Posts Tagged ‘Le Massai’

St. Bart’s Restaurant Update and Les Soldes

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Those of you who normally travel to St. Barts in Value Season often expressed your disappointment that the Wall House restaurant traditionally closed on the first Sunday in June and did not reopen until mid-October which meant that you were never able to try it. You are in luck! Owners Bernard Tatin and his son Julien are keeping the restaurant open during the summer! The food is delicious and there are luncheon specials daily. We had dinner there a few days before we left and thoroughly enjoyed the chateaubriand for two.

Chateaubriand at The Wall House with the full moon rising

Chateaubriand at The Wall House with the full moon rising

Chateaubriand for two cooks on the spit

Chateaubriand for two cooks on the spit

Decanting Wine at The Wall House Restaurant

On the other hand, Le Massai was forced to close May 12 due to the owner’s renovation of the parking area which he will be upgrading. The restaurant will reopen in November and I am sure it will be as wonderful as ever. On another note, I am sad to say that Le Tamarin closed for good on April 28. The good news is that I saw former owner Toc happily working at Jean Claude Dufour’s new restaurant in Saline, L’Esprit. You MUST try L’Esprit! Jean Claude is such an outstanding and creative chef. He loves having his own place; you can see into the kitchen and watch him use his skills as he formulates the mouth-watering dishes that you are about to be served. He is planning on adding a nice bar area in the garden which will be a nice addition.

L'Esprit

L'Esprit

I just learned that Harbour’s has been sold. It originally was called La Saladerie, then Harbour Saladerie and finally Harbour’s. So my good friends and owners Thierry, Gilles and Patrick are gone as is the wait staff. The chef has remained with the new owner who, as rumor has it, is from Paris. I will check it out and keep you posted.

Les Soldes! We Americans are so used to being able to advantage of merchandise sales that businesses in the US have whenever they want to entice a customer to shop in their stores, one would expect the same to be true in other countries. That is not the case in France (and therefore not in St Barts). The word “sale” (solde) is not allowed into the vocabulary of French retail businesses except for two defined periods of the year. If a shop dares to do so, it will be fined by the governmental authorities. Most of us can’t believe that Big Brother can interfere and tell French businesses what they are allowed to do if they want to have a sale. There’s an agency known as the “General Directors for Fair Trading, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control.” It has the power to monitor all shopkeepers to ensure that they strictly abide by these French laws. It is up to the local “prefects” to decide on which dates the sales must take place …so much for free enterprise.

Les Soldes in St. Barts are from May 5-June 09, 2012  Don't miss out!

Les Soldes in St. Barts are from May 5-June 9, 2012. Don't miss out!

The sale dates in St. Barts are different from those in Paris, for example. That city held its sales in January. Of course January is high season in St Barts, so the island waits until after that period is over. This year the Prefect declared that St. Bart’s 5 weeks of Les Soldes must take place May 05-June 09, 2012. I was lucky to be there at the time, so I hurried down to Gustavia the very first day to see what kind of bargains I could find. Believe me, I was not the only one to do so; it looked as if every person who lives on the island waited for this event to happen. Paying full price is just not what people want to do, no matter where you live. It’s not too late to take advantage of Les Soldes. We have some perfect villas for those of you who want to shop ‘til you drop. Why not plan a girlfriend’s getaway? Contact reservations@stbarth.com and you will be on your way to a shopper’s paradise.

I am back on Cape Cod for a couple of weeks. I will be returning to St. Barts with some of my St. Barth Properties USA staff after attending the high school graduation of one of my grandsons June 01. This is the time of year when we do our villa and hotel inspections (We do this again in November) so as to ensure that we can continue to assist you with the all important decision of where to stay when you are in St. Barth. Our knowledge of the hotels and villas is what makes us the experts in our field. I also will be gathering material for our next Live Your Dream® catalogue which we always debut at our annual Beachside Bash, a party that we throw each November to jumpstart the season.

K’fé Massai becomes Le Massai and Ti Massai

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

In a previous blog, I mentioned to you that K’fé Massai now has three owners who are in partnership: Mick Proust who owned it before, Xavier Pignet who owns La Route des Boucaniers and Dõ Brazil and third partner, the very talented chef Thomas Chiarelli.

They changed the name to Le Massai (Ti Massai for lunch) and took out certain sections of the walls so now there’s some nice cross-ventilation. They also have garden areas where people can enjoy cocktails. I heard people raving about their new 59 euro Menu du Dégustation (Tasting Menu) so I had to try it for myself. My son and St. Barth Properties VP Tom Smyth came down here to work on the island before his wife Amy and children Tommy Jr. (and his friend) and Tyler joined him for President’s Week vacation. Tom and I tried the tasting menu while Steve ordered from their à la carte menu.

We began with a wonderful Beetroot Gazpacho with lobster meat served with tarragon and a tangy mayonnaise followed by a very tasty local tuna tartar with sesame oil. Pan-fried duck foie gras on a slice of gingerbread French toast, with orange blossom, dried fruit and candied peel was the next tasting and it was perfectly prepared. Next came the Triggerfish which was so succulent. More tasting items followed and we finished with a sampling of sweets for dessert.

Pan-fried duck foie gras on a slice of gingerbread French toast

Pan-fried duck foie gras on a slice of gingerbread French toast

Triggerfish filet with salted cod, potatoes and leeks

Triggerfish filet with salted cod, potatoes and leeks

We enjoyed our meals so much that Tom wanted to go back the evening that his family arrived and we were invited to join them. It was Friday and traditionally Le Massai has a wonderful display of fresh fish sitting on ice. Each had been weighed and priced; we were able to select exactly what we wanted to have for our meals.

L to R Friend Tommy Rae, Tyler Smyth, Steve and Peg Walsh, Amy,Tom. and Tommy Smyth Jr. at  Le Massai Feb 2012

L to R Friend Tommy Rae, Tyler Smyth, Steve and Peg Walsh, Amy,Tom. and Tommy Smyth Jr. at Le Massai Feb 2012

Have you ever heard of a Cicada Langouste? None of us had a clue. I knew about the Cicada bugs that are very prevalent in Provence because I saw them when I was there. The most famous of the species only appears every 17 years. The males chirp loudly in order to impress the females. The body of these Cicada Lobsters looked like the bugs, thus the name. We call them “Slipper Lobsters” in English. There were only 2 of them on ice that evening. Tom picked one to be served as a cold appetizer with mayo and I chose to have mine cooked thermidor for my main course. We both loved it. I have never tasted anything in the lobster family that is as tender.

The two Cicadas are on the upper right a well as a list of reduced rates on some top wines suggestions for that evening

The two Cicadas are on the upper right a well as a list of reduced rates on some top wines suggestions for that evening

Cicada (Sleepy Lobster) served cold as an appetizer with mayo

Cicada (Sleepy Lobster) served cold as an appetizer with mayo

Cicada (Sleepy Lobtser) Thermidor

Cicada (Sleepy Lobtser) Thermidor

Rack of Lamb

Rack of Lamb

Le Ti Massai is the name the restaurant uses to distinguish it as a place where you can also have lunch. They shut down the back part of the restaurant so that it is more intimate and they feature an à la carte menu that includes either an appetizer and a main course or a main course and a dessert for only 25 euros. Try it!

(P.S. Steve and I are leaving St. Barts and heading to South Africa tomorrow where we will celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. Back here on March 16. I hope to see you here soon).