La Main a la Pate was the first restaurant we tried in Marigot. The lively, bright atmosphere attracted us, as did the chalkboard with the day's specials. Service was fine, not bad but not exceptional in any way.
However, the food was a disappointment. Excessive use of the deep fryer is an issue with this restaurant. Much of what we found on our plates was greasy, oily, and prepared with a heavy hand. Substitutions in the dishes were made without informing us, so when our dinners arrived there was a bit of a surprise element. The food was very salty, even by French standards.
Two main examples: Our mixed creole appetizer platter came with calamari substituted for plantains. The calamari was breaded and deep fried, and overcooked to a hard, rubbery consistency. We ate two bites and stopped. My mahi-mahi was also overcooked and oversalted to the point of being inedible. To me, all of this points to sheer lack of caring in the kitchen, which is a disappointment on an island that calls itself the "Culinary Capital of the Caribbean."
Overall, I got the impression that La Main thrives more because of its ideal location than on the quality of its food. Fortunately for us, every other meal we had on the island was superior to this first experience. With so many good dining options around, it is difficult to recommend this restaurant. See my reviews of La Petit Auberge des Iles and Tropicana for two better options in the same marina.
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