Friday, December 30, 2022

Holiday Dinners

We have three people at our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners, but make food enough for many more.  We won't need to cook again until 2023!

Christmas Eve we start with a few appetizers:  some interesting cheeses and crackers, Dots homestyle pretzels (from North Dakota), and beef jerky from Buc-ee's Travel Center on I-30 between Dallas and Austin.


For dinner, we have crab cioppino, with shrimp, mussels, and rigatoni as extra benefits, using an old family cioppino recipe that includes onions, garlic, tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, red wine, clam broth, and a few seasonings.  To accompany the cioppino, we pull together a persimmon salad with pomegranate seeds, radicchio, Fuyu persimmons, and sugar roasted walnuts, accompanied by a dressing of shallots, sherry vinegar, and walnut oil.

Making the cioppino

Dinner is served

Christmas Day we have sweet and spicy smoked turkey breast that was wet brined for one day, then dry brined for another day, prior to slowly roasting over cherry chips.

Sweet and spicy smoked turkey breast

To accompany the turkey, we make stuffing, balsamic-roasted brussels sprouts (with pancetta and pomegranate seeds), creamed onion gratin (with parmigiano-reggiano and gorgonzola, no picture), and scalloped potato gratin (with alternating layers of sliced potatoes, shredded gruyère and a sauce of cream, sage, garlic, nutmeg, and eggs).

Stuffing, brussels sprouts, potatoes

Dinner is served

We truly enjoy this collection of treats and will be dining on it until New Year's Day.  Our January 1, 2023 dinner will be surf  and turf, with lobster tails and filet mignon.

We hope you have enjoyed the blogs this year and wish you all a Merry Christmas, Wonderful Holiday Season, and Happy New Year.  We look forward to sharing more new sights and locations with you in 2023 and revisiting some of our favorites (Paris, Cinque Terre, Saint Martin) as we return to places we love and find new ones to explore.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Bidding À Plus Tard (Until Later) to Saint Martin

On our way to the airport as we leave, we stop for lunch at Maho Beach, famous for its location at the very end of Princess Juliana International Airport's runway, where we can watch planes take off and land just above our heads.  We don't stand on the beach to be sandblasted by the jet engines. but settle in at the Sunset Bar and Grill next to the beach.

View from our table, plane arriving

While waiting for planes to arrive, we dig into fish tacos and Carib beer.

Fish tacos

After lunch, we drive around the airport to drop off our rental car and hop on a flight back to the US, with memories of white sand beaches, tropical sunsets, and incredible meals accompanying us all the way home.




We're already planning our next trip back (next year)!

Friday, December 23, 2022

Dining in Saint Martin

We have incredible dinners in Grand Case.  We have lunch at the lolos in Marigot, but don't stop in at the ones in Grand Case this trip, going a few more doors down to some favorite restaurants.

Passing by the lolos

At Ocean 82, with a lobster tank at the entrance, we sit at a table on the water and enjoy scallops, shrimp, mussels, and profiterole (and probably a few more things that we ate before remembering to take a picture).

Lobsters to greet us

Scallops and shrimp

Mussels and Profiteroles

View from our table

At Bistrot Caraibes, across the street, we start with tuna, Norwegian Salmon, and endive salad with blue cheese, followed by lobster and Margret de canard (duck), and, of course, profiteroles


Lobster selected and served


On another visit to Ocean 82, we have sole and sea bass, served at the table.

Preparing and serving the fish


And, of course, to close, profiteroles.

Profiteroles (again)

Another evening, at Le Temps des Cerises, we dine on octopus and shrimp appetizers, followed by St. Pierre (John Dory), and Ahi tuna salad.


St. Pierre, Ahi tuna

Our last night, we return to Le Temps des Cerises and the kitchen has been taken over for the day by 2-Star Michelin Chef Michel Portos who prepared an incredible fixed meal of:

Bouchées de bienvenue (Welcome bites)
Déclinaison de céleri et truffe noire (Celery root and black truffle declinaison)
Endive confite agrume-safran jus de cuisson relevé au poivre noir du sichuan, poutargue rapeé
  (Endive confit saffron citrus szechuan black pepper broth, grated cured fish roe)
Gambas XXL juste saisie laque d'epices, topinambours et groseilles
  (Gambas XXL, spice coated, topinambour, red currant)
Canette des dombes en deux cuissons, marron-pomme verte-betterave, jus noir corsé
  (Duckling cooked 2 ways, chestnut, green apples, beetroot, black jus)
Kalamansi et chocolat en un service (Kalamansi and chocolate dessert)

And, accompanied by a great wine list (we have a 2010 Croix de Beaucaillou Saint Julien).

Our wine and welcome bites

Celery root/black truffle, endive confit

Gambas, duckling


What a great finish to our Saint Marin dining experiences, a true epicurean delight!