Heavenly Food in a Tropical Paradise: Culinary St. Martin
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It is common knowledge that the French know how to eat, and do it very well. Molière once said, “I live on good soup, not on fine words.” Coming from the legendary playwright for the Comédie Française, this is quite a statement! And it would suggest that he was enjoying some pretty excellent soup, as we know just how fine his words were. While mainland France’s place is well established in the world culinary hierarchy, prospective visitors to French St. Martin are often so distracted by the beautiful weather and welcoming beaches that they can forget that this little island is a gourmet goldmine.
Over time, local ingredients have been blended in increasingly creative and innovative ways, reflecting the island’s long multicultural history. Today, restaurants on St. Martin easily reflect this fusion of traditional Caribbean cooking, French haute cuisine, a more modern nouvelle cuisine, and other diverse international accents. Combine this creativity with the freshest fish and seafood, meats, spices, and tropical fruits, and it can be hard to leave the island once you’ve arrived!
For a dining experience rivaling that of starred European restaurants, St. Martin offers many choices. Grand Case is the culinary capital of the Caribbean, with over 30 restaurants ranging from gourmet cuisine to the lolos.
Le Reservé at the Samanna Resort
Phone (dialing from the US): 011 590 590 87 64 00
Le Reservé at the Samanna Resort serves French, Creole and Asian fusion cuisine in an unparalleled setting overlooking the magnificent Long Bay beach. A selection from their internationally renowned wine cellar is the perfect complement to any meal.
Restaurant Le Santal
Phone (dialing from the US): 011 590 590 87 53 48
40 rue Lady Fish - Sandy Ground
Le Santal, near the popular neighborhood of Marigot, was winner of the AAA Four Diamond Award, and one bite leaves no doubt as to their merit. The restaurant was the loving life’s work of late renowned chef Jean Dupont, whose diverse French-Vietnamese background is reflected in the restaurant’s varied menu.
Loterie Farm Hidden Forest Café
Route de Pic Paradis #103 Rambaud
Phone (dialing from the US): 011 590 590 87 86 16
To understand the importance of food in St. Martin today, it can be interesting to look back at how production of the island’s most famous products originated. The Loterie Farm functioned as a working sugar refinery from 1773 to 1855, but is now an outdoor nature and adventure park with nods to its rich history. Guests can enjoy open-air dining in the company of peacocks and geckos while feasting on local delicacies such as avocado with fresh tuna and capers or duck breast with banana, tamarind and mint salsa.
Open every day, especially exceptional on Wednesday and Saturday mornings
Along the wharves of the Blvd. de France
A visit to the market in Marigot sheds light on what your food looks like before it hits your plate and is an experience for all five senses. Local vendors selling fruit and vegetables, spices, meats and freshly caught fish are housed in small, open Creole-style huts built along the waterfront. Worth discovering are St. Martin's local libations of choice: Rum Punch and a local Guavaberry liqueur. A collection of traditional local restaurants are located next to the market and are the perfect place to grab a bite after you’ve worked up an appetite shopping and tasting.
Restaurant le Pressoir
Tel: 011 590 590 87 76 62
Fax: 011 590 59052 98 22
Marina Port la Royale
Tel: 011 590 590 87 79 07
Fax: 011 590 590 87 79 07
In St. Martin, climate, culture and history combine to create a delectable culinary melting pot, and an unforgettable part of any vacation.