The Food of French St. Martin – Part 1, Dining Out

There are so many amazing places to eat in French St. Martin – I thought I’d share a few of my favorite spots with you.

Coco’s on Orient Beach is my first pick for breakfast. The café au lait is just to my liking, and the omelets are light and fluffy.

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The view’s not half bad either… 😉

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At the end of the day, I like to head to the original Bikini Beach Bar for a “daycap”. They are having some legal troubles right now, but still make the best piña coladas on Orient Beach.

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Lots of other good drinks too. The newest thing is called a BBT – Baileys, Banana, and something that starts with a T. 🙂

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One of our longtime favorite restaurants in St. Martin is l’Astrolabe, located in the Esmeralda Resort in Orient Bay. Dine al fresco by the pool for island ambience. (Tried to take a panoramic photo on my iphone to give you the feeling.) We like to go on Friday nights when Shine sings requests and couples slow dance on the veranda later in the evening.

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The owners are warm and welcoming, the ambience deliciously romantic, and the food is French and fabulous:

Mahi Mahi in Cajun Spices

Mahi Mahi in Cajun Spices

Molten Chocolate Cake

Molten Chocolate Cake

And oh yeah, the wine list is extensive and never disappoints:

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Sadly, one of our most special restaurants, Le Chanteclair in Marigot, abruptly closed down. There was talk of marital strife, financial trouble, and even suicide, but we don’t really know what happened. It’s closed storefront now advertises another restaurant a little further down on the wharf.

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But we tried to forget all that sadness, by heading over to Happy Bay:

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It’s a good, rugged 15 minute walk to this quiet, white sand beach, which is only accessible by foot or by boat. You can sun for a few hours in the morning, then stay for Danny’s large and satisfying barbecue lunch. Good, honest barbecue at a good, honest price.

Happy Bay

Happy Bay

Danny at the Grill

Danny at the Grill

Danny's Chicken and Ribs

Danny’s Chicken and Ribs

Later, we like to head back over to Kali’s Beach Bar. An easy-going, Rasta-paced beach joint on Friar’s Bay. I love the cheerfully colored tables, delightfully mellow servers and steady stream of Reggae almost as much as the delicious shrimp kebabs.

Kali's Beach Bar

Kali’s Beach Bar

Great Spot for a Local Carib

Great Spot for a Local Carib

One of Kali's Super Nice and Friendly Staff Members

One of Kali’s Super Nice and Friendly Staff Members

Kali’s is also home of the famous full moon parties:

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And one of the best sunset locales on the island:

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No trip to French St. Martin is complete without a trip to Grand Case for barbecue. We always go on Tuesday nights, when the streets are closed for arts and crafts purveyors, as well as food and drink vendors.

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In addition to mouth-watering barbecue joints,  fantastic restaurants abound in Grand Case. Le Pressoir, housed in a  restored Creole cottage, is charming inside and out:

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The food is artful and delicate. Le Pressoir’s husband and wife team combines traditional French cuisine and local island flavorings, then jazzes it all up with  modern style and plating:

Grilled Dover Sole in Saffron Sauce

Grilled Dover Sole in Saffron Sauce

We also very much enjoy Auberge Gourmande, which its traditional yet expansive menu. Auberge serves lovely plates, filled with an assortment of fresh and seasonal vegetables. The inside of the restaurant is simple and sweet; the owner, Pascal, charming and attentive. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me the night we had dinner there.

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Finally, we very much enjoyed the recently-opened Ocean 82. If you go there, be sure to request a table on the back patio so you can enjoy this view while you dine:

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Nothing to complain about at this divine new addition to the Grand Case dining scene:

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Confit

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Confit

Slow-Cooked Lamb Shank

Slow-Cooked Lamb Shank

Monkfish in Coconut Curry Sauce

Monkfish in Coconut Curry Sauce

Looks like I got as carried away with this post as I do with eating when visiting French St. Martin! Hope you enjoyed it, and that you get a chance to try a few of these dishes!

Food of St Martin Dining Out

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10 Comments on “The Food of French St. Martin – Part 1, Dining Out”

  1. February 24, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

    Such beautiful pictures! Mike and I LOVED St. Martin and we really loved Chanteclir — I’m sorry to hear the alleged circumstances for their closing. You’ve made me want to go back asap and experience the other restaurants!!!!

    • February 25, 2013 at 11:37 am #

      Thanks, Lisa! For foodies like us, the allure of St. Martin is like a magnet. Hope you get to go back soon!

  2. February 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    Oh, you are lucky. Wonderful views and restaurants.

    • February 25, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

      Thanks, Jings! Yes, I am lucky. St. Martin is amazing.

  3. March 11, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    I just had Carib beer in St. Lucia!!! What beautiful food, and photographs. Would you recommend your hotel in St. Martin?

    • March 11, 2013 at 11:09 am #

      Hi Chef Mimi,

      Thanks for the kind words. We rented a villa for the week – Casa del Sol. If you are interested, I will look for the website for you.

  4. March 13, 2013 at 9:07 am #

    St. Martin is one of my parent’s favorite places as they vacation there often. Your photos of all these wonderful food establishments help me understand why they love it so much. I’ve been there once, but only on a cruise. One day I hope to go back and stay on the french side. Thanks for the like on my blog!

    • March 13, 2013 at 10:31 am #

      You should definitely tag along with your folks one of these days. We’ve been there almost a dozen times, and my husband never wants to go anywhere else! Seeing beautiful Caribbean islands on a cruise is fun, but a little bit of a tease.

      I love your blog! Your boozy Irish soda bread french toast looks delish. I make a similar french toast with Italian Pannetone.

  5. 1annecasey
    March 22, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    Ok, I’m sold!! Fabulous photo-diary… A visual feast!

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