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 will present 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.
After a successful first sampling at NOLA last week, The Pier is next on our list. Located on Walter Plantz Square in Philipsburg, this beach bar and restaurant is a hot spot among tourists and locals for its chill vibes, great service and crowd-pleasing food and drinks. Closed on Mondays-only, when there is no ship in town, The Pier is open daily from 11:00am until late night, depending on the crowd, and in November will be serving two of the most crowd-pleasing items on the elaborate menu. You will be able to enjoy The Pier’s signature rum punch and famous Surinamese Style Chicken Sate served with fries and salad, for just $17.50,
The Pier seems to be the perfect place to relax and blow off some steam any day of the week. Here, you can have an after-work drink with your colleagues or enjoy some fun in the sun with your family – all while taking in the panoramic views of Great Bay, Divi and the Port. Not only does the laid-back beach bar and restaurant offer great food, friendly service and majestic views, but also plenty of comfortable beach chairs and palm-roof cabanas for a full feet-in-the-sand experience.
After a long week at work, we decided it was the perfect time to head on over to the Walter Plantz Square to sample some of The Pier’s good offerings. So picture this:
We walk over the beautiful square, lined with palm trees and fountains, towards the Pier, where we sit among likeminded persons for a Friday afternoon well-spent.
As we take our seats overlooking the ocean and the pier, owner Henk van den Heuvel is talking to some of The Pier’s regulars.
A dedicated contractor at Liccom, Henk had brought his vision to life, crafting every inch of The Pier with his own hands in 2019. A true family affair, The Pier is led by a talented chef, Henk's mother-in-law, and supported by his stepchildren and even his spirited sister-in-law. The Pier comes alive on Fridays, Sundays, and cruise days, bustling with locals and tourists seeking charming seaside experiences.
After checking out the many beers, cocktails and frozen drinks on the menu, we decide it is only right to kick off our weekend with the signature Rum Punch and a Pier Colada – both turn out to be exactly what we needed to welcome the weekend.
The Rum Punch is deliciously citrusy, a perfect combination of tangy and sweet. We could taste the rum without it being overpowering. The Pier Colada, with coconut, pineapple and Blue Curacao, is a pleasant surprise for the team as we usually are not the biggest fans of the blue liqueur. But we agree that it works very well in this fruity cocktail that is both rich and refreshing.
Our thirst quenched, it is time to check out The Pier’s elaborate food menu, which showcases the many culinary traditions on the island. From crowd-pleasing international favourites such as burgers and comforting pastas, to more local dishes such as BBQ ribs and red snapper, and Latin-inspired menu items such as quesadillas and tacos, The Pier has a little something for everyone.
Henk's personal favourites include the SXM Flavors signature dish, the flavourful sate, BBQ ribs, and the seasonal Dutch herring. Delighting in offering a taste of Henk’s homeland, the Netherlands, The Pier proudly serves other Dutch snacks that have become a rare find in the States, such as bitterballen and picantos.
As much as we enjoy Dutch “borrelhapjes” (if you know, you know); we are here on a mission to try the St. Maarten Flavors signature dish: the chicken satay served with peanut sauce, salad and fries. We also order the Caesar salad – because life is all about balance, right?
The fries are amazing – dare we even say the star of the show? Served Dutch-style in a paper cone, they are thick and crispy on the outside while soft and creamy on the inside. The satay is fresh grilled, juicy and nicely seasoned – perfect for dipping in the smooth peanut sauce.
In our opinion, a good Caesar salad does not need much. The Pier’s Caesar is a great example – not too saucy or cheesy, with crisp fresh lettuce, herbs and crunchy croutons.
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.
The Pier Colada
120 ml (4oz) of dry gin
30 ml (1oz) of Blue Curacao
240 ml (8oz) of Oasis pineapple juice
45 ml (1½oz) of sweetened condensed milk
6 ice cubes
Fruit for garnish (The Pier does star fruit or orange slice)
1. Mix gin, pineapple juice, ice and condensed milk in a blender.
2. Pour into glass and top off with Blue Curacao.
3. Garnish with fruit and ENJOY.