World Class Dining in St. Martin

The Best of French and Italian Cusine

While this email was going to focus on the best of the best of Grand Case's road front restaurants, I’ll need to make a small detour first, back across the road to the ocean front tapas bar La Bodega. One just cannot eat meals like those one gets at Bistro Caraibes or Spiga every night, so slipping a visit to La Bodega in-between is a good solution to this difficult problem.

Like many Tapas bars, La Bodega seems to get a late start, and bizarrely is closed on Saturday. Fortunately for me I was not there on a Saturday and was able to enjoy a nice spread of tapas that included ample portions of codfish fritters, merguez sausage and Serrano ham, each for just $5 a plate. Even more impressive was the excellent paella they were offering a special on the night of my visit.

Rich and packed with a variety of meats and sweet shrimp, this version of Paella reminded me more of Jambalaya than the traditional Paella I am used to, but the art paella is all up to the chef, and this one did not fail. Cooked to order, this combined savory, properly cooked rice with the spiciness of the meats, and would have been a perfect match for wine or sangria, though I opted for a cool beer on this evening.

Much like the Spanish food of La Bodega, the Italian restaurants in Grand Case offer a nice break from the more common French fare. There are two restaurants offering Italian fare here, Il Nettuno on the bay side and Spiga, tucked away around the bend in arguably the worst location in Grand Case. With a location like this there can be only one reason reservations are required and the restaurant is always full: it’s the food. Before I go on with a full report on Spiga just a few words about Il Nettuno.

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  • Snooth User: bigcubfan
    286741 2

    I haven't been to Grand Case since January, 2006, but my wife and I loved Bistro Caraibes. The view from the outdoor dining was breath-taking (like all the restaurants in Grand Case).

    Calmos Cafe is a cute little hut situated right on the beach that serves delicious food. There are numerous tables in the sand, along with lounge chairs. You can order some sumptuous entrees and appetizers that are even more delicious due to the scenery. Also, their wine list is pretty good.

    My wife and I loved their Oceane Salad that was refreshing and delicious. I don't recall the wines that we had, but I do remember being very happy with our entire experience. Of course, we were on a long vacation and my theory is that wine and food always taste better when you're on vacation.

    Check it out if you get the chance. Cheers.

    Jan 21, 2010 at 11:26 AM

  • Snooth User: guymandude
    292055 16

    Wow, that sounds like a great trip,I gotta get there.The food the scenery, and to finish off with the Sassicaia, nice.

    Jan 21, 2010 at 12:16 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 202,537

    I love Calmos, though have not had a meal there recently. The service was, shall we say, paced!

    Yeah, the Sass was a great way to bring the trip to a close, and the food at Spiga is always a true high-point of any visit too!

    Jan 21, 2010 at 5:04 PM

  • Snooth User: pony600
    290006 2

    Hi Greg,
    Thanks for your great review of Grand Case. We visit every year in October, stay at GCBC & Bistrot Caraibes is our favorite restaurant. Thibeault and Amaury are wonderful hosts & treat us like old friends. One of the best things I like to hear is Thibeault saying- Come fishing with me- as we go out to the lobster pool & choose the fare for the night. Thanks for featuring our favorite place!

    Jan 21, 2010 at 7:53 PM

  • Bistrot Caraibes is my wife's favorite dining haunt. It has been the place of choice to celebrate our anniversary. She has a Lobster Thermodor dinner prepared by Thibeault every visit. Bistrot Caraibes is an always visit on St. Martin.

    Jan 23, 2010 at 8:12 AM

  • Just finished dinner at Spigo. Ok not great. Diffident service, low attention to small things like beverages and bread. Horrible wilted pseudo-ceasar salad. Shrimp and scallops appetizer was one shrimp and one scallop on a salad. Pappardella pasta special was served with a wonderful veal bolognese but the pasta was overcooked. Best dish was the meat ravioli. Wine list was a yawner except for some overpriced brunellos. wine by the glass was maybe a 3 ounce pour. Wouldn't go back.

    Il Nettuno is far better for italian in Grand Case

    Feb 10, 2010 at 9:25 PM

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