We were spoiled when it came to eating out in St. Maarten. They don’t lie when people say the French side has the better food! We found an amazing little restaurant near the hotel in Oyster Bay and decided to head out for an early dinner.
This is a French inspired restaurant, with Pan-American flare and a stunning view of the ocean. The name says it all, Le Pavillon by the Sea is just that, a beautiful open concept restaurant located on the sea shore. Once housing the Club Med, which was destroyed in the 90’s by a severe hurricane left the grounds completely destroyed. Owners, Head Chef Elaine along with husband and restaurant manager, Christian Jego, brought life back to the area with the creation of what you see today.
Experiences from this couple range from New York, Miami, France, Europe and the Caribbean, so it’s no wonder the menu is immaculate and well presented.
ATMOSPHERE & SERVICE
We arrived as soon as the restaurant opened to enjoy the last bit of sunshine before the sun started to set. We were the first to arrive, so were able to get a seat closest to the water. The restaurant is a completely open concept space with view of the kitchen to watch all the magic happen.
Oversized cherry wood tables fill the space, covered in beautiful white linen. The tables are set up quite spaciously with room to move around and not bump into other guests dining. Simple and chic is what I instantly thought of the space. The tables aren’t overcrowded with cutlery and glasses, there isn’t a massive amount of decor to create clutter, and the space offers a few featured coloured red walls for a bit of pop.
The location is perfect, away from any busy streets or neighbouring noise. We were able to sit back and enjoy a beautiful view without being interrupted.
The service was absolutely perfect throughout the night. Restaurant Manager and Owner, Christian Jego was our waiter for the night and made sure we were well looked after. He took the time to learn a bit more about us and made fantastic recommendations.
We started the night with a round of cocktails while the sun was still up. A beautiful fusion of Caribbean flare cocktails were available with their own signature twists. It felt like a bubbles find of night so I ordered the ‘Kir Caribe’, which was sparkling wine, vanilla infused rum and fresh sliced mango. MC started with a beer, however I did leave it to the team to bring over another cocktail for me.
We kicked off with a few starters to share to enjoy with our cocktails. MC ordered the ‘Lemongrass Beef Tenderloin’ served with crushed hazelnuts and a spicy lime dipping sauce. The beef was marinated and cooked to perfection with the meat sliding off the stick with ease. The hints of lemongrass came through and the dipping sauce was amazing.
Our second starter was the ‘Warm Goat Cheese Salad’ served with a green salad and balsamic reduction. This was a very simple dish, however very tasty. The herbs mixed into the goat cheese was beautiful and brought out subtle hints of freshness.
MC ordered the ‘Le Pavillon Signature “Steak Frites”’, a 8 oz Center-Cut Charolais Beef Filet Mignon with herb butter and amazing truffled pomme frites. The fries were absolutely to die for, which were cooked in a truffle oil. The steak was cooked to perfection and was tender and juicy with the herb butter oozing through the centre.
I ordered the ‘Seared Duck Breast’ served with a cherry & port sauce, duck-fat roasted potatoes and lemon asparagus. There was nothing to fault here, the dish was absolutely amazing. The duck, cooked to perfection, the asparagus, a slight crunch and the roasted potatoes, some of the best I’ve had in ages.
Dessert consisted of ‘Banana Brioche Bread Pudding’ served with a caramel rum sauce à la Martinique. The rum sauce was a bit too overpowering for my liking, however the brioche was amazing on its own.
Head Chef Elaine definitely knows her way around the kitchen. She was the only one working on the night, and the dishes that came out of the kitchen, you would have thought it took an army to create. The flavours all worked beautifully, the presentation was stunning and the service was flawless.
This has to be one of our favourite restaurants on the island. It’s tucked away, quiet and the food is outstanding for the price paid.