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St. Barth Trip Report

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Hi - I just returned from St Barth yesterday, and thought I'd share our experiences. Overall things were outrageously expensive, but we had a great time.

To give you context, we live in Napa Valley and love great food, and eat out often. We travel to France about once a year and eat everything from street food to Michelin 3 stars.

Here were our favorite places:

La Plage: great casual food in one of the most idyllic beach settings. Very friendly and very fresh, with wahoo tartare with ginger stealing the show. Desserts were also great. Lounge atmosphere, but no pretense.

Francois Plantation: absolutely off the charts! We were told that a very famous Parisian michelin 3 star chef is now basically consulting. I can't name any names. Classic french high-end gastronomy, with an emphasis on purity, with each dish having a rare exotic take, usually presented in a dish on the side. Poulet de Bresse stood out, with the classic breast meat in brown sauce, but with the thigh confited, chopped with foie gras, and tossed with potatoes and brown sauce! Absolutely delicious! Wine choices are phenomenally good, but very expensive (no surprise).

The Hideaway: (Andy's) Really casual and friendly. Good but not great pizza, but very enjoyable nonetheless. We also had the Salade Perigourdine, with Gesiers Confit, Magret fume, and foie gras, which was nostalgic and very good. Wine choices were dismal.

Eddy's: We had heard mixed reviews, so we stuck to the Creole specialties, and we loved it. Shrimp curry and the green Papaya salad were totally decadent, rich, and delicious. Very good value. Nice wines by the glass.

The let-downs:

SandBar at the Eden Roc: Ambitious food that was just not very good. It looked good, sounded good on the menu, but just failed to deliver. We had the Wagyu beef salad, wherein the beef was surpisingly tough and chewy, plus flavorless, and another unremarkable salad. I'd choose La Plage over this place any day. Great view of the beach and very friendly service, but huge prices, too. Wine list is good: we had a 2005 Chablis from Fevre 1er cru for 70 euros that was great.

Wall House: I'm sure the 5 course was a good deal, but we just weren't that hungry, so we ordered a la carte. It was decent, but somewhat dissapointing. The plus side: the leek salad with beet juice dressing! This is really nice and simple french country cooking. Then we had a Daurade that was mediocre, and a (whole!) Squab with brown sauce from the rotiserrie. The pigeon was good and small, and cooked well, but not exciting. The real disappointment was the dessert cart, which looked enticing, but the choices were simply scooped off the cart and slapped onto our plates instead of being warmed and plated in back with accompaniments. It felt like eating leftovers. Overall a solid B, but we expected more.

Alas, we never made it Le Sapotillier! We were much too full from Francois Plantation!!!



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