Best Restaurants

Out of all the restaurants in a city, 10Best narrows the options to those places with the most appeal and the best reputations. We offer carefully vetted selections to let you explore Saint Martin/Sint Maarten dining on your own. If time is really tight, though, and you don't have the leisure to look through all our offerings, we present our Saint Martin/Sint Maarten Best Restaurants list. Here, we distill the best businesses down to a special selection of ten. These places promise a stellar experience and a taste of the city that you just can't miss.

Le Marrakech
From the outside, Le Marrakech looks much like any other Caribbean residence-turned-restaurant. Step inside, though, and you'll feel transported straight to Morocco: mosaic-topped tables, elaborate metal chandeliers, flickering candlelight and billowy drapes set the scene perfectly. The back patio space is equally stunning and ideal for a romantic date. Fragrant and earthy, the food is redolent of cumin, coriander, cinnamon and saffron — try a couscous or lamb tajine, and wash it all down with delightful mint tea. For dessert, Le Marrakech makes fabulous little pastries, with honey, dates, sesame seeds and nuts. (590 590 27 54 48)

Incredible vistas go far to recommend this wonderful restaurant, which also boasts some of the best cuisine in St. Maarten. Chef John Jackson garners inspiration from around the globe, including Asia, Europe and California. Dishes you may encounter include veal chops, grilled chicken, duck and venison. Fresh fish is also prominent, whether it's salmon, sea bass, ahi tuna or snapper. Amazing flavors and perfect preparation are a hallmark, and the wine list offers a range of complements. (599-544-2421)

The Atlantis Casino's classy American-style steakhouse, serving USDA Prime dry-aged Certified Angus beef, grilled to your specifications. The steaks are awesome, of course, but the sides are wonderfully unique — among the choices are polenta fries, spaetzle with pesto, wasabi mashed potatoes, roasted beets with melted goat cheese, spiced lentil dal, Vidalia onion rings with chipotle ketchup and grilled asparagus with sesame-balsamic vinaigrette. If you think you can handle it, order the "De-constructed Porterhouse" for two, a 16-oz Kansas City strip steak served alongside an 8oz wet-aged filet. (599-545-5714)

Shiv Sagar
Pungent, earthy spices perfume this intimate restaurant, which plies diners with great Indian cuisine. You'll find a host of traditional favorites, including dishes that incorporate chicken, seafood, and an assortment of fresh vegetables. Give your taste buds a kick, and enjoy something a bit out of the ordinary. (599-542-2299)

Il Nettuno
Lauded by critics and patrons alike, this Italian establishment rests right on the water and makes for impeccable dining. Its fresh, flavorful menu boasts hot and cold appetizers, salads and soups, including a rich conch chowder. Gnocchi and pastas come studded with seafood and tender vegetables, and you'll find sauteed grouper and grilled lobster among the entrees. Other options include veal, beef tenderloin and chicken. Decadent homemade desserts finish a meal beautifully, and wines hail from Italy, California and France. (590 590 87 77 38)

Restaurant Le Santal
The award-winning Le Santal has been earning raves since it opened in 1976. The cuisine is decidedly French, from appetizers such as lobster bisque, foie gras terrine and caviar with vodka, to chateaubriand for two, Provençal style prawns and scallops, and roasted lobster with champagne sabayon, right through to impossibly light dessert soufflés, crème brûlée, and crepes Suzette. The perfect place to impress a date or celebrate an anniversary! Spectacular views and impeccable service add to the overall fine dining experience. (590 590 87 53 48)

Chef Dino Jagtiani has made quite a name for himself, overseeing the kitchens of both Rare and Temptation at the Atlantis World Casino. Here at Temptation he focuses his skills on Nouveau Caribbean cooking. Highlights range from the unusual Seared Foie Gras "PB&J" (with melted peanut butter and homemade port wine-fig jelly), to the sublime Butternut Squash Bisque (velvety, with hazelnut oil and cinnamon-orange foam). For your main course, try the "Reef and Beef" with garlic sautéed lobster tail and hoisin-braised beef short ribs. (599-545-2254)

Sol é Luna
Recognized by local publications for its romantic ambience, this fine restaurant offers gorgeous terrace dining and incredible views from even the interior tables. The cuisine complements the scenery beautifully and features such dishes as scallops and shrimp on saffron risotto, a lush cioppino, pasta with lobster medallions, and a signature lamb that's carefully spiced and cooked for seven hours. A great crème brûlée heads the list of desserts, and the wine list is primarily French. (590-590-29-08-56)

La Vie en Rose
Specializing in traditional French fare, this delightful restaurant has a way with classic technique and the occasional Caribbean ingredient. Fresh fish is often adorned with lush sauces, and puff pastry makes for a nice presentation with main courses. Steak béarnaise also draws raves from regulars. Lunch in the downstairs venue is certain to be well-executed and satisfying as well. (590 590 87 54 42)

Restaurant at La Samanna
An unbeatable setting, open-air with gorgeous views and cooling ocean breezes, makes the Restaurant at la Samanna Resort a fabulous spot for romance. Recognized as one of the top restaurants in the Caribbean, with a bevy of awards, The Restaurant features contemporary French cuisine with a touch of the Caribbean. You'll find an assortment of wonderful dishes to tempt you: an absolutely fabulous lobster sampling with five different preparations, pan seared foie gras, seared scallop on zucchini flower-parmesan risotto, roast squab breast, and braised veal cheeks. The resort's wine cellar has earned Wine Spectator's Best of Award of Excellence. (590 590 87 64 00)

Maps and Directions

Le Marrakech 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Middle Eastern, Moroccan
Neighborhood: ST. MARTIN
Saratoga 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Continental
Neighborhood: ST. MAARTEN
Cost: $$
Rare 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Steakhouse
Neighborhood: ST. MAARTEN
Cost: $$
Shiv Sagar 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Indian, Vegetarian
Neighborhood: ST. MAARTEN
Cost: $$
Il Nettuno 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Italian
Neighborhood: ST. MARTIN
Cost: $$
Restaurant Le Santal 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, French
Neighborhood: ST. MARTIN
Temptation 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Caribbean, Continental
Neighborhood: ST. MAARTEN
Cost: $$
Sol é Luna 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, French
Neighborhood: ST. MARTIN
Cost: $$
La Vie en Rose 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, French
Neighborhood: ST. MARTIN
Cost: $$
Restaurant at La Samanna 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, French
Neighborhood: ST. MARTIN
comments powered by Disqus