What’s new in the St. Barth restaurant scene?

Pipiri Palace and Océan

As you know part of my duties while I am living in St. Barth for the better part of the year, is to dine out all the time so that I can report back to you and keep you up to date on the latest. Of course you may just consider it to be one of the perks I enjoy but after all, someone has to do it, right?

Steve and I decided to dine at one of our favorite spots in Gustavia, the Pipiri Palace. Some of you remember that Pierrot the owner died unexpectedly a few years ago and his lovely wife Régine took the helm.

Pipiri Palace chefs are hard at work

Pipiri Palace chefs are hard at work

We had reserved our favorite table and ordered our apéritifs. The smiling bartender came over with the drinks and introduced himself as the new owner Rod Ravelson. It was a pleasure to meet him; he is very personable and told us that he has local ties as he is married to a woman from St. Barth who is a nurse at the hospital. We wished him good luck in his new venture. Never fear, the same talented chefs are still cooking; the wonderful menu is the same and there’s always a mouthwatering “special” on the blackboard. Steve loves the Ray that they prepare. He scrapes the fish right off of the wing – delicious. Pipiri is famous for its ribs as well as their langoustes. Choose yours from the tank that is next to the bar.

The new owner of Pipiri Palace Rod Ravelson

The new owner of Pipiri Palace Rod Ravelson

Océan: We had dinner again at this new restaurant, also located in Gustavia. Years ago it was called Le Sapotillier. Most recently it was B4. The setting is in an original St. Barth “case” with a lovely ambience. The restaurant is owned by Benoit, Florence and Cécile. Their theme is fresh local fish. They serve an 18 euro buffet lunch for people on the go and a leisurely gourmet dinner at night.

Océan Bartender and Sommelier Emmanuel with Chef Benoit

Océan Bartender and Sommelier Emmanuel with Chef Benoit

Vanessa prepares my Sole Meunière at Océan Restaurant

Vanessa prepares my Sole Meunière at Océan Restaurant

I can attest to the freshness because last week, Steve and I just happened to be spending a Sunday afternoon on Lorient Beach. At the end of the day, we saw a local fishing boat approach its mooring. We were fascinated to see how efficiently the two fishermen cleaned up their boat and went about the business at hand. First, they put away their lines and then unloaded their gear into a little dinghy and rowed to shore. When that chore was finished, they went back out to the boat to unload their catch. Fish after fish after fish were put into the dinghy. Again they rowed to shore and proceeded to take one fish at a time out of it, loaded each one into the cooler in their truck and began their delivery. First stop: Océan. I doubt you can get fresh fish like that at home. Another good excuse to come back to St. Barth. Bon Appétit.

The fishermen arrived on Lorient Beach with this Dorade, part of  today's catch which was that evening's Mahi Mahi special.

The fishermen arrived on Lorient Beach with this Dorade, part of today’s catch which was that evening’s Mahi Mahi special.

Perhaps you prefer Wahoo tonight - It can't get any fresher than that

Perhaps you prefer Wahoo tonight – It can’t get any fresher than that

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