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
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.