Martinique Journals

An Unexpected Gourmet Turn Along the Beaten Path

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A June 2005 trip to Martinique by MoDean

The Bar Photo, Martinique, Caribbean More Photos
Quote: Martinique is the perfect destination for those who love the food of the islands—the fresh fish, Caribbean spices, and fruity drinks—but it’s also perfect for those who don’t.

An Unexpected Gourmet Turn Along the Beaten Path

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Overview

Le Fregate Bleu Photo, Martinique, Caribbean
Quote:
At some point, every Caribbean traveler has longed for more than the, "Chicken or fish?" dilemma that epitomizes island dining. Likewise, any visitor to France remembers that end-of-trip dinner when it seemed impossible to digest yet another decadent multi-course meal. But considering neither trip would be complete without those moments, what’s a taste-obsessed traveler to do? The answer is surprisingly simple: make haste to Martinique.The cuisine on this little island is nothing short of a revelation (and I’m the girl who goes on vacation and plans dinner while I’m eating lunch). It’s a unique mix of Caribbean and French—fresh seafood and local spices enhanced with rich sauces and Fren...Read More

Le Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa

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Hotel | "Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa"

Le Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa Photo, Le Francois, Martinique
Quote:
To get to Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa, a Relais & Chateaux resort, you drive through the affluent town of Le Francois, down a long road enveloped in banana trees, to an inconspicuous gated entrance. Except for the breeze ruffling through palm fronds, it’s a quiet drive onto the beautiful, understated grounds. Upon arrival at the main building, you’re handed a cool washcloth and poured a glass of iced tea with mint. You can literally feel the motion of the day settling into stillness.And that’s all before you’re shown your room. The moment I stepped into mine, I began planning to barricade myself...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 22, 2005

Le Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa

Le Francois, Martinique 97240

Le Ghetto

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Restaurant

The Bar Photo, Martinique, Caribbean
Quote:
I had to laugh when I saw the name Le Ghetto as a must-visit traditional Créole restaurant in the Atlantic village of Marigot. Knowing that so-called "ghettos" are often the source of the best food, however—think soul food and hearty, traditional French fare—I saw the forthright name as a convenient tip-off. As it turns out, Marigot was not a ghetto at all; it was a quiet, friendly fishing village on Martinique’s less-traveled north end. Le Ghetto, an unassuming building on Marigot’s main road, was easy to miss but certainly not ramshackle. And the food? Well, I was right about that.As we drove up, Le Ghetto was identifiable only by a small chalkboard propped at the entrance to its ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 11, 2005

La Belle Epoque

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Restaurant

The Main Dining Room Photo, Martinique, Caribbean
Quote:
I never thought I’d be sitting at an elegantly set table, eating a luscious French meal on a breezy terrace… during a trip to the Caribbean. Then again, this was Martinique, a place as much a part of France as a link in the Antillean island chain. After a morning prowling the Fort-de-France spice market, amassing bags of local cinnamon, cocoa, and vanilla, our appetites were all-systems-go, and our lovely guide knew just where to take us. Hidden away up an inconspicuous driveway in the wealthy Didier neighborhood of Fort-de-France, La Belle Epoque serves up traditional French fare—infused with the freshest Caribbean ingredients, of course—in a beautiful turn-of-the-century home...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 12, 2005

Le Ponton

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Restaurant

Restaurant Entrance Photo, Martinique, Caribbean
Quote:
After nine long hours on two cars and three planes, the first thing we did upon arrival in Martinique was hop on another kind of vehicle—for dinner. Le Ponton is housed on a pontoon boat at the Marina du Bakoua and is a favorite dinner spot in Trois Ilets—Pierce Brosnan even dined here during filming of The Thomas Crown Affair. Casual outdoor tables, a lively bar, and lights strung around the deck impart a festive atmosphere; however, Le Ponton still maintains an air of casual elegance with its sophisticated menu, focusing on fresh seafood, and a view of the twinkling lights of Fort-de-France across the bay. We arrived at around 8:30pm on a Tuesday night and were ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 15, 2005

La Villa Créole

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Restaurant

Dining Area Photo, Martinique, Caribbean
Quote:
There is certainly no shortage of excellent dining options on Martinique, but La Villa Créole has them all beat when it comes to entertainment. Its cozy, gingerbread-house exterior along the main road in Trois Ilets belies the spacious outdoor dining area on the other side, where tables are arranged around the central performance area—a gazebo flanked by kitschy "landscaping" of the Astro-turf-and-garden-gnome variety. It brings to mind a cheesy prom-photo setup in the middle of a high school gym, and it’s here that the owner, Guy Bruere-Dawson, actually performs most nights, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar with an electronic rhythm track in the background. I liked the place before I kn...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 20, 2005