What is your favorite restaurant? This page lists the reviews submitted to us in the second half of 1999 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.
- Michael's, Grand Case recommended by Bill Judd [December 30, 1999]
- "We are getting ready to go to St Maartin for the Third year in a row and yes there are many, many fine places to eat but if you are going to start your day off right, it has to be breakfast at Michael's. Yes, its only bacon and eggs but the combination of how it is cooked and sitting looking out at the water make for the best breakfast on the island."
- Bistrot Caraibes, Grand Case recommended by Doris & Milty [December 24, 1999]
- "WE WROTE TO YOU ABOUT A WEEK AGO OUTLINING TROPICANA @ MARINA ROYALE IN MARIGOT
WE WOULD AGAIN RECOMMEND THE BISTROT CARAIBES IN GRAND CASE. THIBAULT AND VALERIE ARE WONDERFUL HOSTS. THEIR FOOD AND DRINKS MAKE FOR A GREAT DINING EXPERIENCE. ASIDE FROM THEIR REGULAR MENU, THE DAILY SPECIALS ARE CAREFULLY PREPARED, BEAUTIFULLY SERVED, AND REASONABLY PRICED."
- Mario's Bistro recommended by Julie Halperin [December 20, 1999]
- "The service is superb. The food is superb. It is our favorite restaurant in St. Martin because they go out of their way to make sure you are pleased with the meal"
- Tropicana, Marine Royale, Margot recommended by Doris and Milty [December 18, 1999]
- "WE WROTE LAST AFTER OUR MAY 1999 TRIP. TROPICANA HAS DOUBLED THE SIZE OF THEIR RESTAURANT. THEY HAVE ALSO HIRED A PASTRY CHEF, WHOSE CREATIONS ARE MAGNIFICENT. WE WERE ON THE ISLAD FROM NOV 12th THRU NOV 27th, WHICH PUT US IN " LENNY"'S PATH. THE RESTAURANT DID NOT SUFFER DAMAGE AT ALL. THE FOOD, SERVICE AND WINES ARE STILL AS GREAT AS EVER. WE ASKED GILLES, THE OWNER, IF HE COULD MAKE US AN ANNIVERSARY CAKE ( OUR 42nd). HE SAID IT WOULD BE NO PROBLEM. THE CHEF MADE A CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CAKE, WITH MARZIPAN TOPPING AND AN INSCRIPTION FOR US. IT WAS WONDERFUL. YOU CAN HAVE THIS DESSERT AT TROPICANA ANY LUNCH OR DINNER AS WELL AS A CHOICE OF AT LEAST A DOZEN MORE VARIETIES. WE STILL HEARTILY RECOMMED THIS RESTAURANT."
- Everyt'ing Cool, Philipsburg recommended by Roger Guindon [December 8, 1999]
- "We happened to visit St. Maarten for the first time during Hurricane Lenny so needless to say we didn't go dining very often but, we did find a happy medium when it came to shopping, a good lunch and afternoon fun! My wife likes to shop and downtown Philipsburg is the place. I'd rather sit back and relax so we found EVERYT'ING COOL on Front street as the perfect spot. The food is fabulous American style dining (try the ribs!!!), prices are very reasonable, great beach and a view of the Bay and Cruise ships, nice music and WOW on the Smoothies. Shop, relax, eat, have a drink, shop some more, come back and have a cool one....I'll be here when you get back!!!"
- Sunset Cafe, Grand Case recommended by Colin and Pat from Michigan [November 29, 1999]
- "Our favorite place in St. Martin's is the Sunset Cafe in Grand case. The owner is Pascal--what a nice guy. Every night there is a new special. He will also cater to your special likes and dislikes. All in all, a great place to see the sun set and share a fabulous meal with your friends or special loved one. Even eating alone will be a lovely experience!"
- Good Restaurants recommended by Carolyn McHale [November 28, 1999]
- "We were just in St. Maarten from Nov 4-24th. Yup, during Hurricane Lenny. Several "not to miss" restaurants are Tutta Pasta at the Simpson Bay Yacht Club. Large menu of delicious pasta entrees at very resonable prices. See Leon. Closed Sat. No credit cards. The Full Moon Bar and Grill just beyond the Food Center as you are going into Philipsburg, on the left before the Shell gas station. Excellent local creole food. Conch fritters, conch soup, conch and dumplings, and grouper creole are outstanding! See Antoine and Stacey. No credit cards. A not to miss beef restaurant is the Le Charolais just across from the Lightning Casino. Delicious steaks and huge portions! At Sandy Ground is Mario's Bistro. Food is delicious and presentation is outstanding. Salmon in a chickpea crust or halibut wrapped in leeks. Reservation is a must."
- Spartaco and others reviewed by BARBARA MCNUGE, DRACUT MA [November 16, 1999]
- "WELL WHAT CAN I SAY ABOUT PERFECTION....THIS WAS OUR SECOND TIME VISITNG THIS WONDERFUL "PARADISE" LAST WEEK NOV 9, 1999, AND THEN BACK IN FEBRUARY...ANDRE WAS OUR WINE EXPERT AND I BELIEVE SPARTACO HIMSELF WAITED ON OUR TABLE...THE RESTAURANT IS NESTLED IN THE HEART OF ALMOND GROVE (DUTCH SIDE) AND IS DINNING AT ITS FINEST AL FRESCO BUT NOT AT ALL WARM, BUT A BEAUTIFUL BREEZE, THAT JUST GOES HAND IN HAND WITH A MEAL TO DIE FOR. I CANNOT THINK OF ANOTHER RESTAURANT THE EVEN COMES CLOSE EITHER IN ST. MARTIN OR BACK AT HOME HERE IN USA. WE HAVE SOME OF THE FINEST RESTAURANTS IN BOSTON, BUT SORRY TO SAY THEY ALL TAKE A BACK SEAT......
IT IS DEFINITELY NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART WHEN IT COMES TO THE PRICES, BUT IT IS WORTH EVERY SINGLE PENNY...I CANNOT SAY ENOUGH ABOUT THIS FINE ESTABLISHMENT....A CLOSE SECOND WOULD HAVE TO BE DON CAMILLO'S (FRENCH SIDE) VERY DELICIOUS AND ALSO A VERY FRIENDLY ATMOSPHERE, FRANCESCA IS USUALLY OUR WAITRESS BUT SHE WAS OUT DO TO MATERNITY LEAVE....BUT I WILL SAY A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT THIS VISIT WAS MARIO'S BISTRO....IN FACT ONE OF THE PEOPLE IN OUR PARTY ORDERED DESSERT AND IT WAS NOT EXPLAINED TO HER BY THE WAITER AND DID NOT EAT IT, SO THEY TOOK IT OFF THE BILL, WHICH MAKES YOU FEEL A LITTLE BETTER. I GOT THE SALMON WITH A STRUDEL WRAP AND IN SIDE WAS EGGPLANT, VERY GREASY AND THE EGGPLANT WAS MUSHY, THE SALMON WAS WATERY, THE WAIT STAFF SEEMED TO RUSH US THROUGH....SO SUFFICE TO SAY THIS WAS A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT, AND EVEN THOUGH THEY CHANGE THE MENU EVERY 3 MONTHS, SOMETIMES IT IS NICE TO HAVE THOSE THINGS THAT WE LIKE ABOUT AN ESTABLISHMENT TO LOOK FORWARD TO...
THAT IS MY REVIEW AND SORRY IT IS SO LONG..."
- St. Martin Restaurants by David & Angela Swope [November 15, 1999]
- "Two weeks in St. Martin are wonderful even with Hurricane Jose! We stayed at Club Orient (Except for the evacuation to Esmeralda). When the weather permitted we at out nightly.
Papagayo (Club Orient) OK breakfast, good lunch and fair to poor dinner. Their wines are surprisingly poor. They are scheduled to have a new French Chef in November so things may have improved. Happy Hour, 2 for 1, is good and available at the beach bar from 2-3 and in the main bar from 5-6.
Mario's Bistro, Sandy Ground: This was the best restaurant we found. The cuisine is French/Oriental(?). The duck is fantastic with a soy based sauce. While I prefer orange or some fruit based, Angela loved it! The Duck Pad Thai appetiser is out of this world. Service is good to excellent. This is a VERY popular restaurant. Make reservations for a table on the water and get directions!
Le Tastevin, Grand Case: We had great service and wonderful food. This was Angela's second favorite. The duck breast with black currant sauce was great. I wished I had ordered it. The lamb was excellent. Our table overlooked the beach which is lighted at night, very romantic.
L'Amandier, Grand Case: This is a lovely hotel with a great bar and restaurant. This was the best service we received. We tried them for both lunch and dinner. They too are on the water and have floodlights on the beach at night. The fish was fresh and wonderfully prepared as was the lamb. Even the cheeseburger was good.
Hibiscus, Grand Case: This is a great small and cheerful restaurant. Service began well but went down as more clients arrived. Most of the patrons were local French speaking and knew the owner which accounted for a great deal of visiting at the expense of service to the two tables of tourists. The food was good but it was not a good price performer.
Cottonier, Cul du sac: This is a sentimental favorite with only 8 tables. Alain runs the kitchen and Jeanine greets, seats, serves and feeds the lobsters! The food is good and the wine list is great.
L'Auberge Gourmande, grand Case: This restaurant is certainly quaint but was not our favorite. Both the food and service were only OK during our visit. The dog wondering through was friendly but I'm not sure that was the place for him.
All in all it is hard to really go wrong on the French side! Have a great trip!"
- St. Maarten Review by Michelle Swanda and friends [November 11, 1999]
- "Just got back from our second visit to the "gourmet capital" of the Caribbean. I don't know what I enjoyed more, the food or the beach. Decisions, decisions. I guess you could say that about the tough time we had squeezing in every restaurant we wanted to eat at within an eight day period. So many to choose from, so little time! Well, here's where we did eat and what we thought about it....
Il Nettuno: I had read a bunch of great reviews about this place so we decided to try it first. On our last visit, the only Italian we had was at Don Camillio (which we absolutely love!), therefore, this place had some serious competition. Needless to say, it wasn't hard to choose between the two after visiting Il Nettuno. To start off, I was not impressed by the service, or should I say, lack of. We had reservations and when we walked in, we stood there unnoticed for about five minutes (seemed like eternity) before someone acknowledged us. I don't know about anyone else, but it is a very uncomfortable to be standing in the middle of a restaurant not knowing what to do, especially if you've never been there. In regards to the food, it was okay but didn't even come close to Don Camillio. The only thing I really took away from Il Nettuno was the lovely ocean view.
Don Camillio: By far, our favorite restaurant on the entire island. The service is impeccable, food is outstanding and the atmosphere is very quaint. I would HIGHLY recommend this place. Try the sampler platter for your appetizer. It's not on the menu, however, ask for it and you'll receive everything from parmesan crusted mussels to stuffed green peppers. Awesome! Also, if you love gorgonzola, don't go home without ordering the gnocchi with gorgonzola cream sauce. It melts in your mouth. If you like veal, you'll love the lemon piccata veal. For pasta lovers, go for the carbonara. If I could recommend one place for anyone who loves Italian, try Don's. I promise it's an experience you'll go back for.
Fish Pot: Incredible. Our favorite seafood restaurant by far. Try the grilled lobster with the lemon/butter sauce. Note that the sauce is a puree of butter, lemon juice, cheese and a bunch of other good stuff. I can't even begin to tell you how scrumptious it was. And if you pass up the lobster bisque, shame on you. Topped with a baked pastry, this soup is heavenly. I craved it our entire trip. I couldn't find anything that even compared. The fish soup also ranks right up there. Definitely make the Fish Pot a "must eat at" on your list.
Bistro Nu: Our waiter at Don Camillio's, John, recommended this place. We asked him what the best kept secret on the island was. He said, Bistro Nu. And was he right! Although located down a dark little alley, it is a jewel in the rough. What a neat little restaurant. Don't forget your reservation, especially after 8 p.m. The two things I remembered most about Bistro Nu was their fabulous steamed mussels and the asparagus. The butter/wine sauce on the mussels was so good, I lapped every drop up with my bread! And as our entire group discovered after dinner, be prepared to have some serious garlic breath as each dish has it's share!
Don Carlos: After a long day in St. Bart's, we met a couple on the boat trip back that asked us to go to Don Carlos for the all-you-can-eat Mexican buffet. We should've figured that a.) these folks had been eating at these type of places their entire trip and b.) what's up with Mexican food in the Caribbean? Let me preface this review by saying that we live in Dallas and have some really incredible Mexican/Tex-Mex restaurants. Therefore, this place was definitely not on the top of my list. However, we did go and it was okay. Not the best I've ever had but it surely hit the spot. If you are hungry and want to stuff yourself, check out Don Carlos.
Mama Mia's: We landed here after a late day at the beach and a few drinks at Sunset Beach Bar. We were starving! Of course, we had not changed out of our beach clothes so we were looked at sideways when we first walked in. Although the service was extremely slow, the pizza was outstanding. Try the four cheese pizza...WOW!
Talk of the Town: If you want a good lunch, check this little place out. They have a couple of grills set up with everything from ribs to lobster. We ordered the grilled lobster and it was excellent. You also can order side items such as Johnny cakes, Cajun rice, black beans and rice, corn on the cob, etc. Very reasonably priced and good.
L'Alabama: Okay, I want to start off by saying thank you to all who gave this place great reviews on this site. You were right! What an outstanding restaurant. I would rank l'Alabama as our favorite French restaurant. I had a snail and mushroom appetizer with a pastry on top that was to die for. If you want something different, try the Mahi Mahi with the banana sauce...very addictive. Also worth trying is the veal, asparagus appetizer and the walnut salad with toasted bread topped with goat cheese and caramelized walnuts. Don't miss L'Alabama.
Maria's Italian Bistro and Bagel Shop: How could I forget Maria's! If you want the best Italian sub in the world, head on over to Maria's for lunch. Stuffed in a fresh-baked baguette, choose your favorite meats) and cheese and all the toppings. Our favorite is the priosutto with buffalo mozzarella and drenched with balsamic vinaigrette dressing. We loved them so much that we "smuggled" a couple back to the states. Unfortunately, the couple we traveled with had their sandwiches confiscated by the beagle patrol at the San Juan airport. Boy were they disappointed! Ha ha.
And last but not least, if you want the absolute best beach cocktail on the island, go to Baie Rouge and order their "specialty." Right in front of you, they'll cut up fresh fruit including cantaloupe, honey dew, strawberries, bananas, etc. and blend it into a frozen cocktail. It was like a fruit smoothie with alcohol. I think I had five of these! Oh, did I mention that the beach is just as wonderful.
If you're headed to St. Martin, drop me a line at email@example.com. I would love to answer any of your questions or give advice!
Submitted by Michelle Swanda on behalf of our entire group - Bobby Miller, Shannon Summers and Bill Croskey."
- Grand View Cafe, Simmit Resort Hotel, Cupecoy recommended by MJJ621 [October 24, 1999]
- "William (the bartender) and Phillip (the chief) did a great job when we visited the cafe. The view was great, the service great, and the food was great. This should be a "must stop" for everyone. The Grand View Cafe is located at the Summit Resort Hotel on the Dutch side. If you are leaving the Maho area, head towards the Saphire and the Summit Hotel will be off of a road on your right just before you come to the Saphire. Recommend highly."
- SXM trip week of Oct 2 by John and Betty Robb [October 14, 1999]
- "Just back from our 2nd trip this year to SXM and had a great time. Ate twice at Antoine's on front street in Phillipsburg and it was great both times. Jean Pierre is a gracious host and the chocolate souffle is to die for. I had the filet with the black pepper sauce and my wife had the mahi-mahi and they were prepared perfectly. In our opinion it is one of the best meals on the island.
Also had lunch Sunday at Ric's Place and the food was good but if you are a Nascar race fan like us you will need to go somewhere else because they refused to leave 1 of the tv's on ESPN and said they only showed football on Sunday's. Too bad because they missed out on a nice bar tab from us.
Sunset Beach Bar was a happening place as usual. Thanks again to Naomi and Wanda for being such good bar keeps."
- Da Livio, Philipsburg recommended by Jim and Deirdre Quinn [October 11, 1999]
- "I was reading your list of restaurants to dine in St. Maarten, and I did not come upon Da Livio Restaurant and I'm not sure why. Anybody who is anybody has dined there. Their Wall of Fame speaks for itself. We personally never fail to stop there when we are in St. Maarten. There really is no other restaurant like it on the island. The restaurant is gorgeous, as it looks right out on the sea as you watch the boats in the great bay and hear the soothing sounds of the waves against the sand -- wonderful, just wonderful!
The service is unmatched. As busy as Da Livio Restaurant gets, the host, Daniel, I noticed, is always extremely friendly and attentive to every single customer that walked through the restaurant; his goal being that we have an enjoyable and memorable dinner.
We love going there for their fresh seafood, which Daniel personally picks up from the market each day -- his avocado with lobster and shrimp is a must as an appetizer and his pasta combination is wonderful, just to name a few. He told us that all his pastas are home made, which we don't doubt. Our guests tried a veal chop, and a fillet mignon (just as good!).
As steady and devoted customers of Da Livio Restaurant, these are just a few reasons why we think you should add Da Livio Restaurant to your list. It is a St. Maarten must and your stay is not complete unless you dine there."
- Jean DuPont (Marigot) and Dino's Bistro (Maho) reviewed by Joseph Pergola [September 28, 1999]
- "JEAN DUPONT (Marigot): My fiancee and I had the most fantastic meal at Jean Dupont. It is located at the Marigot Bay Marina. The French Cuisine was tremendous. The waiters was very attentive and stayed their distance until just the right moment. I had the Lobster Bisque (A MUST!) and the Grilled Tuna, she had the pasta in a cream sauce. The sauce was so complex that it made me so satisfied. For dessert we shared the apple crisp. It was magnificent. Price for the 2 of us was $119.00US with tip. The only downside was that there were children constantly running by our table chasing cats and dogs through the restaurant. It was very cute but distracting.
DINO'S BISTRO (Maho Bay): Down at the Sapphire Beach Hotel we met a woman by the name of Asha. She was so wonderful and helpful. She set us up with the finest jeweler on the Island (Little Europe located in Phillipsburg; ask for Hairo and tell him that Joe & Jen from NY sent you) and also arranged for us to eat at her son's new restaurant. Dino's Bistro is located behind the airport, behind the Dolphin Casino. There we were treated like royalty. We had a special flower arrangement for our table and the staff was at our every beckon call. Dino, Chef/Owner, studied in the US and has apprenticed at the Waldorf in London. It shows by the quality and the presentation of the dishes. DINO'S BY FAR IS THE BEST DEAL ON THE ISLAND. AT $30 PER PERSON FOR A 3 COURSE PRICE FIX, HOW CAN YOU GO WRONG? I highly suggest the "Macho Gazpacho" soup, the Chicken over Potatoes, and the Blueberry Cobbler. Dino's also has the best breakfast. Bring your appetite and order the French Toast, you will not be disappointed!!"
- Grand Case Cuisine by Johnny C in Baltimore, MD [September 25, 1999]
- "I love L'Alabama. The food is zee best I have ever encountered in the Caribbean. My wife and I ate there twice during our visit. Everything was perfect, from the service to the food. Pascal does an excellent job of describing the meal which makes it melt in your mouth. I give this place *****! Seafood as well as beef is excellent. We ran into old friends from Charlotte, NC and had a great time. Hopefully we will meet them again (without BERTHA getting in the way. We all had a great time at Orient Beach. It's too bad someone took their cooler with Jack Daniel's. Nonetheless, we persevered and got another bottle. We cant wait to get back and stay at the Grand Case Beach Club!!"
- The Sunset Cafe, Grand Case Beach Club recommended by Derek Phelps [September 24, 1999]
- "Meet Pascal at The Sunset Cafe at Grand Case Beach Club.He will serve you wonderful meals;breakfast,lunch and dinner.He had prepared a terrific lamb chop dinner for my husband on his birthday in April 1999. We love our favorite place the Sunset Cafe. It really lives up to the name every evening as the sun sets."
- Bobo Jams, Orient Beach recommended by 'DRL222' [September 19, 1999]
- "this is a beach eatery. The food is great and the people there are friendly and easy to talk to. It is on oreint beach"
- Restaurant Websites by Jeff Berger [September 15, 1999]
- "Two new websites for St. Maarten restaurants sport the restaurants'
1. www.turtlepier.com offers many pictures plus menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, and a special lobsters page.
2. www.ricsplace-sxm.com, which just went live in September, 1999, has a number of pictures as well plus all this fun Tex-Mex restaurant / sports bar's menus.
3. Of course the best place to get SXM restaurant info is my site [he said modestly], www.jmbcommunications.com/sxm.html.
Surf a little! ;)
- The Boat House, Simpson Bay recommended by Chuck Nicholson [September 10, 1999]
- "BEEN GOING TO ST.MAARTEN FOR YEARS,AGAIN IN OCTOBER,AS THERE ARE REALLY MORE PLACES TO ENJOY AN EVENING MEAL THEN THERE IS TIME,WE ALWAYS START OFF AT THE BOAT HOUSE,THE SERVICE IS SECOND TO NONE,THE FOOD(AND I HAVE TRIED MOST OF THE MENU,ALWAYS GREAT,THE OWNER COMES BY TO MAKE SURE ALL IS WELL,THE BOATHOUSE IS THE PLACE TO START,SEE YOU ALL THERE 10/08/99."
- Old Captain, Philipsburg recommended by F. Patrick Laughlin [September 6, 1999]
- "After being on the island 12 consecutive years, the Old Captain restaurant,located on Front Street in Philipsburg,is by far one of the best we have ever experienced!! The atmosphere is wonderful(you can eat inside, or outside directly on the water's edge),the service is excellent, the menu is extensive, and the food is prepared very elegantly, and is absolutely superb!! We ate there twice our last visit(older children enjoy this, as well!)"
- Le Cottage, Grand Case not recommended by Linda Krummenacker [September 1, 1999]
- "Just wanted anyone to know that if they are going to be vacationing in St. Maarten, there are numerous wonderful restaurants that my husband and I recently went to. One restaurant, though, that I would not recommend is Le Cottage. We were in St. Maarten during a very slow season, mind you, and were able to get into any restaurant. The service was always good and the staff of all the restaurants were for the most part courteous. One rainy night we decided to go to Le Cottage and ran from our car through pouring rain up the steps and into the restaurant. We were greeted with a snooty attitude indicating that there were no tables available and that we were free to stand there until the rain subsided. It would have been a lot nicer to have obtained a warm greeting, maybe followed by "why not have a drink and the bar and possibly we can seat you a bit later." "Bruno", who is the manager, made it quite clear that we were obviously not welcome....possibly because we did not speak French, possibly because we were wet. I am not quite sure, but it was quite a pretty place. Too bad Bruno did not know proper etiquette when addressing people. After a wonderful dinner at an Italian restaurant down the road called Il Noturno, or something close to that, we walked by Le Cottage and noticed that there were plenty of tables available. Too bad for Bruno. Maybe he should not be so picky. After all, we did not look like vagabonds . . . we merely looked American."
- Reviews by 'Cemca' [August 22, 1999]
- "We returned from St. Marteen yesterday. L'Alabama was closed for vacation so we tried Tastevin. The food was just okay- a step above the Fish Pot which we tried on our last visit. Our best dinner was at Le Bec Fin in Phillipsburg. For a casual evening our try Indiana next to the Pelican Resort. The Pelican Steakhouse is overrated; although the food is good the service is horrific. The best spot in Phillipsburg for breakfast is The Kangaroo Court. The best spot for lunch on Orient Beach is Kakao's."
- St Martin Restaurants by Pat Burke [August 18, 1999]
- "We have just returned fronm our first summer trip to St. Martin, we usually go in February or December. It is just as wonderful in August as in the winter. In the summer however, we didn't need reservations at our favorite restaurants. We love many of the same restaurants that have been mentioned here before: Le Piccolo Cafe, L'Alabama and Zee Best to name a few. We did find one new restaurant this time. The Full Moon Bar & Grill which has great local food. It has been open only a few weeks and is good already. Antoine the owner, and his wife Stacy are friendly and helpful. The menu consists of well prepared island food such as crab back, conch and dumpling, shrimp creole and goat meat. Full Moon Cafe is located on the road to Philipsburg across from Food Center. We're adding it to our list for when we return in February."
- Portofino, Grand Case recommended by Choue [August 18, 1999]
- "I went to a good pizzeria in Grand case were they make very good BBQ :fishes ,meats ,and the pizzas are thin crust.It's the Portofino (in front of the pharmacy)."
- A La Cabane Bambou, Grand Case recommended by Sabine Mauclère [August 18, 1999] (see also her reviews from april 99 end october/november 98)
- "Just back from another trip I must say that again after my visit to La Cabane Bambou, I am never but never disappointed. I would say that it is the right place for people who want to relax (which is what we all do during our holidays!), enjoy a delicious food and local drinks, as well as a nice atmosphere & ambience with the humour of Gilles the Chef.
I admire Gilles being the only one to run this restaurant in Grand Case, as he takes time to talk to guests and laugh with them (be aware that he has a big sense of humour), he also takes time to the decoration of his restaurants as well as preparing wonderful plates (with plenty of colours & fresh flowers), and more than that he cooks really well! This way you are sure to eat something fresh and prepared locally and you can see the fabulous show while he is preparing cause of the open kitchen.
It is true that you have plastics chairs but do not forget to look the nice tables and the birds up the ceiling, also the music is as anywhere else and after doing so much restaurants in Grand Case I must say that most of them have plastic chairs (it keeps you fresh cause with this hot weather) and the menu on a black board is simply the local way of reading the menu (you will find the same at fishpot!)
More than that it so well explained by Gilles that before having it in your plate you want to taste it! and it is just delicious. Ask Gilles how he prepares and he will be pleased to give you briefly (never the all secret) the recipe! Gilles' experience in some of the best hotels in Switzerland & in other parts of Europe tell you why this is the right place to go!
So if you get the chance to go to this original place but where what you have in your plate is just excellent for a resonable price then you will really ENJOY your holidays, and Gilles will also give you tips (if you ask) to make your trip memorable.
PS: If you go & see him do not forget to bring him a pot of chocolate (nutella for example) he loves that, & that will be a wonderful gift for him! And more than that he will make other plenty plenty chocolate cakes with coconut. I just dream ABOUT THIS CAKE SINCE I am back!!!!!
Thank you Gilles for being so natural & funny! and make always our holidays better!!!! I will come back & definately recommend this place!"
- Favorites of Kerry and Chris Harvey, Boston, MA [August 14, 1999]
- "We have just returned from our second wonderful vacation in St. Martin (surely, not our last). We go for the beautiful beaches, the French culture, the shopping, but most importantly the food. We went to a few of our favorites from our last trip and tried a few recommended here on this website.
Mario's Bistro: (Sandy Ground) We had heard a lot about this restaurant and wondered if it could ever live up to our expectations. They had just opened from their summer holiday and remodeling the restaurant (we had to take their word for it since this was our first time there). We had a corner table overlooking the water. The restaurant is very cute and romantically lit for ambiance. The hostess and waitstaff (fresh from vacation) were very gracious and attentive. The wine steward recommended a fine Bordeaux ($45). Now the important stuff: dinner. Kerry began with a Small Baked Brie with Bruschetta, and I had Serrano Ham Quesadilla with a cucumber salsa. The brie was delicious and the quesadilla was incredibly tasty. For dinner, Kerry had the world famous Duck, which she said was perfectly prepared and juicy, the best she had ever had. I had a Ribeye steak w/ Camembert cheese and fried onions with a side of Gnocchi in a cheesy bacon cream sauce. The Ribeye was outstanding medium rare just the way I liked it. The Gnocchi was so good, I could have had that as my whole meal. Also, we were impressed at the size of the portions - they were huge. This was a welcome departure from the airplane food we had been having all day. Unfortunately, we were too full for dessert.
L'Alabama: (Grand Case) We loved this restaurant so much we went there twice on this vacation. It was also in part our incentive to return to St. Martin. The restaurant is very pretty with one side lined with tropical plants called "The Garden" and has a blue and white decor. They had this exquisite frosted glass water pitcher that my wife coveted. At one point I offered to create a diversion so she could make off with it. But it should still be there the next time we visit. The hosts, Karen and Pascal, are incredibly gracious and make you feel right at home. Karen is a beautiful blonde and is genuinely sweet and concerned about how much you are enjoying your dinner. The first night we went, we both started with French Onion Soup which was superb. For the main course, Kerry had Rack of Lamb which was fabulous and maintained its ranking of being her favorite rack of lamb anywhere. I had Red Snapper in a Red Butter and Caper Sauce. Mine was perfect. For Dessert, Kerry had Creme Brulee which was her first excursion into this dessert, but enjoyed it fully. I had Chocolate Profiteroles which was a thoroughly satisfying way to end my meal. They offered us complimentary after dinner drinks.
The second time we went: We each started with Escargot. I like the way their Escargot is served in a puff pastry with a cream sauce. It was quite tasty. Kerry had Veal Loin in a Mushroom Crust and a Tarragon Cream Sauce and Christophine Cake. She said it was excellent. I had Filet Mignon with a Morel Mushroom sauce. I was a little surprised that I didn't see any actual Morel mushrooms with my filet, but it was very good. We shared a dessert of chocolate mousse topped with a layer of white chocolate mousse. Each night we had an excellent St. Emillion wine by the glass with dinner.
Il Nettuno: (Grand Case) We had a lovely table at the water's edge overlooking the lights of Anguilla twinkling in the distance. The waiters were attentive and amusing. Our primary waiter was suggesting places to stay and dine on the island. We didn't catch his name, but he had a very pronounced mustache that reminded me of a walrus. We started by ordering a bottle of Bardolino. For appetizers we ordered the specials of Lobster Raviolis in a Lobster Cream Sauce and Gnocchi Quattro Fromaggio. As I told my wife at the time "It was a party in my mouth". For the main course, we both had Grouper covered with Pancetta over a bed of Caramelized Onions that was just absolutely fantastic. I encouraged them that this special should be on the menu permanently. Again, we were too full for dessert.
L'Auberge Gourmande: (Grand Case) This is another one of our favorite restaurants from our previous trip to the island. It is so quaint inside with archways and a warm gold hued atmosphere. The hostess, Christine, is a spirited, warm French woman who greets you like you're old friends. In fact on a later night we were passing by the restaurant and she spotted us and was waving from inside. For a beverage we both began with their signature drink, apricot champagne cocktail. It is light and refreshing. We began our meal by sharing a large order of escargot. We both ordered the filet in a morel mushroom sauce as the main course. This is the dish Kerry ordered on our last visit and would have returned to the island just to taste this again. It is delicious--so tender it could be cut with a spoon. The sauce and the morel mushrooms are delicious. We concluded our meal with dessert. Kerry had an assortment of chocolates which satisfied her passion for chocolate. I had a mango, chocolate mousse which was the perfect combination of chocolate and mango. We had complimentary after dinner drinks of Bailey's Irish Creme and Cognac.
Ala Cabane Bambou: (Grand Case) We tried this restaurant because of all the recommendations we had seen on this website. The restaurant is right next to Sebastiano's and is hard to miss because of the mannequin in a hammock that greets you as you enter. Gilles, the owner/chef, swept us into the restaurant to a table of our choice. He was so full of energy that one had the feeling that a tornado had just whirled through the room when he disappeared back into the kitchen. The ambiance is lacking and the chairs we sat in were plastic. Valerie was not there that night, but her sister, Vanessa, was waitressing instead. The menu comes on a large board that only lists the main ingredient, but not how it is prepared. It was hard to make a decision based on this. Vanessa did her best to explain the dishes in limited English. We finally chose dishes she was recommending. We started with an appetizer of fish salad which we said we would share. When it came, we each had our own heaping plateful of food--large enough to be a main course. It was warm shrimp, red snapper, and grouper over a bed of greens in a balsamic vinegar dressing. The plate was decorated with orchids and star shaped fruit. It was delicious and we should have stopped there. Kerry ordered the Scampi as her main course based on Vanessa's high praise for the dish. It tasted fine, but she could have had something just as good at TGIFriday's. I had the Red Snapper. It was a large portion, and it was fine, but not on a par with the other food we had eaten on this vacation. Kerry ordered the Coconut Cake everyone raves about. It reminded us of the Samoa Girl Scout cookies which we love. The dessert was very good, but Kerry did not think it deserved the praise it gets on this website. In conclusion, we don't feel we can recommend this restaurant, but if you are looking for something out of the ordinary, this might be your place.
Restaurant du Soleil: (Grand Case) We were unsure of where to dine as it was a Sunday and many restaurants were closed. Our original plan was to eat a Mario's Bistro again, but headed back to Grand Case when we found Mario's wasn't open. We started checking out menus and decided to try Restaurant du Soleil which is next to Il Netuno. The interior is decorated in blue and yellow(one of Kerry's favorite color combinations) and is very colorful and pretty. We had a nice corner table overlooking Grand Case Beach and Anguilla in the distance. For appetizers Kerry had a Mozzarella, Tomato, Basil Salad which was very tasty. I had Salt Cod Fritters in a spicy sauce which I really enjoyed. As our main course, we each had Red Snapper in a Puff Pastry with Tarragon Sauce. The pastry seemed a little stale, but the red snapper made up for it. We again had complimentary after dinner drinks. Overall we enjoyed this restaurant and would go back.
Other Non - Dinner Dining:
Zee Best: (Marigot) We had a little trouble finding it, but we enjoyed breakfast there twice. The regular and chocolate croissant were excellent. Also, we enjoyed some breakfast crepes. The owner was quite a character and very friendly.
Talk of the Town: (Grand Case) This Grand Case lolo was a great experience as we both had barbecue chicken with a salad and rice for a total of $10. Talk of the Town is a great place to see where locals and tourist mingle together.
Boulangier: (Between our hotel Le Flamboyant and the Sandy Ground Bridge) This little pastry shop is a great place to stop and get some croissant or French bread to outfit yourselves for a picnic. We stopped here 3 times to get some croissants to start our daily adventures in either Marigot, The Butterfly Farm or Dawn Beach.
Jean Dupont: (Marigot) We stopped here for lunch on our last day on the island. It is nicely decorated in a pink and white. We started off being their only lunch customers and the service was pretty slow. Kerry had Veal Medallions in a Mushroom Sage Sauce and I had Grilled Red Snapper in a Lime Cream Sauce. Before lunch was served the waiter brought over my Red Snapper head, skin and all to me to show me for some reason. This concerned me, because then I thought they were going to give me the whole fish and it tends to be too boney and too much work. However, when it arrived it was fileted and very good.
Captain Olivers: (Oyster Bay) This restaurant is right on the Oyster Bay marina and offers some very pretty views of the harbour. Also, were we were seated has a glass floor where you can look down and see the different fish and sea turtles that they have living there. It was like dining over an aquarium. We both had Mahi-Mahi in a basil creme sauce which was really outstanding. We may try to get to this restaurant for dinner the next time we are in St. Martin.
Now that we are back home, we can start saving our money for our next trip to St. Martin."
- Reviews by Ellen and Bruce Phillips, Alexandria, VA [July 29, 1999]
- "We recently returned from two weeks in glorious St. Maarten. As usual, the food was wonderful. Our favorite ribs place remains Lee's across from the Royal Palm. Unfortunately, he now gives only a small portion of that wonderful potato salad and supplements with green salad. C'mon, Lee, heap the potato salad back on!
The best lobster on the island is the huge one at the Boat House on Airport Road. Swimming in garlic butter, it's almost more than one person can eat. Their sauteed scallops are great, too.
I had the best calamari sauteed steak I've ever eaten at Don Carlos. Too bad, there's no air-conditioner and it's not on the water to catch the breeze.
We gave La Parroquet one more chance. The owner/chef is still as arrogant and condescending as ever. The food is good, but he spoils the pleasure, plus it's way too expensive for what you get (including ATTITUDE!)"
- A New Find in Dutch St. Martin by sxmpeter [July 24, 1999]
- "It is always difficult to select restaurants in SXM as there are so many (more on the French side) and we have a relatively short time. In addition to our favorites we always like to try a new place. Our latest find was the GRAND VIEW CAFE located at the Summit Hotel (an older timeshare property) overlooking Simpson Bay between Maho and Cupecoy Beaches. It is just off the road between the Sapphire Beach Club and the Cupecoy Beach Club (there is a sign at the top of the hill). Once there you have a marvelous view of the Bay and beyond. Co-owners Chef Philippe (from France) and William recently took over the Cafe and put out some truly wonderful meals. When we could tear ourselves away from Cupecoy Beach early, we enjoyed the Cafe's Happy Hour from 4 - 6. The drinks were great and you could select from their tapas choices and be satisfied for the night. We were amazed at the high quality and variety of the dinners from such a small kitchen. Everything we tried was excellent and fairly (for SXM) priced, but our favorite was the"exotic" chicken appetizer. We also enjoyed their breakfast and they are open also for lunch. Closed Thursdays. Do give this a try.
Our other favorite is L'AUBERGE GOURMAND in Grand Case. We have been there any number of times and it always is a marvelous dining experience (in our view far superior to Fish Pot across the street. Co-owner Christine is delightful and helpful, but we always stop in a few days early and ask if it is possible for Chef and Co-owner (and also her husband) Philippe to make the asparagus in puff pastry appetizer."
- My Restaurant update by Raymond Mattes [July 16, 1999] (see also his review dated Dec.29, 1998)
- "We went back to St.Martin and Orient Beach June 17 thru July 8.
Papagaylo's is still a good restaurant in which to eat and it was convenient for us but everyone I talked to agreed that their prices are too high. I still recommend the pork chops but be sure and take your Tagamet! Their "Happy Hour" is still the best deal on the beach from 5:30 to 6:30, two drinks for the price of one.
If you haven't tried Pedro's for ribs, your trip to St. Martin is not complete ! The chicken is good, too ! They are located right on Orient Bay and within easy walking distance on the beach from most spots.
If you stay at Orient Beach Club or happen to drop by their boutique, be sure and try the Etna Ice Cream. It is also available at other retail stores on the island and is made right there in St.Martin. Very rich; very creamy. You will have to walk the beach many times to compensate for the calorie gain but it is worth it. The ice cream comes in many delicious flavors, so you are not satisfied until you try them all . . . . and then you must walk ! As they say, "paybacks are hell!"
Downtown Grand-Case is truly "GRAND!" There are many wonderful restaurants here , all within easy walking distance and and truly a gastronomic paradise! One of our favorites is Il Nettuno, a great Italian gem. The ambience is perfect and we sat near a balcony overlooking the water.Out of our party of six, no one was disappointed or has ever been in the past, so it is a regular stop, now.
We returned to Captain Oliver's and brought with us a rather large group of around twelve people, most of them coming upon my recommendation, but I must say that we were disappointed this time. The atmosphere is still unique with the fish swimming under the floor, part of which is transparent, and the beautiful glass-sided swimming pool, but the service left much to be desired and some in our party were not too pleased with their meal. Last year we were treated to a delicious buffet with lobster and many fine French treats. This is what we expected this year but they no longer offer this during June; maybe this is why so many of us were disappointed. They did have live music and dancing, all of which was good."
- St.Martin Restaurants by bailer [July 8, 1999]
- "Just returned from St. Martin July 3; still haven't been able to find a bad
Old favorites -
Bistro Nu - went twice; our first Friday (very few diners) and our last (packed). The only place where we were glad we had made a reservation. Excellent food, some unusual dishes, prices very reasonable for the quality.
Wajang Doll - remains outstanding for Indonesian Rijsttafel; highly recommended as something a little different.
Mark's Place - alas, he no longer serves octopus stew, but the stewed conch is nearly as good and the rest of the food is as great as ever.
Shiv Sigar - as usual, great Indian cuisine.
Some new ones (for us) - all moderately priced -
Malanga - a fairly new Creole restaurant in Grande Case. Not a large menu, but very good if you like Creole. We were very impressed (it is the type of food we like) and highly recommend it.
La Mambo - also in Grande Case - specializes in Reunion Island cuisine - spicey enough to be interesting but not so exotic as to be a problem for those whose taste is timid. Run by a French couple; friendly service. Another high recommendation.
A La Cabane Bambou - French cuisine; this restaurant has had a lot of comment so we tried it even though we tend more to other cuisine. The food is indeed very good and the operators, Gilles (the chef) and Valerie (the server) very personable. It is a fun place; don't go if you want a formal atmosphere, and I imagine that if it is crowded service might be a bit slap-dash, but you can eat well. The complementary after-dinner spiced rum was delicious, but very sweet. Be aware that the menu posted outside and the menu that is actually being served may not coincide."
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