Fellow food-lovers, unite! Let’s get our taste buds ready for St. Maarten Flavors in November. In anticipation of this culinary month, we took the crucial task upon ourselves to go out and about and sample some of the best flavours of St. Maarten. And while we were at it, we thought: Why not try to uncover some of their secret recipes?
Throughout the entire month of November, St. Maarten Flavors presents a fantastic opportunity to indulge in the finest offerings of the island's top restaurants and bars. During this time, patrons can enjoy specially chosen signature dishes or cocktail combinations at significantly discounted prices. Participating venues will provide a variety of options, including sampler or single-dish meals starting at just US $17.50, and three-course feasts starting at $49.
Starting next week, we’ll be presenting our reviews of some of the participating restaurants. First up is NOLA Bayou Bistro. With its craft cocktails, unforgettable ambiance, and excellent and unique dishes, NOLA has swiftly risen to become the new hotspot on the island – and we could not wait to try it out. Adorned with giant fans and an impressively gorgeous full bar, the restaurant's beautiful space exudes a romantic, cosy, and warm atmosphere.
Here, we experienced the flavours of the creole/cajun kitchen overlooking our very own “bayou” – the Simpson Bay Lagoon. James “Jimbo” Morris, renowned for the famous Jimbo's TexMex Restaurant, along with his team, extended his warm Louisiana-style hospitality to us, and introduced us to some unique and rich flavours that were a special mix of new and familiar at the same time.
For anyone who’s never tasted the flavours of New Orleans, we can all but guarantee that you’ll absolutely love it! Opening up the appetite with craft cocktails by Sergio (check him out in the intro on page 2), we tried the bestselling French Quarter with Ketel One Vodka, basil, pineapple and citrus, and another refreshing surprise cocktail that’s not yet on the menu – but it will be soon! We also started off with homemade buttermilk biscuits and corn muffins, instead of bread. We could have easily eaten those alone and already left happy, had we not known any better.
On to sampling an entire array of dishes, host Jess suggested wines that complemented the flavours of it all – that’s what we call skill. We tried some of the most famous New Orleans dishes, a few we’d never heard of, and got lost in all the different complex flavours. Not a single dish was not extremely well thought out and executed to perfection. Hats off to Chef Ramon and the entire team!
All of the details will be shared next week, but to give you a small preview, it included the freshest oysters, hearty and smoky mains with different meats and seafood, and irresistible desserts – all with their own textures, unique flavour combinations, and made using the proper techniques.
It’s not too late to be part of this year’s line-up and be featured in the Out n About’s “Secrets of St. Maarten Flavors”. Participating restaurants should contact the St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) for details about the promotional campaign. Interested restaurants can also still sign up to participate in the month-long St. Maarten Flavors campaign via stmaartenflavors.com.