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St. Martin / St. Maarten


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I was just there over July 4 weekend, and stayed at the Westin at Dawn Beach. We did not do anything fancy, food-wise, but tried several "local" places. There are lots of bakeries with good croissants all over the island. We went to a different one every day -- Carl & Sons in Philipsburg had what we thought were the best croissants and meat pies. There was a good one in Orleans as well, with good sandwiches, including crab salad, in addition to standard ones like ham & cheese -- all on baguettes. I can't remember the name -- it is in a little strip of shops/restaurants right at the main intersection where you would turn right to go towards Grand Case from Oyster Pond, and it's the only bakery there. Finally, in Grand Case itself, there was a nice french market with cheeses and charcuterie, bread, pastries, etc. We tried Le Fregate in Oyster Pond/Dawn Beach for breakfast one day, but the proprietor was really rude -- we were the only people in the restaurant and the proprietor kept us waiting for about 15 minutes while she placedher wine order with her wholesaler. We left and went across the street to a little market where they were much nicer and had fresh croissants. For home-style creole food, Yvette's in Orleans was fabulous -- we had a whole snapper creole style and conch salad. It was very inexpensive and delicious. We also tried a local-style restaurant on Front Street in Philipsburg, the name of which I can't remember. It was down an alley, and across from a church, near the McDonald's. It was okay, nothing special, so would not recommend it. I wanted to try one of the lolos in Grand Case, but ran out of time. There are lots of fruit stands along the roadside. We got some really delicious mangos and passion fruit.

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Thanks for everyone's suggestions on a Caribbean destination with good dining options. My wife and I finally settled on St. Martin, and bought our tickets yesterday...very excited! We'll be there New Year's Eve through January 4. Any additional dining suggestions would be most appreciated. Also, we were wondering if there are any interesting eating destinations on the Dutch side? Virtually everything I've read online just focuses on French-side options...

Dan

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Thanks for everyone's suggestions on a Caribbean destination with good dining options. My wife and I finally settled on St. Martin, and bought our tickets yesterday...very excited! We'll be there New Year's Eve through January 4. Any additional dining suggestions would be most appreciated. Also, we were wondering if there are any interesting eating destinations on the Dutch side? Virtually everything I've read online just focuses on French-side options...

Dan

I'll be in Anguilla on January 5 and plan on visiting St. Martin at least twice. Please post any good findings from your trip!

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I'll be in Anguilla on January 5 and plan on visiting St. Martin at least twice. Please post any good findings from your trip!

Dave, I will post a more detailed review of my dining experiences on St. Martin in the next day or so, but here's the Cliff Notes version:

Highly Recommend

Kakao Beach Restaurant on Orient Beach for the most civilized lunch you'll ever have in a swimsuit

Recommend

Le Cottage and L'escapade in Grand Case

Sol e Luna (I don't know the name of the town, but just over the hill from the Radisson)

Run away fast if anyone suggests you go here

La Cigale

Dan

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Is swimsuit actually required? Is there a sign that says "no speedo no service"? :angry:

While my understanding is that Spedo use is a cultural requirement for French citizenship, the restaurant itself had no such policy. That said, there were more than a few patrons who were enjoying their Sole Muniere or steak frites with frighteningly little attire.

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I am not a food writer nor have the patience to try to be.  Know this:  I don't eat shit food, have little tolerance for "Cisco prepared foods" , don't ever, ever patronize chain restaurants.  These are bottom line reviews.

Orient Beach: KaKao restaurant, very French, very good, worth the visit.  Not cheap.  Even their "cheap wine" by the glass was excellent. $$$

Grand Case: Ocean 82, very French, delightful.  They did the wine paring for me.  Nice choice.  $$$

Oyster Pond, French side: Dinghy Dock.  They advertise craft beers, did not have any on a Friday night.  The group decided to stay for meal anyway.  Bad choice; bar food that one could get anywhere. I have dietary restrictions, they could not alter the food to accommodate me (because it is supplied in a frozen food bag).  Thus, I did not really eat there.  Everyone else had a "never coming here to eat again" meal. This place seemed less expensive, yet it it was almost as much as the $$$ restaurants.

Phillipsburg: The Green House.  Had nice reviews on Trip Advisor, so group decided to go there for lunch.  Drinks are made with commercial mixers, commercial mixers make me sick so I do not consume.  Others had the drinks and liked them.  The server offered to get margarita made fresh for me in kitchen which he did not have to do; it was not balanced, but I got to partake with the others without getting sick.  Nice move on server's part.  Food wise, There were several options for all those with dietary restrictions.  What I got was not memorable, my husband agrees.  Others seemed somewhat happy.  Will not go back there again.

Oyster Pond/Dawn Beach: Dingy Dock, Bar food, commercial prepared drinks.  it just is what it is.

Oyster pond/Dawn Beach: Big Fish rest.  Nicely prepared food; very accommodating for dietary needs.  Food made to order.  Nice portions.We will return there mostly because we are staying near this establishment plus they have been very nice to us. $$$

Oyster Pond, French Side: Le Pavillion.  An occasional dinner location in the ruins of old Club med resort destroyed by hurricane.  Literally an open dining area.  French cooking, nicely prepared, upscale.  $$$

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