Friday, January 11, 2013

St. Barth's, French West Indies - Final Day

Gustavia Harbor

On my final day in St. Barths, we drove into Gustavia to have a look at the yachts docked in the harbor and to devour a delicious calorie-ridden crepe breakfast post New Year's Eve. Sadly, as it was January 1st and a national holiday, all the shops were closed, but at least my credit card was spared.

Ham, swiss cheese and egg crepe
Nutella and banana crepe
After walking around the harbor all morning, we headed to Saline Beach and then stopped for a late lunch at L'Esprit on the same road. This open-air restaurant serves a globally inspired menu that changes daily to incorporate the freshest available local ingredients. 

What we ate: Fennel and smoked Mahi salad:

Mixed salad:

Provencal pie with Mahi Mahi, tomatoes, olives, and caramelized onions:

A refreshing lemon sorbet:

In addition to its flavorful cuisine, the restaurant is also known for its romantic garden setting, with only 20 tables set on a teak deck surrounded by colorful flowers and coconut palms.

From lunch we headed to St. Jean Beach to watch the last of the sun disappear behind the mountains. This is my favorite time of day on any beach, hands down. 

Eden Rock Hotel on St. Jean Beach

A short stop at the villa to shower and change, and we headed back to Gustavia for dinner at an Italian restaurant called L'Isola, which came recommended as one of the best on the island. Indeed, we thought this was one of the best meals of our trip. 

The only downside was that it took two hours to get our mains, and the two menu items I wanted were already sold out (perhaps our fault for getting a 10pm reservation?). I don't think I dove into my fettuccine until about midnight.

Prosciutto from Parma and canteloupe melon:

Fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil salad:

Risotto with wild boar ragu:

Veal milanese:

Filet mignon in a porcini sauce:

Grilled mixed vegetables:

Fettuccine bolognese:

I just fell in love with the relaxed and chilled beachy vibe of St. Barths and cannot wait to return to this beautiful island. From great restaurants to magnificent beaches, fun nightlife, celebrity sightings and perfect weather, it really doesn't get much better than this.

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