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Thread: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

  1. #1
    CappyD is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Jun 2016 Posts: 7

    Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

    I'll be back on our favorite island soon and was wondering if you can recommend restaurants where you can walk in (no reservation) and sit at the bar and have a good experience including the full menu to choose from.

  2. #2
    KevinS is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jul 2003 Boston Posts: 20,090

    Re: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

    I’m unclear on what you’re looking for. Are you looking to find a good place to eat dinner, or are you looking to dine at a top restaurant?

    You could do that at Le Repaire, but you could probably get a table too. (Check the Specials Board)
    I’ve seen people eating dinner at the bar at Santa Fé. (Pressé de Cochon de Lait, I’m just sayin’...)
    You might be able to get a seat at the Sushi Bar at Orega.
    Chances of getting a walk-in seat at the bar at L’Isola aren’t great.

  3. #3
    Dennis is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Apr 2004 Austin, TX Posts: 9,508

    Re: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

    We love eating at the bar back home. Here, it's just not the norm.

    The new Sand Bar at the Eden Rock hotel has a beautiful bar but I think they would frown on someone wanting a full meal there.

  4. #4
    elgreaux is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2003 Saint Barth Posts: 10,352

    Re: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

    We had had drinks and appetizers at the bar at Tamarin as well as in their garden, but again I'd say a full meal would be at a table...

  5. #5
    cassidain is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Ailleurs Posts: 6,410

    Re: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinS View Post
    Chances of getting seat st the bar at L’Isola aren’t great.
    we reserve dinner seats at the bar at L'Isola. i assume others can do same.

    le piment fun, very local, bar for good casual dinner with good vibe.
    Fils du Sud - Ministre de la Santé

    If I can't wear my Havaianas, I ain't goin'...ÀMHA

  6. #6
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 9,098

    Re: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

    I disagree with the above recommendations. Any of the restaurants with a bar are happy to serve you dinner. Many people travel alone and restaurants understand the aloneness one can have sitting at a table vs. chatting with the bartender/dress or a person sitting next to you. Choose any restaurant you wish and they will/should be happy to serve you at the bar. Call ahead and ask if you are concerned. Sant Fe does, as do Tamarin, Orega, Repaire and Isola to name a few but we don’t know with the new Eden Rock (Sand Bar) or at the Gustaf.

  7. #7
    cassidain is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Ailleurs Posts: 6,410

    Re: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

    Quote Originally Posted by stbartshopper View Post
    Any of the restaurants with a bar are happy to serve you dinner.
    that may be. that said, eating dinner at the bar is not really much part of French culture like in the US.
    Fils du Sud - Ministre de la Santé

    If I can't wear my Havaianas, I ain't goin'...ÀMHA

  8. #8
    GeorgeD is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Nov 2002 pittsburgh Posts: 289

    Re: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

    I have never lived my life doing what some other culture did; I did what I wanted to do, so eat at the bar if that is what you like.

  9. #9
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 5,581

    Re: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeD View Post
    I have never lived my life doing what some other culture did; I did what I wanted to do, so eat at the bar if that is what you like.
    I agree with you, George . . . eat at the bar, if it’s what you seek. But, I have to add that dinner at a table, even dining alone, elevates the dining experience beyond a bar setting.

  10. #10
    CappyD is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Jun 2016 Posts: 7

    Re: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

    Thanks all. And I appreciate the cultural difference. I too find the "walk in and eat at the bar" idea can be pleasant here and just wanted to know if any restaurants on the island (and not just the top ones) have been known to invite this as well. I have not looked for it in my past visits, so thought I'd plumb the knowledge here. Any thoughts on others such as Bananiers, L'Esprit, or La Guerite?

  11. #11
    cassidain is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Ailleurs Posts: 6,410

    Re: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

    Quote Originally Posted by CappyD View Post
    Any thoughts on others such as Bananiers, L'Esprit, or La Guerite?
    La Guérite sounds like an interesting idea for eating at the bar. I think they have a large, centrally located bar? Dennis could weigh in on that.
    Fils du Sud - Ministre de la Santé

    If I can't wear my Havaianas, I ain't goin'...ÀMHA

  12. #12
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 26,046

    Re: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

    Bananiers does not have bar seating. They do have a seating area for waiting for pick up of the TO GO orders .
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  13. #13
    cassidain is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Ailleurs Posts: 6,410

    Re: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

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    isn't this the bar at L'Esprit ? would seem like a strange place to dine. maybe that's just me ?
    Fils du Sud - Ministre de la Santé

    If I can't wear my Havaianas, I ain't goin'...ÀMHA

  14. #14
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 5,581

    Re: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

    Pre-Irma shot of L’Esprit bar, I believe . . . though the renovated version is much the same. It’s definitely a dining venue for some. I’ve also seen folks eating dinner at the La Guerite bar.

  15. #15

    Re: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

    We have had dinner at the bar at Bonito a few times, and it was a great experience. It's funny, we eat at the bar all the time at home, and I probably wouldn't think to do it in "actual" France, but it hadn't even occurred to me that it would be a weird thing to do in St Barths! At any rate -- our dining experience at the bar at Bonito has been far better than at a table, where we experienced what some others here have -- overly attentive (ahem) service, rushing, etc. Conversely, Johann at the bar (hopefully he's back this year) is fantastic, super personable and fun, makes you feel totally welcome and at home and you can hang out as long as you like without feeling like they maybe would like you to relinquish your spot to someone richer or more fabulous :-). As an aside, although I love the ambiance at Bonito, I don't love the food and don't necessarily want to order a 3-course meal, so it's nice to eat at the bar and just get one dish.

  16. #16
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 9,098

    Re: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

    Guerite has a large bar and people eat there all the time. Right on George.

  17. #17
    Jeanne is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Nov 2019 Posts: 4

    Re: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

    Entracte on the harbor in Gustavia.

  18. #18
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,948

    Re: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeanne View Post
    Entracte on the harbor in Gustavia.
    You need a gas mask to eat there. Too many smokers.


    Andy

  19. #19
    Jeanette is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2005 Cambridge, MA Posts: 7,471

    Re: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

    We've dined at the bars at Bonito and Nikki Beach when we couldn't get a reservation and both offered full menus. Bonito's bar has great service and an amazing view. We love seafood, especially ceviche, so we think Bonito has one of the best menus on the island.

    We tried to get appetizers from the dinner menu at Tamarin while enjoying cocktails in the garden this summer. We could only order limited apps from the bar menu, which was a disappointment.

    I believe you can also order food while at the bar at Le Toiny.
    Liberté, Égalité, Sororité

  20. #20

    Re: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

    Last time we dined at Bonito we decided our next time would be at the bar...looked like a great spot with a great view...also not really a fan of sitting at the tables along the rail...although a great view the proximity to other diners to us is bothersome
    Steve and Aimee

  21. #21
    PIRATE40 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2005 Sarasota, Florida Posts: 1,774

    Re: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

    Did just that at Baz Bar during the Select 70th.....no res, Jean Marc was happy to accommodate us....We are usually bar diners, much better service.....
    "Yes I am a Pirate"

  22. #22
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 9,098

    Re: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

    As I recall Le Piment has bar service as well as Jojo’s if you are looking for informal. Creperie is another.. Maybe Isoletta? I don’t think the Boulangeries offer a counter seating but they don’t offer alcohol either. I forget- what is the little restaurant near the Chosy/Oasis parking lot in Oriente that offers only counter seating that one sees driving by?

  23. #23
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 26,046

    Re: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

    Bouchon.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  24. #24
    cassidain is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Ailleurs Posts: 6,410

    Re: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

    Le Piment offers their tapas menu (not full menu) at the bar.
    Our past experience is that, if you can manage to become a “friend of the house”, the full menu may be available at the bar
    Fils du Sud - Ministre de la Santé

    If I can't wear my Havaianas, I ain't goin'...ÀMHA

  25. #25
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 9,098

    Re: Resto recommendations for impromptu dinner at the bar

    My hunch is very few establishments will tell a person they can’t eat at their bar/ counter. Sounds like Tamarin does not choose to accommodate. Cantina has a great bar to sit at and eat and drink in Gustavia.

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