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Thread: Tamarin is back!

  1. #1
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 5,823

    Tamarin is back!

    Many on the Forum would say that they didn’t know it ever went anywhere! In my experience, however, I think that its success last season was “coasting” on the well deserved laurels of prior years. I tried to feel good about it in 2018 - 2019, but I thought the place had lost its way. Paco & Julie, the restaurant’s much liked owners, had pretty much vanished, & the food seemed to lack the inspired preparation that used to cause me to write about quality.

    I’ve now discovered, in being there the past two nights, that the restaurant’s vitality and dining standards are restored.

    Tuesday night was a large cocktail party . . . nearly 300 people in a flawless, festive, beautifully illuminated garden setting of candlelight & complementary subtle lighting. Waiters passed with trays of exquisite hors d’oeuvre, Champagne & other beverages-of-choice were everywhere available without any waiting, & a small army of valet parking attendants smoothly moved guests in & out of the parking area. It was a tour de force for Tamarin & our host, Wimco.

    So, with this positive feeling, we returned last night for dinner. The place was “slammed!” Entirely filled, it seemed. Host Manu’s big greeting was the welcoming of a good friend into his home . . . as he also directed a smooth & steady hustle among staff, with everyone moving rapidly to keep up with arrivals, departures, & in between service. There even was a feeling that the Cavalry had arrived when Paco came into the fray . . . very warmly greeting familiar faces & welcoming newcomers with his big, handsome smile . . . simultaneously joining in clearing & resetting tables to keep the action going.

    As if all of that wasn’t enough, the food was excellent. My guests had a special pasta, which they loved, & I had roasted Cod with vegetables & garlic. It really has to be one of the restaurant’s best dishes. Not much compares, however, to the Dark Chocolate soufflé for dessert!

    All in all, two nights of great pleasure in returning to Tamarin . . . and finding a renewal of the food & warmth of its founding.

  2. #2
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 9,168

    Re: Tamarin is back!

    Dennis- we had crossed Tamarin off of our list after several disappointing years. After reading your review we will return! Thank you.

  3. #3

    Re: Tamarin is back!

    So glad to hear this!!! We too were disappointed about last season since Tamarin has been top of our list through many seasons and many owners...thank you for your lovely report!!!!
    Steve and Aimee

  4. #4
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 26,558

    Re: Tamarin is back!

    That return to old form was really good to read about, Dennis.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  5. #5
    Cwater is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2016 Long Island Posts: 475

    Re: Tamarin is back!

    Great to hear that. So disappointed last year will certainly place it back on our list for May

  6. #6
    KevinS is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jul 2003 Boston Posts: 20,484

    Re: Tamarin is back!

    Three words - Dark Chocolate Souffle

  7. #7
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,939

    Re: Tamarin is back!

    Sounds good Dennis and no gluten free pasta.


    Andy

  8. #8
    elgreaux is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2003 Saint Barth Posts: 10,660

    Re: Tamarin is back!

    and such a magnificent setting!

  9. #9
    Jim A is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2017 NY Posts: 469

    Re: Tamarin is back!

    We too enjoyed our Tamarin dinner immensely this week. Setting, food, service...all great. Tamarin is a living postcard and dream movie setting.

    This was our first real dinner there. Last year we went on our first night after a very late lunch at JoJo Burger upon arrival. We showed up that time without a reservation and were told by the valet (after running in to check) that there were no available tables. We parked on the side of the road anyway and walked in mostly just to see the restaurant setting which we had heard so much about. We were greeted by Manu? (I forget the name of the host with the beard) who told us not to worry and set up a table for us out in the garden. We had a bottle of rose` and a cheese platter and just relaxed and knew we'd be back many times over.

    This year we made a reservation and it was great. We started with the mandatory warm greeting and a glass of champagne and split the burrata appetizer which was fantastic. We couldn't decide what to order for our main courses so we also ended up "splitting" the pappardelle with black truffle and truffle pecorino cheese and the lobster risotto. Both were really good. Not huge portions, but not small either and definitely enough. For dessert I had the chocolate souffle` accompanied by an espresso martini and GinaMarie the Eclair and a "wise monk". All were perfect to top off the experience. As we started to leave after paying, Manu(?) had noticed us leaving and literally chased us down by the tree to give us a proper goodbye hug. We took our "I'm not from around here" pictures of the tree and gardens on the way out and off we were happy and full...Another successful dinner on St Barths

  10. #10
    agenova is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jan 2015 Atlanta Posts: 42

    Re: Tamarin is back!

    Any word as to whether they will be serving lunch this season?

    Thanks,
    Dave

  11. #11
    NancySC is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Sep 2017 Posts: 1,049

    Re: Tamarin is back!

    Thanks for the fine report Dennis, so disappointed last year, hopefully the opening attention will last thru the season & beyond. Nancy + Doug

  12. #12
    italyhound is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2010 Philadelphia Posts: 57

    Re: Tamarin is back!

    We were there last night and were dismayed the tamarind tree succumbed to Irma. We were there soon after the hurricane and thought it would eventually pull through. What a shame.

  13. #13
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 26,558

    Re: Tamarin is back!

    As to the care of Tamarin tree, a lot was done to try and save the wonderful specimen tree. Alas, Irma did it in and I agree that the setting will never be the same. The gardens and pools that surround the dining area are truly magnificent, but the SIGNATURE tree is no more. So sad.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  14. #14
    FamilyTraveler is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Nov 2017 Westchester, NY Posts: 91

    Re: Tamarin is back!

    Dave - no lunch this season. Oh how I wish they would. One of my best Tamarin meals was at lunch... no extra charge for the ‘entertainment’ from the turtles crossing the gardens. Such a treat for my kids.

    Happy to read this review. We were underwhelmed with our dinner there last season and had also crossed it off our list for this season. Perhaps we’ll give it another go. You really can’t beat the beautiful setting!

  15. #15
    agenova is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jan 2015 Atlanta Posts: 42

    Re: Tamarin is back!

    Thanks for your reply re: lunch. Too bad it isn't part of the offering this season but we'll power through. The magical setting at night is hard to beat and based on the great review/update provided by Dennis, it sounds like they are off to a good start with the food this year. Will keep an eye on reviews between now and our trip in two months. Thanks!

    Dave

  16. #16

    Re: Tamarin is back!

    We miss our lunches at Tamarin...best meal for us on the island...long sublime afternoon of good food, good wine, and relaxing on the lawn with our second bottle of rosé with cigar...pure heaven
    Steve and Aimee

  17. #17
    Cwater is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2016 Long Island Posts: 475

    Re: Tamarin is back!

    Help me out....years ago when the parrot was still there wasn’t it just a lunch place? Thanks

  18. #18
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 26,558

    Re: Tamarin is back!

    I am thinking dinners were in an area closer to the entrance and the tree.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  19. #19

    Re: Tamarin is back!

    Pretty sure many many years ago Tamarin was just open for lunch..correct me if I am wrong.
    There was a time when Christophe, who now is at L’Esprit, ran Tamarin with his wife and the dining area was under the tree.
    I remember them running up and down the path to the main house area bringing food to the tables.
    Think before that when Cat still was owner there was a bar set up under the tree..
    Also remember a time when Tamarin was just open for catered parties..
    that establishment has been through many changes and so happy it is back to its level of excellence..
    Steve and Aimee

  20. #20
    KeithJake is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Oct 2008 Northern Virginia Posts: 207

    Re: Tamarin is back!

    So many amazing memories of Tamarin over the years. Our tradition was to have everyone meet up there (mostly coming off of Saline). Then some of us would sneak to the pool and rinse and relax (honestly, those are some of my most cherished SBH memories). Then a wonderful relaxing lunch with the crew age ranging from 2- well much older! enjoying some many different elements. Then for some years it was going through its "changes." Last few times on the island, I felt it was returning. These latest reports are so encouraging. The demise of the Tamarin tree is heartbreaking though (in a first world sense...). As with so many things in my life and my visits to SBH, what amazing things to be thankful for.

  21. #21
    Mrsm6-7-08 is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jan 2013 Long Island Posts: 216

    Re: Tamarin is back!

    Quote Originally Posted by stbartshopper View Post
    Dennis- we had crossed Tamarin off of our list after several disappointing years. After reading your review we will return! Thank you.
    I was never impressed by Tamarin, we have eaten there 3 times. Maybe we will try it again this year

  22. #22
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 9,168

    Re: Tamarin is back!

    I believe Tamarin also had a small above ground swimming pool at one point as well?

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