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Thread: May 2021 Trip - Second Week

  1. #1
    PeterLynn is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Mar 2014 Houston Posts: 490

    May 2021 Trip - Second Week

    After hitting all of our must do's, we were pretty well "restauranted out" to start our second week, so besides cooking in the villa the next three evenings, appetizers and deserts at lunch were shared or not even ordered. Dinners in included grilled pork chops, breaded chicken over pasta and then shrimp (frozen from the Super U) alfredo. The first two were served with a delicious Henri Boillot (white) bourgogne that we had had at Orega and found at the Cave by Public. The latter dish was paired with a Silex Sancerre from the Super U.

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    Sunday was a fun day as we enjoyed pool side Aperol spritzers, while tracking the arrival of the Transat racers. With an entourage of various watercraft, the soon to be crowned winner passed by the villa about the time the prosecco ran out. The next day, we headed into town to check out the sailboats, most of which had arrived overnight. Pretty amazing that something so compact could hold so many people on a two-week journey across the Atlantic. Ran into a couple of our friends, which necessitated a rosé at Le Select before heading over to the perpetually crowded La Cantina for lunch. I had a very light mahi-mahi served "Tahitian" style over rice and Lynn had the Jerk Chicken. No desert, but that didn't stop us from rejoining friends still back at Le Select. Being the Memorial day weekend, it did appear that more Americans, and in large groups, were roaming the streets of Gustavia, giving the place more energy than last week.

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    Heading back to the villa, we were met by the mayor of Flamand, who appears to have the run of the place.

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    Tuesday was a group lunch at Grain de Sel, organized by Elena and Andy, who are probably well known by longstanding forum members. Grain de Sel has always been hit and miss for us. If the food is great, the service is not or vise-versa. Fortunately, today the grilled dorade was more the former than the latter as was the service, although later it became the latter. We arrived early, so decided to take a hike over the hill and check out Saline, which is actually the only other beach that we set foot on and like Flamands was almost vacant. Maybe confirming my hypothesis that the easing of the Covid lockdowns have made us more sociable, the restaurant was definitely not and by 12:30 the lower deck was full.

    The group bailed on our planned repeat lunch at Lil' Rock, so I called and changed the Wednesday reservation to the two of us. Absolutely beautiful atmosphere so we were all ready to share the "Trilogie de la mer" (half a lobster, mahi-mahi and shrimp all grilled) like last visit, but were told there was no langouste today. Ugh. Remembering the wonderful curried mahi-mahi I had Chez Rolande on that same trip, I ordered the "Poisson Colombo" and Lynn two giant prawns with a spicy Spanish-inspired dipping sauce. Hers was quite good, but mine so-so. Snapper lost in a bland and heavy "curry" sauce. Left feeling like I'd gained back all the weight I lost since the first of the year. No dessert.

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    As the trip winds down, thoughts turn to managing our provisions. One doesn't want to run out of anything, but at the same time we hate to leave too much in the villa, especially rosé! Likely our final stop at the Super U is in order. FYI, they have a restroom in the parking area across from the entrance, but one must ask for the key at the customer service desk.

    Headed into Gustavia for dinner, but stopped by the Transat tent to catch a bit of the awards ceremony before our dinner reservation at L'Isola, a first. Always heard great reviews, but have never really felt like having Italian food on the island. The service was impeccable and the food was excellent, but all my assumptions were correct. I had the grilled lamb chop and Lynn the scaloppini. Once again, excellent, but maybe a better way to put it was there was no tuna tartare on the menu. For those who must have meat on their vacation, L'Isola is highly recommended. The Transat awards ceremony was in full swing so we stopped back by to listen to the band a bit. Too loud for our aging ears, but a nice crowd was on hand and enjoying themselves.

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    You know the vacation is REALLY winding down when you find yourself at the Croix Rouge Française for your antigen test. Small line of mostly Americans trying to figure out how to connect to the "wee-fee" and subsequent registration website, until we discovered that they had touchscreens setup in the adjacent tent. All Americans need to do is to show their passport, so make sure to bring it. Results were emailed an hour or so later. Hungry, and in the mood for something more authentic than Lil' Rock's disappointing curry sauce, we stopped at Chez Rolande where Rolande herself waited on us. Very delightful person. The anticipated mahi-mahi colombo wasn't on the menu, but she cheerfully offered to make it specifically for me. Much lighter and with actual flavor. The restaurant is very basic and easy to overlook, but definitely worth a visit. We finished the meal off with homemade coco sorbet and passion fruit/ginger rhum shot.

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    For dinner we invited the same close friends we met seven years ago on a Jicky sunset cruise and have consumed many glasses of rosé with at Le Select since. Menu was grilled entrecôtes, green beans, roasted carrots and potatoes au gratin. Dessert was pistachio ice cream (from Petite Colombe) with crushed pistachios and a melted 72% cacao bar from the Super U. When you factor in the company, it was maybe the best meal of the trip. Unfortunately, we arranged the dinner long before anybody knew about the Camaruche road closing, so their drive to and from Pointe Milou was a long one.

    Last full day - Friday. There was some sort of mix-up in the registration that kept Lynn from seeing her password protected results. Can you spell P-A-N-I-C? Arrived around 9am, but after an hour in line and another 30 min with the very helpful Red Cross people, the issue was resolved and they handed her a printed hardcopy in addition to a new email. Phew! A celebratory beverage is in order, so we top off the Jimny and head to Le Select. No sooner had we sat down with a cold Carib, then we were forced under the awning as the skies really opened up. By the time things had calmed down, it was close to lunchtime, so we headed over to Corossol to give Au Regal a try. Definitely VERY local and really put my French to the test. Shortly after being served a pichet of rosé, the place filled up with every manner of tradesmen (with the emphasis on men) each with a beer or pastis in front of them. Amazingly, these were the aperitifs, which proceeded the glasses of red wine served with lunch. Meanwhile, we shared a creole plate with christophine, boudin, stuffed crab, herring and accras with "sauce chien" all surrounding a salad. All very good. For the plat, I had the special "Darne de dorade en court bouillon", which on further Googling appears to be a Guadeloupean tomato based fish stew. Jury still out, but glad I ordered it. Lynn had her dorade grilled. Quite a long lunch and lot's of food, so we passed on desert. Good people watching too.

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    Cleaning out the refrigerator

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    The last dinner means La Langouste and "Langouste pour partager". Rains had ended and the resulting beautiful sunset, meant we could stroll down the beach after all. We were greeted by Florent, who remembered us from two weeks earlier. Lynn had her Kir Royale and I my Ti punch (encore, sans glacon), except substituting the regular "vieux" Reimonenq Rhum (Guadeloupe) with the even smoother 9 year. Lynn had her gaspacho, while I enjoyed my sixth and final tartare. Not starving after the big Au Regal lunch, we managed to pick out a smaller lobster which was served with a lemon butter and creole sauces. So good. A single boule for desert, a couple of shots of rhum vanille and plenty of "au revoirs" and "à l'année prochaines" and all that's left is to pack.

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  2. #2
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 11,317

    Re: May 2021 Trip - Second Week

    For being ‘restauranted’ out you did a masterful job your second week!
    We love those prawns at Lil’ Rock.
    Have never hiked over the hill to Colombier from Grain de Sel. Tell us more- marked? degree of difficulty? Time it took?
    Thanks for your excellent photos, description, happiness and glad the Covid test/password fiasco worked out.
    If you are not all the way home yet- Bon Voyage!

  3. #3
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,354

    Re: May 2021 Trip - Second Week

    Quote Originally Posted by stbartshopper View Post
    Have never hiked over the hill to Colombier from Grain de Sel
    That would be quite the hike!
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  4. #4
    NancySC is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Sep 2017 Posts: 1,323

    Re: May 2021 Trip - Second Week

    Quote Originally Posted by JEK View Post
    That would be quite the hike!
    Yes that would be more than a hike, caught that too !

  5. #5
    NancySC is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Sep 2017 Posts: 1,323

    Re: May 2021 Trip - Second Week

    Another enjoyable read from Peter of PeterLynn, great pix & descriptions, thanks for your postings while on the beloved isle !

  6. #6
    PeterLynn is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Mar 2014 Houston Posts: 490

    Re: May 2021 Trip - Second Week

    Quote Originally Posted by NancySC View Post
    thanks for your postings while on the beloved isle !
    Thanks and wish there was more to post!

  7. #7
    PeterLynn is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Mar 2014 Houston Posts: 490

    Re: May 2021 Trip - Second Week

    Quote Originally Posted by stbartshopper View Post
    glad the Covid test/password fiasco worked out.
    There was another couple in front of us who used the same email for both spouses and only one got their results. The staff at the tent were very helpful in straightening things out.

  8. #8
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,354

    Re: May 2021 Trip - Second Week

    Great report with Instagram worthy food pics!
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  9. #9
    marybeth is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2004 Pittsburgh, PA Posts: 3,560

    Re: May 2021 Trip - Second Week

    Loved all the installments of this....great pics and tasty looking food. Your home cooked meals looked as great as many of the restaurant ones!
    We typically go for 10-11 days but our next trip, first post COVID, is for 2 weeks as well. Can't wait.

  10. #10
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 7,045

    Re: May 2021 Trip - Second Week

    Fantastic concluding report . . . you dined well and covered a lot of territory, while also seeing many friends. A great vacation! Thanks for sharing.

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