St Martin this spring [moved from International board]
I know March is still a little way away but I wanted to post early to maximize good chowhound recommendations! Our family is renting a house on the french side of the island but will have a car and is more than willing to explore any corner of the island. Any and all price ranges, also recs on grocery/gourmet stores appreciated. Thanks!
Since you have posted this there have been several similar inquiries listed that should help. As one poster mentioned you can't go too far wrong in Grand Case. Be sure to keep Tuesdays in mind as a day to either avoid or target GC depending on your preferences. They have their street fare there every week and you can get some street food as well as listen to local musical entertainment. Parking can be a challange there on Tues and if you want to hit the town for a nice gourmet treat I suggest going on other nights when its less crowded.
The Lola's are a good place for cheaper fare such as ribs, chicken, Carib, Johnny Cakes etc. Sebastianos is great for Italian, very fancy and you will spend a lot of money there. La California has some nice french food as well as pizzas etc. If you show up early enough you can get a table right on the water. Ask them for some olives while you have your first drink and peruse the menu. Also L'Alabama on the street side away from the water is a very nice place for french style gourmet food.
Just walk up and down the main drag and read the menus and pick a place based on what you see on the menu.
Heading in to Margot your best bet is Marina Royale. Its off the main area and if you ask someone they can direct you there. Basically if you are walking west from the main part of town, look for the circle with the Pelican. Go left here through an alley cross the street after coming out of the alley and walk between a few of the buildings where you come out into the Marina. Don't worry its safe. This area is a small "U" shaped collection of docks lined with nothing but restaurants. There are probably 10 restaurants all within 2 minutes walk of each other. The one I like is I believe Belle Epoque. Also St. Germain is very good. I have been there primarily for their famous French toast in the morning, but I hear they do good dinners as well.
Back at that Pelican circle, heading back in the direction of Grand Case there is a place a short distance along the road on the right that used to have a lobster special on Tuesday evening if you don't want to go in to Grand Case that night. Also along the right is a nice bakery that has outdoor seating under a rooftop canopy where you can get the classic croissants, various other French pastry delights as well as sandwiches etc. Of course you can get the croissants at many places all over the French side, you just have to keep your eyes open.
These are only a few of the places I remember. If you want more detail go to www.traveltalkonline.com. They have a St. Martin chat board. You can get the scoop on what's open, what's not, where the latest good places are and where the deals are. All you need to do is start reading this board daily around Jan. By the time you are ready to leave you will have more restaurant info than you will be able to use during your stay.
I will be there for the entire month of March staying in Grand Case and am about a 10 yr. veteran of the island. Send me an E-mail if you want more details on non food items.
I storngly recommend Sol e Luna in cul de sac and the small bakery just off the turn off into cul de sac
la samanna hotel- beautiful setting, amazing food $$$$
can't go wrong with cheeses, baguettes and wine from any of the french grocery stores. don't bother with anything on the dutch side at all- shopping, restaurants, grocery- not even worth the trip over.
sunset beach bar for great frozen drinks, live music and greenflash at sunset
bliss next door- most beautiful outdoor 'club' overlooking the ocean. my favorite place in st martin, and i'm not a club person. great espresso martinis.
cafe calmos, grand case- fun for drinks in lounge chairs on the beach. le almondine (or some name similar) nice patio around little pool- great spot for leisurely lunch with a bottle of rose.
grand case is great- barefoot beachside casual, but wonderful food, wine and little shops. enjoy!
I second Bistro Caraibes and Sol e Luna.
Also in Grande Case Le Pressoir who has the best Ti punch.
Slightly off the beaten track in Mt Vernon, is Poulet D'Orleans, chicken (of course!) and fish in a tiny house. What could be better?
Go to Marigot on market days and eat at Rosemary's (they have Tony Bourdains' NYT piece on the back of their menus)
Thanks for all the great recommendations, we leave on Monday, I'll let you know where we made it to when we get back!