top of page

Saint Maarten/St. Martin 2022

First, a bit of history. We have been traveling to this beautiful island for over 25 years, ever since we bought timeshare here during our very first visit. We just fell in love and never grew tired coming back here again and again, sometimes several times a year. We've made friends, we've traveled all over the island (to be fair, it is pretty small), and at some point discovered the excellent restaurants, most of them on the French side, at Grand Case village. We followed all the island’s ups and downs - the latest two big downturns being Hurricane Sandy and the current pandemic. It is amazing that in spite of the supply disruption, staff shortages, and global inflation, the restaurants here still serve excellent food with friendly smiles. So if my restaurant review (short and absolutely personal, I am not a food critic) inspires you to travel to Saint Maarten, please visit some of the restaurants from my list.

To review the restaurants, one needs the general unit of measure. After dining in many restaurants for many years, our best place is the restaurant Le Cottage at Grand Case. It is the best in food quality, in presentation, hospitality of the staff - so we measure restaurant in the “le cottage” units - LCT in short.

At the end of this story, please see the list of recommended restaurants!

Bistrot Caraibes, Grand Case - A nice French restaurant. They have a small pool with live lobsters in front, so the customers could choose the one for their dish. We were sitting at the only small table outside, next to the pool. Without fail, everyone takes a picture with the lobster they choose, I guess to save the crustacean image to posterity. If aliens decide to visit our planet and they are crustaceans, we should ask all guests to destroy the grim evidence. Just kidding, the lobster dishes on the menu are excellent. The restaurant got 0.8 LCT, mostly for overdone foie gras - a shame, otherwise it would be a spectacular dish.

Le Cottage, Grand Case - still the best for us. The Chef David Hanquer is a passionate expert of

sophisticated and creative cuisine, he will make you discover a refined French cuisine with Caribbean flavours. No need to sweat selecting the vine - wine steward Stéphane will make you travel all over the world describing their wonderful cellar and will advise you on the perfect matching between wines and dishes. Do not leave without trying cream lobster bisque in puff pastry and lasagna of seared foie gras with morel mushrooms (shown) Oh, what the heck - just try everything, I could easily dine here all precious 7 days of our vacation. 1LCT.

Le Pressoir restaurant at Grand Case was named to commemorate the salt press, crucial to St. Maarten's

salt production in the middle of the 19th century. The first time we visited it 15 years ago we were smitten by excellent food and amazing deserts. We came next year - and the charm was gone. Another year - and it was dropped from the list of restaurants to visit (you will find the latest list at the end of the blog). This year we gave it another try and it did win a spot on the list. Nice, but a bit patchy - dover sole (pictured) was excellent, but risotto served with it was not good at all. I was not impressed by their famous Egg Parfait in potato foam with foie gras and truffle. 0.7LCT

One thing you should definitely visit at Le Pressoir is their rum and cigar lounge. La Part des Anges (named for the quantity of distilled spirits lost to evaporation while ageing in wooden casks - “angels’ share") is a favorite for avid rum drinkers, and is the ideal place for those who would like to get their first taste of this liquor. After an hour with knowledgeable rumtender Jason, my view of rum has been irrevocably changed - it is now a jewel on its own, not the part of cocktail. Good for Angels!!

La Cigale - at the perfect setting at the lagoon, right on the beach, beautifully decorated, un-mistakingly french and ALWAYS serving delicious food under the firm stewardship (since 1998, when we first discovered it) of Stepane, this place didn’t disappoint us this year. 0.9 LCM and it stays on the list for sure!

Seared foie gras with grapes, honey, and balsamic sauce.

Ocean 82 - This place is a big buzz this year. Hard to book a sitting, always full with patrons. I fully agree with one of the reviewer on Yelp: ‘Great view and fancy entrance but food and service could be better.” Especially service - one could tell they are overbooked - pasta came lukewarm, same as the foie gras. 0.75 LCT

Drum roll, please... The 2022 list of the Saint Maarten/St. Martin restaurants: Le Cottage 97 Boulevard de Grand Case, Grand Case 97150 St Martin / St Maarten +590 690 62-2686

La Cigale Baie Nettlé, 97150 Saint-Martin +590 690 35 25 02 Bistrot Caraibes, Grand Case

L'Auberge Gourmande Bd de Grande Case, Grand-Case 97150, St. Martin +33 5 90 87 73 37 - we did not visit the one this year, but it is our many many years favorite - so it stays on the list

Bistrot Caraibes - 81 Boulevard de Grand Case, 97150, St. Martin +590 590 290 829 – +590 690 536 144

Ocean 82 82 Boulevard de Grande Case Grand-Case, 97150, St. Martin +590 690 77 77 57

Le Pressoir 32 Boulevard de Grand Case, Grand-Case 97150, St. Martin +590 590 87 76 62

145 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page