The View
from Here:
    Ellen Lampert-Greaux lives in Petite Saline, and when she's not organizing the St. Barthélemy film festival, or supervising the local volleyball league, or writing for various magazines, she turns her all-seeing eye upon local happenings.
    November '02
    Another season underway
    A few years ago Islands magazine asked me to write a few hundred words describing the perfect day in St Barth. After about 30 seconds of soul searching I realized that most perfect days in this particular paradise revolve around food. And as I said at the time, even though there aren’t any golf courses or casinos around here, there certainly are enough knives and forks to go around. So I recommend starting the day with some fresh-baked croissants or tartines (baguettes with butter) for breakfast, then you can grab a simple lobster salad for lunch before dropping off to nap in a hammock under the palm trees. Then its undoubtably time to seriously concentrate on more serious things, like dinner, especially as reservations are a must at certain hot spots on the obligatory St. Barth culinary circuit.
    So as the high season kicks into gear this year, it’s time to take an inventory of the usual raft of openings and closings. What’s new? Well I’ll tell you. For the out-to-lunch crowd, fans of the beachfront Lafayette Club will be happy to know that George Labeau is back in business. Many old-timers will be sad to learn that L’Escale, with its wood-burning pizza oven is no more. Also gone is Boubou’s in Grand Cul de Sac, but not to worry, Boubou himself is still very much present at Mandala and Do Brazil (where he will hold his music festival next summer is still a mystery though). Certainly not at Key West, the now-defunct bar in Gustavia (amazingly it has morphed into another real estate office). Another “goner” is Le Colonial in St Jean, but one hears that it will reopen under the name of Zanzibart. Santa Fe is under new management with an expanded menu but the pool table and televisions are still there so chances are that the Superbowl crowd will still wend its way up the hill to Lurin. The good news in St Jean is that Terrazza, formerly Le Patio, has a new chef, Franco Romeo who has just arrived from “Via Ferrata” in Courchevel, France. He has brought a toque full of Italian specialties (risotto with black truffles, pan-fried foie gras, and veal filet stuffed with arugula among them).
    So no matter how you slice it, it’s still true. The perfect day in St Barth seems to revolve around food, and with New Year’s Eve not so far away it’s time to make those reservations sooner than later. But if you wait too long to get into Maya’s, not to worry. The Gurleys have opened Maya To Go, a tasty little take-out place near the airport. In fact, instead of fighting the crowds this year, I think I’ll place my order now. Then I can stay home and watch the fireworks from the privacy of my own terrace. Or maybe I’ll go bowling if the rumors about St Barth’s first bowling alley are true. I’ll keep you posted.
    More to come,
    Ellen Lampert-Greaux
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