Had some great food in St. Barth last week. Here are a few of the highlights:
Sandbar (at Eden Rock Hotel) -- over the top as always. Proved once again that "the best dinner in St. Barth is lunch at Sandbar." Notable starters were local fish tartare and tiger shrimp tempura. Chicken breast salad with parmesan and bacon was great. Seared Ahi tuna also excellent. Sleeper dish was Chicken Fricassee. Order an extra plate and split it for plenty of food for two. Service was as expected -- perfect.
Restaurant de Pecheurs (at Le Sereno Hotel) -- We had not been to this one before, but will definitely be back. Tuna tartare was beautiful and tasted of the sea. A special "country" salad was very similar to what I would call a Cobb salad but was topped with a poached egg. Service was as good as Sandbar. Very, very friendly and welcoming staff. A beautiful location on the beach at Grand Cul de Sac.
Nikki Beach -- Don't be put off by the "vibe" and the European techno music. This place has serious food and the service was friendly and not the least bit pretentious. Sushi was fresh and good. Crab spring rolls was another good app. Scallop and prawn salad and a special whole fish they called a sea bass but that looked suspiciously like sea bream were both excellent main courses.
Saladerie -- on the harbor in Gustavia. This was the third lunch venue that was new to us. While not up to the unbelieveable quality of the first three, we had good pizza, cheeseburgers and frites. Good, if somewhat aloof, service. Post-prandial framboise-flavored rhum was delightful. Also about half the cost of the first three.
Le Repaire -- hard to beat this place for good, solid, affordable fare. Cod fritters were tender and fluffy. Excellent tuna tartare. I had a good club sandwich with frites and one of our group praised the cheeseburger. Very friendly and efficient service.
Andy's Hideaway -- always our first-night dinner. Casual and local and usually packed. Make a reservation for dinner unless you go very early or very late. We had our usual: hot goat cheese salads, pizza and whatever the special happens to be. Very good food at reasonable (for St. Barth) prices.
L'Entracte -- had truly wonderful mahi-mahi ceviche and some of their wonderful pizza. Service was off, but the food was good enough to make up for that. This place is a standard for return visitors to St. Barth.
O'Corner -- had never tried it before. Unique to St. Barth in that they offer most everything on the menu in three sizes: small (like a tapas plate), medium (really not all that big, either) and large (which really is large). Our group had some excellent sea bass (like the Patagonian toothfish we are accustomed to), rack of lamb that was absolutely perfect and a very good beef tenderloin. Only problem with this place is that it is not open air, is very smokey and tends to be more a bar than a restaurant.
La Langouste -- Lobster. Plain and simple. Although this place had been up and down for us over the years, this time it was at its best. Order the frites instead of the usual vegetables, which are usually horrible. Plan to spend a couple of hours and a pocket full of money.
Top of the Rock (at Eden Rock Hotel) -- went here to celebrate my wife's birthday. Serious food, impeccable service, excellent wine list. Just a great experience. Fresh Dover sole meniuere may be the best single dish on the island. Also had excellent shrimp dish and a great special of turbot. Desserts are wonderful, especially the Chocolate Addiction. Plan to spend about what you paid for your first car.
Other meals were prepared and eaten at the villa. Try out the fresh fish you can get early in the morning from the fishmonger on the harbor near the entrance to Gustavia or the one in Lorient out past JoJo Burger. It's fresh and you can eat it raw or cooked.
Another great trip to St. Barth is now in the books. The food there is so good it's what we think about when we start planning a trip there. A friend recently asked me what we did when we go to St. Barth. My response: "We eat." When she then asked what we did when we were not eating, I told her that we thought about what and where we were going to eat next. It really is that good.
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