Looking to savor one of the best restaurants on the island of St. Martin? If you know about St. Martin, you know that it might be a challenge. With a French and a Dutch side, the cuisine is always going to be delicious. With so many gorgeous beaches and delightful towns, it can make it a real challenge to find the very best, and yet La Cigale has managed to claim that title.
Tucked along a spit of land that crosses gorgeous Simpson Bay Lagoon (on the French side of the island), it has frequently been described as a “detour not to be missed” by gourmets and foodies alike. Even if you are not a gourmand of any stature, this is a spot that all guests describe as unforgettable.
The Success of La Cigale
When asked about the inspiration behind the restaurant, the owners begin with one simple word – romance. As one of the most romantic dining spots on the island – whether you are on the lovely patio or lucky enough to take a seat beneath the coconut palms (during good weather), it offers a remarkable view as well as a guaranteed, picture postcard sunset almost every evening.
Now, that’s the inspiration for the restaurant, as in the physical structure and location. When queried about the menu, the chef Mallory Leroux explains that it is pure French cuisine, made with some of the most difficult to obtain ingredients delivered especially from France. The menu is a “piece of Provence” and puts that emphasis on the sunny flavors and also drops hints of Basque elements into the Mediterranean inspired dishes.
One of the things that makes the already outstanding menu options stand even farther apart from the crowd is the blend of flawlessly prepared foods and their artistic and artful presentations. Few chefs go to such trouble to ensure that plates look as delicious as they taste!
The History of La Cigale
Of course, the long history of the restaurant also plays a role in its general appeal. After all, it was a 100% family run entity until 2012. Opened by two brothers, the pair also employed their father as the pastry chef. Today, the family’s son Claude is the head chef while another younger cook has been added to the team.
The unique name of the restaurant comes from the famous poem by French writer Jean de la Fontaine. Inspired by Aesop’s tales, he wrote of the cicada singing her song throughout the summer, but failing to put by for the winter. While that might seem odd for inspiration for a restaurant, it is the lovely line about singing to all who came to visit – night and day that is at the heart of La Cigale. Preparing amazing food in a welcoming and joyful way is the order of business here.
A Perfect Meal
When asked to recommend the perfect meal for guest to savor, the chef and team recommended the following:
Open with the house’s signature appetizer, “le foie gras de canard facon ‘La Cigale'”. This is a foie gras emulsion served along with seared foie gras and dressed with a precious drop of exquisite truffle oil.
The main course can include everything from a pork filet mignon or a full chicken to perfectly prepared fish or shellfish. The menu features sea bream, sea bass, cod, lobster risotto, and the house’s special Sole “La Cigale”.
Desserts here are quite famous and their pastry chef is responsible for an amazing and wildly popular raspberry macaroon, with vanilla cream and red fruit sauce.
If you are pressed to find the best menu and setting for a meal on St. Martin, look no farther than the delightful La Cigale.