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Jan 17, 2011 05:31 PM

St. Martin - Le Santal or Le Cottage?

I have a reservation at both restaurants for this Valentine's Day. Never been to St. Martin before and want a good meal with good atmosphere. Which reservation should I keep, or is there a third option I should consider?

Thanks so much for any help!

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  1. I saw Le Cottage and the is adorable....

    1. haven't been to le santal, but have been to le cottage a number of times. definitely keep that reservation. grand case has established recognition as a culinary mecca in the caribbean. you will have a memorable meal in a great atmosphere. if you've never been to the island, i'd request a table on the porch vs sitting indoors. people watching adds to the experience. bruno, the owner, does an amazing job with preparation. have yet to be disappointed there. if you go and enjoy, another great place to go (lunch only) is bacchus in hope estate. stephan works there now and he was formerly the sommelier at le cottage. $$ lunch but well worth it. option three, mario's in sandy ground. reservation is required and i believe seating times are 7pm or 9pm. enjoy your first trip! we started off once and now go back at least a few times a year.

      fyi, being your first time you may not know this, service (tip) is included on the french side of the island. there are some establishments who will tell you otherwise so be aware. first time we visited st.martin we double tipped and wish someone had told us this bit of info. a local and good friend of ours has a rule of thumb, 5-10% additional if you are extremely happy with the service, but not necessary.

      4 Replies
      1. re: lotsanivanh

        Thank you so much! I really appreciate the information.

        1. re: Just One Bite

          also note my last visit we paid in USD and it was 1 Euro= 1 USD at some places.

          1. re: phelana

            We're here now- with the Euro = 1.37+ to the dollar, even some of the lolo's are NOT matching dollar to Euro. Today, two of the lolos were at 1.20 for a dollar. Beware when goin g to these places. And speaking about lolos, the best is in the right rear on the ocean- less famous, but great food!!

            1. re: sockster

              the only place in grand case that i know of that is consistent with 1:1 is spiga if you pay with cash.

      2. Le Cottage!!!! Always innovative and delicious!!!! We were there two weeks ago- it is a must visit for us when we are go to St, Martin every January. We have been going for at least 10 years, and each year the menu is smart, new and innovative. This year among the many dishes tasted, the crab 3 ways and the coconut milk emulsion shrimp soup were brilliant! I do not believe that a "bad" or wrong choice can be had. The caramel souffle is a favorite,even over the chocolate- and we had some serious chocolate lovers in our party! Bruno, Isabelle, Nadia and Chef Sebastian as sure to steer you for a wonderful culinary event!