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.
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.
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.
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).