If you have a refined palate and enjoy good food, you’re going to love the exceptional culinary delights of St. Martin. Once you’ve decided to make good eating your priority on vacation, you’ll plan your stay with your partner, family, or friends. Food is also a kind of sharing. You probably think St. Martin is all about idyllic beaches and tropical vegetation. But St. Martin is also the food capital of the Caribbean.
French excellence with a Caribbean touch at the edge of the world
You’ll feel the Caribbean atmosphere as soon as you set foot on the island.
Before you begin your merry expedition into this culinary concentrate, you’ll head for Marigot and surrender to a prelude that reflects the very essence of St. Martin, in a modest but picturesque little restaurant, the typical “lolo”.
Then you’ll head for Grand Case where you’ll stay for a few days. This temple of gastronomy is where you’ll find the widest choice of restaurants. All you’ll have to do is take your pick, but it won’t be easy! Before you embark on your culinary journey, you’ll stretch out on a beach chair to quietly enjoy the stunning view of Grand Case Bay and the Caribbean Sea.
You’ll be tempted by the menu and wine list that make La Villa a must-do when it comes to traditional French gourmet cuisine. Enticed by the almost Parisian menu (which even features French onion soup!) you won’t forget you’re in the West Indies and may opt for a starter of marlin gravlax in turmeric marinade, with Creole sauce made with habanero chili peppers. Your refined palate will appreciate the exotic additions to the excellent menu of iconic French dishes.
After your meal, you’ll be discreetly offered an after-dinner drink, a local guavaberry rum, before heading back to your room for a luxuriously restorative night’s sleep.
You’ll still have the taste of last night’s punch on your lips. In the French Caribbean, rum is a real institution. Naturally, you’ll want to try it. In an intimate, subdued atmosphere, your enthusiastic “rumtender” will tell you the story behind this elixir. You’ll leave this inviting lounge, which also serves a selection of champagnes, for a bite to eat at Le Pressoir, the adjoining restaurant.
The inventive cuisine follows the seasons to regale epicureans like yourself. Still titillated by the divine sensations you enjoyed in the rum bar, you’ll now focus your full attention on a plate of 5-hour octopus caramelized in cuttlefish ink and Longueteau rum. Another way of enjoying this iconic alcoholic beverage that goes so well with the island’s cuisine.
So you’ll be somewhere between amusement and amazement when you go for dinner at the Auberge Gourmande in the heart of Grand Case. In a former Creole house whose decoration is inspired by the colors and patterns of Provence, you’ll succumb to the sweetness of life in the tropics. You’ll love the cuisine based on French traditions but with a local twist and made from very fresh produce. You’ll leave room for the highly reputed desserts and order at least two dishes! Lemon caramel tart served with mango sorbet? Or concerto of hot-and-gooey white-chocolate mousse and iced dark chocolate with hibiscus coulis?
The streets of Grand Case are very lively in the evening. You’ll wander amid the party atmosphere back to your cozy nest.
Great French cuisine with an elegant bistro feel
Before you leave Grand Case, you’ll make the most of the calm water and vast white sandy beach. Nobody returns from St. Martin without their fill of sunshine and dips in the sea. If you’re eager to experience every aspect of the way of life that you’ve come to taste, you might be tempted by an underwater activity.
You’ll end your stay on a high note, in culinary heaven with dinner at Le Cottage. From the impressive cocktail menu, you won’t hesitate to choose that Royal Mojito you’re longing to try, mixed with a delicious base of rum and champagne. The menu and wine list will get you excited but, you’ll be determined stick with the Lobster menu that you actually came for. This royal crustacean will be served in all its forms, first in a puff-pastry-topped bisque, then in a raviole floating in an exotically flavored salsa. Bewitched by this magical dining experience, you’ll round off your adventure with the famous caramel soufflé or a revisited Mon Chéri chocolate.
A luxuriantly decorated palace for your gourmet palate
If you’ve planned your stay during the Carnival or the Grand Case Tuesdays, then your heart and tastebuds should be beating in unison. Food tourism must be experienced step by step, to ensure you enjoy a wide variety of pleasures.
You’ll have booked a room or suite at the 5-star hotel, Le Sol e Luna. Standing on the hills of Mount Vernon above Chevrise Pond, this superb and discreetly luxurious, Creole-style building promises tranquil relaxation.
The caviar menu will be the highlight of this indescribable luxury you’re experiencing. From starter to dessert – think iced orange parfait with a few beads of caviar – this gourmet delicacy from Ultreïa on Place Vendôme in Paris, the best caviar in the world, will exalt your meal as the beads burst in your connoisseur mouth. The very best of St. Martin’s gastronomy.
Nicknamed the St. Tropez of the Caribbean, this village facing the Atlantic Ocean, in the northeast of the island, boasts one of the largest beaches on St. Martin. Once you’ve settled into your new accommodations you’ll spend the day at the Télégraphe, where you’ll feel very much at home. This restaurant is in a magnificent setting, with a casual atmosphere, and dishes to please every taste.
You won’t want to miss the salt-cod fritters served with West Indian-style Creole sauce. When you have lunch here you know the atmosphere will be warm and friendly. The Télégraphe’s comfortable red-velvet chairs beckon you to dine outside on the village square. You’ll enjoy the red-snapper filet served with vegetable compote and the house aïoli.
High-end meat and fish
Your vacation will come to an end. So why not get your fill of protein before you leave! French cuisine will be on the menu at L’Atelier, a meat and fish bar.
Once again, this steakhouse of very high standards can be found on the square in Orient Bay. It will take you on a journey through an international world of meat: Holstein, Black Angus Prime, Japanese Wagyu, Rubia Gallega, Pyrenean lamb, Iberian pork, and more. Enjoy a cocktail, a farmhouse-cheese platter, and you’ll love the New York steak, marinated for several days in an excellent whiskey.
You’ll have eaten some great food during your trip. To round it off nicely, you’ll visit Marigot market, the temple of local produce. Here, the market is a whole festival of sunny colors. As an enlightened foodie, you’ll stock up on spices and rum, essential ingredients for reliving your experience once back home.
The French do it better! When it comes to food, it goes without saying. With each delicious bite, you’ll have fully realized the extent of the quality and diversity of this French legacy. There’s a whole art to cooking, it’s not something that you just freestyle. Perhaps the secret behind it is expertise acquired over time that is incessantly reinvented. You’ll be far from having surrendered to all of St. Martin’s culinary charms. There’s still so much to discover!