Food Tour of St Barthelemy

This isn’t a review but some observations from our last trip. We have been going regularly to St Barthelemy for many years. We have had an at least annual trip for at about 10 years prior to Covid. Our spring 2020 trip got canceled obviously and the travel restrictions just put us off from going in 2021. So we finally got back this June.

We usually rent a villa and split our meals between cooking in and dining out. We also travel to France on an irregular basis and I love seeing the products in the French markets and have always been amazed at what you can find in the markets on an 8 square mile French island in the middle of the ocean compared to what we see on other islands. The local bakeries produce bread and pastries that I have trouble finding in NYC. I am giving a small sampling of what dining and cooking here is like.

There’s a new building that houses the March U. Huge place that wouldn’t be out of place in a suburban town in the US except for the view from the parking deck and things like rabbit in the butcher case, trout roe next to the charcuterie and the wonderful bonne maman sables.

The fish market has local fisherman selling their daily catch early in the morning. I picked up this piece of tuna with a portion of the belly attached. Almost 4 pounds for €36.

Made some crudo from the belly and tartar from a chunk of the loin.

A few days later got a lobster. Had the fisherman split it. Made a compound butter and put it on the grill.

Probably my favorite restaurant on the island is Santa Fe. Usually go there for lunch. On a clear day you can see Saba, Statia and St Kitts. David is a great host. They’re known for lobster and Dover sole but I really love this chicken dish. Classic French cooking techniques.

Zion is a relatively new place. It’s in a place that used to house a much more casual place that advertised its strengths as warm beer and a view of the car park. It was a great fun spot. But it closed and then Zion opened. We went when they first opened and the food was much more refined than its predecessor but still relatable for me. On our first visit back in 2+ years, things have changed. The place looks the same. But the food has gone more in the direction of the international modernist style where very little is recognizable. Case in point.

This is tuna. Can’t you tell? Food was tasty but the soul was gone. An ambitious young chef pushing boundaries. Maybe a bit too far for me.

In the center of Gustavia down a little alley, you will find Fish Corner. I think the best fish on the island is found here. Mercifully since our last visit they have enclosed most of the dining room and air conditioned it. Previously you would work up a sweat just sitting. Fabulous fish and chips.

The was a fish taco starter. Marinated raw mahi mahi with an almost foamy guacamole and pomegranate seeds sprinkled on top. Should have ordered two orders as my wife swiped one. Posted the pic on the taco thread.

Our last dinner was at an old favorite, Eddys. Whenever we see accras ( salt cod fritters) on a menu we order them. Eddys’ is among the best.

I had filet which was just short of soft butter tender (which is a good thing) with a lively peppercorn sauce. The accompanying veg was uninspired but the filet made the dish. My lovely wife had tuna 4 ways.

Two weeks of eating was balanced by daily swims in water like this which kept me from coming back bloated.

Amazing eating on a tiny island.


So much fun to read this, thanks!!