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Thursday
Mar112010

Le Tastevin = Tasty

Location: Le Tastevin, Grand Case, St. Martin

Rating:

Steve has got me on a short food leash. If it were up to me, I'd be hitting the 5 star restaurants every night, but he insists on pacing ourselves. So after holding out for several days, last night we went out for a date night dinner, and we selected Le Tastevin

Unlike Le Soleil, this place came highly recommended. In fact, we were originally supposed to go there on Valentine's Day, the day we arrived, but our late lunch with Alain at the pool took us out of commission. 

In an attempt to be somewhat virtuous, I ordered a simple salad with asparagus and tomatoes to start. It was light and refreshing. Unfortunately for my waistline, Steve has been embracing his newly found love of Foie Gras. Once I had a taste of it, the barely eaten salad sat untouched, sad and forgotten. Not only was it wonderful housemade Foie Gras, but it came with a fresh Fig Compote and fleur de sel that completed it like Jerry Maguire. It was sinfully delicious. 

For our main course, I ordered the Duck breast in a 5-spice sauce. The duck was perfectly prepared; the sauce was delightful. There were tiny skewers of pineapple, providing a perfect sweet counterpoint (once I discovered it, that is - I was so focused on the duck, I didn't notice it at first). Steve ordered the Filet (no surprise). It had what at first seemed like a traditional French sauce, but ended with a frisky hint of island spice. Very tasty. 

We decided to forego dessert in favor of finishing our yummy bottle of Chateau Margaux (yes, we're hooked now). 

A special note on the service at Le Tastevin: it was exceptional. Though the restaurant was fairly packed by the end of our dinner, we neither noticed noise nor any abandonment from the staff. To the contrary, they were perfectly attentive. In fact, the one waiter made a great recommendation of a light, not-too-sweet dessert wine that would perfectly complement the foie gras. 

The restaurants on Boulevard Grand Case are divided into those on the side of the boulevard that are open to the beach and waves, and those on the other side. Le Tastevin is perfectly situated - it's completely open to the cool breeze, one story above the lapping waves on the beach. Its decor is subtle and tasteful, and designed to embrace the beautiful scenery, which has been perfectly lit. Though almost every table was full (on a Wednesday night, no less), it didn't feel crowded at all. 

After our tasty dinner, we were a bit tipsy, and decided to head to Calmos cafe for another island tradition we've embraced: the banana vanilla rum digestif. It had never occurred to me in California to drink rum straight, but wow, this stuff goes down way too easy.

We sat at the bar, and when we arrived, the bartender recognized me and offered me a Ti Punch. Ha! Cruel sense of humor, these French guys. It was surprisingly quiet last night; hardly anyone there, though we were treated to a true Cougar moment across the bar. And, I did finally witness someone intentionally drinking Ti Punch. 

Now, we've been to Calmos many times at this point, and often they leave the rum bottle at the table after they pour your after-dinner shot; when we've been there with friends, our table has finished the bottle on more than one occasion. In this instance, the bartender had left the bottle in front of us, so I kind of assumed we could help ourselves to a little more... well, apparently it's frowned upon to perform drunken self-service when you're sitting at the bar. Who knew? And then when we tried to pay, we had no cash and it was less than their credit card minimum. Oops. The bartender, after threatening various forms of indentured servitude, eventually let us promise to come back today to pay our bill. Gotta love a small town.

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    Response: richard goozh
    - A Month in St. Martin - Le Tastevin = Tasty
  • Response
    - A Month in St. Martin - Le Tastevin = Tasty

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