June 1, 2002 - July 1, 2003
What is your favorite restaurant? This page lists the reviews submitted to us between June 1, 2002 and July 1, 2003 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.
- Restaurant reviews by Greg and Pat Young (week of June 21-28, 2003)
- "We just returned from a fantastic week in St. Martin--our 16th trip so far. The weather was terrific with only one day, Friday, with 15 minutes of rain. Find below the list of restaurants--all happen to be in Grand Case--and our comments.
Le Pressoir: Continues to be our favorite. Stephan, Jerome, and the waitstaff certainly make you feel at home. Unfortunately, our first day on the island was their last for a few weeks, since they were on holiday until mid-July. We both had medallions of lamb that were excellent with his fabulous potatoes au gratin. Dessert consisted of the warm chocolate cake--surprisingly, we were given 2 glasses of champagne to top off the evening. What a great start to our vacation!
Fish Pot: My wife had the blackened salmon special while I had the swordfish with pumpkin sauce. Both superb choices...topped off with their Grand Marnier souffle for dessert. We actually went back to Fish Pot for our last night on the island since Le Pressoir was closed, and we also wanted to have lobster, which was a blackboard special. Again the meal was a winner, and we were delighted that we returned to Fish Pot. The restaurant was extremely busy, we had 8:30 reservations, and were not seeated until almost 9:00. There were some lapses in service; however, I think it was because of the volume of people being serviced and an understaffed waitstaff. However, we still enjoyed good conversation and watched the boats in the water. Also another nice touch is they gave banana rum shots at the end of the meal and then presented us with fresh Fish Pot glasses as souvenirs.
Le Tastevin: Last year, this was closing in as being our favorite because of the exquisite duck with cranberry sauce. This year, however, a few things happened that changed our feelings about this restaurant. To begin with, I made reservations in person with the maitre'd the day before and asked for a table near the water for 8:00. When we arrived, he was off and no reservation was found, so for the first 1/3 of the seating, we sat in the middle of the restaurant until a table was free. Secondly, when the bottle of wine we ordered arrived, the waiter corked the bottle and proceeded to fill both my glass and my wife's glass full of wine without giving me a chance to okay the bottle. Sarcastically, I took a sip and told him it was bad; it wasn't, however, a Restaurant Gastronomique, they should know better. Thirdly, once we ordered our duck, it was served to us in 5 minutes! No time to talk, no time to drink the wine, just time to eat. Actually, all evening the service appeared hurried, like they wanted to get you out of there to make room for the next group. When the duck did arrive, a blackboard special, it was more fat than meat. We realize that there has to be some fat in duck breast but this was excessive. The vegetables were delicious and the food was well presented as it should be, but the missed reservation, lost table, wine serving mistakes, and hurried service left much to be desired and we were both disappointed with Le Tastevin.
L'Escapade: We had never been to L'Escapade before and decided to give it a try. We ordered scallops and jumbo shrimp in a puff pastry. When received, the puff pastry seemed to be one of the Pepperidge Farm variety that had the top of the shell removed with the contents below. Inside, were 3 small shrimp--they said Jumbo--and mish-mosh of vegetables with some rice. I couldn't tell what was what, and the 3 scallops surrounding the pastry were cold. That's right, cold. This is when you just tell yourself you won't be back. Also, no one came around asking how were the meals; otherwise, I would have mentioned the "not-so-hot scallops."
Spiga: This is the newest find for us. For years, we would try the other Italian restaurants on the island such as Il Nettuno, Sebastiano's, etc., however, this is the one to try. Ciro and Lara--she's originally from St. Martin--have a fantastic establishment on their hands. She is the perfect hostess, and Ciro, behind the scenes, is the perfect chef. The wait staff was extremely friendly and courteous. We had the buffalo mozzarella salad and the veal stuffed ravioli for dinner with an excellent Italian merlot recommended by Lara. For dessert, we had their exquisite teramisu. What a great evening! Actually it was so wonderful, we decided to go there again and yes, it was just as fabulous. We recommend to all the readers of gobeach.com to try this new exquisite restaurant off the beaten path from the main stream of eateries in Grand Case.
Lunch: It primarily consisted of Papagayo at Club Orient for great club sandwiches on french bread or delicious pizzas at Coco Beach. In Marigot, we ate at La Belle Epoque for those great french mini-pizzas, and they had good Belgium beer on draft. We also stopped at Zee Best for breakfast one morning, only open from 7 A.M. to 2 P.M., but they do a great job with omelets and pastries.
Final Note: Most restaurants do charge you in euros and currently the dollar is taking a beating; however, a few were giving one euro for one dollar, an even exchange. They were worth mentioning: Fish Pot and Papagayo."
- Tutta Pasta, Simpson Bay recommended by Roger Drain [June 26, 2003]
- "We have been going to St Martin for 12 years. Every year it has become a tradition to visit TUTTA PASTA in the Simson Bay Marina. The restaurant is behind the shops on the second floor of the back building near the marina.
As the name indicates, the menu is full of wonderful pasta dishes at very reasonable prices. The wine list is very good and the service is some of the best on the island."
- Our picks for new and favorite places to eat by vze1z19h [June 10, 2003]
- "We spent 17 wonderful days in St. Maarten, retuning May 2, 2003. While there we found that our favorite breakfast haunt had changes and we looked for others. Here are the results. New place for BREAKFAST - Bitta's in the Travel Inn Bdlg - First Floor -across the street from Ric's in Simpson Bay. Elizabeth, the owner/chef, makes an extraordinary French Toast which is too die for. Very reasonably priced. If you haven't had her french Toast, you have not lived.
Zee Best II is up running across from Goodfellow in the Simpson Yacht Club area. Due to holidays when we were there, it was not open often...but their breakfast pastries and sandwiches are worth going for. The original Zee Best is in Marigot, this new one is easier to get to from Pelican (walk) and parking is easier as well.
My favorite place on island for Steak remains Le Charolais. We go to the original - NOT MARIGOT. Karen tells me that they are moving to the new bldg in MAHO this Fall. 2003 The current site on the Airport Road in Simpson Bay, next to the White Swan Oriental Restaurant, will be closing in late June.
We also tried Hot Tomatoes - very good, not as spicy as I feared and very nice people. We returned to Bananas and were pleased.
Uncle Harry's had wonderful Lobster, better than Turtle Pier, and his steaks were also good. Ambiance is straight out of a Jimmy Buffet song. He is in the back of the shipyard on the lagoon, on Airport Road near the end of the runway.
We tried Pelican Reef again...service is very slow, but the food was good."
- 2 weeks in St Martin by Jane [May 4, 2003]
- "Just returned from 2 perfect, not-too-hot,not-too-humid weeks. Loved a little French bakery (Cafe Atlantique) on Airport Rd across from Hot Tomatoes, formerly Sambucca. Excellent breakfast pastries, desserts and bread...Disappointed with Boathouse, which used to be our favorite place. Menu limited, help indifferent, food was fine but nothing special. Went across the street to Bananas and found...the former owner of the Boathouse. He took his magic with him. Excellent mixed grilled seafood and filet mignon, really good garlic mashed potatoes. Good atmosphere, pretty interior. Went there 3 times. Also went to Lee's a couple of times for wonderful Mahi...Both Bananas and Lee's entrees were under $20 for huge portions. Tutta Pasta excellent as always...Everyone raves about the little Italian place tucked away behind Cheri's (not La Rosa--the ohter one). I thought it was fine but didn't see what all the fuss was about. Turtle Pier still doing Wednesday lobster nights with fun steel drum duo. Had wonderful French toast (made from baguette) at Mary's Boon. May be the prettiest dining room on the island. BEST NEW FIND: Bamboo Bernie's Tiki Bar at the Caravanseri Resort, just past the Sunset Beach Bar. Gorgeous sunsets, pretty views, huge movie screen on beach. Women drink free on Wed. Loved it and ended up going for happy hour almost every night."
- 12 Relaxing Days in SXM! (april 16-28) by Paul Miller [April 29, 2003]
- "My daughters, wife and i just returned from 12 relaxing days in SXM. some notable new restaurants were Spiga and Temptations. Spiga was an italian restaurant run by a husband and wife. the food was excellent, the buffalo mozzarella salad was superb as well as the risotto. Temptations has a nice decor. the filet was excellent. Both are a must go. As always, Don Camillo is consistently great. Enzo has done an excellent job with his selections of wines this year. They will make almost anything whether on the menu or not. Laguna is also a good restaurant for italian food (only no air conditioning which can make it uncomfortable) Sunset beach bar by the airport is a great way to start the evening."
- The Jerk Bar and Grill, Philipsburg by Nicole [April 22, 2003]
- "I recently took a vacation on the beautiful island of St. Maarten. I came across The Jerk Bar and Grill located in downtown Philipsburg across from the police station. The food was superb. I went almost everyday for lunch and tried everything! Their menu was extremely extensive and included ox tail, jerk chicken and pork, curry goat, ackie and salt fish, beef and chicken patties, roti, plantain, provisions, johnny cake, stew peas, and much much more!!! Prices were amazing and the portions were enormous. The owner (Dolly) was very friendly. I highly recommend this resaurant."
- A Great Week in St. Maarten! by Mathura [April 7, 2003]
- "My husband and I have just returned from a fabulous week in St. Maarten! We arrived on the 29th March and left on the 5th April. It was too short! First let me say thanks to all those who posted reviews on the net, for they were all very helpful and it saved us a lot of time when you only have a short time.
Secondly, I am from the Caribbean and being accustomed to the somewhat laid-back life style, the sometimes slow service did not bother me.... as a matter of fact, when we take a vacation, so do our watches.(smile) We stayed at The Sunterra Royal Palm and I had no complaints. Our rooms were fabulous with all the conveniences and a great view of Simpson Beach.Also,our proximity to all the many eating places like Lee's, right across the street, was very handy a few times. Great food!
Our best meal was at Temptation in Cupecoy. The setting was very romantic and the pianist was superb. My husband said it was the best steak he had ever eaten, and so was my rack of lamb. The service was exceptional and I definitely recommend it.
We also had dinner at The Boathouse.The restaurant was very crowded and we did have a little wait, but the food was worth the wait. At Peg Leg Pub the coconut shrimp appetizer is a must. We ate at Lee's for mainly lunch and when we did we never made dinner as there was lots of left over for another meal or two. Ms B's on Dawn Beach had the best ribs on the island. We ate there everytime we were on that side of the island. On our tours of the island,(we rented a car) we made a stop at all the beaches, and our favorite was Le Galion Beach.The waters are very calm and shallow .We just laid in the water all day,basking in the sun and were entertained by the many windsurfers. At Orient Beach we sampled a different drink at all the beach bars.They were all so good, I had no favorites.
We partied at Q Club, Cherie's ,Bamboo Bernie' ,and of course Sunset Beach Bar, actually were we there right up until our plane was ready to leave.What a vacation!
We did have some fun at the casinos, and although we did not have much luck there, we were not really disappointed for we were already lucky in making the decision to go St. Maarten for our short vacation."
- Restaurant Reviews by Linda and Lee Steinberg [March 10, 2003]
- "We just returned from two weeks in St. Martin--our 16th trip. We were traveling with another couple who share our love for this island--especially the many wonderful restaurants. Our two unanimous favorites this year were Le Cottage and Le Pressoir. We always reserve our first and last nights for Le Cottage. Not only is the food consistently good, but Bruno and Stephane go out of their way to keep their customers happy. Every evening at Le Cottage is a party! The lobster bisque in the pastry shell is a wonderful appetizer and I would highly recommend the caramel souffli for dessert. Even after spending two weeks in a virtual dining frenzy, none of us could resist this sinful finale.
We ate three evenings at Le Pressoir. Jerome and the rest of the wait staff were extraordinarily cordial and kept us entertained every night. Jerome even kept our favorite table for us on our return visits. There were just so many wonderful dishes on the menu. Each night there are several specials and we tried as many as we could. We ordered Stephane's Bordeaux selection and ended up drinking that same wine all three nights. My husband's favorite appetizer was the brie pie, but the onion soup was also incredible. Two nights in a row I opted for the grilled Dover Sole (absolutely the best fish dish on the island) but the rack of lamb I ate on the third night was easily the best I've had anywhere. The desserts were really the piece de resistance. The fresh fruits with sabayon and the warm chocolate cake were both outstanding.
The four of us agree that our two visits each year to Sebastiano's are never enough. All four of us also agree that Christine's asparagus in gorgonzola has to be our favorite appetizer of the trip! And my husband maintains that he could eat the penne with lobster every night. The food at Sebastiano's is consistently good. Our only complaints were that the service was a little inconsistent this year and the wine list, while impressive, was a bit pricey compared to some of the other upscale restaurants on the island.
Our new discovery and one that we are hope will soon be one of the more popular restaurants in Grand Case was Spiga, located right in front of L'Esplanade. While the restaurant is small and intimate, there is nothing small about the menu. There were so many wonderful choices of this creative Italian cuisine. We were also impressed with the wine list. All four of our dinners were excellent. Lara and her wait staff were very attentive. We plan to make this a regular on our return visits to the island.
Another new restaurant that we found disappointing, however, was Citrus in Cupecoy. The decor was amazing, with some very impressive art work and accessories, but the neither the wine list nor the meal impressed us at all.
L'Auberge Gourmande was another restaurant we revisited. The atmosphere is romantic and the food and its presentation were, as always, outstanding.
And finally, Saratoga in Simpson Bay should also be on everyone's list. The ambience is little different from Grand Case but equally as romantic if you sit at a table on the water."
- Sint Maarten/St Martin Restaurants by henwoodjaandij [February 17, 2003]
- "Four of us just returned from three weeks at our timeshare at the Belair Beach. For having a kitchen, we sure ate out a lot! We ate at 24 different restaurants a total of 37 times, enjoying almost every time out. Best breakfasts were simple ones at the Barefoot Princess, Holland House, Kangaroo Court and Boardwalk at the Belair. My favorite is the Barefoot Princess. Kangaroo Court is for tourists. It is dark and you are cooped up in a little courtyard. Not for me. If you are going to be on an island, it seems to me that you would want to see the water while you eat.
Our best dinners were at La California in Grand Case. We have eaten there a number of times and find it to be consistently excellent. We finally tried Marks, which we always used to avoid, because of its location, and found it to be very good. The Boathouse was great as usual, with wonderful scallops. Chesterfield's was also very good. Le Bec Fin was a disappointment. The food was poor for all four of us. Scratch it off our list. Our worst experience was at DaLivio's. They refused to split checks, in spite of having very few customers. I told the manager we were doing his work. Also, although the food was very good, the waiter was a real snob, paying a lot of attention to some people he knew, but pretty much ignoring us until check time, when he became suddenly very nice. It is hard to understand a restaurant treating customers that way, especially when business is so slow. I almost forgot Cheri's. Their mixed seafood pasta is super, with enough to take home for another meal. The little Boardwalk at the Belair Beach is a very simple, unpretentious spot right on the water at Little Bay. Oh, yes, the Fish Pot is another great spot to dine, and a fun place is Bikini Beach, although it is overpriced. Ric's Place is like a bit of home with fair prices and good American food."
- January 2003 reviews by the Albertson Family [January 26, 2003]
- Spiga Posting by Patlara [January 21, 2003]
- "Just abit of info.Spiga ristorante opened on 1st of november with creative italian cuisine,aand is making a name for itself with repeat customers and favorable comments.Lara and Ciro are the owners and operators with 2 chefs from Italy.They are lovcated on Boulevard de l'Esperance,just in front of the hotel Esplanade,near the entrance to Grand Case Beach Club.Their Tel:00590-524783,from the Dutch side you must dial 00590-590-524783.Thank YOU."
- vacation st. marteen by RLBEXCAPE [January 15, 2003]
- "we have just returned from a wonderful 2 weeks ..... this is our 8th year....weather wonderful.....our favorite beach is orient beach......bikini beach...
sunset beach bar in maho beach ------just a fun place....
cheri's cafe in maho is great
our favorite restaurants seem to be in marigot at the marina.... we enjoy the marina,as well as the shops and wonderful food. this year we tried LaGalion.....it was great. service wonderful...good food. we enjoyed LaBella Epoque .....wonderful .....
we enjoyed Don Camillio....tropicana....
simpson bay area lees ......tutta pasta....
we cant wait to return to st., marteen......"
- La Cigale, Nettle Bay recommended by TheTOtalEvent [December 17, 2002]
- "La Cigale on the beach, down the path from the Pharmacy Across from Royal Food in Nettle Bay. Olivier and family run the food is wonderful as is the entire dining experience."
- Ti Coin, Grand Case recommended by Kathy Jones [November 26, 2002]
- "We were staying at L'Esplanade in Grand Case, for the nth wonderful vacation and had passed a small restaurant on the road leading to the Grand Case Beach club many times but had never stopped in. It is just a few feet awy from the sharp curve coming out of the village of GC. Michael and Marilyn from Michael's Cafe (great for breakfast lunch and the best happy hour!) had mentioned Ti Coin on several trips and we decided to try it.
What a wonderful suprise!! Carl is the chef, your waiter and the owner. Now that is personal service! He is charming, cute and a great cook. He is assisted by his mother in the open kitchen and we observed her trimming the landscaping the next day. The food was the best creole we have ever had; on St. Martin or elsewhere. Ask Carl what he suggests, then relax and enjoy.
We had worried that because the restaurant is on the road that it would be warm, but the breeze and setting were perfect. All & all a lovely experience for very little money. Give it a try. They also do take-out; which is very handy if you are at L'Esplanade."
- Great Hidden Restaurant in Grand Case by Tony M. [November 25, 2002]
- "On a recent trip to Grand Case we stumbled upon a quaint litte spot called Repaire du Pirate on a side street in town, near the Police station. It is owned by Marcel "the pirate" from France. Great food and great people. Marcel is charming as is Brigit the hostess. Chef Nicholas' food is outstanding. Another member of the restaurant's family is Pascal, although I don't know what role he plays. By the way, be sure to check out the restroom and see all of Marcel's memorabilia. I highly recommend this spot for a real special treat. Take it easy on the pirate shots and enjoy!"
- Spiga, Grand Case recommended by Nevada Smith [November 20,2002]
- "This charming place was opened quietly on nov. 1st.Serves Creative Italian Cuisine and is located in Grand Case on route de l'Esperance,just opposite the Hotel Esplanade,near the access to The Grand Case Beach Club.The owners are a very charming couple,Lara and Ciro.They met in London while working at the Savoy.Their menu is very different fron the usual Italian Lasagne menu.As it says on their business card it's Creative Italian Cuisine.Very romantic little place.I have had dinner there 3 times already,it's very special."
- Spiga, Grand Case recommended by Tony and Michele [November 19, 2002]
- "this is a new restaurant in Grand Case, opened only a few weeks. We stayed at L'Esplanade and the restaurant is close to the entrance of the hotel, not on the main Boulevard, but around the corner. The food was great and not typical of an Italian restaurant-not many classic dishes but instead we found exciting dishes like homemade ravioli stuffed with seabass, gnocchi with large shrimp and a truffle olive oil, a delicious Bresaola with a great basil ricotta filling. The filet is huge and delicious. you don't need a knife to cut the meat. The tiramisu is wonderful .They have a great selection of Italian wines-probably the best on the island. The owners, Ciro and Lara are charming and I am sure they will have a great first season. The restaurant is in a renovated creole house dating back to 1914. Very intimate. We loved it. They are in the process of putting a sign up, but call for reservations 0690 55 15 11. Leave a message. they will have your table ready for you."
- SXM Restaurants by Peter Shaw [October 20, 2002]
- "So many fine restaurants, so little time. A thumbnail about our favorites:
Paris Bistro in Maho. Owner Bernard arranged for the chef to prepare cassoulet for us. They had to fly in some of the ingredients from Paris, so they chose the night for us. It was outstanding, even though the chef came out and apologized for not being able to get the right beans for the dish. We thought it wonderful, as always. We have never been disappointed after numerous visits here trying many different dishes.
Mario's Bistro is consistently superb. We find Martine charming and have always had outstanding food.
Bistro Nu. The lamb stew with beans was outstanding on two occasions. Also the onion soup, pot a feu and the beef bourguigone. We ran into Mario and Martine here one evening after Mario's Bistro had closed. Not a bad recommendation.
L'endroit is superb and inexpensive. Just around the corner from Bistro Nu on the main street. Supposedly new owners between November of 01 and March of 02 - the food is even better now.
La France on Marina Royale. A newcomer for us during the past year. Waiter Vicki is a hoot and the food great. The Nicoise salade, the rack of lamb, the "purses" of ground beef with spices and the snails were all wonderful.
La Gondola in Sandy Ground never disappoints. Owner/chef David remembers that I always start with the salmon carpaccio.
Le Chanteclair on the Marina Royale. We had not been there for a while, but tried it in May. It was every bit as good as we had recalled. I particularly enjoyed my sea scallops with wheat risotto. And, the staff is gracious.
Layla's, just beyond the Royal Market on the way to Marigot. Open for lunch, and perhaps some dinners. Tartares were wonderful as was the Salad Perigourdine. Closed Monday.
Coco Beach Bar for a leisurely lunch on Orient Beach. The food was simple and great. How all these places make such wonderful food is amazing to me.
La Belle Epoque on the Marina Royale. We had often been there for breakfast, but tried it for dinner when Le Cigale was closed. Outstanding beef tartare as a main course which we could see the chef prepare.
Citrus between the Sapphire Beach Club and the Atlantis Casino. The food was excellent and the service superb. The place is not unreasonably expensive given other Island choices, but I thought the wine list excessively overpriced and their were few choices under $50. We buy wine on the island and know what it should cost in restaurants.
Sugar Cane across from Cupecoy Beach Club in the Atlantis Casino complex. Open till 4 am. Great sandwiches and fries which we sometimes eat there or take to Cupecoy Beach. Is always our last stop before heading to Julianna Airport and home.
We have heard great things about Le Cigale across form the Royal Market in Nettle Bay. Will try it in November."
- Antoine's is our favorite by John Fehr, Hamburg, NY [September 13, 2002]
- "On the water in Phillipsburg. Lobster, veal, fish and the world's best chocolate deserts from souffle's to ice cream with his freshly made chocolate sauce. I always asked for an extra tourine of sauce it was soooooo good. Bon apetite."
- Dining Out In St.Maarten/St.Martin by Raymond DeTullio [August 17, 2002]
- "Just returned from our summer trip Aug. 7- Aug. 16, 2002
Boat House Had lunch here. The food was good, moderately priced but the service was painfully slow. It was after 2:00 P.M. when we arrived so we were asked to order quickly as the kitchen was supposedly about to close. That added somewhat to the frustration of being asked to rush and then having to wait.
Thai Garden Dinner was good. The sushi was good as were the entrees. The pricing was moderate and the ambiance O.K. The interior is a little rustic. The service could have been more attentive. I think that they were caught off guard as there were only two persons waiting tables and the place was almost full.
La Belle Epoque We went here after The Thai Garden for dessert. The desserts were excellent-one of the best creme brulees I've ever tasted. The service was also very attentive. I also liked the fact that it was 10:30 on a Monday night and they were still busy and glad to serve us. George, the owner/manager has been there for twelve years. Obviously that tells one a lot about consistency. It is very bistro/informal and can be hot but I enjoyed being literally on the dock next to the boats.
Rainbow Cafe The appetizers were acceptable and the service was fairly attentive. The entrees were quite awful. With the exception of the Sea Bass, the Duck, Ribeye and Shrimp and Scallops were inedible. Very, very disappointing. The place is nice, right on the beach but over priced and apparently very inconsistant.They did have a fairly good wine list. Adding insult to injury was:(A) My brother a local who knows the owners made the reservation and (B) Of all our evenings out it was the most expensive and they were the only restaurant to add a Service Charge for the four of us. One can tell when there are very few or no locals in a restaurant on the island, "heads up"! The owner who was there and knew we left unhappy could not have cared less. Amazing!!!!
Kon Tiki Great establishment which seems to get better all the time. Eight of us had a leisurely two hour lunch. Excellent food, attentive service and very comfortable beach side seating. It is not inexpensive but it is a great place all the way around. They also have management that cares about their local clientele.
Sol e Luna Outstanding! Excellent food, service and ambiance. This family owned and operated establishment is unique and very good. The decor of this restaurant speaks to the care and passion of its owners/operators. On the evening we were there most of the other patrons were locals.
If you enjoy dining and the cost is not a big factor Kon Tiki and Sol e Luna were my top picks."
- Best kept secret ? by V+M-K [August 9, 2002]
- "At the end of May and beginning of June we again visited our favorite island St. Martin. In the two weeks of our vacations we had an opportunity to eat at several island's restaurants.
Not being back to the island for eighteen months we found the La Creole restaurant in the hotel Mont Vernon at the north end of Orient Beach- is most likely the best kept secret of excellent dining on the island. The restaurant is run by a Frenchman Mr. Pascal Beyer, he and his team pay personal attention to guests and the service is prompt and friendly. The new chef is great. Nice menu and wine list. The first week when we were on the island we had dinner in the hotel restaurant. We had shrimp salad with aneth as an appetizer; for the main course my wife selected red snapper with asparagus, lime and butter sauce, I had Mahi-mahi. The dessert chosen by my wife was black chocolate pave and I had vanilla custard with brown caramelized sugar. The excellent dining experience was crowned by a bottle of a good red wine. We came back to this restaurant for a few more evenings and without any hesitation we can recommend the La Creole for excellence in service and cooking done by an artist. The prices are reasonable.
The other nice place were we dined at everytime we visit St. Martin was the open air restaurant Le Taitu on Mont Vernon - serving French and Creole cuisine. Once again we were not disappointed. The owner Jean Lestage and his staff serve very good food and wine at reasonable prices and their friendly attentive service earns them many repeat customers. From the very good seafood dishes please do not forget my most-favorite one; tuna steak with soya sauce and my wife's favorite " Chicken our way" with spicy Creole sauce.
From several restaurants we ate during our vacation only the evening at the Paris Bistro in the Maho Plaza did not earned our high marks. The food and service was mediocre.
After more than a week eating mostly fish and trying different restaurants (we both like eating fish), we thought that some beef or veal would be a good change. We remembered from La Creole's restaurant menu the beef filet with bake shallots and veal cutlet with mushrooms. Together with desserts and wine we had another fine diner experience.
Hope to visit the island again soon."
- The Bridge, Sandy Ground recommended by Maranjo [August 7, 2002]
- "This was truly our most enjoyable dining experience and a diamond in the rough. From Grand Case/Marigot going toward Terres Basse, it is on the left right before you cross the bridge. From Terres Basse, it is on the right immediately after crossing the bridge. We had extremely tender steaks grilled to perfection in a type of garlic sauce. We sat out on the porch and enjoyed seeing fish jumping up out of the water and residents fishing from the bridge and the rocks using nets. The boats were a plus. This is a must try for the food and the atmosphere. We loved it soo much, we ate there twice. There was no down fall to our dining experience. The prices are extremely reasonable. I did not notice the amount of the check, but I know that the grilled rib eye steak was only $18.75."
- Temptation, St. Maarten recommended by Bruce Ishikawa [July 31, 2002]
- "We travel a lot and always check the internet for restaurant reviews. So when we find something special we like to share. Here is a review of Temptation on St Maarten:
We stumbled upon Temptation on a recent trip to St. Maarten. This brand new restaurant is in the Atlantis Casino complex at Cupecoy. The entrance, with ingenious use of running water sheeting the windows was cool and inviting. When we got inside, we found ourselves in a place unlike any other on the island. The interior is light and cool, as much Manhattan as it is tropical.
Of course, we were there for the food and we found the Nouvelle Caribbean cuisine to be unparalleled. We started out with a Cesar salad, the best we have had in a long time. A "surf and turf" of grilled shrimp and tenderloin in a delicious light sauce accompanied by a variety of vegetables delighted with its blend of flavors. Filet Mignon served on a bed of lightly seasoned potatoes was perfectly prepared. A surprising dessert of champagne and fig sorbet completed the meal on a cool light note. We also tried the misnamed cheesecake - made from ricotta and reminiscent of the delicious insides of cannoli, it was cheese surely, but there the resemblance to the standard custard served up around the world ended. Temptation's cheesecake was light and delicate and wonderfully flavored.
While we like a good red wine, we are not afficionados. The California merlot suggested by the staff made an excellent accompaniment to the meal.
This is a sophisticated place, leave the beachwear and the kids at the hotel. They just opened, but they obviously know what they were doing, everything was perfect.
We visited many world class restaurants on St. Martin, the place is one of the gourmet capitals of the world. But by far our favorite was Temptation."
- Picks, no pans - visit of June 16-26/02 by R. Bailey [July 9, 2002]
- "We have a number of favorite restaurants that we go to year after year and didn't try new ones this time. Our taste run to Creole, so we don't do much with the gourmet French places. This is a log in no particular order.
Marks; still excellent food at very good prices, and now set up so you don't notice the parking lot surrounding it. Went twice for excellent conch stew. Good service and always made to feel welcome.
Bistro Nu; unusual dishes very well made. I had kangaroo, my wife bream, the latter a whole fish perfectly done and easily deboned. Nice warm goat cheese salad. The second time we had the Creole plate, several typical Creole appetizers, conch stew and a curry dish. Pear sorbet for dessert was outstanding. Was full our first visit, nearly empty the second. Jean-Claude was, as usual, very gracious.
Le Mambo; this is a small, very attractive restaurant on the land side of the street in Grand Case that we hadn't been to for a year. The menu has some interesting and unusual preparations that are excellent. My wife made a meal of two appetizers, a squid in curry sauce and baby octupus in a spiced red wine sauce, one of which they served as the main course. Both delicious. I had tuna in coconut-ginger sauce. Nice side dishes also, and delicious complementary spiced rum. We haven't seen this mentioned very much, but it should be more popular. Maryline is a gracious hostess.
La California; we find their regular menu good (more Creole, another Conch stew and a tuna steak), but the Bretonne crepes are unusual and delicious (mushroom and tomato; not on the menu but graciously prepared, and delicious scallops in a curry sauce); as is the complementary rum punch. The souvenir Polaroid is a nice touch if you like that kind of thing.
Yvettes; still the best for truly local food. A different conch stew, great shrimp in Creole sauce, and the best johnny cakes. We were surprised to be the only people there.
Shiv Sagar; we like Indian food even more than Creole, and they have very good Indian food. The best nan, and the condiments alone are worth the visit. Panir tikka and fish tikka both unusual and excellent; also a good vegetarian selection and outstanding massala tea. Went twice here also.
La Main a la Pate; we had our annual pizza dinner here at the Marigot marina - vegetarienne; choice of with or without cheese; no disappointment, the pizza was great. Also complementary spiced rum. It was packed Sunday night, but most of the other establishments were closed.
Although we do most of our own lunches, we did go to La Belle Epoque since they have a tropical fruit salad that my wife has to have every year; the onion soup and goat cheese salad aren't bad either. Also did Scavenger's on Dawn Beach, which is low key beach bar with a limited menu, things like burgers (never had a better veggie burger!), ribs, etc., with good pasta and potato salad and cole slaw side salads, and a very relaxed atmosphere on a quiet but very good beach."
- Picks and Pans by chorton77 [June 16, 2002]
- "Just returned from St. Martin. The best dining experience of our trip was at The Fish Pot in Grand Case. Tuna Carpaccio with vanilla oil and balsamic vinegar, a sparklingly fresh grilled lobster with a potato and cheese strata, and Grand Marnier souffle poured full of chocolate sauce. Served along with a delicious French white wine recommended by our server, who along with the rest of the staff, really went out of her way to make sure we enjoyed our evening. What a meal!
Another excellent evening was spent on the bayside patio of La Laguna, an outstanding Italian restaurant on Simpson Bay near the Airport. Tender fried calamari, Caesar Salad, snapper in cream sauce, grouper with olives and capers, gnocchi and fresh tomato sauce, and a staff who seemed genuinely glad that we had chosen to dine with them. Outstanding!
A bit of disappointment at The Turtle Pier on Simpson Bay. Lobsters were undersized and overpriced. We have seen healthier looking crayfish than the alleged lobsters we were served here. Drinks so watery that no liquor could be discerned, and that complaint from the ladies! One of our party ordered barbecue ribs and we made fun of him for coming to St. Martin from the southern US just to order ribs. His plate turned out to be the best on the table, but still couldn't make up for a generally mediocre to poor restaurant experience. There are too many good ones to waste time here."
- Grand Case by Kathy Jones [June 14, 2002]
- "We were in St Martin the first 2 weeks of May for our 7th visit. First let me say that we love Michael's for HAPPY HOUR. Michael and Marilyn are great people who are living our dream! Dropping into paradise. They are wonderful hosts. Go around 4-5 PM and there are super interesting people to chat with.
Bistro Caraibes is our periennial favorite and never disappoints. Get the lobster and the house smoked salmon is suprisingly better than NY lox.
The Indian restaurant in Grand Case is where the local chefs eat and order for their families. I don't remember the name but Michael and Marilyn can tell you. They are regulars!
Lunch - Friars Bay Beach Club.
Can't wait to return to St Martin"
- stmaartin April/02 by Maureen Prubant [June 13, 2002]
- "Had a great trip in St Marrtin.Went to Le Cottage Grand Case, Meal, presentation, wine list and service was outstanding. Sunset Beach Bar for happy hour, drink prices were great and so were the planes. Went to a small Italian restaurant near Cheris Cafe can't say enough good things about this place. The food was very good but the owners personality made the place great! Danced and watch the show at Cheris always a fun place to go to. Ate at the Bout House, meal was not as good as other years."
- Cheris Cafe by SIMPSONRM@ [June 11, 2002]
- "The person who wrote the this was a tourist trap was out of their tree. This was a place with great entertainment and good food at a reasonable price. I, Papa Noel and Mrs. Clause visited there and went back two more times, that's how much we liked it. We were there 6/7, 8 ,9 of 2002."
- St. Martin Restaurants by Phyllis Kerner [June 6, 2002]
- "My husband and I just returned from a wonderful week in St. Martin. By far our favorite restaurant was Mario's Bistro. Anything and everything is delicious and extremely well presented. It is a definite must for discriminating diners. Our other favorites are La Gondola in Sandy Ground, La Mambo in Grand Case and Le Bar de le Mer in Marigot. All of the above provide wonderful food that is memorable. Our most disappointing meal was the vastly overrated Le Pressoir. Based on advance billing and reputation, we traveled to Grand Case expecting an extraordinary meal. My husband's duck was good, as were the soups. I ordered Red Snapper, but wound up with Salmon (a late discovery); if you enjoy seafood that smells fishy, then this is the place to go."
- Earlier reviews:
- "We mostly ate in Grand Case and agree with many of the earlier reviews on the excellent restaurants in that vicinity. L’auberage gourmand (nice garden-like setting but across the street from the water) and Le Fish Pot (we ate almost right on top of the water) were both favorites and offered many good French wines as well.
I want to put a plug in for the restaurant at Lotterie Farm (on the way to Pic Paradis near Columbier). We started with roast brie baked in a pastry puff with a mango/honey chutney glaze, which when discovered by our toddler was devoured! The duck breast was exquisite and the bill for lunch was much lower than we expected (maybe 50 Euros for two adults and one hungry two-year old). They close for lunch around 3PM, which is when we began our hike… a great way to burn off calories.
In the Orient Bay area we felt that KaKoa’s was one of the better beach front restaurants because we became rather fond of their endive salad during the heat of the day. The beachfronts mostly don’t take Visa/MC so bring lots of cash. Back off the beach, and at night after 8, was Cotes Plages, which is very good and near to an excellent ice cream shop. The glace de tiramisu, passion fruit, coconut, and chocolate orange were among my favorites. This plaza by the fountain in front of the restaurant is very inviting by night, with little French girls in dresses riding their bicycles and young men lawn bowling by the fountain.
In general the French West Indies offer the best food in the Caribbean by far. It is superb. If I were just going to eat lobster, however, I prefer the accompaniment of live steel band music in Tobago for that. Hey, anyone can cook a lobster and make it taste good. For everything else, come to these restaurants and experience the magic!"
Waiting for more submissions..., submit yours now!
Skip to more St.Maarten/St.Martin Island information