The View
from Here:
    Ellen Lampert-Greaux lives in Petite Saline and is the new editor in chief of Harbor magazine, and when she's not organizing the St. Barts film festival, or writing for various magazines, she turns her all-seeing eye upon local happenings.
    February '05
     When it comes to local, there’s no place more local than Au Regal, a combination sports bar and restaurant in the sleepy little fishing village of Corossol, somewhat off the beaten track in St. Barth. To begin with, not many tourists find their way to Corossol, unless they are looking to buy the charmingly traditional straw hats and baskets that are woven by the women there. But while the women are weaving, the men can often be found rooting for their favorite soccer team (that’s football to the French) in a few small rooms with televisions and soccer banners hung on the walls or tacked to the peaks of the ceiling. It’s also a great place to catch up on local gossip, take the political temperature of the island, or hear Creole Christmas carols in the weeks leading up to the holidays. For years, I pretty much avoided the place as it seems to be one of those men-only bastions, sort of like my husband’s club, where he meets his buddies and women would be frowned upon. But recently I discovered that the owner, Mickey, and his wife Florence, can grill a pretty mean lobster and we started taking friends there for lunch (you can also order such local treats as cod fish fritters, pig tails, goat stew, and tripe, but I am a lobster girl myself!). One night we even risked taking some friends for a lobster dinner and they brought some friends of theirs so we were a party of seven. The lobsters were yummy, but it was the after-dinner part of the soiree that was the best part of the meal. First the men played a few rousing games of foosball (table soccer that the French call baby-foot). Then the table got moved out of the way and the dancing began. Caribbean dancing. The kind of dancing where you have to move your hips in unnatural ways or you’re out of it. The waitress got into the act, grabbing the hips of one of our gentleman friends and moving them in the right direction. My brother-in-law was on hand and joined in with a little of his great dancing ability. By 11pm we were hot, happy and having an absolutely unforgettable evening. Interestingly enough, I recently went to Greenwich, CT where I saw all of those friends again, in a very different setting: a fabulous dinner at a museum in celebration of a very personal collection of wonderful art. And St Barth was very much of a lot of lips. The guests included some who live on the island, as well as some who have second homes here, and many who have visited on multiple occasions. We talked of our favorite restaurants, of wind-surfing and hiking, of development and environmental protection. But word has gotten out, and they all want the Au Regal experience, where simply grilled lobsters and a little Caribbean music are the ingredients for a kind of evening you’d be hard pressed to find anyplace else!
    More to come,
    Ellen Lampert-Greaux
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