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“After this restaurant, you'll know how great cuisine can be!”
Review of L'Estaminet - CLOSED

L'Estaminet
Price range: US$40 - US$75
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Reservations
Description: L'ESTAMINET...A French ,innovative cuisine ,combining spices of the word and amazing flavors...And frienddly atmosphere.....
Florence, Kentucky
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
“After this restaurant, you'll know how great cuisine can be!”
Reviewed 20 October 2011

Food is love, and dining here, you'll discover you've never been in love before. I've traveled the world searching for that magic Chef, and here she is hidden in a small modest restaurant on a small island.

Carole the owner and Ina the Chef obviously keep this restaurant open for one purpose only: to allow lucky people the opportunity to experience tastes they never have been or will be exposed to. From the taste buds to the brain to the smile. It is incredible.

You should make reservations because they are only open from 6 pm until the last guests leave. The place is small, intimate, and truly happy. I experienced combinations of spices and natural ingredients I never knew existed, and to this day, I can close my eyes and my mouth waters.

To get there, you must find Grande Case, which is between Marigot (the French side capitol) and Orient Beach. One entrance from the south on the Ring Road (around the island) will take you through crowded streets. The entrance from the north side is across from a supermarket and takes you past a perfume shop on the corner and onto the main street. Parking is free and easy on the left halfway down. Look for the anchor. Walking is another five minute stroll past the colorful street shops and restaurants.

I've read the other reviews, so I won't repeat what others have said, but I must address the unique way Ina prepares escargot. It is not on the "butter holder" dish 99% of restaurants use, but baked into small pastries with unknown, but wonderful, spices. I fell in love before the main course.

The wine selection is direct from France and incredible.

My only complaint is that I am forever ruined from enjoying a meal at a restaurant until I can return. But my memories will last forever.

  • Visited September 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank Cibors
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

435 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    338
    55
    23
    11
    8
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
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Modern French Topquality”
Reviewed 8 October 2011

Real fine food for the same prize as a few tacky neighbours. LOVED the moonfish, order it.

And want something special as desert? Order the Cigar...

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Ruben P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Tomato & Radish "Tartar"”
Reviewed 7 October 2011

Amazing! This was the best meal we had in St Martin, and by far the most creative! Try the "tartar", beautifully plated, delicious and very clever. The owner took care of us all evening, great wine list and atmosphere.

  • Visited September 2011
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank michelle c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Best Food, Ambience, Service on the island!”
Reviewed 12 September 2011

If you are looking for truly unique food, an inviting (less touristy) atmosphere, and friendly service - this is the place! Modern cuisine (bordering on molecular gastronomy), but truly approachable, and reasonably priced. No ocean view, but none needed. The food and friendliness speak for themselves. Highly recommended!

  • Visited May 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank William M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arab, Alabama
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Wonderful food and fantastic staff”
Reviewed 25 August 2011

We had searched Trip Advisor for a list of french restaurants in St Maarten and L'Estaminet was highly ranked. We now can understand why. Carole was wonderful and Ina prepared a fantastic meal. The chocolate surprise dessert is a must. Sophie also took great care of us. If you visit Grand Case, then L'Estaminet is a MUST. It is on the left side of the road as you head west through Grand Case. We also had the french onion soup as an appetizer and the flanl steak as an entree. We had eaten a very late lunch but we still had to try the french cuisine on the north side of the island and this was a great choice. If you visit, you must have a dinner here and experience the warm hospitality of the entire staff.

  • Visited August 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank jharbinal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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