St. Martin and Caribbean Queens
BY Jenn Kennedy
February 13 2013 6:00 AM ET
Located in the northwestern part of the island, the village of Grand Case is the gastronomic capital of the Caribbean. Numerous restaurants line the main street and offer traditional French cuisine mixed with Italian, Indian, and fresh fish specialties. Roadside lolos (literally locals cooking in front of their homes) offer stuffed crabs and grilled lobster at a fraction of the price of restaurants. Located throughout the island, some lolos are simple one-person operations, while others have a team of family members cooking together and offer seating and beverages to patrons.
Not a place to lose weight, St. Martin is known for rich dishes like oxtail stew, johnnycake (fried bread), jacks (fried fish), and pies stuffed with beef or fish. Snapper is abundant, as is tuna, marlin and lobster.
Decorated with colorful Caribbean charm, Le Tastevin (Letastevin-Restaurant.com), located in Grand Case, is a beautiful, open-air contemporary French-Caribbean dining option with cuisine by owners Christine and José Manrique. A local favorite since 1984, it offers must-try specialties including an aged rum foie gras pâté and stewed dry fig appetizer, an entrée of pork tenderloin in cider and mapuche spices accompanied by honey-glazed turnips, and chocolate and Nutella crunch rolls with orange sauce and chocolate ice cream for dessert.