French Caribbean Cuisine at Bistrot Caraibes, St. Martin

The Caribbean island of St. Martin is a paradox - one side is Dutch while the other is French. If you're looking for a gastronomic experience, the French side, which can be reached by by rental car or taxi, has a lot to offer.

While road tripping to the French side of Grand Case, my travel buddies and I dropped by Bistrot Caraibes to understand what an authentic French Caribbean meal is all about. We were soaking up the fresh island night breeze and scouring the small boutique stores before heading to the bistro, which is located a block away from the beach. Indeed, we were not disappointed. Our meal consisted of everything that is sinfully, yet elegantly French - from escargot, foie gras to live lobster.

Must not miss the thermidor lobster at Bistrot Caraibes.
Must start with live lobsters 
Even before we found parking a few blocks from the restaurant, we already knew in our hearts and minds that we all wanted lobsters. And lobster we did have since a few of them were swimming in a small pond in front of the establishment! We even got to take a photo of our lobster alive and kicking before it was presented as our thermidor lobster entree, which is Caribbean style stuffed lobster in creamy white sauce topped with parmesan cheese, after our appetizers. I've savored different island style lobsters from grilled to buttered, but the thermidor is definitely a must try while in the Caribbean and, specifically, at Bistrot Caraibes as it is their house specialty.

Thanks to my travel buddies for joining me in this dining experience!
We opened our palettes with a glass of bellini and then paired the rest of the meal with French red, white and rose wine, namely the Le Haut Medoc de Giscours, Chateau de la Saule, and Gris Blanc Rose 2016. What more can a girl ask for?

welcome drink
Cheers, welcome to Bistrot Caraibes.
Escargot, please.
Thou shall not leave a French restaurant without devouring on escargots. This was our special appetizer request of the night, imagining that it would be served with the traditional escargot plate. Alas though, the escargot came in a bowl with creamy mushroom sauce that overpowered the snails. Unexpectedly, the mussels in red tomato sauce and perfectly seared sesame crusted tuna tataki on a bed of seaweed salad, which were both the owner Thibault's recommendations, made up for what was missing in the escargot dish - light yet savory, well balanced flavors.

Tuna tataki for the win!
Just when I thought the appetizer round was over, a dish with glistening foie gras in all its glory appeared together with a slice of phyllo dough for added texture. The sweet and sour mango sauce complemented the bold taste of the foie gras. At this point after four appetizers (not all are shown on photos), we were already teeming with too much excitement for the thermidor lobster to arrive that it was gone in no time.

French meal
Melt in your mouth foie gras. Escargot in the background.
Sweet, healthy meal endings
Thanks to the recommendation of Thibault, we ended our Bistrot Caraibes experience on a high note with their dessert special, the hot chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. Nothing can really go wrong with chocolate and vanilla together. I also took advantage of the fresh fruits that surrounded the homemade nougat ice cream since it is hard to find fresh fruits or even fresh juices in the island.

hot chocolate
Dessert house specialty: the hot chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream.
Craving for fresh fruits! 
Special thanks to Thibault and all his staff who were gracious with our requests. See you in my next island gastronomic (mis)adventures!

*Sponsored meal

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