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“Best kept secret on the Island!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of L'Estaminet

L'Estaminet
139, Boulevard de Grand Case | Grand-Case 139, Grand Case 97150, St Maarten-St Martin
+1 059-029-0025
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Ranked #15 of 59 Restaurants in Grand Case
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $40 - $75
Cuisines: French, Caribbean, European, Fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Doing business, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night, Dessert
Description: L'ESTAMINET...A French ,innovative cuisine ,combining spices of the word and amazing flavors...And frienddly atmosphere.....
Boston, Massachusetts
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Best kept secret on the Island!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

Foodies and "gastronophiles", be advised, this is "Haute Nouvelle Cuisine" at his best! No need to go to NYC, Paris or some other food Mecca for such. The ingenuous Chef has taken advantage of the local flavors to create unusual combinations with amazing flavors and exciting aromas, for example a sous vide cooked to perfection sea bass to infuse with a syringe of chocolate, or a medley of local fish bathing in a broth perfumed with an unusual tea infusion.Not only delicious, those dishes are copious in size ( in contrast to typical Nouvelle cuisine pretentious restaurants) and guilt sparing as quite dietetic. The atmosphere is pleasant and peaceful, the service is impeccable and to crown it all, the Kir royal offered as an aperitif and the chocolate liquor concoction offered as a digestif are to die for.
Planning on going back tonight for more!

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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424 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    332
    54
    23
    10
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Livingston, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Creatively Appetizing”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

Sometimes "creative" is vernacular for "challenging" and sometimes it's a cover up for "over-spiced in the name of attention". L'Estaminet is creative in the sense of unusual foods and preparations that work.

Short form: we had pigeon that was reminiscent of a stronger duck, prepared as both a confit and in kebab/sausage style. In a long list of "creative" foods -- ostrich, kangaroo, alligator, antelope, bear -- it stands out as one of the best preparations in "creative" style anywhere. Filet with chevre was outstanding, the tangy chevre and olive tapenade on toast pulling your taste buds in competitive but friendly directions. Vegetable preparations included fennel with pineapple, and pumpkin spiced with cinnamon -- another melange of fruity, savory, sweet and crunchy -- more adjectives than you can find in Gourmet magazine on a good day, and you still don't come close to fully describing dinner.

Carol runs an excellent front of house, and ensures that all dishes are to the diner's satisfaction - a big plus. While time-wise is was one of our longest meals, value-wise it's one of the best in Grand Case.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Delray Beach
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“One of the best in Grand Case”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

We were in Grand Case over the Xmas holidays and this was our choice for our first night at the recommendation of our hotel. We had the early seating at 6:30 which we prefer if we are eating more than two courses. The food was wonderful and very creatively presented. One of the first courses was a parsnip soup over a ravioli, delicious. Both of us had fish and the server was very precise in her explanation about the fish (as it comes from the Brittany area it is sometimes considered a bit stronger than many diners in the tropics prefer.) We really appreciate when a server wants you to order with all the information, not just the obvious (which is tedious) but important characteristics of the food that you may not be aware of. One of us ordered the Brittany coast sea bass and the other a local, milder fish. Both dishes were wonderful, many interesting touches on the plate and not over-sauced. All the courses were excellent and this time we chose not to have a dessert. However we were presented (as were all other diners) a little chocolate treat (beautifully wrapped) to take with us.
The decor is of course charming (street view, wonderful for people watching, not on the water).
Service was perfect, although we did eat early and were one of the first patrons of the evening.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Raleigh, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Eat here!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

We ate at seven places on restaurant row in Grand Case and this one stood out. It's hard to rank them but this one comes out on top anyway. Excellent reception, friendly relaxed service and outstanding food - can't be beaten. It's tough to just walk in so get a reservation......

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Highlight of Dining in St Martin”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

While there are many nice places to eat in St Martin, and especially Grand Case, L'Estaminet shines from every angle. From how you are greeted, to the service, to the ambiance, to every bite, you will be impressed. We had the lobster bisque, crispy escargot, duck breast and bowl of fish, and finished the super amazing chocolate desert (which you need to order 15 min in advance). The restaurant itself is small - about 8-10 tables total, so make a reservation. Small wine list, but very good options. This should not be missed.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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