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Thread: French onion soup and some random questions

  1. #1
    mneeley is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Apr 2019 Posts: 2

    French onion soup and some random questions

    My wife and I are traveling to the island for the first time this week to celebrate our 20th Anniversary. We are traveling with our best friends. The women know we are taking a trip, but have no idea where we are going.
    A few questions for the group.

    - My wife loves French onion soup. Who makes the best?
    - Are mosquitos bad right now?
    - What is your favorite cocktail bar and island drink?

    Thank you for your help.

  2. #2
    KevinS is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jul 2003 Boston Posts: 19,331

    Re: French onion soup and some random questions

    Have a great trip! And Happy Anniversary!!

    Your wife may be disappointed with the soups. My wife who has been the Soup Queen lately due to a dental issue, now resolved, doesn't recall either having French Onion Soup or seeing it on a menu last month. Now if you want to ask about Lobster Bisque...

    The island is dry, not having had significant rain in 3-4 months. That helps to keep the mosquito population down. However, it also depends on how well where you're staying has done mosquito control, and how well their neighbors have done mosquito control. I saw very few last month. I also used mosquito repellent regularly anyway.

    Cocktail bar... that's a tough one. We are more likely to have cocktails at the villa than out, and perhaps post-lunch/dinner rather than pre-lunch/dinner. Keep in mind that the OUI limit in France is half of the typical US OUI limit, .04 rather than .08, so a designated driver is a good thing to have. Still, with .04, you can have a good time without being stupid.

    So, places. Wanna hang with the locals in a world-class down and dirty sailor's bar? Le Select in Gustavia. Want to bring it up a few notches? Bar Oubli across the street. (Bring cash for Le Select and Oubli). Maybe a bit of a sunset view? La Cantina in Gustavia. Upscale, Victoria's at the back of the harbor.

    Island drink. There are two ways to go here. Traditional island and tourist island. The traditional island drink is a 'Ti Punch, pronounced Tee Poonch, which is basically a shooter - Cane syrup, 100-proof Rhum Agricole (some say it tastes like gasoline), and a squeeze of lime. Exercise caution. Sip it, shoot it, doesn't matter, you're downing a shot of 100-proof rum. The traditional tourist drink is a Planter's Punch, a concoction of rum and fruit juices. I tend to make 'Ti Punch at the villa after I'm in for the night, and have a Planteur before lunch or dinner. Wanna keep costs down? Pre-game with cocktails at the villa, but keep that .04 limit in mind for your DD.

  3. #3
    Tiffany is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2014 Virginia Beach, VA Posts: 562

    Re: French onion soup and some random questions

    My son is a French onion soup connasiuer and the only place I recall him getting it is at La Langouste, which is a great restaurant in a beautiful setting. If you want to eat there, I would do cocktails before dinner at Cheval Blanc just a few yards up the road. We tend to drink rosé on the island vs cocktails. Cocktails can be crazy expensive.

    We buy Baygon mosquito spray ay the grocery store to spray the villa deck for mosquitos. You can also take a can of Off Fogger in your checked luggage if you prefer. Most of the restaurants are open air and we usually spray our ankles with repellant before going to dinner. I’m a magnet for them.

    Have a great trip.

  4. #4
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 7,547

    Re: French onion soup and some random questions

    In regards to the Onion Soup, if you call well in advance, JC (Jean Claude) has been willing to make something for a special occasion and add it to his menu that night. JC is the owner of l’Esprit in the Saline area.

  5. #5

    Re: French onion soup and some random questions

    As we sit on our pool deck this morning there are some mosquitoes buzzing around...nothing a little spray won’t help.
    We usually end up at Select for a Rosé and Heineken...great place to watch the world go by. If you want a more serious drink you can go across the street to Oubli.
    We are on the island for a while more...If we see 2 very happy women out and about we will say hello!!!!
    You will love it here!!!!
    Steve and Aimee

  6. #6
    bkeats is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2010 Posts: 532

    Re: French onion soup and some random questions

    The french onion soup question gets asked all the time on a food forum I frequent. Visitors to France think the French actually eat it and are always asking where the best version is that locals go for. Then the locals pop in to say that french onion soup is for the tourists. You can probably find it on the island, but why? You're much more likely to get a better version you like back home. It's like looking for corned beef and cabbage in Ireland or spaghetti and meatballs in Italy. Whatever you find is for the American tourist. Better yet, look for fish soup with a nice rouille.

    The ti punch. A classic though it can still pose a conundrum. Glacon, oui ou non? Rhum, blanc ou vieux? Perhaps one of each?

  7. #7
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 7,547

    Re: French onion soup and some random questions

    mneeley-
    Get ready for a wonderful trip. How did you and your wife pick St. Barthelemy?

  8. #8
    mneeley is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Apr 2019 Posts: 2

    Re: French onion soup and some random questions

    stbartshopper,

    We are from the West Coast of the US and typically vacation to Hawaii or Mexico. But for this trip wanted to try somewhere new. So after much research on Caribbean islands, I settled on St. Barthelemy.

  9. #9

    Re: French onion soup and some random questions

    We are going to be first timers too..arriving tomorrow! We usually do Maui..and occasionally Cabo..wanted a new experience...sounds like everyone on here has been fortunate to travel to St Barts upwards of 15-20 times!! Cant wait

  10. #10

    Re: French onion soup and some random questions

    You will love it! Cheryl and I have been traveling there since 1987 and will return next Tuesday. Enjoy!

  11. #11
    sbhlvr is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Sep 2009 Dunes of Cape Cod Posts: 1,750

    Re: French onion soup and some random questions

    Happy Anniversary!
    I agree with others, go for something different than French onion.
    You can't leave the island without going to the heart of the island, Select. Have a few, meet some people and watch the world go by.
    We will be there starting the 26th. If you want to meet some forum members let me know.
    There's no dumb a$$ vaccine

  12. #12
    Tiffany is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2014 Virginia Beach, VA Posts: 562

    Re: French onion soup and some random questions

    When you land at the airport, there will be a lot of free island tourist publications...make sure you pick up a copy of "Saint Barths Guest Book." It's a thick white book that has many of the island's restaurant menus in it. It can really help you plan where to eat. Most of the publications are in located in a bookcase type inset right where you come out of the arrivals area. If you booked your villa through an agency, you can use their concierge to book your reservations. We usually get really good tables that way. This time of year shouldn't be too crowded though.

  13. #13

    Re: French onion soup and some random questions

    French Onion Soup-La Langouste on Flamands Beach (Best I've had on the island)

    Drink? Depends on the mood-people watching in Gustavia while at Le Select, grab a beer. Restaurant drink where you can get a homemade off the grid type of feel with a menu-Bonito (Eden Rock was our go-to for cocktails, but sadly not now)

  14. #14
    Amery is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Sep 2017 Posts: 36

    Re: French onion soup and some random questions

    Re: cocktails agree with Kevin on le Select and bar L’oubli for casual/local. Would add sunset cocktails at Bonito. Sunset this time of year is around 6:30. Sit at the bar—a beautiful spot. Also love sitting outside at Baz Bar. Try WTF at Le Barthélemy. Lovely new rooftop bar. Enjoy!

  15. #15
    ArtieKaye is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Apr 2003 Napa, CA Posts: 21

    Re: French onion soup and some random questions

    A “DD” is great advice. However, if you do get lost in the moment, please remember that there are limited taxis available. You may want to load the numbers in your phone it advance. You can search "Taxis" and the list should pop up.

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