Monday, February 29, 2016

A Food and Drinking Crawl Through Grand Case (Saint Martin)

Grand Case, on the French side of Sint Maarten/ Saint Martin, is the gourmet capital of the island. Naturally, I had to spend some time there during my vacation! We had dinner plans at one of the top rated restaurants, but ended up food crawling our way down!

The first place we saw was this little crepe shack on the side of the main road (Boulevarde de Grand Case). Both times I passed by the little crepe shack I was too stuffed. I'm regretting it. You guys should try it and let me know what I missed out on.

Across the street from the crepe shack is our first stop, Calmos Cafe. We went there to drink and let our lunch digest.
Calmos Cafe is a popular bar/cafe on the beach.
By on the beach, I mean lterally on the beach! Grab the best tables which sit on the sand, right next to the water! I could feel the waves on my toes.
Grand Case

Now, when in the Caribbean, you drink Ti Punch, which is rum, lime, and sugar, that's it. And ice. This is not the place for craft cocktails, just strong drinks on the beach. But, hey, sometimes that's all you need.
Grand Case
Like a lot of places on the island, Calmos Cafe infuses their own rums. We had their coffee infused rum that went down too easily!
Grand Case

We walked down the street to Ocean 82 - everything on this street is so close to each other so this food crawl really doesn't involve much walking.

Of course, the restaurant has an ocean view.
Mahi mahi tartar trilogy (Peruvian, Tahitian, and Creole style, €15)
The three delicate mahi mahi tartar was beautiful, both in looks and taste. I can't decide which one I liked best but enjoyed all three of them. The portion you see above is half the usual portion; the restaurant was kind enough to split it for us!

At Ocean 82, we discovered that the same group runs a lot of the acclaimed restaurants here in Grand Case and they're running a promotion using a stamp book. You get a stamp when you dine at each of the restaurant and get a small gift at each one. Complete 3 and you can get a bottle of their infused rum, complete 4 and ... I'm not sure since we only got to 3!

Our second stop was another from this group, Le Tastevin.
More ocean view, and we were there right on time for sunset, too.

We couldn't say no to marbled foie gras and lobster with pineapple and rum chutney
Grand Case
I wished they gave us more pineapple rum chutney since it made the dish that much better and we ran out of chutney before finished the foie gras.

The "small gift" from the restaurants turned out to be a shot of their homemade rum. Each of the 4 restaurants have one, and they're all different flavors.
Grand Case

So, finally it's time for our dinner reservation at Bistrot Caraibes. This restaurant is known for their lobster thermidor. A big tank of live Caribbean spiny lobsters sit outside the restaurant.

After placing our order, our server told us to go out front and pick out our lobsters.
I don't know why we ordered two appetizers considering we just had two appetizers at the other restaurants, but we did. We did.

House smoked Norwegian salmon with onion, caper, toast (€15)
Grand Case

Millefeuille de foie gras with mango, pistachio, sweet and sour mango sauce (€18)
Grand Case

Since there were two of us, we actually got our lobsters prepared two different ways and shared them. One, of course, was the lobster thermidor, while we got the other one grilled with garlic butter.
Grand Case

Originally I thought the more "pure" grilled one would be better, but the lobster thermidor here is really that good that I liked it much better than the other one! It is definitely the thing to get here. We saw another table of six who all had a lobster thermidor each.

When you get your "passport" stamped at three of their restaurants, you can take home a bottle of their homemade rum! And now that you've been given a shot of rum at each of them, you can choose which one you like best. I ended up choosing the ginger-y one made at Bistrot Caraibes!

There are a lot more to eat on Grand Case, of course. We didn't have the stomach space to try more, but there were a couple of low-key places for cheaper eats, along with wine bars that looked enticing!
They also have parades on the streets of Grand Case near Mardi Gras season, too bad we were there too early for it. There are definitely plenty to see and eat here, and a stop at Grand Case is a must when you visit the island of Saint Martin.


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