This year, the crop of hurricanes passed far enough away to the north and south that they were never a threat to us.
Many hotels are being renovated. The airport, which was closed from September 6th to October 16th to re-new the runway, has re- opened. Many roads have been improved. In fact, the island's roads have been a mess during most of the summer. But the work is in its final phase, and the island is getting ready to start the new Season in pretty good shape.
Rue du Bord de Mer in Gustavia (along the harbor, where BNP and La Cantina are) is still one-way, but now in the opposite direction.
The world of St. Barth's restaurants is undergoing a number of important changes:
Ti St Barth has a new, and VERY theatrical, décor (picture on the left), Maya's to Go has a new chef, and L'Orchidée at Christopher Hotel is now called Taïno. Carl Gustaf Restaurant has a new team, tapas are now served at the bar, a light menu for lunch, and a Gastronomic menu for dinner. Zanzibarth has created, this season, a new service called "Easy Eat", a menu of salads, sandwiches and light dishes, that they deliver where ever you are. Le New Born which stayed closed last season, is reopening. La Villa Créole resaurant is now called Bacardi Café, Mexican food for dinner.
Eden Rock will reopen on December 18 with 2 restaurants instead of 3. The Sand Bar stays about the same, except it now has it own adjacent kitchen, where you can see the Chef and his assistants at work.
The On-The-Rock restaurant, surrounds the Tapas Bar, and is in a completely renovated environment with its own showcase kitchen. It will be serving dishes which are a mixture of the Tapas Bar and the former gastronomique restaurant.
The Berets from Francois Plantation are off to new adventures (they still manage the hotel), and their former restaurant, now called La Table de Plantation, has been taken over by François Lecronier, a former manager of Cellier du Gouverneur in Gustavia, In partnership with Franck Pernelle. They propose a classic French cuisine with an emphasis on seasonally fresh ingredients, and a wide selection of wine by the glass which will evolve with the menu.
After 20 years of doing the same menu, and "making the same mistakes" at 3 Forces Restaurant, Hubert has decided to move away from the kitchen for a While. 3 Forces Restaurant is now operated by Jean-Paul Aureille. Some of you might remember him from Le Lagon Bleu, or from the Lafayette Club where he has been working with George Labau for many years.
Maryse at the Gommier has decided to take some time off this season and has entrusted her restaurant to a well known French Chef, Marc Zimmermann, highly praised by the "Gault & Millau" restaurant guide.
Chez Domi in Gustavia has been sold, it is under renovation for a new shop.
L'Iguane is gone from the Carré d'Or. The space where L'Iguane was, has been redesigned and is now "Le Square" open from breakfast to dinner. No more sushi there, but caviar and salmon. A nice spot also for cocktails.
Buena Vista, right on the harbor of Gustavia, has closed its doors. The place has been completely renovated and has reopened under the name of La Vela, as an gourmet Italian restaurant run by the owners of L'Esprit Saline.
And Good Old Santa Fe, where it was great to stop and have a burger with the kids, with country music, pool, pin-ball and huge TVs, is gone. It is still called Santa Fe, but it is now a French restaurant specializing in BBQed fish and meat. They still offer burgers for lunch.