Atlantis Alumni

Friday, March 8, 2013

Two Special St. Barth's Restaurants

We ate at two special Gustavia restaurants on Thurdsay. For lunch at Wall House, we had the daily special, a fish terrine that was the best one I’ve ever tasted, stuffed with sweet gerkin pickles and savory Greek black olives. The white sauce which we daubed on the terrine seemed like a sour cream suffused with cream and herbs. A salad with a wine-wine vinaigrette dressing was also included in the dish. Later, in the afternoon, after Jim’s second dive, he made one of his special salads, which we’ve enjoyed a couple of days for lunch here, or else as a late afternoon snack. He usually includes leaves of Romaine dressing, tomato, mushrooms, soft blue cheese or feta, and smoked salmon. The dressing, bottled, is a French moutarde or mustard salad dressing which cannot be bought in the U.S., sad to say. We bought it at the super marche and have been enjoying it all week. For dinner Thursday evening we splurged at the most expensive restaurant we’ve been to, in the town, L’Isola. Despite its very high prices, people are constantly trying to get into this new Italian restaurant. We had tried making reservations on our own, but the place was booked, as it is not large. Finally Antoine, our concierge from the Wimco Rental Co., made a reservation for us. Dan spoke Italian to the waiter, who was from Roma. For his first course, Dan ate a crisp salad with slices of formaggio parmeggiano. Jim had the melanzane, or eggplant, which was not highly breaded (unlike those in South Philly) and satisfied the taste buds, but did not over stuff the stomach. We washed these dishes down with a delightful Nebbiolo, an Italian red wine from the Piedmont, the province around Turin. It brought back fond memories of visiting that great city with its spectacular Baroque architecture. Dan’s main course was spaghetti with granch, or Mediterranean crabs, very small crustaceans. It was difficult to get the scarce meat out of the hard crab shells, but their flavor suffused the pasta, and it was a very unique and enjoyable dish. Jim ordered and ate an even more exotic dish, Spada (swordfish) which had been stuffed with herbs in bread crumbs, wrapped around a huge piece of lemon grass. His dish also included oven-baked fingerling potatoes and barely cooked vegetables. Jim enjoyed his Tiramisu dessert, since its truly Italian style preparation was not the average, fake style. Dan ate a crema di Amaretto, a semi-frozen dessert which was covered with cream. There was too much cream and not enough of the Amaretto flavor, that delicate Italian dessert wine that tastes of almonds. L’Isola has an extremely dark interior dining room, and a large staff; all of the Italian waiters are quite attentive. While it was a fascinating experience to dine there, this trendy restaurant would not be the first choice to return to, since it is a bit overpriced. Yet one must admit that such food is rarely available in the United States. That is one of the reasons why eating in St. Barth’s is such a rich gourmet adventure.—Dan

Wall House Fish Terrine

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