Dinner at Le Cottage – Grand Case
While cheap, casual local eats can be found on most of the islands in the Caribbean, the same can’t be said about fine dining. In St. Martin, championed as the the capital of gastronomy in the Caribbean by the St. Martin Tourism Board, there’s possibly more restaurants serving foie gras than chicken curry. If you’ve been to any overpriced tourist trap while on vacation, this is certainly a negative, but in the case of St. Martin, it’s quite the contrary. Of the few days there, the BF and I ate at several establishments I’d recommend, and while not cheap, we never experienced buyer’s remorse. Le Cottage is one of those restaurants.
Dinner started with an amuse bouche: chilled zucchini and mint cream soup. As amuses go, it was a little larger and more filling than the norm, but I liked the coolness on the balmy night and was glad it remained creamy until the end.
For my appetizer, I had the snail tasting (€13). Three tender snails prepared more traditionally in melted garlic, parsley butter and three chopped and rolled up in pastry dough à la skinny spring roll style with garlic cream sauce. I liked both methods. The traditional because you could taste the snail more, and the modern for the fried crunch. Fried, crunchy things are hard to deny.
David ordered the French onion soup (€9), which I thought could have been more intense with caramelized onion flavor, but David liked it wasn’t too heavy.
My entree was local mahi-mahi wrapped in kadaif (€27), shredded phyllo dough, served with rice, and leeks and mushrooms in a light curry sauce. Again, I liked the crispness from the kadaif, the meatiness of the mushrooms, and the accompanying curry sauce which I wished there had been more of.
BF had the flounder special (€29) which came in a buttery champagne sauce. It was delectably buttery but not enough to overwhelm the mild fish.
I was too stuffed for dessert, but David ordered the homemade ice cream (€9): vanilla, salted caramel, and mango. The caramel was nice although not too salty, the mango smooth, and the vanilla was vanilla. For the life of me, I don’t understand why anyone would order vanilla by choice. It’s like saying, ‘Oh you have flavors here, but give me one that is devoid of any.’ Just my opinion. I know there are a lot of vanilla lovers out there, David included, but I’m not one of them.
Dinner may have seemed pricey, but if you paid in cash, the euro to dollar conversion was 1:1. Too bad we didn’t know this until after we’d paid with our credit card, but even still, no regrets. We left full and sated. Regrets are for real life anyway, not when on vacation.
97 Boulevard de Grand Case
Grand Case 97150, St Maarten-St Martin
590 05 90 290 330