisted we sign the guest book and write whatever we wanted about our dining experience. Enough said.
Stepped up to Saratoga on the second night and it's a wonderful place. Located in the Simpson Bay harbor, very romantic, service and food was excellent. A great night. Things are looking up!!
Third night found us at Citrus. Service was so-so and the food less than expected however the seared foie gras was quite tasty. Heard later in the week they've recently acquired a new Chef. After leaving Citrus we went down the street and made a reservation at Tempations for the following evening.
Next night was Temptations...in a word WOW!!!. Everything on the menu is fantastic. We engaged the entire staff to help with a wine pairing for our first meal and they really delivered. Picked out a lovely Pinot from Caymus that complemented everything. They have the only CIA trained chef on the island and it shows. The New Zealand lamb was truly extraordinary. Everything on the menu is very original. A must for any trip. By the way, this venue is indoors so you can forget the bug spray. After dinner cross the patio to the Casino for a little gambling.
The next evening we were so tired from diving that we went down the hill to Goodfellas for take-out pizza. Had a plain pepperoni but couldn't detect a hint of garlic or other herbs. A dissapointment. We were so tired that it didn't matter but on my next trip we'll look for another pizza spot if needed.
The next night we visited La Cigale for the most pleasant evening of our stay. This family owned restaurant, located on the beach, is for the true romantic. Olivie, a very cheerful fellow, made the evening. The food is excellent and you'll feel as though you're in someone's home not a restaurant. Make sure you have the home brewed rum digestif following your meal. If you're lucky he'll give you the recipe.
We were so impressed with Temptations we just had to go back for our final night to work through more of the menu."
- Favorites of John and Donna Williamson [November 29, 2003]
- "My wife and I just returned from 10 sunny days in St. Martin. Restaurant highlights:
For local food, don't pass up Yvette's, in Quartier d'Orleans (turn at the Gess gas station) - the Chicken Stew 'St. Maarten Style' is awesome! Get them to make it spicy if you like spicy, and their johnny cakes are superb also. The best value we had for gourmet food was at SPLASH, up towards the pelican, across from simpson bay on the dutch side. VERY reasonable for fantastic food - I had thai beef, and my wife's fish was incredible - you won't be disappointed. In Grand Case, we enjoyed the LoLo's (outdoor grilling in the middle of town), where the ribs are always great, and the Pub, across the street/near the LoLo's that is a late night spot that has really good pizza (a good change from the fancy typical Grand Case french food). We had some good lunches at the Waikiki Beach Bar (good hot sandwiches, especially the Croque Monsieur) on Orient Beach. The Galeon treated us very well at the Marigot Harbor, but our favorite place there is Auberge d'Iles, but it was closed the night we tried to go there. Enjoy!"
- Pagano's Restaurant, Philipsburg recommended by Tom & Anita Nahigian [November 18, 2003]
- "Pagano's is a wonderful restaurant on the beach in Philipsburg. Access to this restaurant is from 101 Front Street on the second floor, or from the beach. It's a small, laid back bistro with great Italian food. Maggie Pagano is fron California and knows how to serve up wonderful food at a good price. Her Sicilian Pizza is superb!"
- November storms mean more eating out by Ann Elliott [November 17, 2003]
- "Just back from 8 soggy days in SXM. Great breakfasts at Barefoot Terrace in Philipsburg and of course Bitta's in Simpson Bay god I do love the French Toast. ZEE BEST II is open in Simpson Bay Yacht Club. Croissants are fab!!. We found our friends Karine and Lionel from Le Charolais, they are in their new spot in MAHO. The name of the restaurant has changed : CIGAL'S GARDEN, at LaTerrace across from Cheri's in Maho. Food is out of this world. Try the creme brulee sampler - 3 different tastes: vanilla, rasberry, coffee. Best steaks this trip and best fish at a reasonable price: Peg Leg's Pub. We ate there 4 times and never had the same meal. All were delicious."
- Spiga recommended by R.D. Ward [November 6, 2003]
- "SPIGA is simply a great restaurant in St. Martin. At the north end of Grand Case, just around the corner on Esperance. Wonderful north Italian cuisine. The French restaurants in the area are good but seem to have strikingly similar menus. SPIGA's cooking is superb. Carpaccio to die for. SPIGA is a must."
- Food and St. Martin by Dave [October 27, 2003]
- "10/27/03........Just got back 2 days ago and had a great visit to St. Martin. Our 3rd so far (thanks to our good friends) and hope to make it a 4th time next year. My favorite restaurant this year was La Gondola. Our last night in SXM and the food was great, service was wonderful and David the owner and his staff, were very attentive. The gnocchi gorgonzola were light as a feather and the seafood risotto perfect. Had a delish dinner on our first night at Peg Leg Pub. Shawn was quite the maitre'd and entertainer. Food was great; tuna teriyaki...along w/ orders of beer battered onion rings...the best. Also tried another new restaurant for us....Bamboo Bernie's....thought it was a little too dark, candles wouldn't stay lit because it was so breezy by the ocean...nice atmosphere...the bbq ribs were good; as was the service, the rum runner drink and the coconut shrimp appetizer....to die for! Found a great Chinese place in Phillipsburg on Front Street....Old Captain. Give it a try. Molly the owner does the stir fry cooking and was very sweet/courteous. Large menu with lots of great choices especially in the seafood dept."
- More Favorites by Louise [October 16, 2003]
- "Le Cottage: WOW and double WOW. What a way to end our vacation. Appetizer: Lobster Ravioli Wonderful! Main course: roast pork loin in a mushroom sauce that was out of this world. My dish was shrimp on top of mashed sweet potatoes on top of sautied spinach. On top of it was a large fried wonton with some veggies in it. It was to die for.
Bistrot Caraibes: Wonderful meal, the brothers are so pleasant and very friendly. The chocolate pudding thingy with the hazelnut ice cream was decadent! The salmon spring rolls were thin slices of salmon rolled around julienne veggies with a sour cream chive dressing. The freshest and lightest smoked salmon I've ever had. Duck special was superb as was the sea bass which was so delicious.
Le Ti Coin Creole: in Grand Case right before the Sunset Cafi. Nice place, friendly chef and waiter. We enjoyed the whole red snapper in Creole sauce, and the lamb dish although the best dish was the "Wilkes" and dumplings. Not sure I'm spelling it right but the soup was not only tasty but also filled with a million dumplings. I told the waiter they reminded me of gnocchi's! Delicious.
Baywatch: OK so I thought my favorite was the shrimp margarita. Then I had the mussels ala Andy and knew that was my favorite. Nope, had the ribs on another visit, and now am totally confused as to what my favorite is?? Best ribs on the island, best food, best host and hostess. You just can't go wrong there."
- best cafe on sxm by Otto Bischoff [October 10, 2003]
- "usually visit st maarten every six months or so. my first stop, which is repeated often, is Bitta's Cafe in Simspon Bay. I have become addicted to the French Toast. Bitta's french toast is not some thin fried piece of bread, it is a piece of art. In addition to the French Toast, the Italian sandwich is wonderful as well as her many cakes she has for sale. It doesn't hurt that the prices are very reasonable."
- My favorite resraurant,anywhere by John Fehr, Hamburg, NY [October 6, 2003]
- "Antoine on Front St.,Phillipsburg,St. Maarten is the finest restaurant my wife and I have been to and that includes NYC. Situated on the water, this fine eatery features a complete wine list and a large varied menu. My favorites were the lobster thermidor followed by a chocolate soufflé with an extra tourine of homemade chocolate sauce for desert. Bon Apetite!"
- Favorites of Jim & Maria DeSantis [August 29, 2003]
- "Since our first visit to the island in 1985, we have eaten in many restaurants. This trip, 8/16-8/23, we had great meals at: SPLASH, on Billy Folly Road, off Airport road near the Atrium. The two former owners of The Village Baker are now serving gourmet food at really unbelieveably reasonable prices. We traveled with six adults, two children under twelve, one who is the world's most finicky eater and our five month old grandson. There was a superb meal prepared for everyone: another different meal was had at CLAUDE'S MINI CLUB in Marigot on the harbor. Every Wednesday evening there is an all you can eat and all you can drink buffet for $40.00 per person, and also a children's menu. We never eat at all you can eat buffets, but this was different. The buffet consisted of lobster tails, roast pork, roast beef, roast chicken, fresh salads, fresh vegetables, potatoes, soups, assorted cheeses, deserts, and unlimited soda for the children and unlimited bottles of wine for the adults; and last but certainly not the least was our annual visit to PIZZA PASTA, located in the Maho area, up the alleyway next to Cheri"s. We have Italian in us, and the food here is as close to your own home-made Italian cooking as you will find anywhere. The menu has a wide assortment of pizzas to complicated dishes like Lasagna, and Pamiganas like Chicken, Eggplant, and Veal. Give these three restaurants a try and we are certain you will be satisfied."
- Three great restaurants! recommended by Nancy and Bill [August 25, 2003]
- "My husband and I just returned from the island paradise of St. Maarten, where we have been vacationing every year since 1988. In those glorious two weeks, we returned to Le Bec Fin on Billy Folly Road and were warmly received, as we are each year, by our waiter Kenneth and the owner, Roland. As usual, the French food we dined on was superb, and the lime daiquiri I always look forward to was the best! We highly recommend it for a very delicious and beautifully presented meal! We also found two bargain restaurants that were wonderful. SPLASH, also on Billy Folly Road, is a new find and a treasure--best pizza on the entire island, and their entrees are superb also. Both Bill and Phil, the French chef, were most accomodating. The food is delicious and also presented with flair. Finally, we dined at The Pasanggrahan at the end of Front Street in Phillipsburg. This is St. Maarten's oldest inn and Ella, our waitress, was wonderful. Dining looking out over Great Bay and eating a delicious meal of loin of pork was a wonderful experience, and the prices of all their entrees are quite reasonable. Their garlic bread was awesome as well as the escargot. We highly recommend these three great places!"
- Restaurant review by Javier J. Isturiz [August 5, 2003]
- "Just got back from St. Marteen two days ago. Decided to contribute to a very informative site. Going to some of the restaurant based on other peoples reviews made our vacation more enjoyable. Specially not having to inquire around about the best restaurants. On to our recommendations. For starters, Breakfast - can't go wrong with BITTA'S across the street from Ric's in Simpson Bay. The French toast are " Awsome" . We went there the next day and I had the Italian Muffin - It was very good. We highly recommend it.
For a true French fine dining experience, you have to try Sol e Luna. A bit on the pricy side, but well worth it. The ambience is just as spectacular as the food.
There are many restaurants on the island. My advise is to plan ahead so you are not overwhelm."
- Favorites - June 20-June 27, 2003 by Louise [July 9, 2003]
- "Le Village: Great mussels in cream sauce served with pomme frites and lots of baguettes. Beautifully decorated quaint open air dining in the Marigot Marina with tables on the deck of the marina. Besides many offerings I liked the fact that under salads you could get it as a main course or as an appetizer portion.
O'Plongier: Reasonable priced good food with nice "funky" atmosphere inside. Open air dining with some tables on the sidewalk. Waitress said she didn't speak much English but we had no problem conversing. She was very friendly and brought us over a menu in English. I think some patrons may have been reluctant to walk in because the blackboard on the sidewalk was in French but when we sat down our waitress brought us the same blackboard written in English with dollar amounts. We had the flambi cambert with calvados for an appetizer and it was delicious. Served with generous portions of sliced apples, and long sliced toasted baguettes. Underneath was an added dimension of flavor, a basil pesto. For main course my husband had the seafood in curry coconut sauce. Very subtle flavor. I had the Sea scallops with truffle oil which was very good. Both entrees were served with a pyramid of rice and salad. Plate was decorated beautifully. O'Plongier is next door (north of) the new Marigot Mall.
The Hideaway at La Vista: Very romantic eating on the deck of the pool area. Not many tables, about 12 but very nice atmosphere. Small menu but a choice for everyone. I had the filet in reduced red wine sauce served with whipped potatoes and steamed vegetables. Very large portion. Husband had grouper, again a large portion served with same potato and veggie. Both had the shrimp appetizer. My was a cocktail and his was warm in a tomato-garlic based sauce. Both were delicious and had a "kick" to them.
Indiana Beach Restaurant: We had good service and a nice meal. Lobster special was $16.95 a pound and it was very good. Nice atmosphere sitting outside overlooking the beach.
Zee Best II: Finally found 1 and 2 and alternated between the both depending on where we winded up in the morning. I feel in love with the almond croissant. To die for. Husband had the spinach quiche one day but it was a bit savory for me to enjoy for breakfast. Would have been perfect with a salad for lunch.
Baywatch: Cheryl is a lovely women and I was on the hunt for her famous Margarita Shrimp. WOW! They were absolutely delicious. Several layers of flavor and "lip licking" good. Went back a second time and had to have the shrimp again. Husband had fried calamari one day which he loved (marina sauce was homemade by her husband Andy). He had the meatballs the second trip and they were great. We wanted to try the mussels but because of low season Cheryl did not have them on the menu.
Bliss: What a disappointment. While the atmosphere is very romantic. Dim lights, sitting by the ocean the food is mediocre at best for the price and quanitity. The salad with soy vinegarette was the best item we had. The "Taste of Tuna" was overpriced at $14 with merely six bites of small portions of a tuna roll, tartar and another small item. The dinner was not memorable at all and I would not return."
- Favorites by Jake Fonner, Brenda Fonner, Jake Gravlee and Aida Gravlee [July 8, 2003]
- "We just returned to Florida from St. Maarten/St. Martin on July 7, 2003. We thought that Lee's Roadside Grill was the best. One afternoon, After talking with Lee (a native) we chartered one of his boats for deep sea fishing. We caught a nice yellow fin tuna. When we returned to shore, Chi Chi, the boat captain cooked our fish on the wood grill at the restaurant and we ate it for supper. It was the best! Then Chi Chi gave us a platter of barbeque ribs; some of the best ribs that we have ever eaten. After that we were pretty full but we managed acouple lobsters that were basted with lots of garlic butter and barbequed on the grill. Down home eatin' doesn't get any better. If you are looking for thick carpet, you are at the wrong place.
We ate at Capt'n Oliver's in Oyster Pond and were most disappointed. The food was OK and the service was horrible. Dinner for 4 was $220.00. We only had the attention of the waiter four times during the meal; we asked for water and he just set a pitcher down on the table; I had lobster but no butter was offered; when we asked to speak with the manager, the waiter refused to get her. It was a bad time."
- A new find in Simpson Bay by Dave and Barbara [July 4, 2003]
- "Just wanted anyone to know that there is a new restaurant open in simpson bay (dutch side), across the Atrium on the way to Pelican : SPLASH restaurant. The prices are so attractive and the food is so good that we eat there a few time for lunch and dinner during our stay. Nobody needs anymore to go to Marigot to have a good Pizza...SPLASH make the best Pizza in town for lunch or dinner and they are no more than $8.00! We also had an amazing chicken salad (I think they named it "exotic Chicken salad" or something close to it) it was so tasty and different. We really enjoyed it. For dinner they have some specialties, we had the pork with a peanut butter sauce , outstanding, and Marlin "provencal", from another world!!!! Believe it or not but our bill (for two with appetizer, main course and drinks) were never above $40.00. How can you go wrong!!! Their menu is similar as what you can find on the marina of marigot but their prices are much lower. we were told that in ! a close future they will also have a rotisserie in place and make some roasted chickens. The service was also excellent, Bill the owner was entertaining and very friendly, we had a good laught with him. He and his partner were operating the bakery until last year, but they decided to change their product and go back to the restaurant business this year. Good move, we are glad they did because they definitly produce quality and they do not take advantage of their clientele. SPLASH should go on the "where to eat" list of everyone visiting St Maarten. Give them a try and enjoy it. "
- Earlier reviews:
- "We have recently returned from a wonderful vacation in St. Martin where we stayed at L'Esplanade Hotal in Grand Case. The hotel is situated on a hill overlooking the sea and is within easy walking distance of the famous Grand Case Restaurant Row.
We visited eight different restaurants during our two week stay and just had to return to our favourites.
SPIGA was our favourite dining spot, where we visited three times. This a fairly new restaurant opening in November 2002 and is located on L'Esplanade Drive close to the entrance of the L'Esplanade Hotel. The lobster ravioli appetizer, Yellow Tail Snapper and Grouper were delicious as was the tiramisu. This coupled with the beautiful presentation of the food , the ambiance and the wonderfully friendly service of Lara and her staff has left us with many great memories.
Other favourites, which we visited twice were Le PRESSIOR, the scallops with mango sauce appetizer was not only great for the taste buds but also beautifully presented. The Mahi Mahi and Red Snapper were also great as was the red current crumble with Grand Marnier ice cream dessert. Le COTTAGE where dessert lovers will enjoy carmel souffle and THE FISH POT also had a great dessert - Grand Marnier souffle with chocolate sauce.
All restaurants had a good selection of wine."
- "I just wanted to submit my suggestions for people visiting St Martin. I have been visiting every other month for the past year. Jimbo's in Simpson Bay has the best caesar salad I have ever had in my life, it comes in an edible shell, shrimp or chicken. Uncle Harry's has the best surf and turf. He has a black and blue stead that is out of this world. Both Harry and Jimbo are wonderful social people who make everyone welcome.
A great bar to visit is called the Buccaneer with owner Neil Rooney and a wonderful bar staff. He usually has a party going on with the Caribbean sharks motorcycle club making everyone have a great time. All locations are on the Dutch side.
On the French side, Andy Susko and Cheryl have a great place called "Bay Watch". Andy cooks amazing Italian food, I especially recommend the meatballs, however my fianci raves about his margarita dressing for the buffalo wings."
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