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The
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StMaarten/StMartin

--------------------------- Connection

------------------------- "…the SXM newsletter for experienced travelers!
----------------------------------Connecting YOU with Paradise!"

Dear Friends,

After five weeks on island, Barbara and I returned home from StMaarten/StMartin a few days ago. Needless to say, we had a wonderful time. We had several dinners and parties with island friends including a special homemade dinner with Antoine, whose business is scuba diving but whose passion is cooking. We also had several lunch and dinner invitations at clients hotels and restaurants. And, a very nice dinner one night with our friends, Joe & Josephine, and their Aunt & Uncle, who were staying in a villa at La Samanna. Along the way, we had lots of laughs and loads of fun. We even won a bit of money at the casinos which was a pleasant surprise. During most of our trip, the weather was spectacular with very little rain. But, for our last few days, it rained for several hourly periods and during the night before our last day, lightning danced across the sky like a psychedelic keyboard in total silence.

Let me tell you a little story about our last night on island:

The next morning, the sea was raging with larger than normal waves pounding the shore as white-caps skipped across their peaks. During the day, dark clouds filled the sky and periodically dropped water on the earth. At 6:30pm, we left our hotel to meet friends at  Princess Casino. Since areas of Mullett Bay usually flood (6 to 12 inches) during rainy days, we decided to take the Low Lands Road to Marigot and out to the main road to the casino. A 25 minute trip without problems or traffic.

Well, after a few hours of fun, games, laughs and a pizza dinner, we got back in the car to do the reverse trip. As we were leaving, several people commented that it had been raining hard for the last couple hours. As we drove down the main island road, not only was it raining hard but there was water everywhere. The storm had created little rivers streaming down from the hillsides across the road heading toward the lagoon and the lowest lying ground areas. The main road itself had 2 or 3 inches of water covering it. As we approached Marigot and drove into the business district, the flooding grew from a couple inches to 6 or 8 inches planing through the air as we drove into greater depths. Two blocks further into the business district right near Vinissimo's Wine Shop, we hit a wall of water 24 to 30 inches deep and our car died in the middle of the road.

The windows were up, the doors were locked and at any moment, I expected water to start rising inside the car. I put the car in Park and tried several times to start it without any luck. So there we sat in a raging thunderstorm in a section of town that (we are told) is usually occupied by young men who stand around smoking pot and doing drugs. But we weren't concerned because not even ducks would be out in this weather. At that moment, a lot of praying was going on between Barbara and me. "Please start! Please start! Please, God..." but, the car refused to respond.

As we sat thinking about what to do next, four young men - who we hadn't noticed huddled under a store awning on the sidewalk, - ran out into the waste high water and surrounded our car. The "ringleader" knocked on my window and with five fingers spread out said in limited English, "We push you! Five dollars!!" After repeating his statement several times, I agreed to his offer and for the next several minutes, they rocked the car trying to push it forward struggling to no avail. The ringleader came back and yelled, "Neutral, neutral!" I yelled back, "It's stuck in Park!" Meanwhile, several SUVs drove past us forcing waves of water onto our group of helpers.

Having failed to push the car, two of the helpers returned to their awning; but, the ringleader and another fellow with persistance walked forward to the front of the car, motioned to the hood and said, "Open, Open!" I pulled on the latch; they opened the hood and began pounding on the engine with their bare hands. The ringleader yelled. "Start! Start!" I turned the key, but nothing happened. They pounded harder. I turned the key again. The car made a small noise. They pounded even harder and yelled some words in French. I turned the key and the engine turned over but didn't start. I tried it again and it still didn't start. I tried it again and again and the engine started with a roar. I raced it a few times and with 30 inches of water surrounding the car, the engine purred like a kitten! This was beautiful music to our ears.

Within a minute, the ringleader was by my window with five fingers spread out yelling, "Five dollars!" I gladly lowered the window and gave him a $5 bill. Then, he pointed to his friend and said, "Five dollars?" And, we also gave him $5. They lowered the hood and our car became a submarine racing through deep water. Within a block or two, the deep water subsided and we drove the next few miles to our hotel in heavy rain without the car even blinking a headlight. The next morning the car started at the first turn of the key. At breakfast, we thought about how lucky we were last night. But, was it luck?

We came up with the conclusion that it was the wonderful people of St. Maarten. We could have been robbed or beaten. Instead, we were helped by these young men. Only those local fellows know how to beat the water out of the engine.  Oh, one more thing: we can't overlook how our prayers were answered!

Hope you enjoy our Newsletter!

Regards,
Sam Fusco
President/Publisher

Winner of the 2006/2007 St. MaartenHospitality & Trade Association's
Crystal Pineapple Award for Outstanding Tourism Journalism

Featured in this issue:
1. Poem:  Beans and Dreams by Laura Richardson 
2. Condo of the Month: Porto Cupecoy Village  
3. Featured Activity: La Samanna Weddings
4. Special Restaurant: Beau Beau's Restaurant 
5. Sign Up to Win a Dream Vacation for Two

6. Featured Hotel: Horny Toad Guesthouse
7. Featured Shop: Caribbean Gems
8. Special Feature: Lobster Bisque Suriname Recipe courtesy of BelMar Restaurant
9. What's Happening in Paradise?


A Poem




Mezzotint-3




 























Beans and Dreams


Jack's bean sprouted
with a POP
and grew and grew
until it topped
the highest cloud,
then went
beyond,
as if the plant
was Heaven bound.

His mother vexed
her last coins spent
on such a worthless
dream,
but when she saw
the giant stalk
that streamed,
beyond
her vision's reach,
she wondered
what her son
had done.

He disappeared that
night in hope to
reach new worlds
beyond.
His simple days,
impoverished ways,
all vanished as he climbed.

Higher, higher, and then
still higher,
he stepped into Unknown.
he climbed so high,
when looking down,
he feared that
he might die.

The stalk threw stems
like giant beds
that fed his every step
as higher, higher,
fed by desire,
he finally poked his head
into a world of gigantic gain,
a world so contrast
to his plane,
he shook his head,
he rubbed his eyes,
Was this a dream?
Was this a prize?

A hen broke
with a cluck
his brief, sweet, reverie.
He toppled off his
broad-stemmed leaf
and fell beyond the tree.

by Laura Richardson
March 2012

Original Mezzotint by Sir Roland Richardson
www.rolandrichardson.com


Newsletter Sponsor


La Cave Restaurant at La Samanna Resort

Perfect for a private celebration, business dinner, or just to enjoy life… La Cave offers to our guests a completely different dining experience. Sit among some of the finest wines in the world, experience the finest cuisine of our Chef Vincent Wallez, one of the best Caribbean chefs, complimented by elegant and attentive service.

Private Dining This is a great opportunity to enjoy a private dinner in our Restaurant La Cave, surrounded by over 12,000 of our very special wines. A five course or a nine course menu will be served with a wine paired with each course by our Head Wine Waiter.

Exclusive Dinner Enjoy a special dinner featuring some of the very best vintages from exceptional wine appellations including: Bollinger, Dom Pérignon, Cheval Blanc, La Bourgogne, “Parfums du Sud”, USA.

Wine Tasting Traveling through the world, guided by our expert Sommelier, you will discover the hidden secrets of the wine accompanied by a selection of fruits and French matured cheese.


--------------------------12,000 bottles of wine - 1,250 labels - 13 countries.

----------------------------------------------- AWARDS
---------------------------- Best of Award of Excellence Wine Spectator 2008
----------------------------
Best of Award of Excellence Wine Spectator 2007
-----------------------------Best Wine List of the Caribbean Gault & Millau 2007
--------------------------------
Award of Excellence Wine Spectator 2006

For reservations, tel:1.800.854.2252 or 011.590.590.87.64.00. Please visit us at: www.lasamanna.com/web/omar/wine_cellar.jsp. Email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. eed JavaScript enabled to view it 


 Featured Condo



PortoCupecoy-960x350

Mediterranean Style. Caribbean Spirit.

Perfectly situated on the Dutch/French border of internationally acclaimed Sint Maarten, Porto Cupecoy is redefining resort living with an inspiring style, an unassuming elegance, and a wealth of amenities found no place else. Aptly dubbed, “The Jewel of the Caribbean,” the Porto Cupecoy experience continues to impart a breathtaking awe on even the most seasoned world travelers.

A Magical Setting. To visit Porto Cupecoy is to experience an unrivaled blend of Caribbean pleasures, not the least of which is a superior location. Neatly nestled in a protected cove directly on the tranquil Simpson Bay Lagoon—adjacent to the border from Terres Basses and the French side of the island—Porto Cupecoy is “positioned” to offer the best of everything for which Sint Maarten is so well known. As you will discover, Sint Maarten provides easy access to the neighboring Saba, Anguilla, St. Baths and Nevis islands, allowing you to literally expand your horizons at your leisure. 

A Mediterranean village influence highlights the distinctive nature of Porto Cupecoy, where traditional sophistication and modern amenities enable an extraordinary lifestyle experience. The community is set around a waterfront promenade engulfed by intriguing boutiques, fabulous restaurants and even a convenient supermarket. Whether it’s a breezy walk along the marina, a relaxing dip in the heated outdoor pool or a vigorous workout in the fitness center, the best that the good life has to offer is always mere steps from your door. 
CUP-LEI-ACT-08-R Impressive Residences. The spacious, impeccably designed condominium homes at Porto Cupecoy seamlessly complement both the pristine surroundings and onsite amenities at your island getaway. Luxury, privacy and state-of-the-art functionality combine to exceed your expectations in every way, throughout every home. Depending on your building location, you will enjoy spectacular views of the turquoise waters, majestic mountain vistas or charming gardens, marina-direct or village Plaza access. Inside your home, an unwavering attention to detail and interior finishes enrich the built-in advantages of each floor plan.

A Magnificent Marina. The white-glove Porto Cupecoy Marina is distinguished by an incomparable tandem of inclusive facilities and attention to your personal needs. From modest sport fishing vessels and sailboats, to world-class pleasure crafts and mega-yachts, the Porto Cupecoy Marina is unsurpassed in its breadth of amenities and its dedication to service, thanks to one of the most experienced teams of marina personnel anywhere.
------------------------ Exterior_-_Plaza6.jpeg
The Porto Cupecoy Marina is your “home port” for all this and more:

  • 54 deepwater slips including 11 for yachts up to 250’
  • Fully marked/lit and easily navigable access channel
  • Up to 480 volts, 3 phase 100 amps shore power with double freshwater connections
  • High-speed top quality diesel, gasoline and marine engine lubricants
  • WiFi Internet service
  • Comprehensive vessel concierge services
  • Use of private fitness center, swimming pool and tennis courts
  • Gourmet grocery delivery

A Shopping & Dining Adventure The same captivating aura permeating the homes and living environment at Porto Cupecoy is shared by a colorful array of shopping and dining establishments comprising the village Plaza, just a short walk from your home. From intimate boutiques and uncommon cafes, to gourmet grocers, fine restaurants and enticing bistros, there’s something for everyone under the sun in the Plaza at Porto Cupecoy. 

Porto Cupecoy #66 Rhine Road, Dutch Lowlands, St. Maarten
Tel: (1) 721-545-2318 US Toll Free: 1-888-606-8844
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Web: www.portocupecoy.com

 


 Featured Activity


 

lasamannalogoR

WeddingCeremony


A Dream Wedding For Every Couple at La Samanna!
There's More Than One Way To Tie The Knot At La Samanna!
After the Resort Wedding, Newlyweds' First Year Anniversary at La Samanna is Complimentary!

A wedding should be a seamlessly perfect day that unites two personalities and celebrates the life they are about to share. With this in mind, La Samanna - an Orient-Express world-class luxury resort hotel located on the French side of St. Martin - invites all types of couples to plan the wedding of their dreams at one of the resort's exclusive venues. Whether one has always dreamed of saying their vows while sinking bare feet into the white sand, overbooking the ocean from a cliffside perch or amidst lush courtyard vegetation, La Samanna has the ideal location to ensure every couple experiences the wedding of a lifetime.

La Samanna's Special Event Manager will guide couples in choosing the perfect location for their ceremony, based on group size and requirements. The hotel offers unique locations ranging from the beach or gardens to the pool terrace or the breathtaking La Samanna Villas, where a customized reception and celebration can be held. For rehearsal dinners, couples can book Le Resérvé Restaurant for gourmet, world-class cuisine or for smaller groups, La Cave, the resort's magical wine cellar.

WedBeachPool

For the "Casual Chic" couple… Beach! Baie Longue, La Samanna's private beach, is famous for its unforgettable sunsets, ivory sand and clear water that stretches into the horizon. What better place to tie the knot than one where couples can dig their toes into the soft sand while expressing their love among the sounds of gentle Caribbean waves?

For the "Exclusively Romantic" couple… Beachfront Garden! This charming venue is surrounded by lush bougainvillea with a unique ocean backdrop. Offering a quiet romantic setting makes it the perfect location to exchange vows and pronounce endless love for another. 

WedTerrace For the "Serenely Suave" couple... Pool Terrace! With stunning panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea, the Pool Terrace is the ideal location for a beautifully serene wedding, reception and dinner. Accommodating up to 100 people, couples don't have to limit the guest list.
WedVillasCliffside

For the "Passionate" couple… La Samanna Villas! Located on a bluff with stunning, panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and Baie Longue, the Villas at La Samanna offer sumptuous accommodations and unparalleled service for a passion-filled wedding. Featuring over 4600 square feet of exclusive villa space with private wraparound infinity pools, the La Samanna villas provide couples and their guests with the most perfect location for an all night celebration.

La Samanna is a world-class luxury resort in St. Martin, French West Indies, owned by Orient-Express Hotels, Trains & Cruises. Cloaked in lush foliage and colorful splashes of flowers, the resort is residential in nature, appealing to a discriminating, international clientele seeking seclusion, relaxation, fine dining and attentive personalized service. The resort is legendary for its extensive wine cellar and cuisine with provisions flown in from France daily. Equally renowned is the La Samanna Spa with its indoor/outdoor tropical garden treatment rooms and Pilates studio. With 83 deluxe suites, located on 55 acres of breathtaking beachfront, La Samanna evokes a French spirit with a Caribbean soul.

La Samanna Weddings, St. Martin, F.W.I.
To start planning your once-in-a-lifetime wedding, contact Jennifer Moeggenberg at 212.764.8225
or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please visit us at: www.lasamanna.com

Featured Restaurant


  

 

BeauBeaus logo-2

Oyster Bay’s popular beachside bar and grill, Beau Beau’s, gets a refreshing new look and taste! The restaurant has been renovated to include a new deck for island-breeze dining and dancing and beautiful new decor for the corridor between Beau Beau’s and the resort. And, get ready for your taste buds to start tingling!

Beau Beau’s is spicing things up with an exciting, new menu. After collaborating with Infinity Restaurant’s talented chefs, Beau Beau’s is unveiling tantalizing new tastes like its Southern Caribbean Fried Chicken – comfort food Caribbean-style; a light and delicious blackened Ahi Tuna steak served with a ginger lemon soy sauce; refreshing spring rolls topped with sweet and sour salsa and fresh mint; or taste a little bit of home with Beau Beau’s homemade classic meat lasagna. Whatever your taste, and whatever your mood, you’ll find something to pique your palate and delight your taste buds at Beau Beau’s. Stop by for a fun evening of live entertainment and fabulous food.

As always, Beau Beau’s offers live entertainment and a riot of a good time. Join us soon and savor the sights, sounds and flavors of Oyster Bay Beach Resort’s recently-renovated beachside restaurant.

Editors Note: What a wonderful evening we had at Beau Beau's Restaurant, which is located at the beautiful Oyster Bay Beach Resort at Oyster Pond. The service was excellent - from Cami (Manager), Laura (Supervisor), Alain (our server) and Joseph (server), we could not have asked for a better more attentive staff.

The food was delightful, nice preparation and presentation. We started with Conch Fritters with coleslaw and a green salad, which were very tasty. For entrees, we enjoyed grilled Mahi-Mahi in a white wine sauce which were perfectly cooked, delicious, and accompanied by a baked potato, green salad and mixed vegetables. Dessert? Who can say “No” to Crème Brule? It was scrumptious!!! And, Alain melted the sugar topping at our table with a fired torch.

The drinks (our brand of scotch) were great and the entertainers, Addy/the singer – Louis Armstrong impersonator, the costumed dancers, and the participating audience was a treat to see, watch, listen to and laugh with. In addition, we had a spectacular view of the evening stars populating the darkened sky, the cascading waves of the Atlantic Ocean lapping at the sandy shore and the lights of villas on the hillsides.

On your next trip to St. Maarten, put the “new” Beau Beau’s restaurant on your list of places to eat and be entertained. Recently expanded with new decking and canvas ceilings, Beau Beau’s is one of the nicest open-walled beach bars on the island. Call 1.721.543.6040 for reservations, which are a must. There wasn’t an open seat/table available the night we were there. And, to top it off, Beau Beau’s management raffled off a one week stay to the people in the audience. It was a great night!

Oyster-Bay-South-Beach

Always looking for new ways to offer first-class amenities, Oyster Bay Beach Resort has partnered with a nearby beach concessionaire to open up an additional 5,000 square feet of beach access to our guests and owners. This long-term partnership affords guests more space and a better environment. Plus, for those who make the short walk (100 yards down beach from Dawn Beach), they will find higher ground, a smoother water entrance, and the same resort amenities, including towels, chairs and our food and beverage service courtesy of Beau Beau’s. This additional space, known locally as Mrs. B’s and at the resort as Oyster Bay South Beach, is marked with resort banners. Let us know what you think! We always appreciate your feedback.
NewOBBRSign051012-R2

The management, staff and several guests of Oyster Bay Beach Resort, along with the home owners of the Oyster Pond Estates, unveiled the newly designed Border Monument / Sign at the corner of Oyster Pond Road, today. The sign was designed by architect Joseph Sistler of Joseph Allan & Company, who has overseen the design of much of the expansion and renovation occurring at the Resort over the last several years. The sign was commissioned to help guide the Resort’s guests at a critical intersection as well as to discourage unsightly home made sign proliferation at that critical intersection. The investment in a permanent monument sign for that location helps confirm Oyster Bay Beach Resort’s continued commitment to the Island and the Community.

During the unveiling Ricardo Perez, General Manager, thanked the land owner, Leslie Martina, owner of The Big Fish restaurant on Oyster Pond, for making the area available.  He also thanked the Oyster Pond Estates Foundation for their support in allowing Oyster Bay Beach Resort to beautify the area with a prominent and distinctive marker for the Oyster Pond community. Perez noted that the sign will make a very helpful directional reference for instructions that are given to visitors that are unfamiliar with the area and ensure they reach the community at Oyster Pond rather than make an unscheduled visit to the French side.


Beau Beau's Restaurant at Oyster Bay Beach Resort
Emerald Merit Road #10, Oyster Pond, St. Maarten

For Reservations telephone 1.721.543.6040 or 011.599.543.6040
Please visit our website at: www.obbr.com - For reservations, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 


Sign Up to Win a Dream Vacation for Two


  Subscribe to our Newsletter and you may:

Win a 6 Day/5 Night Dream Vacation for Two 

at La Samanna Resort & Spa, St. Martin
or
Oyster Bay Beach Resort, St. Maarten

Plus,
A Day of Sailing on a Random Wind Charter


Featured Hotel


 

HTLogo



A Deliberately Small and Distinctive Guesthouse!

HornyToadSeaViewLarge-RThe Horny Toad is a deliberately small and distinctive guesthouse known for its congenial and unpretentious atmosphere. The original building is a former governor's house tastefully renovated into spacious, fully equipped apartments. Each of the eight apartments is delightfully different, displaying a personality of its own. Our photo album provides smaller photos with links to a full description and larger photos so you can choose your own route through our website.  It's fun, but it's not the same as being here, so check the rates and details page and make an online reservation so you can experience our little corner of paradise.

Your host, Betty Vaughan, offers private and comfortable accommodations for $218 per night per couple in the winter season and $118 during the summer season. Many rooms can accommodate extra guests at $40 per person (winter) and $25 per person (summer). All rates are subject to a 5% government tax. All rooms are air-conditioned. No children under seven years of age, please. Smoking is not allowed anyplace on the property or in the rooms.

All of our units are in the former governor's house on Simpson Bay with the exception of one which is set back off the beach. While all of the units have a fully-equipped kitchen, a king size bed, complete bath with shower, and daily maid service, no two units are the same. The ground floor units have direct access to the beach and a view of the beach through floor to ceiling windows bringing the beauty of tropical flora to your room. The second story units have balconies overlooking the beach. All units are also cooled by soft breezes and fans.

Fresh flowers are arranged in the units every day. As you can see, the guesthouse is on the beach and providesBeachSunset-R beach chairs, towels, and floats. An outdoor barbecue pavilion contains two Weber gas grills. A changing room with complete bathroom is available for guests arriving early or leaving late. We will arrange to have a rental car for your use and stock your unit with food, if desired. Just use our convenient reservation form on our web site to make your wishes known. There is a complimentary computer with internet access and email connections in the reception area as well as free WIFI in all the units.

All this attention to detail brought the "Best Guesthouse" award from the reader's of the Daily Herald and Fodor's Choice Award in 2007 and again in 2008. They called us the "island's best value" then, and we are proud to announce that we have once again received Fodor's Choice Award on the Dutch side of St. Maarten in 2010. Even our guests have a few comments. We think you'll agree and we welcome the opportunity to prove it to you. DailyHeraldBestGuesthouseWe've even been mentioned in The Captain's Fund by Raina Wissing Harris, a writer who has stayed with us many times. It's a mystery novel about diamonds in St Maarten. Visit Amazon.com for a discussion on the book. You can buy it there, if you wish.

Our island paradise combines French and Dutch cultures with large quantities of local flavor and sunshine. We are known for our casinos, duty-free shopping, fine dining & beaches. Please visit www.THTGH.com and view our photo gallery. Better yet, call us for your reservation and come take your own photos.


The Horny Toad Guesthouse
2 Vlaun Drive, Simpson Bay, St Maarten

For reservations, call Toll free (800) 417.9361 | phone  1.721.545.4323 | fax (599) 545 3316
or Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please visit: www.THTGH.com.


 Featured Shop


 

 

CARIBBEAN GEMS

 
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CARIBBEAN GEMS, established in 1983 has been consistently voted as St. Maarten’s #1 jewelry store in an independent poll conducted by The Daily Herald. High quality merchandise, competitive pricing and excellent customer service certainly makes them the one jewelry store that must be visited if you’re in St. Maarten.

They specialize in GIA certified loose diamonds in all shapes and sizes, from half a carat to twenty carats. With a wide variety of settings in Platinum as well as 14kt & 18kt gold, you can select your ideal diamond and watch it being set in their in-house work shop. They also do trade-ins and diamond upgrades. Get full value on your trade-in and upgrade your diamond ring, tennis bracelet, diamond studs or other jewelry to something newer and better and just pay the difference.

If you are in the market for fine quality precious gemstones, including emeralds, rubies, sapphires and tanzanites or even semi-precious gems, then Caribbean Gems is the place to visit. Fine Swiss watches, pearls, gold chains, bracelets, charms, custom made jewelry and so much more round up their selection. Certified appraisals, life-time trade-in guarantee, toll-free service line, US service centers, mail orders are all part of their repertoire to be the best on the island. 

If shopping from back home, make sure to visit their website at www.caribbeangems.com to view the widest selection of fine jewelry, watches and pearls. Email them if you have any special requests. With priority international delivery, you can have jewelry delivered home in as little as 24 hours.

CARIBBEAN GEMS

2 LOCATIONS
22 & 40 Front Street, Philipsburg, St. Maarten
Tel: 1-721-542-2176   Fax: 1-721-542-5862

Toll Free: 1-800-848-7925 or 1-877-904-4367
Web: www.caribbeangems.com - - Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
US telephone line: 1-646-472-7996 or 1-212-537-6094

PROUD MEMBER OF

Jewelers of America ● Diamond Council of America

Jewelers Information Council ● New York Diamond Dealers Club

Jewelers Vigilance Committee

St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce


 Featured Recipe


 

Lobster Bisque Surinamese
Courtesy of

BelMar Restaurant
Simpson Bay
, St. Maarten 
For reservations, telephone 1.721.554.2614

Ingredients:

2 live lobsters (either northern, cold-water lobsters or the southern, warm-water spiny lobster) 

5 Tbs. olive oil

5 Tbs. sweet butter

2 leeks, split length-wise and cut into strips

2 onions, coarsely chopped to yield 3/4 cup

2 stalks of celery coasely chopped to yield 3/4 cup

2 carrots coarsely chopped to yield 3/4 cup

1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves--crushed between fingers to a powder-- or if available 1 sprig fresh thyme

1/2 tsp. lemon zest (use a grater and grate only the yellow, not the white part of the lemon rind)

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tsp. Madras curry powder

1/2 C dry sherry or cognac

1  tablespoons cornstarch

4 C heavy cream

1 tsp. white whole peppercorns

freshly ground white peppercorns 

several sprigs of flat-leaf Italian parseley for garnish

Preparation:

Fill large stockpot with enough water to cover the lobsters and bring to a boil with the whole peppercorns. Place live lobsters in boiling water head first. Bring water to rolling boil again, then turn down heat to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove lobsters and reserve the water to make the lobster stock. Separate and keep lobster tails (and claws if using Homard-lobster) to garnish the bisque when serving.

For the bisque: use the lobster bodies, heads and any pieces of shell and swimmerettes. 

Place the curry powder and a couple turns grinding fresh peppercorns into bottom of stock pot and warm to toast the spices until they scent the air. Then add the olive oil to the large pot over medium heat and melt the butter in it. Add the chopped lobster bodies, heads and shell along with vegetables and remaining seasonings. Cook until vegetables are soft. Remove the pot from the heat and float on the cognac. Ignite it with a long match until the alcohol burns off. Return pot to the heat, add 8 cups of the water reserved from boiling the lobsters. Sprinkle in cornstarch. Cover and stir with wooden spoon until dissolved. Strain the stock through a strainer lined with cheesecloth, or a China-Cap "chinoise," into a clean, large stock pot. Discard the cooked vegetables. Add the cream and bring to a boil then immediately reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon about 30 - 60 minutes until the volume is reduced and the soup is thickened. Season to taste with the freshly ground white pepper and pinch of sea salt.

To serve hot: ladle into warmed soup plates and garnish with mediallions of lobster tail (and claw meat, if available). To serve cold: chill 4 + hours in the refrigerator and serve with garnish of chilled, sliced lobster medallions and some leaves of flat-leaf Italian parsley. This soup is wonderful in any season and can be served hot or chilled. Receipe has been adjusted from restaurant portions to yield 4 servings. Enjoy!


 What's Happening in Paradise?

by Sam Fusco

 

Yesterday (May 23), TripAdvisor awarded Oyster Bay Beach Resort its prestigious 2012 Certificate of Excellence Award. Quote (TripAdvisor): "Our travelers consistently commend your property with the highest praise, and we recognise your 4 rating as an exceptional achievement."

In March 2012, Oyster Bay Beach Resort was Voted a Top 5 Hotel for Value in the Caribbean / Bermuda Category. The Resort / Timeshare was voted No. 5 in a poll of Travel + Leisure's readers for the magazines's 500 World's Best Hotels for Value Awards survey. The company attributes the award to its $19 million in renovations, pristing location, and staff dedication to guest care. Click here to read the Press Release...

      Radisson Blu Resort Marina & Spa, St. Martin is offering a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon in St. Martin to a family getaway in paradise, vacations at the Radisson Blu Resort, Marina & Spa are guaranteed to be unforgettable. The resort offers a wide range of special promotions perfect for couples and families.Review our HOT 40% Off Summer Sale with rates from 138Euros including breakfast for 2 Daily or a Complimentary upgrade to a Marina Suite when guest books a Deluxe Room Caegory at 168Euros. Please click the link www.radissonblu.com/resort-stmartin/offers for additional information!

      Barbara and I did it again. We had dinner at C Le Restaurant at the Radisson Blu Resort Marina & Spa, St. Martin and once again, it was a wonderful affair. The ambiance of the restaurant set the stage for the evening. An open-walled building, high ceilings with fans circulating the warm breezes coming off the Caribbean Sea which gently sends its waves to caress the shore, while yachts sit majestically in the bay. The views are spectacular even at night. 

After a brief chat with Coco, the Maître D, who remembered us from previous visits, our favorite scotch was delivered by Mimi, our server, in a New York minute. In fact, all of the staff was helpful, friendly and professional. For appetizers we had Salmon Carpaccio with pineapple chutney and Mahi-Mahi ceviche with fresh coconut pickle which were both splendid. For our main course, we enjoyed a whole Snapper which was perfectly cooked with a side dish of vegetables and a Bouillabaisse of Lobster, Shrimp, Scallops, Prawns and Mussels accompanied by cheese and toast for the fish soup left over. It also came with a side of mixed vegetables. Both meals were happily devoured and once again, a lovely bottle of Sancerre joined us for the meal.

To end the evening, we enjoyed two very delicious desserts: Caribbean Melba vanilla ice cream with almonds and caramelized pineapple and the Prickly Pear Soufflé with licorice ice cream. It was a lovely memorable evening. For reservations, telephone 011.590.590.87.67.00.

      Well, Barbara and I finally made it to Karakter’s, the beach, lounge, and restaurant for lunch. It really is a pretty cool place with beach loungers, umbrellas and tables and chairs and lots of activity. It’s located on Simpson Bay Beach next to Mary’s Boon. Try it! You’ll like it!

      Sorry to say that Don Camillo Italian Restaurant in Marigot has closed. It was a mainstay for many travelers/tourists for what seems like 20 years or more; but, alas, there is a Closed / For Sale sign on the door. Unfortunately, the worldwide recession of the last several years has taken its toll on many businesses. Note: Gary from Toronto wrote; “Sam, Don Camillo opened a smaller more casual restaurant gelato bar in the new Porto Cupecoy Village near the Dutch/French border. Vincenzo and Maria are both well and working hard to recover from the world economic problems that have created havoc because of the strong euro. A lot of other French businesses have moved to the Dutch side and are making it better than ever.” Thanks, Gary. 


      What a wonderful evening we had at Beau Beau's Restaurant, which is located at the beautiful Oyster Bay Beach Resort at Oyster Pond. The service was excellent - from Cami (Manager), Laura (Supervisor), Alain (our server) and Joseph (server), we could not have asked for a better more attentive staff.

The food was delightful, nice preparation and presentation. We started with Conch Fritters with coleslaw and a green salad, which were very tasty. For entrees, we enjoyed grilled Mahi-Mahi in a white wine sauce which were perfectly cooked, delicious, and accompanied by a baked potato, green salad and mixed vegetables. Dessert? Who can say “No” to Crème Brule? It was scrumptious!!! And, Alain melted the sugar topping at our table with a fired torch.

The drinks (our brand of scotch) were great and the entertainers, Addy/the singer – Louis Armstrong impersonator, the costumed dancers, and the participating audience was a treat to see, watch, listen to and laugh with. In addition, we had a spectacular view of the evening stars populating the darkened sky, the cascading waves of the Atlantic Ocean lapping at the sandy shore and the lights of villas on the hillsides.

On your next trip to St. Maarten, put the “new” Beau Beau’s restaurant on your list of places to eat and be entertained. Recently expanded with new decking and canvas ceilings, Beau Beau’s is one of the nicest open-walled beach bars on the island. For reservations, which are a must, call 1.721.543.6040. There wasn’t an open seat/table available the night we were there. And, to top it off, Beau Beau’s management raffled off a one week stay to the people in the audience. It was a great night! 
 
      Bleu Emeraude Residence, the luxurious residence in Grand Case, was recently awarded a 4th Star by the St. Martin Government Authority, which makes it the only residence on the island with a 4 star ranking. Bleu Emeraude is now offering two excellent promotions valid from April 27th to June 29th: STAY 6 nights – PAY FOR 5 / BREAKFAST INCLUDED; or take a 20% discount if reservation booked at least 21 days before arrival / BREAKFAST INCLUDED. For additional information, contact Tessa McKay at 011.590.590.87.27.71 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Note: the two offers cannot be combined. 

      Bleu Emeraude Residences
has announced that its Annual Closing for maintenance and staff vacations will be September 10th to September 30th. They will reopen on October 1st., 2012. For reservations or additional information, please visit the website at www.bleuemeraude.com or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

      Once again, we had a spectacular meal at Ocean Lounge Restaurant & Bar in the Holland House Beach Hotel. After ordering two Black Labels on the rocks, we sat sipping our favorite scotch discussing forthcoming events while enjoying the beautiful view of the yachts in Great Bay.

After a while, our waiter brought us the Chef’s offering which was a creamy spicy tomato mousse in a six inch long slender vial with garnishment on top which was packed in a small bowl of ice. Also, in the vial which looked similar to the ones used by doctors to take your blood was a slender straw. One or two sips of the straw and the mousse caressed your palette with a lovely delightful taste on its way to your stomach. We really wanted more! 

For appetizers, we enjoyed Gravlax, marinated and lightly smoked salmon with sour cream and toast, and Beef Carpaccio in lemon juice which were both delicious and easily either could be shared by two people. For our main course, we had Chilean Sea Bass served in an antiboise sauce with mini potatoes and fresh spinach, and Brill which is a white fish imported from Holland accompanied by a selection of vegetables.

For Dessert, we had the chef’s innovative rendition of French toast with Vanilla ice cream in the middle. It was truly unique. And, of course, the meal was accompanied by a lovely bottle of Sancerre (White wine). By the way, Guido & Georgina, our servers, were attentive and friendly and along with Robert, Manager of Food & Beverage, helped to make the evening memorable. For reservations, call Robert van Herpen at 721.542.2572 or 800.223.9815 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

      New Ferry Service to St. Barts from St. Maarten. The Voyager 3 is a new high speed hydrofoil ferry boat that will get you to Gustavia, St. Barts from Oyster Pond in 30 minutes and from Marigot to Gustavia in 1 hour. This new vessel really speeds up the trip and offers a business class setting for luxury traveling.

      Barbara and I had such a nice time at Beau Beau’s that we decided to go back and try its sister, Infinity Restaurant, at Oyster Bay Beach Resort especially since we heard that Spartaco Sargentoni was managing the restaurant. For those of you who may remember, Spartaco had his own Italian Restaurant in Almond Grove for many years and it was one of the best restaurants on the island. 

As we arrived at the restaurant, we were pleased to find that Joseph, our server from Beau Beau’s, would again be taking care of us and since he knew our favorite drink, two of them were delivered “post haste.” 

We started the evening with the Chef’s offering (To whet your appetite) which was Lobster Bisque presented in two tiny little glasses. It was scrumptious! 

For appetizers, we had a lovely platter of Smoked Salmon with capers, tomatoes and parsley in a creole sauce and a Salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, carrots, lettuce and red onions. For our main course, we very much enjoyed the Seafood Lasagna and the Grouper with Panko, and Risotto which were nicely cooked and presented. And, to top of the evening, we devoured an Apple Tart with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. For reservations at Infinity Restaurant, call 1.721.543.6040.

      The Junior Golf program of the St. Maarten Golf Association (SMGA) is nearing completion of its 7th full year of operation, and to mark this we will have our sixth Annual competition for the junior golfers at the Mullet Bay golf course. While some of these 8 to 17 year olds are not yet ready for an 18-hole competition, they are hugely enthusiastic about the sport.

The program's 40 children have been getting 3 times weekly, paid instruction at the Emilio Wilson Park or at Mullet Bay course by the golfing professional Howard Hobgood, and many also train weekly at the Mullet Bay Golf course on Saturdays and Sundays. The training includes skills, rules and etiquette. We look to continue to bring in more new youths annually. There is no charge for the youths to participate in the program allowing us to open the sport to all, but this means we must do fundraising.

The date will be Sunday June 3rd. The competition includes a one and three-hole competition for the beginner children, a five-hole, 9-hole, and an 18-hole competition for the more advanced. In addition there will be putting, chipping and driving competitions, as well as a rules and etiquette written competition. The French golf association will be providing a number of prizes and several of the parents will be making prizes available as well. Mullet Bay has donated the use of the course.

In order to continue to maintain the junior program for the next school year we are seeking sponsors for the competition. To sponsor one of the holes will cost $500. The putting, rules, and chipping competitions can be sponsored for $400. In addition any of the above can be 1/2 sponsored for 1/2 the amount. Any prizes that you might have to offer or donations would also be welcomed. Checks should be made payable to the Junior Golf Foundation of St. Maarten. All sponsors will be advertised and receipts for tax purposes will be available on request. For addition information, telephone Jim Rosen, Junior Golf Committee Chairman, at 1.721.587.7682 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

      On Thursday nights, Toppers by the Sea features spectacular wonderful performances of Broadway Shows including Carbaret, Chicago, Cats and more. Prime Rib and fresh Mahi Mahi specials top off the evening. For reservation, (highly recommended) telephone 1.721.544.6002 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Barbara and I have seen it and it is well worth the price. An enjoyable evening.

      Marigot is sprucing up some of its streets. The French government has paved and expanded the roadway beginning at the turnoff for Mario's Bistro near the Low Lands Road bridge and extending passed the Beach Plaza Hotel to the round-a-bout in front of the French Tourism Offices. In the process, they have curved the road in front of the US Market (supermarket) and created a parking lot in front of the store for 50 cars. This also allowed them to create a parking lot in front of the Beach Plaza Hotel which was badly needed for 100 cars. In addition, they have also created on-street parking with brick sidewalks and another very large parking lot for the tennis courts. All in all, a splendid move by the French Government.  

      St. Maarten's Dialing code 1-721 went into effect September 30, 2011. The Bureau Telecommunication & Post St. Maarten (BTPSXM) announced on Monday that the use of St. Maarten’s new dialing code 1-721 will commence as of September 30. Calls to St. Maarten using either 00-599 or 1-721 will be processed regularly during a “permissive dialing period” which will run until September 30, 2012. Callers using -599 will be advised that the dialing code has changed and the new code should be used. The mandatory dialing period will commence on September 30, 2012, and remain in effect until March 31, 2013. During this period calls to St. Maarten using 00-599 will not be processed and callers will be advised to dial 1-721 for calls to St. Maarten. The use of country code 00599 will be discontinued for St. Maarten on September 30th, 2012.


The StMaarten/StMartin Connection Newsletters are e-published bimonthly by Steeple Associates, Inc., 5201 Warrens Way, Wanaque, NJ 07465. For Questions or Comments, telephone: 973.835.0600 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Publisher: Sam Fusco. Editorial Consultant: Marilyn Fusco. Sales and Marketing: Barbara Fusco. Contributing Correspondents: Jean Rich and Laura Richardson.