Archive for the ‘St. Barth Restaurants’ Category

Orega – Another Fabulous New Dinner Venue Hits the St Barth Restaurant Scene

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

Orega St. Barth

Those of us who have been coming to St. Barth for years and years (I am celebrating 30 years since I first discovered this island in 1986) remember the little quaint “case” in the heart of Gustavia where owner Adam Rajner had his expensive, but excellent Le Sapotillier restaurant. It was so named because those of us who dined in the garden sat under a huge Sapotillier tree that towered up into the moonlit sky. During that period of time, there were no retractable roofs and I don’t remember it ever raining while we were there; besides, Steve and I chose to dine on the porch/mezzanine of the “case”, anyway.

The sommelier at the time was one of our very favorite people, Manu, who now owns the Santa Fe restaurant in Lurin. The only thing that bugged me about dining at Le Sapotillier was when we asked for “l’addition”, the bill only said “drinks”. They were never itemized and therefore, our check was always much higher than we had anticipated. We kept going back anyway because the food and ambiance made for a lovely evening out.

Eventually, Adam decided to sell the restaurant. A young couple took over but were unsuccessful. Several other people gave it a shot, namely B-4, Océan and Avventura. None survived for very long. Well, I am pleased to let you know that Orega restaurant is knocking everyone’s socks off with its outstanding cuisine, attentive staff and an upgraded décor. The Sapotillier tree is long gone, but the garden tables are open to the sky and there is a retractable roof, just in case.

I love this table on the mezzanine where Steve and I can watch the world go by while we are enjoing our dinner at Orega.

I love this table on the mezzanine where Steve and I can watch the world go by while we are enjoing our dinner at Orega.

Greg Ortega and his wife Kate Kova are co-owners of both Orega restaurant where Greg is hands-on and Ortega Art Gallery which is across the street and is where you will find artist Kate. The restaurant explains the concept as, “The OREGA Team has come together to create an exceptional dining experience, which combines authentic, quality ingredients with impeccable service in a comfortable and inviting atmosphere. OREGA creates a fusion experience with Japanese and French cuisine that offers both classic and unique dishes exquisitely prepared and presented for your dining pleasure. Our team is passionate about cooking artistry and will assuredly make you fall in love with OREGA.”

Look who is right outside our window at Orega - Papa Guyo and Greg Ortega!

Look who is right outside our window at Orega – Papa Guyo and Greg Ortega!

I have already dined there a half dozen times and have never been disappointed. We always start with Edamame while we decide which appetizer to share and what each of our main courses will be. I have a tendency to order something, fall in love with it and keep ordering it again. So much so that our waiter Max (formerly at Le Carré) correctly guesses that it will be the Caribbean Treasure, Orega’s version of Spiny Lobster Ravioli with mushrooms and bisque and has already chilled a bottle of Sancerre Blanc, my favorite wine.

Caribbean Treasure

Caribbean Treasure

Steve, on the other hand, loves to try different things and raved about their Wagyu Gyoza, a Japanese ravioli with braised beef, mushrooms and katsuboshi. The lamb chops were delicious as well.

Wagyu Gyoza at Orega

Wagyu Gyoza at Orega

Lamb Chops - Orega Style

Lamb Chops – Orega Style

We always share an appetizer and the Orega variety of Tuna Tataki is outstanding. Steve is a chocoholic as well as a lover of lemon flavors. Their Chocolate Bomb dessert with vanilla ice cream, angel cake and berries (with two spoons, of course) satisfied his chocolate craving one evening and the Tarte Yuzu Meringuée (a Japanese lemon tart topped with Italian meringue) was savored on another evening. Both are out of this world.

Orega's Tuna Tataki

Orega’s Tuna Tataki

Omega's Chocolate Bomb and the Lemon Tart with Italian Meringue are to die for

Omega’s Chocolate Bomb and the Lemon Tart with Italian Meringue are to die for

Open for dinner 6:30-10:30 (Closed Tuesdays). Reservations are a must. We are happy to make them for you, our St. Barth Properties’ clients.

The Latest Update on What’s New on the St. Barth Restaurant Scene

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Bonjour from sunny St. Barth! My husband Steve and I came back to St. Barth December 8th and are based here until mid-May 2016 (poor me). As part of my duties to you, loyal reader, I must try the new restaurants and report back my findings. Today’s blog is the first in the series.

The Hidden Gem: Carpe Diem, Gustavia

Carpe Diem restaurant on the La Pointe side of Gustavia harbor, St. Barth is getting rave reviews.

Carpe Diem restaurant on the La Pointe side of Gustavia harbor, St. Barth is getting rave reviews.

Tucked away on the other side of the harbor where Ti Zouk Café used to be, new owner Audrey Ferrari has transformed the place into a lovely open-air restaurant. I have known Audrey for several years. She is a sommelier and we took a wine tasting course that she was giving at Absolutely Wine. Her dream of opening her own restaurant has come true. We have dined there several times, including New Year’s Eve, and it has become one of my favorites.

Here I am with Carpe Diem's owner Audrey Ferrari

Here I am with Carpe Diem’s owner Audrey Ferrari.

The open kitchen and bar is shared space in the front of the restaurant. The aroma wafts out to the sidewalk. Passerbys stop to breathe it all in and make a mental note to dine there. Nicely set tables near tall trees adorn the rest of the space. In the corner, there is an elevated lounge area where you can enjoy an apéritif.

The ambience in the open-air dining room at Carpe Diem is delightful.

The ambience in the open-air dining room at Carpe Diem is delightful.

An elevated lounge area to enjoy cocktails is tucked away in the corner.

An elevated lounge area to enjoy cocktails is tucked away in the corner.

The menu is varied and each day it differs a bit. Always on the menu, (a black board) is its signature homemade pasta. It comes in 3 sizes (small – 9 euros, medium – 17 euros and large – 22 euros), 3 shapes (penne, tagliatelle and macaroni) with many sauces from which to choose (Bolognese, mushroom, pesto, basil, carbonara, tomato and goat cheese cream). Believe it or not, the small size in enough for me. Although delicious, I can’t even finish it.

Carpe Diem's Homemade Macaroni with Bolognese Sauce (small portion).

Carpe Diem’s Homemade Macaroni with Bolognese Sauce (small portion).

Goat cheese ravioli as well as beef ravioli are on the menu, too (also in small, medium and large portions – 12, 22, and 30 euros respectively) with a choice of the same sauces. Steve tried the beef ravioli with mushroom sauce and couldn’t stop raving about it. Chef Julien came over to our table later on and told us that he had just created the secret recipe for it. Don’t ask because, after all, it is a top-secret.

The New Creation of Chef Julien is Beef Ravioli with Mushroom Sauce.  The Recipe is Top Secret.

The New Creation of Chef Julien is Beef Ravioli with Mushroom Sauce. The Recipe is Top Secret.

The Grill: Choose from Mahi Mahi, Gambas, Scallops, Flank steak, quail Filets and French Sausage, “Alouette” (Described by wait person, Gary as meaning “strong”). Accompanying sides include Lentils ‘Du Puy”, Coco Beans, Celeriac Purée and Pan Fried Zucchini.

Julien Losada is the very talented chef at Carpe Diem

Julien Losada is the very talented chef at Carpe Diem

Starters: That particular evening the starters included Pan Fried Foie gras (22 €), Buratta, Cured Meat (14 €), Goat cheese Salad (14 €) and Beef Tataki (16 €).

Carpe Diem's yummy version of Goat Cheese Salad.

Carpe Diem’s yummy version of Goat Cheese Salad.

Carpe Diem has a daily lunch special. For example, Daurade (Sea Bream) Tatare with Green Salad @ 12 € as well as a Formule (prix fixe) @ 17 € which includes the special along with a drink of your choice and a cup of coffee.

Opening hours: 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm. Dinner from 7:00 pm – 10:30 pm and Sunday Brunch

Please give it a try and let me know your thoughts.

Merci beaucoup!

We enjoyed spending New Year's Eve at Carpe Diem with some our of family -  Nate, Mark, Reegan and Cynthia Smyth.

We enjoyed spending New Year’s Eve at Carpe Diem with some our of family – Nate, Mark, Reegan and Cynthia Smyth.

Will Kids Love St. Barth?

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

It’s Julie Nally’s turn to share her recent trip report with you. Julie has been a St. Barth Specialist with St. Barth Properties for 18 years. When she began her career with us, she had not yet had children. Over the years, she was blessed with two very nice boys. If you are considering going to St. Barth with your family and have younger children, Julie gives some insight on what a family trip to St. Barth can be like.
I hope you enjoy it!

Sunny regards,
Peg

Will Kids Love St. Barth?

By Julie Nally

“Will my kids love St. Barth?” is a common question I get from potential clients planning their next family vacation. Well, the answer has always been “yes” for a variety of reasons. However, now I can speak from my own experience, the answer is an even bigger “YES!”

I just returned from my latest island villa and hotel inspection trip. This trip was different than any other because I was not traveling alone or with a friend but with 5 kids! That’s a “busload.” The age range was from 10 to 21 years old and included my two sons, Jack, 10, Keith, 13 and my three nieces ages 14, 16 and 21.

The initial interest in planning this trip was sparked by my son Keith. He was curious about St. Barth and always asking if he could come with me when I went for work. He was determined to be on the plane to St. Barth with me. I granted his wish and it had a domino effect for all the other kids.

We flew from Boston to San Juan on Jet Blue and then took Tradewind Aviation from San Juan directly to St Barth. The Tradewind Aviation flight is ideal for anyone traveling to the island. Convenient, quick, and comfortable – a good start to any trip.

Boarding our Tradewind Flight - Jack, Julie, Ava, Haley, Lindsey, Keith

Boarding our Tradewind Flight – Jack, Julie, Ava, Haley, Lindsey, Keith

After arriving, it was on to Villa Eclipse in Camaruche. This villa with its long lap pool, amazing view, privacy, and oversized indoor and outdoor living spaces was the perfect choice for our group. The US Satellite TV in both the living room and master bedroom didn’t hurt either. The NBA Championship games were on and I have two sports enthusiasts for sons! The owner of Villa Eclipse also owns the amazing Villa Wings located in St Jean and the convenient condominium Wahoo in Gustavia. Three different locations, three very different properties but all top-notch villas that offer great amenities for the appropriate clientele.

On Top of the World - Ava and Haley - Villa Eclipse

On Top of the World – Ava and Haley – Villa Eclipse

After some refreshing pool time, we were treated to quite a surprise – an amazing fireworks display that lit up the skies. Lucky for us there was a large high-end wedding on the island and as it turned out Villa Eclipse had the best seat in the house. The kids were so excited!

We were treaated to a Fireworks display on our very first night.

We were treated to a Fireworks display on our very first night.

After, we left for a casual first-night dinner at L’Isoletta in Gustavia. This chic little bistro offers the best gourmet pizza slices on earth and outdoor dining on comfy couches and candlelight. We ended the evening with my niece giving a toast and that started a fun tradition.

Saturday and Sunday were filled with swimming and lounging at the villa and beach exploration (Saline on Saturday and Flamands Beach by the hotel Taïwana on Sunday). We had dinner at L’Entracte in Gustavia and JoJo Burger in Lorient and kept the nightly toast tradition going. My niece Ava gave it at L’Entracte and my son Jack at JoJo Burger. I also enjoyed some needed “girl time” Saturday night with two of my nieces Lindsey and Haley, at one of my favorite local bars Sayolita. It’s owned by two free-spirited St. Barth surfers Daniel and Sylvain and the girls loved the vibe and the “chill” atmosphere.

First ones in the pool every morning - Ava and Keith

First ones in the pool every morning – Ava and Keith

The absolute highlight of the weekend was our jet ski tour around the island on Sunday afternoon. Wow! None of us had ever jet ski’d on the open ocean before and what an adrenaline rush it was. Ninety minutes of pure fun, gorgeous scenery, and lots of laughs. Jeremy at Ouanalou was our guide and he was terrific.

Come Monday morning it was time for me to start my villa visits. I felt the best spot to get the kids situated was at St Jean Beach. They could watch the planes come and go, hang out at La Plage, the beach restaurant at the Tom Beach hotel, and walk to local shops. To my surprise, my son Jack opted to come with me for the day as opposed to beaching-it with the rest of the crew. He wanted to get an inside look at these properties he had only seen on our website before. Let me tell you, it was an absolute pleasure having him with me as my “little assistant.” His eye for detail, knowledge of all the technical gadgets (I had never heard of a “launchport” before.), and genuine interest in discussing the properties after seeing them was a nice surprise. He accompanied me again on Tuesday. I now wish he could be with me on every inspection trip!

I knew I wanted to capture this family vacation on film in some form or another. How could I not take advantage of this opportunity of our all being together in paradise?! Of course, there was collectively hundreds of selfies taken by the kids but I wanted something more. I made arrangements with island photographer, Chrystele Escure to come to the villa for a photo session. On Monday evening with cool music playing on the Bose surround system throughout the villa, we started what turned out to be a real (and fun, and exciting) photo shoot. Chrystele gave every person their time in the spotlight and a chance to be a “supermodel” – and captured their spirit. Seeing just how much fun everyone was having and the unique pictures that Chrystele was taking of us as a group and individually was priceless!

Chrystele getting ready for photoshoot with Julie

Chrystele getting ready for photoshoot with Julie

I highly recommend booking a photo shoot. It’s a fun and creative way to shed inhibitions and capture your time on St Barth. It’s a once in a lifetime experience! Just ask Julia or Magda, our concierges to arrange it for you.

Before our vacation together came to an end on Wednesday, the kids were able to get in a few more midnight swims at the villa, browse the shops in Gustavia, and enjoy their last delicious meal at Bar L’Oubli -followed by yummy gelato of course. I didn’t want to see them go because, of all the trips to the island, this was the one that brought me the most joy and happiness. I loved that they picked up on the true spirit of St Barth …the people, the beauty, and that “mysterious vibe” that floats in the air and puts a smile on your face. Anyone who has been to St. Barth knows exactly what I’m talking about.

Before they left on their Tradewind Flight back to San Juan, the girls and I recalled that classic movie Wizard of Oz we all know and love. However, instead of clicking ruby slippers, they were clicking summer sandals and flip flops thinking “There’s no place like St Barth…there’s no place like St Barth.”

Julie Nally

Julie Nally

St. Barth Trip Report by Connie Walsh, June 2015

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Bonjour St Barth Devotees,

Continuing the trip report series, today’s blog was written by Connie Walsh, our very talented Marketing and Travel Industry Consultant, who traveled to St. Barth with me last month. We had two very important missions to accomplish: 1) Meet with various people and interview them for the articles you will be reading in the 20th edition of our upcoming Live Your Dream catalogue and 2) Inspect several new villas as well as write up their descriptions for our website.

Here is Connie’s trip report:

Enjoy-
Sunny regards,
Peg

St. Barth Trip Report, June 2015 by Connie Walth

I’ve stayed at Villa Everest so many times now, settling in there is always a bit like coming home. It’s comfy-cozy and I never tire of its panoramic view. Peg Walsh and I spent the first few nights of a very busy workweek at Everest but, happily had the time to toast a glorious sunset from its lovely pool terrace.

Villa Everest

Villa Everest

We spent three nights at the brand new, two-story, two-bedroom Villa Brume de Mer – its rental is exclusive to St. Barth Properties and we were eager to give it a test-stay. Perched on a bluff overlooking Baie de Flamands, Brume de Mer lays claim to a stunning view from several vantage points. A solar-heated pool, a Jacuzzi and a gazebo shading a living-dining area are among the features that make this a special vacation spot. The contemporary décor is coordinated with a soothing gray and crisp white color palette brightened with pops of color. There is exceptional attention to detail here that ensures guests’ comfort and convenience. Expansive well-laid out closet space, perfectly positioned bedside reading lamps, and both waffle and plush terry robes are worth noting. Towel hooks adjacent to the pool and Jacuzzi and a bar for drying beach towels are just of few of the nice little touches. The kitchen’s stock of dishes and glassware and wealth of culinary tools and gadgets are color coordinated.

Villa Brume de Mer

Villa Brume de Mer

I love that Brume de Mer is just a three-minute walk to Flamands Beach – one my favorites. Guests have a choice of three beachfront restaurants that they can walk to for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Up early one morning, I walked the length of the beach and enjoyed a swim before we headed out for a day of villa inspections.

St. Barth Properties has added several new luxurious villas to its portfolio. I think these latest additions will really peak some interest.

Villa Jade, the eight bedroom vacation home of legendary French Rocker Johnny Hallyday is a stand-out even on St. Barth, where villas-to-die-for are as prolific as celebrities. A private Marigot location offers sweeping views of its bay and expansive outdoor living space complete with a super-sized heated infinity pool, Jacuzzi, king-sized canopied day bed and party-sized alfresco dining area. Indoors, there’s a state-of-the-art gym with a steam and sauna and a home-cinema with theater-style tiered seats and access to 4,000 movies. Sleeping accommodations include a three-bedroom family suite (a master and 2 children’s bedrooms) three additional en suite bedrooms, one suitable for staff and a private studio-style bungalow facing the sea. The Asian-themed décor is striking.

Villa Jade

Villa Jade

Villa Joy, also located in Marigot, has a contemporary architectural style similar to Villa Jade and shares the same stunning views. Joy is more compact with less square footage and six en suite bedrooms. However, it boasts many of the same wow features including the infinity pool, Jacuzzi, super-gym and the theater-style home cinema. I love the combination of the modern décor with whimsical accessories and the homage to mid-century movie stars.

Villa Joy

Villa Joy

We inspected two fabulous – and very different properties – in Gustavia. Cassiopée is a two-level three bedroom penthouse apartment that comes with a garaged parking spot and an elevator. Chic and modern, it overlooks the iconic harbor with all its hustle and bustle. Two en suite bedrooms are upstairs; an additional main level room can serve as a third bedroom or a TV room.

Villa Cassiopée

Villa Cassiopée

Villa Infinity is a lovely four bedroom luxury villa that sits above the harbor. Newly built, yet it has a gracious old plantation house feel. Its outdoor living space is fabulous with a terrace and a lower level pool deck with a kitchenette housed in a gazebo.

Villa Infinity

Villa Infinity

In St Jean, Villa Sagittaire wows it guests with a stunning vista of the bay and chaise lounges are queued up along the extra-long infinity pool to take it all in. The four bedrooms have charming 4-poster draped beds and their en suite bedrooms have indoor and outdoor showers. The pool deck is gorgeous and I loved the rear deck – set up for BBQing and relaxing – and how it architecturally frames the view.

Villa Sagittaire

Villa Sagittaire

The main mission for the week was compiling the content for the upcoming issue of the company’s catalog Live Your Dream®. We had a fun interview with Hafida Amezian, who has taken over Hideaway the beloved open-air pizza parlor. She shared her plans for this iconic eatery and changes already implemented. They include the addition of fresh fish to the menu and upgrading the fries – from frozen to hand-cut. And they were yummy.

One of our evenings included a long, delicious over-dinner chat with Bagatelle’s GM Jean-Mathieu Sablier. The sophisticated harbor side eatery serves up contemporary French cuisine in a sexy, so St. Barth setting. What many island visitors may not know is that the menu includes Les Pizzas – thin crust and divine. In fact, black truffle pizza is one of its signature dishes and Peg and I shared one, and tucked-in to another, yellowfin tuna tartare nicely citrusy with a little avocado. Bagatelle will be the new venue for next season’s weekly cocktail party.

And speaking of sophisticated settings, no island restaurant deserves that description more than Bonito. What a view! I enjoyed it with a Tiki cocktail – their drinks menu is really creative – and we had a scrumptious dinner starting with a chilled pea soup. We went casual one night at Le Repaire and took a street-side table. I had a juicy two-handed burger and indulged in a little people-watching. As always, too many great restaurants too little time.

One of the week’s highlights was a sunset cruise with Top-Loc. We set sail with Captain Eric on the 45 ft. Wayayaï catamaran at 5:00 pm and loved every minute. Top Loc also offers full and half day cruises and with the use of snorkling gear, kayaks and paddleboats make for a fun experience especially for families with kids.

We loved our Top Loc sunset sail with Captain Eric

We loved our Top Loc sunset sail with Captain Eric

We interviewed the owners of H2O St. Barth and gathered all the pertinent info on the Seabob, an underwater scooter that is all the rage. Seabob has partnered with St. Barth Jet Ski to create what they call the James Bond Experience. It incorporates the Seabob, Jet Ski, an introductory scuba dive – wait there’s more – a “trip” on a flyboard. Flyboard is a device that propels you into the air as well as below the waves. Full disclosure, we didn’t give it a try, but we’re sure there are lots of SBP clients that would love it and we’d love to hear all about it and see pictures.

Try the new Seabob sport on your next St. Barth vacation. The concierges at St. Barth Properties will make all of the arrangements.

Try the new Seabob sport on your next St. Barth vacation. The concierges at St. Barth Properties will make all of the arrangements.

What’s happening in St. Barth? The latest news from St. Barth as of December 30, 2014

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Bonjour from sunny St. Barth!

I am so happy to be back on this very special island and fortunate to be based here until the middle of May. The weather is gorgeous; the holiday decorations are especially eye-catching, the yachts line both sides of the harbor (except when they had to leave for three days due to a sizable houle (large swells) and the festivities are in full swing. I am lucky to have some of my family visiting us (my son, Mark Smyth, his wife Cynthia and their three children, Reegan, Lilia, and Nate); we are enjoying the beach, the restaurants, and the vibe. Can you guess where this photo was taken?

We are so happy that my son Mark Smyth, his wife Cynthis and three of our grandchildren, Reegan, Lilia and Nate could join us for the holidays

We are so happy that my son Mark Smyth, his wife Cynthis and three of our grandchildren, Reegan, Lilia and Nate could join us for the holidays

On Christmas Day, we went to St. Jean beach. Santa and his helper improvised his sleigh and arrived by H2O Jet Pack! Do you want to try it? We can book it for you.

Santa's sleigh St. Barth Style

Santa’s sleigh St. Barth Style

What’s new? Airport parking regulations:

For those of you who have been to St. Barth before, you will notice some signs (in French, however) indicating a 30 minute parking restriction Monday through Saturday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. in the lot at the Gustav III airport. I observed that the “parking patrol” was at-the-ready to give out tickets.

The 30 minute parking sign at the St. Barth airport

The 30 minute parking sign at the St. Barth airport

Be sure to use your “Blue Disk” specifying the time you arrived on the face of the clock. The disk should be found in your rental car.

Blue Disk for parking in certain areas of St. Barth

Blue Disk for parking in certain areas of St. Barth

What if you need to park for a longer period? The Collectivité bought the lot across the street and has instituted St. Barth’s first paid parking lot. The good part is that the first hour is free; I don’t think that most of you will need more than an hour to do your thing at the airport, so to me, it’s a good solution.

Tarifs for the paking lot across the steet from the Gustave III airport in St. Barth

Tarifs for the paking lot across the steet from the Gustave III airport in St. Barth

For the areas in Gustavia look for the signs and use your disk. The island has added parking limits in the lot by the yachts and the ferry dock, too. The Gustavia limit remains at 90 minutes. Enforcement is between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

New St. Barth restaurants:

I love to try the new restaurants so that I can report to you. Steve and I have already managed to dine at two of them. The first one, Avventura is located in Gustavia across the street from Eddy’s and on the same side of the street as Black Ginger. In years past, it was called the Sapotillier, B-4 and Ocean. They bill themselves as a ristorante/pizzeria but they also have some nice more traditional items including meat and fish dishes. We enjoyed sharing the Queues de crevette au saté appetizer. The pizza prices range from 10 to 22 euros.

Avventura Shrimp Sate

Avventura Shrimp Sate

The other restaurant that we were able to try is L’Escale d’Avriette; it is located on the other side (La Pointe side) of the harbor in the space where Harbours used to be. It’s a Créole restaurant with a harbor view that is owned by a St. Barth family and named after their mother, Avriette. When I first set foot on St Barth in 1986, I was introduced to the stuffed Christophine at the now long gone Marigot Bay Club restaurant that was run by Michele Ledée, an affable man who was born in St. Barth. At the time, it was my favorite restaurant; the food and view were wonderful. I also enjoyed watching a handsome young waiter put on his bathing suit, swim out to the lobster trap that had been sunk in the bay, pick the langoustes that his patrons had just ordered for dinner, swim back, and quickly change into his clothes again. (Sorry for the walk down memory lane…) Anyway, I was thrilled to see the stuffed Christophine on the menu because so many restaurants have stopped serving it as it takes a lot of time to prepare. It is a type of squash and has flesh that is scraped out, mixed with langouste and vegetables, then re-stuffed into the shell, topped with cheese and grilled to perfection. Try it and let me know if you like it.

The stuffed Christophine at L'Escale d'Avriette

The stuffed Christophine at L’Escale d’Avriette

We are gearing up for New Year’s Eve and I hope you are too. I’ll keep you posted on the latest happenings on your favorite island.

Early December 2014

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

I was happy to finally clear my calendar and get back To St. Barth last month. I needed my fix! It was nice to see how well the island had recovered from Hurricane Gonzalo’s wrath. Most of the damages were to the boats that were moored in the harbor area because there was no warning that a hurricane was developing. It was supposed to be a tropical depression that was just passing through so no advisories were given to boat owners to alert them that they should be seeking shelter. As a result, 42 boats were destroyed. The population on St. Barth is resilient so the cleanup began immediately. The only lingering signs that I could see were a couple of boats that had washed ashore and had not yet been removed and I observed some loss of vegetation at a few of the villas that I inspected and that was quickly growing back. When you get to St. Barth, you won’t even notice.

As always, I had lots of things to do including villa and hotel inspections and checking out anything new so that I could tell you about it. I invited friends to join us and we stayed at Villa Capri in Pointe Milou. Tradition finds us at Andy’s Hideaway on our first night.

I’ll be back in St Barth in a few days and will be based there until May. I hope to see you at our weekly cocktail party held at La Plage restaurant on Wednesdays from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm!

In the meantime, Connie Walsh, our marketing consultant has written her trip report as a guest blog.

The highlight of the trip was our big party, the Seaside Soirée that was held at the hotel Taïwana November 14. It was a huge success with more than 200 guests attending.

TRIP REPORT – November 2014

Connie Walsh

I made my annual pre-season trip to St. Barth the week of November 7, and like many other island devotees, I salivate enroute over the plethora of fabulous restaurants. I have my favorites, but I’m always excited to see what’s new. Upon landing my husband and I received a VIP meet & greet by St. Barth Properties’ president Peg Walsh, and we were off to Pointe Milou and got settled into Villa Capri. What a view!

We had a first-night dinner reservation with Peg and her husband Steve at M&P. I hadn’t dined there in a few years, and it was as good as I remembered. The acronym stands for Meat and Potatoes, and admittedly it sounds at odds for chi-chi St. Barth. But a breezy steakhouse on the road to Saline Beach, its sophisticated menu is a carnivore’s dream, but trust that vegetarians have loads of choices. We noshed on the Chateaubriand, accompanied by a choice of over a dozen sauces, Bordelaise, Roquefort, Porcini … my fave Béarnaise, and two sides.

M & P (Meat and Potatoes)

M & P (Meat and Potatoes)

We had some divine Gratin Dauphinois and Kenyan (fair trade) green beans. Thursday night is burger night at M&P if you’re in the mood. We always get our burger fix at the iconic beach-shack Le Select, now celebrating its 65th season. Jo Jo Burger in Lorient gets rave reviews– and they make a mean mahi-mahi sandwich too. I’ve promised myself I’ll stop in one of these days for a post-beach burger.

The always fun Andy’s Hideaway is our go-to for pizza, thin-crust and relish. We also love the pies at the little Gustavia eatery L’Entracte but it was undergoing a major renovation – next time. By the way, Grand cul de Sac’s La Gloriette, which we adore for leisurely feet-in-the sand lunches – and their ginger rhum – offers pizza in the evenings.

Our musts are Le Carré located in the glam shopping arcade of the similar name, Le Carré d’Or; it has a charming Parisian sidewalk café feel. Go for lunch and dinner. It’s that good. They had me at the truffle oil popcorn starter on my first visit, and I think they make the best Margarita on the island. And of course, Santa Fe. Trip advisor rates them # 1 in St. Barth. No surprise. It’s another lunch-and-dinner stop, the afternoon breezes and the views over Gouverneur pair beautifully with a bowl of gazpacho and a glass of rosé. Mussels are Thursday’s lunch and dinner special – mark your vacation calendar. Our small group dinner there began with a coupe de Champagne, their signature Wahoo fritters and went on to include a number of classical French dishes. We shared escargots redolent with garlic, Beef Bourguignon, Sole Meunière that would make Julia Child weep….and oh, the desserts. My favorite is the Peach Melba.

The new & noteworthy include the restaurant and crêperie L’Ardoise in Villa Créole St Jean. They pay homage to the island’s ties to Brittany where the crêpe was invented and called a galette. The soft dessert crêpes include the uber-popular Nutella and a deconstructed profiterole. The atmosphere is casual and lively, the prices reasonable and it’s catching on with residents and visitors alike. Cocktails are being stirred and shaken at the brand new and lounge-y bar Modjo. From the outside, an unassuming edifice (next to Andy’s) has been totally renovated with an exposed loft ceiling and industrial-chic lamps. The room’s focal point is a long bar and it is filled with oversized sofas and comfortable chairs. Open nightly from 7:00pm – 3:00 am, they offer a creative menu of small plates. And there’s alternately live music or a DJ spinning tunes. C’est très hip!”

Our best dinner? That was St. Barth Properties’ annual launch-the-season Seaside Soirée at the Taïwana Hotel. F&B director Octavio and his team outdid themselves with elegant passed hors d’oeuvres, starters, mains, and desserts. We did the taste-testing one afternoon on our June trip, and it was as amazing as remembered and with the addition of music, a starry night and over 200 people – spectacular.

A few days into our stay, we were joined at Villa Capri by another couple and mixed some vacation time with our work. The bedrooms at Capri, like so many, have baths en suite and loads of pool-side outdoor living space making it ideal for sharing with friends. We took turns making the morning baguette and croissant run, enjoyed our coffee with a view, post-beach pool time and toasted the Technicolor sunsets before heading out to dinner. (The new owner is planning some fabulous changes. Stay tuned.)

Villa inspections are always on our work-agenda and we stopped in to see the refurbishments at the charming Villa Rosebud – sure to make it more popular than ever – and the brand-new and breathtaking Villa My Way.

Peg and I inspecting Villa My Way which overlooks Flamands

Peg and I inspecting Villa My Way which overlooks Flamands

This gorgeous five bedroom home in Colombier was named for Frank Sinatra’s theme song and the bedrooms, décor and amenities (a grand piano, projector and giant screen and a fabulous sound system) give a nod to his fellow mid-century songsters.

Let the season begin!

St. Barth Properties US office Concierge, Julia Hurd’s Trip Report

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Did you ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes that makes your trip to St. Barth so remarkable?

Here is one of the reasons:

Bonjour Everyone,

Julia Hurd

Julia Hurd

I hope that you had a very enjoyable summer. Today’s blog was written by our fabulous Concierge Julia Hurd from our US office. If you have not already had the pleasure of working with Julia, you will be very impressed when you do. Julia helps all of our clients arrange any services they may wish her to organize for them…car rentals and dinner reservations, private chef and spa services, babysitters, birthday parties etc. Basically, everything on a person’s wish list will magically be set up and ready upon arrival.

In order for Julia to accomplish this feat, traveling to St. Barth to touch base with our St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty office’s Concierge, Magda Votava and meet all of our service partners is a must.

Enjoy,
Peg

Julia’s Trip Report

by Julia Hurd
US Concierge, St Barth Properties

Kathy Schlitzer, one of our St. Barth Villa Specialists, and I travel well together and this trip was no exception. We departed Boston, MA with JetBlue direct to St. Maarten. Once we arrived Easyway VIP Service was waiting for us to assist us through the St. Maarten airport to the Voyager Ferry.

Photo of Easyway VIP Agents in SXM

Easyway VIP Agents in SXM

Once we arrived into St. Barth we headed off to the Hotel Taïwana and we had the most beautiful two bedroom Jade Suite with a private pool. We settled in after a long day of travel and Sunday woke up and walked the beach of Flamands. The hotel is stunning and everyone there was so generous and kind. I wish I could have stayed longer.

Monday morning I went to our office in Gustavia to start my work week with Magda, our on island concierge. We speak daily and it is nice to see her in person. My first order of business is to collect updated information of the new and exciting things that the island has to offer, so we headed off to the Tourist Office in Gustavia.

SBP Office in Gustavia

SBP Office in Gustavia

The island of St. Barth has so much to offer, each time I visit, I learn something new.

I was excited to dine at some new restaurants on the island: Black Ginger, Ocean and of course my all time favorite Santa Fé.

Here is my Dover Sole that I enjoyed at Santa Fe

Here is my Dover Sole that I enjoyed at Santa Fé

I love fish, so I heard that the grocery store in Lorient called L’Oasis now has a Fish market for those guests that want to sleep in and not meet the local fisherman in Gustavia to see what the daily catch is. I took a ride to check it out. WOW if you want to stay in one night and cook, then I would suggest taking a look at their beautiful array of fish. They have many choices and all are packed on ice to stay fresh.

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I wanted to take a ride around the island to explore, so Magda and I decided to take a little excursion in Grand Fond; many clients enjoy hiking to see the Washing Machine. Make sure you wear sneakers; no flip flops for this hike.

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We also took the hike to Fort Karl, 63 steps up to the most spectacular view overlooking Gustavia harbor on one side and Shell Beach on the other.

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After that Magda and I hopped in the car to explore; we came across some new friends on the road. I also saw some ponies at the stables in Gouverneur.

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After our adventure I headed to the beautiful villa Méli Mélo where I would stay until I departed. This villa has the most stunning views from the front and the back. The front view overlooks St. Jean, the sea and the planes landing over the mountain; the villa was provided with binoculars, so I took advantage of using them. It was amazing to see the planes land and take off. The rear view looks out to the beautiful water at Saline Beach.

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I was lucky to be on the island for our last cocktail party of the season held at La Plage on St Jean Beach, I was happy to meet so many of our clients that I talk to and assist in planning their dream vacations on St. Barth. It was nice to spend time getting to know them better and in person. It just so happened to be Magda’s birthday, so Kathy and I invited her and her beautiful daughter Valérie to join us for dinner.

It was, as always, sad to leave, but I had to get home to make sure that I could share all my adventures and new knowledge of St. Barth with all of you. Call me anytime. I love my job!

A bientôt, St. Barth.

Kathy’s Trip Report – Guest Blog

Friday, June 20th, 2014

As most you know our stateside team at St. Barth Properties visits St. Barth at least twice a year to do their villa and hotel inspections and re-inspections as well as to keep up with the latest dining options and happening on the island so as to better assist you with your trip planning to paradise. Kathy Schlitzer one of our very capable St. Barth Specialists and Julia Hurd our US office Concierge came down here last month. I was happy to see them both and we enjoyed some great dinners together.

Trip Report May 10 – 17, 2014
by Kathy Schlitzer – St Barth Specialist

Kathy Schlitzer

Kathy Schlitzer

Julia, our US concierge and I started our working trip to St Barth on May 10 traveling from Boston to St Maarten on Jet Blue. We were met in St Maarten by Easyway VIP, walked through immigration, helped with luggage, and brought to the taxi Easyway had arranged to transfer us to the ferry dock. Love the ease of Easyway!! You never know how the seas will be when you take the ferry from St Maarten to St Barth. Fortunately, having grown up with boats I was pretty sure I could weather the bumpy ride – but not so some of my fellow travelers on the Voyager. I’ve taken the ferry previously but this time the seas were higher and the rolling more pronounced. Staying glued to your seat is recommended, some say being on the outside seats is better than inside, but I think it depends on the person.

Voyager passengers

Voyager passengers

When we arrived at the ferry dock in St Barth Viviane from Gumbs Car Rental was there, as always, with the keys to our cars and off we went to the Hotel Taïwana, our home for two nights.

At the Hotel Taïwana Julia and I stayed in the Two bedroom Jade Suite with private pool. The views over Flamands Beach with its deep Caribbean blue water and white sand were inspiring. The hotel has done an amazing job renovating the suites and rooms, the décor is clean, the quality pure luxury. We enjoyed breakfast overlooking the beach, cocktails from our beach chairs, valet parking, free WIFI, immaculate housekeeping, and lets face it there is nothing like a fluffy bath robe and quality bath products. The staff was attentive and friendly. The two nights went by too quickly.

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Our two bedroom suite at Hotel Taïwana

Monday morning we started our work week in earnest. Up early for breakfast and checkout, we each went our separate ways for the day. Unfortunately the weather was unusually rainy and overcast due to a front going through the area, but the sun peaked out enough and the rainy spells were short. A good day for reading on the beach as long as you have some shelter available for the periodic passing showers. Julia and I met at the end of the day at villa Méli Mélo our home for the remainder of our stay. Méli Mélo is located at the top of St. Jean with killer views from the front and back. The pool side overlooks Baie St Jean, the airport, and distant islands, the other side overlooks Saline. The Saline side is mostly protected land and we were visited by a goat family in our back yard several times. This villa has one of the best views on an island of spectacular view. Lucky us!

View over St. Jean from Villa Méli Mélo

View over St. Jean from Villa Méli Mélo

Overlooking Saline from Villa Méli Mélo

Overlooking Saline from Villa Méli Mélo

The days are busy going from villa to villa doing inspections and taking inventory, but the evening are for wonderful restaurants. Here’s Julia at Santa Fe in Lurin, she usually gets the Oyster entrée and the Dover Sole, and she has been known to love the Profiteroles for dessert. We also enjoyed the new restaurant Me Gusta on the harbor in Gustavia specializing in tapas influenced by Portugese flavors. Another new restaurant is Ocean. As the name implies they specialize in fresh fish, beautifully served.

Julia at Santa Fe

Julia at Santa Fe

NOT SURE WHAT THIS IS

Les Profiteroles at the Santa Fe

Wednesday night Julia and I headed to our St Barth Properties weekly (in season) cocktail party at La Plage. It’s always a pleasure meeting clients and putting a face to the voice on the phone! Our island concierge, Magda, was celebrating a birthday so Julia and I took her to dinner at La Plage after the party. Magda’s young daughter Valérie joined us but was soon fast asleep on one of the banquettes. The location of La Plage is amazing, but having great food, good service AND be right on one of St Barth’s best beaches is outstanding!

La Plage restaurant

La Plage restaurant

Our concierges at La Plage

Our concierges at La Plage

I saw many villas during the week, some I was seeing again and some (newly acquired) I was seeing for the first time. I was especially pleased to see Villa O My, a great house for couples or family, and Artifact in Corossol is new, and luxurious with a view overlooking Corossol, the fishing boats, and turquoise water. Of course I always like seeing old favorites like Royal Palm, Nirvana, Blue Diamond and Au Soleil.

Our last night was at Bagatelle, another great meal ending with my favorite Molten Chocolate cake.

As usual I didn’t see everything I wanted to see, but it will be there when I get back. I look forward to returning in November.

À bientôt St Barth.

Kathryn Schlitzer
St Barth Specialist

Some St. Barth tidbits for April 2014. What’s up?

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Just a short note today to update you on the latest news around here…

Les Coulisses restaurant in Gustavia has closed. The harbor side restaurant formerly was the home of Harbour’s. Me Gusta has just moved there from St. Jean and offers tapas with a Portuguese flair. I am going to try it and report back.

Me Gusta restaurant is now located on the harbor

Me Gusta restaurant is now located on the harbor

Pipiri Palace is open for lunch now! You can get French delights such as Croque Monsieur or an omelette and they have a daily special “Formule” for only 16 euros.

In addition to dinner, try Pipiri Palace for lunch

In addition to dinner, try Pipiri Palace for lunch

Oasis grocery store in Lorient has extended its hours. It is now open from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm every single day including Christmas.

La Table de Jules (formerly K’fé Massai) in Lorient is closed for good. I wonder what will replace it? The sushi bar, Koya in the corner section of the restaurant is still open.

The Yacht Club nightclub in Gustavia is closed. (Carole of Le Ti St. Barth is the owner.) She has replaced it with The First Floor which is located upstairs above The Yacht Club. There is late night entertainment quite often. For you night owls, it is open Sunday-Thursday from 10:00 pm until 4:00 am and for you die-hards it stays open until 6:00 am on Fridays and Saturdays. Be aware that the venue has been enclosed to keep the noise from disturbing the neighbors and it can be very smoky. (I don’t understand why I see people smoking in some restaurants and night spots here because it is against the law in France but that is another story.)

Nightclub The First is on the First Floor (2nd floor to Americans)

Nightclub The First is on the First Floor (2nd floor to Americans)

R. Barth, the fancy rhum store has shuttered its doors. The entire contents of the shop including the very expensive old rum, other rums, furniture, a computer and glassware among other things will be auctioned off at 10:00 am April 23, 2014.

Au Revoir, R. St. Barth. We are sorry to see you go.

Au Revoir, R. St. Barth. We are sorry to see you go.

The Black Swan closed its Gustavia store but their larger boutique in St. Jean is open and still has a great selection of beachwear, t-shirts and casual clothing.

Les Soldes: French law dictates when the shops are allowed to have their Soldes (sales) in various areas. In France, for example, there is a period in January when this is allowed to take place but of course at that time of the year St. Barth is in the midst of High Season so full price, it is. People love the shopping here; many say the designer boutiques offer much better pricing than they can get at home.

Don't miss out on Les Soldes

Don’t miss out on Les Soldes

The dates for Les Soldes in 2014 were just announced. You will find a lot of items on sale with the exception of the Nouvelle Collections.

Mark your calendars and get ready to shop ‘til you drop May 03-June 06 and October 11-November 14, 2014.

If you haven’t booked your hotel or villa yet just email me or contact reservations@stbarth.com (1-800-421-3396) and we will begin the process to get you here ASAP.

Enjoy!

The shopping in St. Barth is a must-do

The shopping in St. Barth is a must-do

St. Barth Restaurant Scene – L’Esprit – Jean-Claude Dufour

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Continuing my St. Barth restaurant chronicle and recommendations, you must include at least one meal at L’Esprit during your St. Barts vacation. I just love it there. Let me tell you more about the very talented owner/chef.

CMJN de base

A handsome 6 feet 6 inches in height, Chef Jean-Claude Dufour has an even bigger reputation in the island’s culinary circles. And since the island I am talking about is St. Barth, the gastronomique capital of the Caribbean, well, that’s big indeed. Each time I walk in, I look over to the kitchen which is directly on your right and I see him concocting a right-from-scratch dish for one of his patrons.

Chef Jean-Claude Dufour at Villa GEM in Gouverneur

Chef Jean-Claude Dufour at Villa GEM in Gouverneur

Some background: Natives of the Bordeaux region of France, Jean-Claude’s family owned a catering business, so he developed a passion for cooking at a young age. He followed his passion, studying gastronomy and working under some of France’s renowned chefs as he came into his own. And then he came to St. Barth.

Over the years, his skill and reputation grew, and his dream was to have his own restaurant. In 2011, circumstances were such that that’s exactly what happened. Opening just before New Year’s the now-famous chef acquired the keys to what at one time was one of the island’s popular restaurants, L’Esprit. located in Saline. Jean-Claude donned his toque and quickly began putting his own stamp on things, which included creating a new open kitchen, reconfiguring the space, adding a bar area and crafting an amazing new menu. Included are lots of fresh local fish, interesting dishes with a pan-Asian twist and his signature seared foie gras. (My favorite appetizer is his Raviole de champignon, gambas plancha (Mushroom ravioli, shrimp cooked on a plancha) – Outstanding!

Raviole de champignon, gambas plancha

Raviole de champignon, gambas plancha

Tucked away in a tropical garden just “down the road” from gorgeous Saline Beach the restaurant offers a décor that is beach-club rustic chic. It seats 90 on the “see and be seen” palm tree-studded teak deck, which is delightfully shaded with canopied pergolas and at more private tables situated on the periphery. So it is really dreamy, especially on a moonlit night.

L'Esprit under the moonlight

L’Esprit under the moonlight

Jean-Claude prepping for today

Jean-Claude prepping for today

I often get my morning exercise by starting out at Saline Beach and walking right past it. Jean Claude is already busy with his prep and the aromas that emanate from there are out of this world. Frequently I will see Jean Claude jumping in his truck to go shopping for fresh fish and fresh ingredients.

Chef Jean Claude Dufour at the local fish market in Gustavia, Looks like the fish of the day will be Mahi Mahi

Chef Jean Claude Dufour at the local fish market in Gustavia, Looks like the fish of the day will be Mahi Mahi

L’Esprit is also ideal for a long leisurely pre- or post-beach lunch. We’ll vouch for the rosé being chilled to perfection. And there is L’Esprit to Go. During the week, with the exception of Wednesdays, the resto offers a selection of sandwiches and salads, water, soft drinks, wine and beer. They invite you to bring your empty cooler, and the ice is complimentary. Voilà! A beach picnic. I have been treated to his L’Esprit to Go several times while on a snorkeling trip to Colombier with Miguel, The Saint Barth Sailor. All that I can say is that each item was delectable.

Dining Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat & Sun
Lunch: Noon-3 pm; Dinner: Up to 10:30 pm
L’Esprit to Go: Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri